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Storm Shadow

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Hi All,
I'm new to this site and relatively new to caring for strays... though looking back I have had animals around me for most of my life. In October of 2017 two bundles of grey fur decided my wife and I were going to be their new Mom and Dad. We named them Storm, the female, and Shadow, the male. They were brother and sister. We got them neutered and spayed, (two rescue charities in our area helped with the costs) got their shots, wormed, etc. They are indoor cats and along with my mother-in-law's cat, Kit-Kat, a neutered male, are all indoor cats and make up our family.

A year ago we moved to a new location in town that's surrounded by woodland. Soon after moving here last January I saw a male Red Cardinal on the edge of the wood trying to find food. He was actually eating the stubs of berries already eaten... I decided to put out bird feeders and have been rewarded every day since then by Cardinals, Jays, many different finches, sparrows, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and everything in-between. We also feed black, grey and fox squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons and whitetail deer. They're all such a blessing.

The last few months we've had a couple of stray cats asking for food. I always give them some but with only one pension between two of us we have no disposable income. We seem to spend most of our money on critter food.

One of those cats, we called Oliver, a ginger full Tom, we think has been homed now. The other cat is another full male (at present - working on that) - He's a white cat with one blue and one yellow eye. We call him Bowie, after David Bowie, who also had two different colored eyes. He's decided firmly that I'm his new Dad. I provided a plastic kennel for him at the side of the house. I insulated this and put a cardboard box inside with a "rug" he can snuggle into.
When I first saw Bowie he was covered in blood and mud and hiding behind our trashcans.
He wouldn't let me get close to him on that occasion and slinked off. I didn't see him again for a couple of months. He'd cleaned himself up but still had a wound on his chest. I have a theory that someone shot him, possibly with a crossbow, as I recently found a crossbow bolt close to the house.
This chest wound still bothers him and is infected. He also has a respiratory infection. In fact every time I see him he has a new injury from fighting.

I guess Bowie and I became firm friends when I rescued him from a tree another cat had chased him up. He's stayed close ever since then. I checked with a local vet on getting him seen to and their prices are like reading a telephone number... Way more than we can afford.

But thanks to some wonderful people on your site sharing just the information I was looking for, I'm starting Bowie on Cephalexin antibiotic today - 100mg in his food twice a day. Hopefully this will clear his infections up. I weighed him and as I make our own supplements I have milligram scale to get his dosage correct.
The Cephalexin is left over from an anti-biotic my doctor prescribed me and I have enough for a 16 day course for him. I know I can buy more in the form of Fish Flex online and Fish Mox for Amoxicillin.
He keeps wanting to come in the house with the other cats but until his infections are cleared up and we've had him neutered I can't risk letting him come in. I guess that's the end goal.

This morning a deer with a swollen back leg and limping badly visited the feeding area.

How can I help these animals? Is this my Field Of Dreams? If I build it will they come?
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I don't know about your Field of Dreams, or how you can help a whole host of varying animals that come onto your property, but until you figure that out, you might want to focus first on helping Bowie. Have you reached out to local rescue centers or looked for cat lovers/fosters in your area to see if they can recommend some low cost vet clinics you could get Bowie into in order for him to be looked at and treated as needed. These folks usually have clinics that they take their strays/cats to for medical help that doesn't 'break the bank'. Some of them might even offer you a payment plan. Or, you can look into carecredit.com, and also check out this web site:
How Waggle Works | Help With Pet Medical Bills | Pet Care Assistance
 
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Storm Shadow

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Hi. I don't know about your Field of Dreams, or how you can help a whole host of varying animals that come onto your property, but until you figure that out, you might want to focus first on helping Bowie. Have you reached out to local rescue centers or looked for cat lovers/fosters in your area to see if they can recommend some low cost vet clinics you could get Bowie into in order for him to be looked at and treated as needed. These folks usually have clinics that they take their strays/cats to for medical help that doesn't 'break the bank'. Some of them might even offer you a payment plan. Or, you can look into carecredit.com, and also check out this web site:
How Waggle Works | Help With Pet Medical Bills | Pet Care Assistance
Thanks for the info, FeebysOwner, I'll check out the links you provided. I agree, Bowie comes first at present.
 

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Storm Shadow

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I did reach out to the two local animal rescue charities and apart from one of them providing a phone number for where we can get him neutered and his Rabies shot cheaper - which is excellent info we'll probably follow up on, the other one didn't even reply.
I've only tried one local vet so far and they wouldn't budge on their prices. I know I've a lot more research to do and thanks for your suggestions. They both look interesting and I'll look into them further.
Roland from Lima, Ohio
 

shadowsrescue

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It really is NOT a good idea to be giving cats human medication. It really could do more harm than good. He could have a reaction to the dosage or fillers in the medication. He needs to be seen by a vet. Have you tried your local Humane Society or ASPCA. Also check the links above for help.

Also by feeding the strays without having them spayed/neutered is just making the cats strong and healthy so they can breed. There is a saying "If you feed, they will breed". Getting the toms neutered should be a top priority. Keep calling rescue groups. They are often swamped and take time to get back to people. Look for facebook pages for the rescues too. Sometimes, they communicate easier through Facebook.
 

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I did reach out to the two local animal rescue charities and apart from one of them providing a phone number for where we can get him neutered and his Rabies shot cheaper - which is excellent info we'll probably follow up on, the other one didn't even reply.
I've only tried one local vet so far and they wouldn't budge on their prices. I know I've a lot more research to do and thanks for your suggestions. They both look interesting and I'll look into them further.
Roland from Lima, Ohio


I want to thank you for doing all that you have done for these animals. We need more people like you in this world.

Wildlife Rescue can help with any sick or injured wild animals that you run across. As far as fixing this little guy of yours, have you checked out if there is any "nickle neutering" being done in your area? The Humane Society use to fix cats for about 29.00 dollars- don't know if that price still holds. I am going to look into more resources in your area.

SOS of Ohio, Low Cost Spay and Neuter Services, Greater ...

www.sosohio.org

SOS of Ohio is a low-cost, nonprofit spay and neuter clinic serving low income families and animal rescue organizations ...
 

shadowsrescue

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SOS is in Columbus, OH. She is in Lima which is in the North western part of Ohio. Probably too far for her. I have used SOS for 6 of my feral cats. They are a great place and take feral cats without an appointment as long as they are in a trap.
 

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SOS is in Columbus, OH. She is in Lima which is in the North western part of Ohio. Probably too far for her. I have used SOS for 6 of my feral cats. They are a great place and take feral cats without an appointment as long as they are in a trap.

You're from Ohio too, you must know of many places that can help the OP.
 

shadowsrescue

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I am from Central Ohio and am not familiar with her area. I would try the county Humane Society or ASPCA. Also look at Facebook for cat rescues in the area.
 

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Storm Shadow- the closest city to you looks to be Fort Wayne, IN.
Is there any way you can travel to some major cities in Ohio?- it looks like you have some great resources in your state.
 

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If yo build it they will come but it gets expensive since our hearts always want them to be well and content. For wildlife you can plant things like corn but please understand that if you attract prey, predators may follow. That poor kitty and deer! If someonenear is using a crossbow then giving them all a place to hide could really help. Tall grasses, shrubs and any way for them to be shielded from view. Bowie is beautiful and precious! I don’t know about the law there but I live in a rural area and am surrounded by wildlife. It’s a serious crime to shoot a cat with a crossbow. If the deer was wounded by a human out of season, also a crime. Most places require a hunting license as well. You can consult with Fish and Game resources for wild creatures. I hope Bowie recovers quickly and can become part of your family. If you want other cats there outside, consider building a catio for safety purposes. Thank you for caring about all the creatures around you! Heal quickly Bowie!
 
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Storm Shadow

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Storm Shadow- the closest city to you looks to be Fort Wayne, IN.
Is there any way you can travel to some major cities in Ohio?- it looks like you have some great resources in your state.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I will check them all out. SOS Ohio sounds like the Humane Ohio spay/neuter clinic I was given the number for by the local rescue charity. Humane Ohio just specialise in spaying and neutering but also do rabies shots. They are in Toledo but they have a van come down to our area once a month. They collect the cats early morning by appointment, take them back to Toledo for the surgery and bring them back in the evening. The price for a feral cat is $29 but they clip the ear and we wouldn't want that for Bowie.
I understand why they do this of course but I don't agree with it. For owned cats the cost is $50 (If you don't want the ear clipped).

I understand the concerns about giving the cat amoxicillin or cephalexin antibiotics. I've read on your own forum and other animal care sites on the internet that the antibiotic preparations Fish Mox (amoxicillin) and Fish Flex (cephalexin) are the same exact antibiotics that humans take and which are prescribed by vets for cats, dogs and other animals and apparently, many animal carers use these products for their cats & dogs, though of course they are sold for fish. You can't really take your fish to the vet but the product is the same stuff. They come in capsule form in 250mg or 500mg weights, so if you have a milligram scale you can easily break open the capsule and weigh the desired amount according to your animal's weight.
Personally, for myself even, I hate taking drugs of any sort and will use natural medicine like essential oils where possible, but many essential oils are toxic to cats.
I make and capsulate our own natural food grade vitamin and mineral supplements for ourselves so I have the necessary equipment for accurate milligram doses. I read on one site someone was asking a vet how much cephalexin to use on a cat with a wound and the vet's answer was 10mg per pound of cat weight.
I weighed Bowie to 10 pounds, so I'm giving him 100mg per dose which I mix with a small amount of his favorite food so I know he'll eat it. I I hope this helps both him and anyone else in a similar situation who might be reading this. I'm not a vet of course and don't pretend to be one but I am confident in my abilities and researches. I'm aware of the possible side effects of the product and will be closely monitoring Bowie's health over the next few days. No animal to me has ever been "just a" - Bowie's not just a cat, he's my friend, and I have his best interests at heart. I want to see him well and he's already adopted me as his Dad, so I'll be happy to adopt him into our household and give him the forever home he deserves.
 
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Storm Shadow

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If yo build it they will come but it gets expensive since our hearts always want them to be well and content. For wildlife you can plant things like corn but please understand that if you attract prey, predators may follow. That poor kitty and deer! If someonenear is using a crossbow then giving them all a place to hide could really help. Tall grasses, shrubs and any way for them to be shielded from view. Bowie is beautiful and precious! I don’t know about the law there but I live in a rural area and am surrounded by wildlife. It’s a serious crime to shoot a cat with a crossbow. If the deer was wounded by a human out of season, also a crime. Most places require a hunting license as well. You can consult with Fish and Game resources for wild creatures. I hope Bowie recovers quickly and can become part of your family. If you want other cats there outside, consider building a catio for safety purposes. Thank you for caring about all the creatures around you! Heal quickly Bowie!
Hi Jcatbird,
Thanks for your suggestions and comments. I have actually thought of making a catio ever since Storm and Shadow graced us with their presence... but funds being low has kept me from doing so. I guess if I could afford a catio, I could afford the vet. :-( I've not ruled it out - it's always on my mind, along with 101 other projects I'll probably not get around to.
 
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Storm Shadow

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Hi Jcatbird,
Thanks for your suggestions and comments. I have actually thought of making a catio ever since Storm and Shadow graced us with their presence... but funds being low has kept me from doing so. I guess if I could afford a catio, I could afford the vet. :-( I've not ruled it out - it's always on my mind, along with 101 other projects I'll probably not get around to.
We've also seen predators already - the large numbers of birds coming to the bird feeders also attracted Broad Winged Hawks that did succeed in taking a couple of the visiting birds. We don't like it but I guess the hawks need to eat too. :-( There are coyotes around the area but I've not seen any yet. We also have barred owls that we hear in the woods but again, we haven't actually seen any of those yet either. I did read that a Barred owl was seen carrying away a full grown cat somewhere but they don't usually do so. The raccoons we see seem to be afraid of the cats so they don't worry me. One of the raccoons is friendly and will come if I call her. The deer will often bolt if they're close by and see me but they'll stop running if I call to them. They know I'm not a threat.
 

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We've also seen predators already - the large numbers of birds coming to the bird feeders also attracted Broad Winged Hawks that did succeed in taking a couple of the visiting birds. We don't like it but I guess the hawks need to eat too. :-( There are coyotes around the area but I've not seen any yet. We also have barred owls that we hear in the woods but again, we haven't actually seen any of those yet either. I did read that a Barred owl was seen carrying away a full grown cat somewhere but they don't usually do so. The raccoons we see seem to be afraid of the cats so they don't worry me. One of the raccoons is friendly and will come if I call her. The deer will often bolt if they're close by and see me but they'll stop running if I call to them. They know I'm not a threat.

Of all the predators you just listed, the coyote is by far the worst when it comes to cats. Please do inquire about Nickle Neutering and see if the vets in Ohio participate in that program.
 
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Storm Shadow

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Of all the predators you just listed, the coyote is by far the worst when it comes to cats. Please do inquire about Nickle Neutering and see if the vets in Ohio participate in that program.
We'll probably use the Humane Ohio program to get Bowie neutered & Rabies but I want to get his chest wound and infection cleared up first. He's only on day 2 of his treatment. I check him several times a day and no obvious side effects manifesting yet. Thanks for your advice. It's great;y appreciated.
 

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We'll probably use the Humane Ohio program to get Bowie neutered & Rabies but I want to get his chest wound and infection cleared up first. He's only on day 2 of his treatment. I check him several times a day and no obvious side effects manifesting yet. Thanks for your advice. It's great;y appreciated.

You're welcome. :) Are you using anything to clean his wound? If what you are using doesn't do the trick, remember Amoxicillin. It has been around forever and is cheap.
 
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Storm Shadow

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You're welcome. :) Are you using anything to clean his wound? If what you are using doesn't do the trick, remember Amoxicillin. It has been around forever and is cheap.
I was initially using Hydrogen Peroxide to clean his wound. He wasn't all too happy about it but he let me and wasn't aggressive. Ne even jumped up on the trashcan when I asked him to, so I could access it easier. If anything, I think he enjoyed the attention.
I also bought some styptic powder but haven't used it as it states it shouldn't be used for deep wounds; and I also bought some wound spray for cats. They'll both come in handy for later.
But of course, I need his wound to heal from the inside out, with the infection gone in the process. If the wound heals while the infection is still ongoing, it will likely develop into an abscess.
 

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Neosporin can be safely used for cats. But with no additives such as "pain killer". Only the plain form. It worked on the stray I rescued after he had been attacked by a large dog.
 
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