A couple of months ago I saw a beautiful and well-developed adult tortoise shell type calico cat walking across our backyard. When I opened the sliding glass door to get a better look, she ran like the wind and I never saw her again. Until a few weeks ago when she appeared on our deck, looking quite emaciated with a large patch of hairless skin on the back of her neck. I sneaked around the back and took a small bowl of dry food to the deck and rattled it to get her attention. She was panting and looked very weak but got up so fast she startled me. She ate all we gave her and drank a good amount of water as well. As she ate, we got a good look at her. Given her emaciated state, we decided she had been either dumped or possibly abandoned. We knew of a family up the road that recently left the area. In addition, that large patch of bare of skin on the back of her neck, well of course, it was full of ticks.
The weather in Missouri has been wickedly hot and humid this summer and in her condition, we knew she would not last much longer on her own. We gave her for all the food and water she wanted that day and continued on day 2. She slept under the deck but came out quickly when we called to her from the patio. She was weak but still had a loud purr and definitely used it to her advantage. We also found that when she meow’s she does a cute two-part meow that really sounds like she’s saying “hell llo”. Later on day 2, we carefully removed all her 30+ ticks from the back of her neck and one toe. I then applied some antibiotic ointment to help heal and soothe those tick bitten areas. We checked carefully for fleas but amazingly, she had none!
Still unsure what to do with this gal, we continued to care for her, but outside since we have 4 cats in the house. On day 3, she was looking weaker and pretty heat stressed so we decided to bring her into the house and close her in the office in order to keep her segregated. She rested on the floor for 2 days getting up only to eat, drink or use her litter box. I watched for signs of disease like diarrhea, sneezing, runny nose, coughing, gait, eye changes and so forth, but nothing appeared. By now, she had won our hearts and we decided she could stay but as an outside cat after she was healed. On day 5, we took her to our Veterinarian in Columbia. She received a general health exam, rabies injection, worming, an antibiotic injection and blood tests for all the bad stuff cats can get like FELV, FIV and heartworm. So now, we need a name for this gal. After a lengthy search on the internet for ideas, I came up with a few names that I liked and ran them by Bill. We both decided we liked Aurora since she has so many colors on her coat.
After she passed her quarantine period, we began introducing Aurora to our cats since she is still recovering from her emaciated state, still in the house and the weather continues to be so wickedly hot that she cannot be outside in her condition. Aurora initially flunked house cat 101 by being snarly to our cats for days on end and her incessant desire to be on our kitchen counters. My bet is that she was an only cat and perhaps even abused as she has an aggressive response to feet if they pass her to fast. After a few weeks and much tolerance from Bill, my cats, and me, Aurora is finally beginning to settle into our house routine. Aurora has her issues and she still has a lot of healing, both physical and psychological, in her future but unless we are able to find someone that is willing to take a very pretty cat that has issues, she is welcome to stay with us either indoor or outside, for the remainder of her days.
We didn’t take any pictures of Aurora in her worst condition. However, this is how she is looking 3 weeks into her recovery.