Just getting started on this. Gorgeous has a long story and there is a lot going on with him right now so this could take a while. I’ll be updating this page regularly.
Gorgeous showed up in the summer of 2008. It was not long after I did my first round of TNR, and I thought he was from that litter at first. But after a few months I figured out that he was not from that litter and he had not been neutered. So, I trapped him and took him in in August, 2009.
He got to be very close with Fluffy. She got friendly before he did, and was the ambasador that made it possible to get close to him. He would follow her to no end, sometimes to the point that she got fed up with it. So, he would follow her right up to our hands, and we could sneak in some petting on him while he rubbed on her, until he was finally kind of OK with us.
Gorgeous was different. The look in his eye was different, and when he would get very focused on something he was totally unaware of his surroundings. That worried me because I was afraid he would run out in front of the car.
But the look in his eyes when he looked at me, before I was able to touch him, it was like he didn’t see a person or another being. He was looking at my shape and movement and not connecting at all. And I still remember the moment that changed. The first time he looked me in the eye, and was really looking me in the eye and connecting, not just looking at me as an object! And it was after that that he started communicating – meowing at me when he needed something, and getting more comfortable.
But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. One of the remarkable things that Gorgeous did, long before he would have anything to do with me, was take care of and comfort Stash’s kittens while she was away at the vet getting spayed. As is typical of ferals, Gorgeous didn’t meow. But when those babies were scared and alone he mewed at them and followed them everywehre and played with them! This was before he was neutered, too.
So, once we became friends, he didn’t take to me so much. He didn’t always let me approach him. And when he got sick he would cry, but he wouldn’t let me get close to him, so I couldn’t do anything but put the medicine on his food and tell him to come get it – which he did.
He took time to warm up to me. He loves to do the squishy kneading thing on anything soft he can find. So my mom knitted a squishy just for him. If you scroll down you’ll see a picture of him with it. You’ll also see the little scab on his nose.
That became a recuring thing. He’s have a scratch then a little scab, then it would heal. Then it would happen again. And he had other things going on. Sneezing off and on. He alway held his head a little tilted, and we thought that was just him. But when he got real snotty and sneezy, and he was at the point that I finally felt like I could grab him and take him to the vet, we took him in. We took Fluffy with him to help him feel more secure.
He had a bunch of crap in his ear and an ear infection, so they cleaned it out and gave him antibiotics. They kept the exam brief because he still wasn’t OK with strangers, but he didn’t give them any trouble.
Well, after the antibiotics wore off he was still having sneezing and some gross-looking snot and drool. But like I said, he’s different, and not much into grooming sometimes. And it was obvious that some of the grossness was dirt and stuff stuck to the snot and drool.
Took him back into the vet and all of his teeth were rotten. It was bad. All but the top and bottom fang on one side had to go, and he had inflammed tissue in the back of his mouth and going down his throat that they biopsied and it came back as not cancer and not viral.
We thought he would be fine after he healed from all of that, but his nose just kept getting worse. Bleeding, scabbing up real bad, and then the scab would come off and he would look a lot beter for a day or two, and it would start all over. Finally they decided to do a biopsy, but his nose had deteriorated so much that they couldn’t safely get much.
The results were inconclusive because it just wasn’t enough, but they think it’s precancerous squamous cell carcinoma. They think it may be possible to get it all with surgery, and he’s already started on some anti-cancer supplements.
I’ll be keeping you posted on his treatment and his progress. And yes, for those who are wondering, the banner pic at the top has been Photoshopped, so you see him instead of his giant scab. The rest of the photos are untouched. I may post some that really show the progression later.