This little fuzzball came into our lives recently. We decided at the last minute to drive out to Dalton the night before our scheduled tour of the Crookwell Wind & Solar farm. I went out after we’d got settled to have a look at how the grass was growing, and found her hunched up on the footpath leading down to the back of the property. She tried to leap away as I approached, but it seemed her back legs weren’t working properly.We got an old sheet in a box and brought her into the house, as it was a very cold night.
She was pretty grubby, but we couldn’t see any obvious injuries in a gentle examination, and I have to admit that her bright eyes sucked me right in.
We took her with us to see the vet in Crookwell, then brought her home to Canberra. She has no ID chip, didn’t have any collar, but someone has clearly been feeding her. A long night spent trying to get a vet to see her eventually took us to the Walk in Clinic for Animals in Belconnen, where they X-rayed her, which showed that she has apparently been shot at some time in the past, and has a pellet lodged in her leg, and they thought she had some bone injuries consistent with a shotgun blast, though she had healed up pretty well. They gave her a flea treatment and a long lasting antibiotic and we picked up some premium cat food for her, which she happily wolfed down when we got her home.
We’ve had some trouble finding a regular vet for her, as all the southside vets are not taking new patients currently. Eventually we found Canberra Cat Vet, also in Belconnen, and took her in for a proper consult. We’ve had a few different estimates for her age, ranging from 3 to 9 years. She’s missing most of her incisors, but her fangs and molars all look pretty clean and sound, so my thinking is that closer to three years is more likely. This vet could not see as much damage from her injuries, and suspected some image artefacts were misleading the less experienced vets at the walk-in clinic.
In the week and a half since then, she has been putting on weight steadily, and is now walking around happily, even chasing and batting small objects around the room. She’s taking fairly well to a litter tray, too, with a few upsets along the way.
We’ve decided to call her Miss Tarea, because we know so little about her history, and we expected that her injuries would mean she’d be a lot of homework for us, though that latter is turning out to maybe not be so much of an issue.