My sincere apologies-- there have been two reasons for the lack of updates. First, I was sick and the thought of doing anything other than sleeping was not one I could stomach. (Although as you'll see in a moment I did, actually, do more than sleep because I did take care of the fuzzies.) Second, things kept changing on me, so I wasn't sure *what* to post, precisely. But let's see what we can see...
First, on Wednesday Scoots went to the low cost spay and neuter clinic. He didn't love being in the cat carrier, but he was okay with it. And while we were in the waiting room, I stuck my hand in the carrier to pet him, and he sprawled out just like he would if he'd been in my lap without the carrier and started purring. And this was with a very nervous, shaking pekinese sitting beside us. Scoots did just fine-- he woke up without trouble, he was eating and investigating by evening time. Equally important, he was tested for FIV and feline leukemia, and, like Red, was negative. YAY! And he has also now been vaccinated. He has been recovering under the care of Bea's Mom's neighbor, indoors to keep his surgical site clean (and because indoors is where kitty cats belong, particularly when there's some kind of beastie out there attacking cats, as evidenced by Red and, previously, Sir Percy.)
On Friday, I took Red for his follow-up check-up with the ophthalmologist. As you can see in the picture (taken in the waiting room), his face has healed up but his eye is certainly still problematic.
There's good news and bad news. The good news is that he's not in any immediate danger, nor is he in any pain. The ophthalmologist said that the eye probably irritates him a little, but doesn't pain him.
The bad news, however, is that he does need surgery to have the eye removed. Poor little pirate kitty. The eye is totally blind, so it's not like keeping it would benefit Red in any way. More importantly, and I know I'll screw some of this explanation up but I'll do the best I can here, because there is still blood on both sides of his lens, he's at an extremely high risk to develop a sarcoma. Worse, once that happens, it almost immediately metastasizes and kills the cat. As to when that might happen... well, could be months, more likely years, but it's likely to happen. Likewise, she suggested that the eye will develop glaucoma as well. So, it needs to come out. He'll always need to be an indoor kitty, because his lack of depth perception means he'd have difficulty getting away from predators, although in general he'll learn to compensate in jumping up on couches and such.
Also, he can get the eye surgery at the same time as getting neutered, which is good, since anesthesia is never totally without risks.
Red didn't much care for the carrier, either. We had a conversation all the way from the boarding place to the ophthalmologist's, Meow, Meow, MEOW, meow. Once in the waiting room, I let him out of the carrier and into my lap-- where he promptly plunked down, ignored the dogs around us, and started purring. In the exam room, too, he just sat in my lap (there was a bench to sit on) as we waited for the doctor to arrive. He even seemed to enjoy the exam (except for the eye drops). They wrapped him in a towel- and he really seems to love being swaddled. The tech held him and the vet started looking at his eye and then said, "Is he purring?" and yup, he was.
As for the big question you're probably wondering... what now? Do the kitties have a home to go to?
The deadline for finding a home for them was pretty much *now*, as I am leaving AZ (to visit family) on Tuesday. My friend Tam, who has commented on this blog, who first taught me about TNR and rescue, and who has been my guide through so much of Project-Cat, agreed to be a safety net. That is, if no one could take these cats, she would figure out a way to do so. Despite all the internet pleas I could manage, and several false hopes, I did not find a home for them elsewhere. So on Tuesday, two cats, with three working eyes between them, and I (whose eyes mostly work, heh), will fly across the country. And here I thought there'd be no way to go more complicated than getting Sir Percy to his forever home in Germany. Staying domestic this time, but adding a second cat... yup. Sounds about right for my life.
Anyway, the timing isn't ideal for Tam, but I know 110% that these kitties will have the bestest life ever thanks to her. She's already helped them (and me) immensely and I'm so grateful for her generosity. And I'm sure I'll get updates from her. :)
Thank you to all of you who donated (and donations are still very much accepted for Red's eye surgery-- I'll send them to Tam. It will, after all, be a $1000 surgery, plus the cost of neutering; that's on top of the cost of the boarding he's already done and travel costs and such. At some point in January, I'll be putting things for sale on Etsy again, with the proceeds going to Red's surgery as well.) Thank you to everyone who spoke to people about these kitties and who reposted their plight. Thank you all. I couldn't do any of this without you.