Saturday, January 06, 2018
Initially I thought of him as Blackie, then a reasonably fed cat from across the road. Suddenly he got, well, scrawny, clearly starving.
I started to feed him outside the front door. A few months later I reported that Scrawny was doing quite well:
"He/she, I’m still not sure which, has put on weight. Scrawny remains resolutely independent. I think Scrawny is being fed by other people now as well, for visits to me have become less regular. Days will pass without sightings and then there is a miaow at the gate when I go out. We chat, I provide food, and then go on my way."
With time, we came to a working arrangement. He would scratch at the front door on most morning and afternoons and I would give him some food. The birds liked this arrangement too! They started gathering in the morning I could watch them from the kitchen window.
Later, I learned a little more about Scrawny. His real name was Smokey, although he remained Scrawny to me. His owner had a stroke that put him into a wheelchair. Neighbours were feeding Scrawny, but I don't think that it was as regular as it should have been given his emaciated state. I also found out that he had cat aids.
Scrawny has not been well in recent weeks, having difficulty in eating, losing weight. I was away for a week and even though food was being left out for, him he went down hill. Then he started throwing up food even when cut up into very little pieces and fed in small bits. He would eat, and then go back to home territory across the road. Then, a week ago, he vanished.
I am not a sentimentalist so far as animals are concerned, but I will miss Scrawny!
Update 17 January 2018
Last night there was a very large sharp bang, loud enough to rattle some windows in the street and bring the most of the neighbourhood out into the street. I gathered across the road with what turned out to be almost the entire Smokey aka Scrawny feeding group. "Did you hear what happened to Smokey", one asked? I replied that I did not, but that he had been unable to hold down any food.
One of the feeding group said that she had tried giving him cats milk with food mashed into it. She had also organised antibiotics. He seemed to get a little better, but then vanished. On 2 January his body was found in front of another house just a little up the road. He had died on the doorstep with his paw still stretched out. A sad end for what had become such a well liked cat. .