On Sunday we were leaving the house, running late, and Sparkle and Twitch got out and we couldn't catch them to put them back inside. We'd also noticed the Kuro, Esa's fluffy black cat, had been missing for a few days. She used to disappear occasionally when she lived in West Oakland before Esa moved her to my house, so it wasn't terribly weird, but it was still concerning.
Sparkle and Twitch are the fluffy black & white mama and baby cats who were found in a field, sick and malnourished, and brought to me last summer. I intended to get them fixed, vaxed and rehomed, but time went on and none of that had happened yet. I still had the vax and spay planned and was working on getting them appointments. They have been much healthier and Twitch has really stolen everyone's heart, including our bunny Nutmeg who loves to hang out and play with Twitch. Sparkle, the mama cat, seemed put off by sharing a home with other cats and I was hoping to find her a good home where she could be a well-loved solitary indoor cat. I was keeping them inside but they'd found several escape routes out of the house.
So, Esa and Terran got home Sunday afternoon and Sparkle showed up at the front door crying to be let in, blood in her mouth, nose, right eye and on her head. Esa thought maybe she'd been hit by a car and sent me a text. They got her set up and comfy in Terran's room before coming to pick me up. We returned home around 4pm and then Esa found Kuro in the back yard, her right eye swollen and looking horrible with crusted blood and such. She was dirty and covered with feces. (Kuro is normally a tidy cat who hates dirty litter boxes.) This is when we started to suspect foul play...
I called Oakland Animal Services. They said I needed proof that someone had intentionally hurt the cats. I called around looking for financial assistance for the vet and got found the SPCA Humane Advocate program.
Twitch was still missed. My heart sunk. By Monday night the pain of not knowing where Twitch was got to be too much and I had a crying breakdown. Shortly after that, Maia spotted Twitch out in the yard and ran out and pulled her from underneath a bush. At first we couldn't see any damage, but she was obviously in a state of shock. After a while we realized that there was a puncture wound on her right thigh. She was acting as if she had a concussion and having trouble getting to the litter box.
Today we finally got through to the SPCA and told them our story. They said they could only help with a portion of the bill, but they would do what they could with whatever money we showed up with this afternoon. We posted on Facebook, and talked to everyone we could, including the neighbors. (I've already posted to the neighborhood website that there is someone targeting cats in the neighborhood and some of the neighbors had come by to talk to me on Monday.)
As of right now, 9pm on Tuesday, our family, friends, and even friends-of-friends have donated $787.55. We have $200 of our own that we can put towards the bill. The SPCA is able to give us a couple hundred and they are shaving costs for us wherever possible.
We went to the SPCA vet clinic this afternoon. Kuro and Twitch got x-rays. Everyone got antibiotics and pain meds. Tomorrow we take Sparkle back for blood tests and x-rays. The total estimate for everything in the plan, including the surgery to remove Kuro's eye, is approximately $1200. So the prognosis so far is, yes, this is foul play. The x-rays so far show metal pellets. Twitch has a pellet lodged in her left leg. Since the wound is on her right thigh, the pellet must have passed through her bladder, which explains her peeing and sitting issues. Kuro has a metal pellet behind her eyeball, possibly lodged in her skull. They will try to remove it when her eye is removed. Other than the loss of an eye, these two are expected to pull through ok. Sparkle, however, has a few head wounds and very possibly major brain damage. The vet isn't sure she will make it.
Someone was trying to maim and kill our babies.
How do you even start to comprehend that?? I feel so sick...
We're home now and the kitties are home too. Everyone has had their pain meds and is resting (including Esa and I). I'm going to eat some dinner now, finally, and then I will post some pictures of the kitties. I'll keep posting updates both here and on Facebook. Feel free to share all of these blog posts.
Btw, I love you all. Thank you for showing so much love to our fur-babies.