At that point we had just treated Clem Fandango for cat flu with antibiotics over three days, successfully. He had still been eating so that had worked a treat.
Some of you may be wondering why on earth we would give antibiotics for a virus, and you are right to question it. I did as well, and the vet told me that once the symptoms were so bad their eyes were streaming, there was very likely to be a secondary bacterial infection. So with Clem we got the antibiotics into him and three days later he was fully recuperated - as far as we could tell - which seemed to support the secondary bacterial infection theory.
Anyway, Husky, normally an enthusiastic eater and a portly figure, was not eating. What to do? Unless he started improving - or eating - we would have to trap him to get him to the vet. Here's Husky as a reminder:
Attempt 2 was with an actual trap, with sardines as bait. Nil points for us, except that we could have caught any other ferals as they milled around it. And they all enjoyed some unexpected sardines. Husky was by now giving us a very wide berth, snuffling and wheezing in the undergrowth.
Attempt 3 was the most ridiculous and we exerted a lot of our own energy, each of us with a large blanket trying to corner him on open ground. I did try a rugby-style dive in his direction at one point, a spectacular failure but one which may have amused our neighbours.
At night he was still sleeping in the long, chest-like plastic box filled with cushions in our boiler room, with Zorro and Clem. We knew this from wildlife camera footage, so Attempt 4 was to first of all block one of the two entrances to the box and then wait for him to go to bed. I would then sneak into the boiler room with the crush cage, line the cage up with the entrance to the box and hey presto, he would run into it, wouldn’t he? I had a blanket over the cage so it would appear an attractively safe dark space. Everything in place, Husky inside wheezing, I started banging the side of the plastic box. Nothing. I opened the lid of the box and there he was looking at me, but not jumping out which he would have had he been fit. Hmmm I thought. I reached for a broom, put it in the box behind him, closed the lid so just the handle of the broom was visible, and starting nudging him towards the cage, one hand on the broom while holding the cage in place with the other hand. I felt his weight as he shuffled into the cage! I dropped the portcullis door and we had him!
Spanish business hours (which extend to 8 pm) meant that the vet could see him straight away. The vet was wonderful as he always is, turning Husky this way and that in the crush cage to examine him, and then injecting some antibiotics through the cage. He said he’d keep him in for the night, and texted me in the morning to say the cat was recovering very well if his aggression was anything to go by.
This is him being released later that day:
At the end of November we lost Chubby Chops. We found him dead one morning in the rain in one of the fincas. He had been hit by a car we think. There was no blood, but my vet friend in London looked at some photos and said that his face showed a major impact, so that is all we can think it was, and he had managed to get himself up the hill from the road, to where he felt safe. He had had many ups and downs with his health (see last blog) and had recently recovered well from other injuries. He was a gentle soul and had almost become the fourth musketeer. It was always a delight to see him scampering along with his funny bent tail in the air when I crossed the stile with food. We were very sad to lose him. RIP Mr CC.
Wishing you all the very best in 2019 with your own four-legged creatures. We love them and we lose them, but we still go on loving them.
I’ll leave you with a photo from our new kitchen of Calypso and Ronny waiting for their breakfasts.
Happy new year!