In the early evening of Friday, July 11th, a little black and white kitten scaled the brick wall behind our backyard and claimed us as "his humans." It was apparent he had not eaten for some time, probably for several days, so we fed him salmon that was on the grill that he likely smelled when he scaled the fence. The friendly little kitten was so small and waif-like that I estimated his age to be about 10 weeks. In addition to seriously needing food, his tail was damaged and would require the attention of a kind vet. It didn't take long to decide that we wanted to keep our new furry friend, and we named him Felix.
The next day, I made an appointment for Felix with the local vet so that he could begin treatment on his badly infected and hairless tail.
This is a photo of Felix as we are about to leave for his first appointment with the vet. He is quite the traveler and liked his short car trip in my old straw purse. Little did he know what would later happen as a result of that visit.
First, the vet advised me that Felix weighed 3.7 pounds, not much for his age of 4 months (according to the vet's expert estimation.) Although the vet announced that Felix was otherwise healthy (negative feline leukemia test, etc.) she recommended amputation of his tail. We agreed to the surgery, and two days later, Felix came home from the animal hospital with six blue stitches, a blue vinyl Elizabethan collar, and a very short tail, much like a bobcat's tail, only without fur. He wasn't very active for the first twenty-four hours, but even surgery didn't change this tough kitten's spirit and his playfulness. He is one resilient little survivor!
Felix recuperates in his favorite spot on the patio, my chaise lounge. In this photo, he can be seen convalescing in the sun! Although he looks comfortable here, he much prefers his new comfy cat bed inside the air-conditioned house that we share with him.
As Felix grew stronger (and fatter!) he ventured into the flower garden. In this photo, he is carefully watching butterflies visit the summer lantana. Later, he chased a few young grasshoppers in the garden before taking another quick "catnap."