Sunday, April 27, 2014

Animal Heartache Continues - Final PR Post

Puerto Rico brought us a lot of joy and a lot of heartache. Knowing we made better lives for many cats was one of the great joys. In San German we spayed and neutered around 15 cats, gave them shots and fed them. We found at least 4 dead cats on our property - some were poisoned and one had a reaction to the neutering anesthesia we think. We found a home for a little white cat and spayed it for its new owner. All-in-all we prevented around 3,000 kitten births (and the would-have-been kittens kittens) in 6 years or so.

When we moved to Moca 3 cats were left behind because we could not find or catch them and the neighbor Amparo took over feeding duty. Heartache. Of the cats we moved, Bepo, the most hang-around of the bunch (especially after her near death infection) took off and never looked back after a week inside. Princess started to do walk abouts and then stopped showing up. The others adjusted.

Moving to NM involved more agonizing pet decisions. We thought it would be difficult finding a place to rent with a lot of cats and thankfully we were wrong but...what would be best for the cats? After trying to acclimate cats to being inside for a couple months prior to selling the house it became clear the Blanco and Rip were never going to live only inside and would never travel safely in a crate for 15 hours to even get here. When we found a buyer for our house they agreed to take them on which was a huge relief (but I still really love Blanco and worry about strange little Rip). We brought 2 cats with us when I moved for good (Jackie because we thought she would tolerate being in a hotel for a few weeks and Pollo because she has a smushed face and couldn't go in cargo). They did fine in the hotel and are fine in our rental home. Jeff returned and in two weeks sent Tuca and Chicken in cargo. Just like Jackie and Pollo the first few days were spent under the bed. Unlike everyone else though Chicken was really really stressed when it got dark and went from window to window running on the glass with his paws yoweling from around 11 pm until 5 am. I tried holding him and he growled. I left lights on for him. I sat with him. I played and built box hotels. I got calming spray and calming treats and catnip and cat grass. Nothing helped. After 2 weeks he seemed ok for part of an afternoon just sleeping calmly in a bed on the windowsill. That day was the last I saw of him

Chicken is gone and most likely dead. I still don't believe it or really know what happened. He had started his yowelling and I was waiting to feed them thinking if I fed them later he might rest better on a full stomach. When I put the food down everyone ate but he wasn't there. I checked all the screens (they were there and only two fingers open). I looked on, under, and in everything including washer, dryer, boxes, suitcases. No Chicken. He had to have gone out the door when I went briefly out, but I have been really good and careful and fast and just don't see how it could have happened but it did and it is my fault. I have looked everywhere but it has been 5 nights now and I am sure a great owl or coyotes got him. I have information on all the mailboxes, the community has an animal hotline, he'll be in the newspaper and neighbor emails are circulating but he is gone and we will never know what happened. Everyone I encounter walking or driving knows he is missing. I have shaken the dry food tambourine and had 3 other-people's cats came to me but not mine. Pets can not be outside here which Is why I built a completely covered catio for them. I was about to introduce Chicken to it - I was waiting for Jeff to get here.

I have towels and clothes scattered around the property to try to lure him in. I have a cathouse and his carrier outside and have walked miles looking under things and up at houses. I have gone outside all hours of day and night and at this point believe he is dead.

Chicken was a cool cat and we thought he was the most adjusted. He came to us with a group of chickens and started spending more time at the house. He was the first to be neutered and he tolerated all the other cats that came and went. The only accident that he was in (there were many cuts and wounds with the others) was when his tail got snapped partly off - scalped actually. A horrifying event. We loved him, did our best for him and thought he would have adjusted here. I guessed wrong. He was 7 which is longer than most PR cats live but that doesn't really help much. Hopefully this is the end of the PR animal heartaches.


Anonymous said...

Sorry for your heartache. I can feel your pain through your words. :(

Anonymous said...

RIP sweet little kitty.