April 30th, 2019 @ 12:01 am
when i moved into this apartment, i noticed outdoor cats right away. there was my landlady’s indoor/outdoor cat “baby”, baby’s sister (who steven and i named otto) and then there was shapoo.
steven told me he named shapoo after a hockey player. when we first saw him, he was coming down the driveway. he was a scraggly old guy with matted fur and tired eyes. he didn’t look sad, just tough and worn. i felt so bad for him, but i wasn’t sure if he was super feral and would scratch me, so i stayed away. one afternoon, i saw him towards the backyard and i said hi to him. i walked towards him and he stood up on his hind legs. i was like WTF?! he was being so cute… so i kept talking to him and would pet his head while he got to know me. i felt like he might have fleas because of the shape his fur was in, so i didn’t really touch his body at all. the poor thing’s ears had no fur left on them, either. he was just a hot mess.
my landlady told me that he was the father to her cat and otto. she said she feeds him and he’s always on her back deck. she had also mentioned that my friend sean’s father had him neutered and he had shots, which was good. so after a while when i felt like he was a bit more comfortable with me, i started cutting off his matted hair chunks. my landlady is very much about appearances, and actually never wanted him on the front stoop until i gave him this haircut. i also brushed him with one of those palm-sized rubber brushes for wet hair. he was in heaven.
after a few months, shapoo and i were buddy buddy. we had a regular routine… greeting each other while i was unemployed, i’d feed him and otto sometimes to take the burden off of my landlady, i’d brush him and make sure he was purring and feeling good about himself. he started to put on some weight and was super friendly. my landlady even started petting him and getting attached to him and she never was, and she was feeding him for years. he actually became so sweet and friendly that he would climb up onto my lap and go to sleep. he is such a little mush, and i think someone put him out. the thought of that could just break my heart.
once the fall came around, steven and i wanted to build him a little house, so he didn’t have a brutal winter like the one before. when we first moved into the house and i didn’t know shapoo (honestly i don’t even think i knew that he existed yet), there were INSANE blizzards and storms. i felt so horrible once i DID know him, that i wanted to make sure that would never happen again. we built two rubbermade houses – one for shapoo, and one for otto. unfortunately, otto was too feral and was scared to even go into her house. shapoo however, was living in the lap of luxury.
my neighbors had thrown out a glass dining room table, and my landlady saved it and put it on her back deck so that shapoo could hide under it when it was raining. it was a nice gesture, but not totally viable. once we made the rubbermade houses, we also bought tarps and wrapped the insulated house and the table itself, basically making it a yurt, lol. this guy had it maaaaade. he was so happy and warm and safe (finally).
one day, my landlady had opened the backdoor and didn’t realize that shapoo had gone into her house, and he made himself comfortable in her cat’s bed. he REFUSED to leave it, so i brought down an extra one that oscy had that he wasn’t using anymore. i put it in his little house, and his life got EVEN BETTER. i was so happy for him, lol.
once the really bad weather started up, my landlady started giving him hot water bottles to stay extra cozy in there. it was really sweet.
at some point, his teeth really started to bug him. she wanted to take him to north shore animal league to see what was wrong with him. they said he had a heart murmur and FIV (feline HIV), which just broke my heart. they told us his teeth would all have to be pulled at some point, and that the likelihood of him going under anesthesia and coming out of it wasn’t great. they also mentioned it’d probably be over $2k. at the time, i was unemployed and my landlady just didn’t cough it up. i couldn’t pressure her into it, and so we brought him home and he was okay for a while.
the other morning, she found him with a terrible abscess to the point where his poor eye was almost closed. i went downstairs and cleaned up his face and gave him some drained tuna fish water, since he couldn’t eat. i went inside and made some calls to ASPCA and local clinics, and i wrapped him up in a towel and just held him and petted him for a while. we gave him tylenol and his tooth had fallen out, so i tried to give him some antibiotic via the tuna water, but he wouldn’t take it. since my landlady works in a hospital, i asked her to bring home some antibiotic in a syringe so we could give it to him that way, but now he’s been MIA for a full day.
i currently don’t know where he is – i went through all neighboring yards. i am completely heartbroken and worried. i don’t want it to end for him like this, and i feel terribly guilty that i am not financially able to just bring him to a clinic at the moment. i just feel so terrible thinking of him in any type of pain, by himself, not near “home”. this comes just a couple of months after otto disappeared.
i’m just so nauseous about it right now. i hope he knows how much i loved him, in case he doesn’t return. these poor outdoor cats break my heart. i hate the fact that i feel like someone put him out. it’s fortunate that we found each other, even for this little amount of time, i guess. i really just hope he realizes that someone cared about him, that he was safe and was comfortable. </3