Behold our mighty outside kitty Yemen. He is now 11 years old and most of that time he's spent as an outside-only cat. Why? Because he's a major shedder. I know, not his fault. He's loved living outside. Mainly keeps to our backyard or the roof of our house.
That is... until about a month ago.
You see our next door neighbors... (not the Armenian ones with the barking dog... which by the way no longer HAVE the barking dog, which was hopefully taken away from their abusive hands) (and not the ones from Pakistan with the rooster, who asked me several times to homeschool their delinquent son... they moved out and a very nice family from the Philippines bought their house) the ones I'm talking about today, are the neighbors who I haven't really blogged about before because they are extremely nice and keep to themselves and are quiet (everything you'd want in a neighbor) and they haven't done anything even remotely strange, unless you call painting their house clashing colors (teal and caribbean blue) strange, and then again... who am I to talk about house paint colors?
sidenote: I seem to have developed a propensity for extremely long run-on sentences. (and parenthesis) (bear with me)
Ok... these very nice neighbors with the weird house colors had two inside cats. (a male and a female) Recently the male had become increasingly aggressive toward the female, so they made the decision to kick them both out of the house and make them outside kitties.
That's where our 11 year old kitty Yemen fits in. In all the years he's been an outside kitty, he has never been injured in a cat fight. He stays on our property, is not aggressive, and is even declawed. (don't shoot me... long story... required to declaw him to have him in our apartment... when we made him outside kitty, we screened in our back porch to keep him safe... when we added on to the house and made the porch part of the house, we built a second large enclosure for him... also to keep him safe... which he kept getting out of. We never found where he was getting out, but figured he was safe every morning, we eventually left the door open to the enclosure, and a couple of years later took apart the enclosure all together. All these years our declawed kitty has been living outside happily and safely.
All of the sudden in the last month, we noticed our kitty was exhibiting strange behavior. He was staying in our driveway, under our cars, or in our front flower beds. Hiding. Scared. Terrified. And he kept showing up with gashes on his face. Teeth marks. He stopped eating. I brought him inside to the front bedroom, cleaned up his wounds and let him heal. He went back to his normal loving self. Then I'd put him out again and it wasn't long before he stopped eating and started acting terrified, hiding in the bushes again. We knew we had to do something and were discussing our options.
(you see, we already have five inside cats, living in perfect harmony with each other and we weren't excited about adding another cat to the mix, possibly jeopardizing the kitty peace. To put him inside permanently would be a last resort)
Fast forward to Tuesday. Haven went out to feed the animals and quickly ran back in to tell me that Yemen was injured again. He said Yemen was actively bleeding. I of course rolled my eyes because Haven says that whenever he can see the color red on a scratch. BUT he kept insisting, so I went out to check. And this is what I found...
and this, without the collar...
Needless to say, I immediately brought him inside to the front bedroom and called the vet so I could get him seen right away.
The verdict: teeth holes that go down 1 inch deep. The neighbor's cat was going in for the kill, and we think Yemen's collar may have saved his life.
So they shaved the area and flushed the wound, sending us home with pain meds and antibiotics.
So... Since taking the neighbor cat out with a high-powered rifle isn't a realistic option, Yemen will not be going outside again. It's sad because I know he loved being outside so much, but we cannot risk another attack. We did later inform the neighbors what happened. They of course were horrified and offered to pay the vet bill several times. We declined because they are in as bad of a financial/work situation as we are.
Whether Yemen spends out the rest of his years in the front bedroom, or becomes part of the harmonious inside kitty family remains to be seen.
In the meantime, there are five cats parked outside Yemen's bedroom door just waiting to be introduced. I'm sure they're going to all be the best of friends!