We have an indoor/outdoor cat. He's been with us since we got our dogs, so quite awhile and he's always been able to come and go as he pleases. He is also quite timid, so he rarely goes far and certainly not for very long.
On Wednesday, I noticed that he didn't come bug me for water when I got up. My routine includes feeding and watering ALL the animals, cat included, so when he was absent, I noticed. I was up super early though, so I figured he was still out hunting or he was sleeping. When he wasn't around for dinner that night either, I asked my H if he'd seen him and he said he'd fed him during the day.
We didn't see him Thursday or Friday either. By Friday, my H admitted that he may not have seen him on Wednesday either..that he might have gotten the days confused. We have lots of coyotes around here, so we pretty much figured he was dead. I kept hoping that he wasn't lying in a ditch somewhere in pain. On Friday, we talked about getting another cat but that we had to wait at least a month in case Kitty did come back.
On Saturday morning, I came in from milking and my H called me into the bedroom. He had Kitty in his lap and he was purring up a storm. He was in bad shape though - we assumed coyotes. His head had a huge gash/puncture in it with a hunk of missing fur, he had a big puncture in his side about 2/3rds of the way down his body, and one eye was bulging out a bit.
We have not been able to get him to drink or to eat at all. He sleeps a lot (which we encourage), but when he's awake, he's either walking in small circles or walking against a wall or furniture. He's also abnormally affectionate to both us and to our dogs (much to Maggie's discomfort!). He didn't even want goats milk and all our animals are normally super excited about it. We have been feeding it to him with an eye dropper for the past two days, which he seems OK with, but he will not take it on his own.
The more we inspect him the more we are sure of two things 1) he has brain damage and 2) he was not attacked by coyotes. First of all, how could he have gotten away and secondly, how could he be virtually free of blood and injury outside of two punctures, if it was a wild animal that did this? No, we are pretty sure some asshole shot our cat.
My H is taking him to the vet today. We are prepared to have him put down if he is as internally damaged as we fear. He's clearly not enjoying life and if it weren't for his constant purring anytime we are around, we'd have written him off sooner. I am glad that he came home so that if he does die, at least it will be in relative comfort. My H found him hiding under corner of the tarp that covers our woodpile. I would hate to think how awful I'd have felt if he had died there and that's where we found him next fall when we started using that wood again.
Think 'pain-free' thoughts for our poor beat up kitty, would you?
UPDATE: The vet doesn't think it's a gunshot wound...he thinks he was hit by a car or something. What we didn't notice (that the vet did) was that he's missing a tooth (one of his fangs) and the place were it used to be is totally infected. That is also the same side of his face where is eye is bulged out - the vet thinks there was some trauma there (obviously enough to cost him a tooth) and with the combined infection, he's swollen affecting his motor skills. We have noticed slight improvement since he's been home, so it all fits. My H was sent home with pain meds and antibiotics and with any luck, Kitty will be back to his old self before too long. He did chow down on the can of special wet food we bought him yesterday when they got home, so things are already looking up.