Am I a bad cat keeper?

Bighead is one of the cats in my back garden, he’s always been free to live his life as he wishes but always chose to live beside us and spend quite a lot of time on the doorstep of our kitchen. I see his shape through the satined glass. He doesn’t ask much, just some food and a word of acknowledgment, ‘good-boy’ normally. Sometimes he lets me give him one stroke, on those occasions he makes a twirl and walks a few steps away to sit in some other spot, staring at me in a friendly sort of way.

Quite often Bighead bears the marks of a fresh fight. I never get to know what happened to his opponents but I don’t think that Bighead is much of a fighter.
I always just accepted this as a fact of life, he’s free, he lives his life to the full and pays the consequences. I see his wounds and only think of giving him some food leaving the healing job to nature. Unfortunately one wound to the neck got quite bad and today I had to call in the help of the good people of the Celia Hammond Trust.

A couple of hours after they took him away I received a call from them “He’s knocked out now, he might need a skin graft.” they told me. They also told me that his neck had already been stitched up by some other vet. That came as a surprise. Some neighbour of mine must have brought him to a vet that patched him up, only that the wound became infected and it is now a putrid spot of skin that needs removing. They asked me if I had noticed him disappearing for a few days but no, I hadn’t, I realize now how little I have payed attention to his presence or absence, he may disappear for a few days, then when he’s back I still have food for him.

At that moment a thought came. Has he been free or has he been not cared for (neglected)?
He’s being cared for now, he’s also being neutered and that will help him keep alive and safe. I might have to adopt him for real now and keep him indoor for the rest of his life. No more unbound freedom for Bighead, but also no more risk of being killed in a street-fight.

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4 Responses to “Am I a bad cat keeper?”

  1. kate Says:

    Tom cats will always stray but being nuetered will keep him closer to home. I have a young tom cat only 1 year old and he manged to get out of a window during the night and hurt his face (he looks like he has a moustach) he grazed the skin so was not too bad but these things happen. Dont torture yourself over it, its cat nature.

  2. Knit Nurse Says:

    yikes, don’t keep him in! That WOULD make you a bad cat keeper!

  3. Max Says:

    I think that I’ll give him shelter but will allow him to roam around gardens still. It’ll be hard to make him loose the fighting habit. Maybe pampering and domesticity will. Let’s see. I went to visit him at Celia Hammond Trust the other day. He’s not in a good shape but he’s well cared.

  4. kate Says:

    Hi Max. I found this blog and thought of you.

    http://selfhelpforcats.wordpress.com/

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