Rescue Cats & Other Adventures
Moxie trapped for Catnip, 5-17-15
Blog Fostering

Moxie Arrived

Moxie arrived on a hot afternoon. She swaggered into our colony’s community area with a look about her. She told everyone to back up. She was going to eat and the were going to leave her alone. She had moxie from day one.

I thought she was a boy at first and started calling her Max. She was emaciated but alert. Determined. A painfully skinny tuxedo with big, round, surprised eyes and a black face except for a small, white goatee. (She reminded us both of Phrike, an amazingly sweet colony member that had disappeared a year before.) Her hip bones stood out and her back end was weak. But she was fiercely determined to survive.

She ate and left, came back, left, hid, and flirted with the colony for two days before she stayed when I came to feed the cats. And two days more before she was brave enough to sniff my finger. A first step. It went quickly from there because it turns out that she LOVES to be held. It also turned out she was a girl and Max became Moxie.

Moxie's beginning, 5-17-15
Moxie’s early days
In the mean time, I became sure she was an escapee from my cat lady hoarder neighbor’s house. Her fur was clean as if she was indoors, yet she was skinny as if her access to food was controlled. She had huge trust issues with other cats, as if she had to compete for food. But she was able to trust and bond with humans. Later on when I brought her in and set her up inside in the crate (large dog crate), she seemed vastly more comfortable indoors in a small space than being outside.

On Saturday night I set out a bunch of humane cat traps (in hopes of trapping cat hoarding neighbor’s cats), and immediately caught Moxie. Only Moxie. I woke up really early and brought her in to the Operation Catnip clinic, and I made sure to tell the intake crew that she was incredibly skinny but I had an emotional investment in her well being. Which was a good thing. Barely an hour after I got home, they called to say the head vet was recommending Moxie be euthanized. She was too emaciated to perform surgery on. If I hadn’t had a history with O.C., it would have been the end for her that day. But I was able to negotiate her freedom.

Since I volunteer for O.C. afternoons, I was able to talk to the head vet about Moxie’s condition and my guess about how she was starved. She agreed it was a huge probability. Poor Moxie was just plain starved.

On arrival home, Moxie was set up in her own apartment–a large crate in the living room, with liter, food, water, cozy box, and a sheet for privacy. She immediately took to her now space. She loved the wet food. Lazed around in the box in every possible position. And she was a complete perfectionist in the litter box right away. She did growl when our dog or other cats came nearby to examine the newcomer.

Despite her dramatic few days in traps and in the vet school, being sedated and having her belly shaved, being sent home and stuffed into a big cage… despite all of that, she remained quite calm. I was able to handle her all the time. She clearly enjoyed being held. She liked chin scritches. She purred a lot. She was a wonderful cat that needed to be returned to health so she could find a good home.

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