Abused, Kicked, Sick Shelter Kitty Survives and Thrives
by N. Toti
(Imperial Beach, CA)
One day my friend from work, Summer seemed unusually quiet. I asked her if everything was OK, and she said she had had a bad night. I asked what happened and she said that a kitty had gotten behind her building and was attacked by the feral cats that lived back there. Frightened, the kitty ran into the hallway of her building, where he was resting. Another tenant came into the building and when he got close to the scared kitty, the kitty hissed at him. Summer said she heard a noise and went to investigate. When she opened her apartment door, she found this young man kicking the cat with his heavy boots, and yelling into his cell phone to Animal Control that he was going to kill the cat. Shocked, Summer ran into her apartment, got a broom that she keeps by the door, shook the broom at her neighbor and yelled at him to stop hurting the cat. The neighbor did stop, and Summer went into her apartment and called the police.
An Animal Control officer responded and when he arrived on the scene the kitty was so frightened that he defecated all over himself. The Officer took the kitty, explaining to Summer, that the kitty was going to be used as "evidence," taken to the local animal shelter and most likely put to sleep.
This is how things were left when Summer told me the story. At the time, I was living in a big house with 3 cats and a collie, but something in me urged me to take action. I could not ethically let this cat be put to sleep because of the cruelty of a human, so I asked Summer if the Animal Control Officer had left a card. It turned out he had, so I called him, and told him I would take the kitty if no one else wanted him. The Officer took my name and number. A few days later, I got a call from the shelter stating that the kitty had gotten an upper respiratory infection and if I wanted the cat I needed to get him out of the shelter ASAP. I took the cat, and brought him to my vet, who gives free exams to animals coming from the animal shelters in my county. The shelter had done a very thorough exam, and documented that the kitty had no broken bones, but that he was "fractious." I told everyone in the vets office that the kitty,
who I had named Othello,because he was a beautiful, black cat, was fractious. I told the receptionist, the vet tech, and the veterinarian. After weighing Othello, the vet tech said he was just the sweetest cat. After examining Othello, who purred throughout the exam, the vet said he was the sweetest cat. She read his history and explained that Othello had soft tissue damage from being kicked, and that was why, when she first observed him, he was so reluctant to get out of the cardboard carrying case the shelter supplied. She prescribed medicine for Othello's URI, and said he the soft tissue damage would heal, but to let him be quiet for a few days. Othello gradually began to feel better, he became a fun big brother to a kitten with mange that we had rescued and settled into his new home. He became affectionate, and then we were told we had to move suddenly. We found a much smaller place to live, but where we could keep our pets, but when I went to move Othello he would not go. He scratched and bit, and howled and yowled and squirmed and I could not hold onto him. We were leaving our house, which we were renting from my mother in law. She moved her other son and his wife into the house because the house needed repairs that my husband, who is disabled and I could not make. Othello stayed happily behind, where he made friends with my sister in law. Her family calls him Lou, because she is from Yemen and has no idea who Othello was. At some point they will move out of the house and they have promised me that they will let me take Othello back. I cannot abandon him, and since he seems to like where he is at and Becky and Rick are caring for him, and since he was so disturbed about leaving, for now I think Othello is where he wants to be. I miss him terribly though.
A side note: the DA in San Diego County is prosecuting a cruelty case against the man who tried to kick Othello to death. Summer recently told me that the DA's office contacted her, and they have taken this man to court twice already. Summer expects that she will have to testify against him.
I am grateful that the DA is prosecuting this case, and very grateful that Othello is flourishing and will never be homeless, or that frightened or abused again.