There was a cat that hung around my house for a long time that we tried to trap as he wouldn't let you near him. He disappeared, and then this past Sunday came back, only really, really friendly. Looked exactly the same, maybe wasn't but I really think he was. He was very, very ill when he came back Sunday. Emaciated, horrid URI, giant lump on neck, ear mites, you name it. I initially thought the lump was an abcess but then realized it wasn't. Chester really liked having his face washed with a warm cloth, and he ate four cans of cat food in the 24 hours I had him.
We took him to the vet. He was FIV+, (unneutered of course), which I could totally have dealt with. However, the lump on his neck was an FIV-associated tumor that was destroying his jaw...I can't describe the smell. It was awful. He was a very, very sweet cat for the time I spent with him. It was decided that he was to be euthanized as he was only suffering now and it would only get worse. Chester went to kitty heaven yesterday afternoon.
The reason I'm posting this here is because if whoever had that cat in the beginning of his life, or who got him from the people who had his mom (I can't believe he was truly feral after spending such sweet time with him), had just HAD HIM FIXED that right there would probably have kept him from getting FIV, unless he was born with it. If someone had TAKEN THE TIME and SPENT A FEW BUCKS (we have low cost s/n here), this poor cat would probably still be alive. And if they had anything resembling sense, and he did get sick, they'd have taken him to the vet. He never should have suffered and ended up with strangers...the neighbor across the street shooed him away and told him to go away, I found out. (They are also SPOs, but that's a different story.)
As it is, none of that happened. I am at least happy he didn't die alone, in the woods, starved to death because his mouth was so awful, and that he passed peacefully (dr was awesome, if you need name of great central FL vet email me at smallstream at aol dot com) and that died with a full belly and with someone who cared. Not every cat has that.
Rest in peace, Chester. You were a delightful kitty and I am so sorry we could not have done more.
I originally posted this at stupidpetowners comm, but thought I'd put it here too for my own memories.
And let me just reiterate, PEOPLE ARE SO G-DDAMN STUPID AND ASININE I CAN'T STAND THEM MOST DAYS.
Then again considering the fact we live in a world where people can't treat their own offspring right, why am I surprised?