The reason for my totally non-sewing weekend: Vladimir Putintat. Big V has made an appearance or two on this blog before, but never before has he made an appearance in my house. Well, that's not exactly true. He's been brought in a few times, but never successfully. He went out one time through my roommate, another time by tearing the screen out of the window. This time he seems content to stay put, but that may be because he's under the weather.
It all started Saturday. I was in the kitchen making soup when the doorbell rang. One of my neighbors was outside. He said that Vlad, who is called Chester on Locust Street (and Butch on 46th Street, and Old Head at the hardware store on Walnut) was on his porch and bleeding badly from an injured front paw. I called around to my vet - who was closed - and several others - also closed. A friend who is a vet tech said she could visit him on Sunday if I could get him inside. So off we went to collect the cat.
Who had vanished, leaving what looked like a pool of red paint on their porch, and little sticky red paw prints down the sidewalk. I looked for that cat for hours. I got in around 4:00 p.m., chilled to the bone, and finished the soup. Mario came in around 5:00 and when I told him what had happened, he suggested one more walk around before it got too dark - it was starting to sleet, so it would be even worse for him to be out then. And of course the cat was right back on the porch where he'd been earlier. So I brought him home and stuffed him full of food to keep him happy until he could get his visit the next day.
Yesterday my friend Jean came and looked him over. He wasn't precisely injured - the index claw (I guess you'd call it that) on each front paw had curled and grown into the pad and became infected. So she knocked him out, cut the claws, extracted them from his pads, soaked his little hands in disinfectant, cleaned his ears, put drops in his eyes, looked at his teeth - and informed me that he has two small, inoperable tumors in his mouth. They were easy to see because he only has about 6 teeth.
The original plan had been to let him back out once his paws healed. He's about 12 years old and a confirmed tomcat. I'm not the only person who has tried to bring him in unsuccessfully. I think he really likes it outside - he was an indoor/outdoor cat in his kittenhood but his people left him behind when they moved away more than 10 years ago.
But if he's got something that's going to carry him off sooner rather than later, then I'm keeping him in. Vlad's been a part of my life since I bought my house in 2000. He's produced way too many kittens over the years, 4 of which live with me and about 12 of which have been farmed out to my friends.
The least I can do for the big guy is give him a peaceful end. Until that time, there will be much love, plenty of ear scritches - and cans and cans of his favorite cat food.