punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Mystery cat

Mysterious Three-legged catThere is a cat that shares our yard with a neighbor (and possibly more neighbors, as cat territories are wont to do). I think it's a she, but I don't know, and I don't want to call the cat "it" in this entry, so it's a girl for now. She's a standard brown tabby with yellow/orange eyes... and only three legs. I have looked for a collar, but either she's got one that it almost impossible to see, or she doesn't have one at all, which doesn't mean she doesn't belong to someone. I often see her in the neighbor's yard in the shed, and my dogs have barked at her when she's been in our yard. The neighbor has two very big dogs (a german shepherd and a shepherd mix), and I really down the cat is theirs (although I will ask before I do anything).

She seems to be okay with three legs. She's missing a hind leg, and hobbles about without much discomfort, but she's not very people friendly, and despite several attempts to get close to her, our encounters are always by chance and brief. Today, she was in our yard, sitting in the tall grass by the side of our house and enjoying the morning sun before she saw me and trotted away. I got a fleeting phone picture of her, but it's less spectacular and descriptive than any Bigfoot or Loch Ness monster photo I have seen.

I don't know what to do. I could just leave her alone, but my moral senses don't like that option. I have always been fond of cats, and despite the fact she's "okay" as is, her life span will be short, the three-legged thing seems unfair, and she's probably suffering from fleas, ticks, weather, mean people, dogs, and those sorts of things. I could buy a trap (like $40) and trap her. After that, I would have her checked by a vet, and if okay, released to foster care. I have studied up on how to trap cats, and know a lot of the common pitfalls, like don't trap on hot or rainy days, always check the trap, what bait to use, and so on. That is, safety of cat PRIMARY to actual capture. But then there's vet costs, and who's going to foster the cat until it finds an owner? Probably me, but not if the cat has something contagious like FeLuk or is uncontrollably violent. What if she's very feral and can never be cohabitated? Well, Thisby was like that, and seven years later, finally she'll let me pet her, so eventually they come around. Just think, Thisby, a new pal under the bed with you. I think I'd deal if the vet said, "She's got [terrible painful disease or condition] and needs to be put to sleep," although I'd be mega-sad. I would be willing to shell a few hundred bucks to save a three legged cat. How sad is that?

Advice? Screams of Vader going "NNNOOOooOOOOooOOOoooo?"
Tags: cat, three-legged, trap
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