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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,924

    Red face Feral cat with bum leg - GOOD UPDATE on Capt'n Jack Sparrow

    Our one-eyed former-Tom who I named Capt'n Jack Sparrow showed up with what I believed to be a broken leg about 3 1/2 weeks ago. Wasn't sure how he got injured - there has been a young Tom around that I had yet to trap and sometimes they can fight almost to the death. I never knew how viscious Tom cats could be until we had one around a few months ago that pinned poor Jack down and was really intent on killing him. Jack was neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and de-flea'd about a year ago as part of the Sheltering Hands feral cat program here in Marion County - I have a small registered colony of ferals here (5 registered - 1 female and 4 males plus my one domestic outdoor girl, Peaches). Anyway, the new Tom looks exactly like Jack - could be his son, so I dubbed him Jackson - and I did see him fighting with another of my ex-Tom's so I trapped him and had him rehomed where he would get neutered etc.

    So back to Capt'n Jack. He was injured - not using his front left paw at all and it was severely swollen with some hair missing where the knee is. I tried to trap him for 2 weeks, but he is no dummy - he's about 5 years old from what the vet who neutered him could tell, so he has survived a lot between the damaged eye and his other battle scars. I had to go away on business for a week and my husband worked the trap detail. Last Thursday night I left the trap baited extra late - had been locking the trap open during the night because we have a ton of raccoons and this particular trap is not one that is easy to release a truly dangerous animal from. I had already caught Peaches a couple of times, so this time I came out with my flashlight and see a raccoon on top of the cage, Peaches beside it, and some shining eyes in the cage. I really thought a second raccoon was in there and was bummed and wondering how the heck I could safely release it. Then I noticed that it was black and sure enough it was Capt'n Jack in there. Thank God!

    I shooed the raccoon away (carefully), and covered the cage with a sheet while Jack hissed and scrambled around in there. For a minute there I thought he would get loose, but he did not. I locked the cage in our empty, secire chicken coop so that nothing could get at Jack in the night. Next morning I put him in my SUV (after putting many garbage bags in the cargo area in case he peed). My vet is open at 7, so I drove him right there and explained the situation. They kept him to evaluate and called me later to ask if I thought the leg was broken. I said I did not know for sure and authorized x-rays. My vet told me that she would recommend putting him down if it was broken because I would not be able to handle him to change the splint etc. I said I'd like to give him a chance, but do not want to see him suffer if he will not improve. The x-rays did not show any broken bones, but there is a lot of instability in the joint - vet thinks it may have been dislocated and some tendon damage - almost like an ACL injury. She said she's sen that in housecats, and many times they do not heal and need amputation, which is not an option with Jack. She also said there is swelling even 2 1/2 weeks after the injury and she could not aspirate it. SHe gave me the option of giving him a long lasting antibiotic shot and taking him home for 2 weeks to see if he improved. SHe shaved the leg so I could watch the swelling and they tested him for FIV because he would not heal if he had that (he was negative).

    We took him home last Friday and made a room for him in the chicken coop. Put a cat bed in there, litter box, and there are clean shavings about 3 inches think in there already because we lost our last rooster at Easter and I cleaned it thoroughly. He has the roosting nests above, a screen door, fresh water and his favorite wet food.

    Good news is that the swelling has almost completely gone away - there is a strange bump on it, but I think that is part of the tendon or unstable area. He is eating well, which the vet said if he stops eating or seems in pain or lethargic that he may be suffering and to let her know. His coat is shiny and he almost seemed to enjoy the safe haven for the first few days. I would find him laying in the cat bed like a king. He is starting to get a little restless although he has not bolted for the door when I change his food and water. I spend time with him in there 3 or 4 times a day. He had started to let me pat him and would meow and follow me when I brought his food about 2 weeks before he got injured, but since then he has not let me touch him and hissed at me if I get too close. I am trying to gain back that trust.

    He did use the bad foot yesterday to scratch some of the shavings out of the way and lay down - that is a great sign. He also left it down when he ate this morning - usually he bends it under while he eats.

    One more week and we'll see how he is doing and decide when to release him. A friend suggested we keep him in there, but he would be miserable. I know he is vulnerable out in the world, but I think he would prefer to take his chances rather than being confined to such a small area. As long as no other mean cats come by, and he stays out of the road, he seems content in our yard, barn and shed.

    Here he is = please send some jingles his way - I really would love to have him back with at least some use of that foot. He's such a good boy at heart - he just got a bum deal in life early on. I hope I am doing the right thing for him....

    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...80760784_n.jpg

    Here you can see his bad eye
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...38534507_n.jpg
    Last edited by witherbee; Apr. 16, 2013 at 09:14 PM. Reason: update


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Sanger, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,943

    Default

    Wishing him well! Hope when he's better, he might like his little coop kingdom to be lured back in there at night where he would be safer.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2006
    Location
    Middle of Nowhere, take a right, FL
    Posts
    4,443

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    Bless you for taking such good care of him and not putting him down right away.
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2002
    Posts
    5,952

    Default

    Jingles! Cats are survivors! Sounds like he has made some good progress! Glad you were finally able to trap him!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Lots of jingles for Cap'n Jack! I hope he continues to improve and like another poster said, maybe he'll be content to stay in his new digs at night.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2006
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
    1,371

    Default

    More jingles from VA. We had a kitty that showed up with a broken back leg, which had to be amputated. I know you said that is not an option, so hoping that your kitty heals and can stay with you.
    stained glass groupie
    www.equiglas.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,924

    Default Thanks guys

    I hope he will go in the coop at night, but normally he sleeps in the barn. He's pretty safe in there.

    Today he actually seemed to be using that leg. I keep thinking of him like a horse on layup - it is painful to keep them cooped up (literally!), but is best for them. He hunkered down to eat his breakfast, and instead of curling that leg under, he flexed it like the other one and seemed to be putting weight on it. I am so hopeful for him!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2009
    Posts
    241

    Default

    Jingles for Cap'n Jack. Kudos for you for looking after him.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2013
    Posts
    633

    Default

    We put a cat flap in our hay shed. Maybe you could something like that? It gives our barn cats a safe place with food and water.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,424

    Default

    JBD has a good idea there. I hope that Capt'n Jack is continuing to feel better.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,924

    Default Good news - he is walking on the bad leg!

    As I was leaving this morning for my trip to St Petersburg FL, my husband stopped my car and told me to come see Jack. He was walking on the bad leg - actually USING it! I am so happy for him! Another week confined and he may be almost as good as new! Will have to see what to go when we let him lose again - we do not have anywhere to put a cat door - our barn is open. Maybe we can do something with the coop he is in, but anything he can get in, the racoons and foxes etc can get it too. It will be up to him and good luck as far as how he does, but he is a smart guy.

    Took some pictures and video but am not home - will post this weekend...

    Thanks for the well wishes!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,424

    Default

    Fantastic news! Looking forward to both the pictures and the video.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2000
    Location
    Southern California - on a freeway someplace
    Posts
    9,799

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    Yeah for Jack! Is there some way you could put a small cat flap in the coop. I don't think a raccoon could get in. We got ours at Lowe's. It's set up so that you can lock it both ways, or just one way or the other.

    My elderly cat was in so much pain that she didn't want to move around at all. I put food and water within reach and moved her into the litter box a couple of times a day. It got a bit better with drugs. Two days later she was walking around pretty normally. Two days after that she was trotting around the house and leaping on to things (and off the drugs). I wish the dang horses healed that fast.
    The Evil Chem Prof


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,924

    Default

    Thanks Peggy - I'm just going to let him loose - I do not think he would go back in that coop if I paid him lol!

    Here he is from a week ago - I videod more of the coop than I thought at the time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UU...&v=qIvyV13ThLg

    I plan to let him loose on Saturday. I spoke to the vet and she agrees. He is starting to get really restless in there.

    I'm betting he will run to the barn or the neighbor's. I'll sit outside and watch him. He'll be back at dinner I'm sure though - he is a chow hound. He is letting me pet him again too, which is great.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,424

    Default

    He's a very handsome boy! I'm so glad that he is recovering so well. He'll forgive you, I'm sure. Animals are better at forgiving than we humans are.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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