Roughed Out

Some feeders had been feeding this old cat for the past few months. They knew that he wasn't in the best health. The cat's appearance was shabby, and it seemed like he was always having a tough time, every time they saw him. His face was pitted, red and raw. His skin was mangy and always scabby. He looked miserable. Although they were full of concern and good intentions, they didn't know what they could do to help him.

Picture received from the feeder
So they sought advice from one of our volunteers, who told them to bring the cat to the vet for an medical examination. HOPE would help with the vet bills. They just needed to be able to catch the cat when they saw him again.

A week later, we received a Whatsapp message from them. It was close to midnight, and they had finally managed to catch the cat. They had him in a carrier, and were ready to send him to the vet in the morning.

Such a sorry sight. On the way to the vet
The next morning, our volunteer met them at the vet to take charge of the case. We named him Hiraku.

What a sweet face he has. His facial wounds reminded us of Bruno
After the vet’s examination, we found out that the cat wasn't actually old at all! Even though he looked like he was almost 8 or 10, the vet estimated that he was only 5 or 6 years old. He had looked really old because his right eye was all white, occluded by a cataract. His left eye seemed alright although perhaps not perfect vision. Effectively, his vision might be limited to close range.

There were innumerable injuries and scars all over the cat's body. His face and head was covered with sores and wounds. His right leg had become terribly swollen from scores of puncture wounds. It looked like he had rolled around in porcupine quills. The skin on his face is all raw, red and patchy. The vet isn't sure why, but it could be an infection from a wound that became inflamed from excessive scratching.

Leg was swollen with many puncture holes
The vet guessed that his multiple wounds were due to frequent cat fights, because he wasn't sterilized. But because he had many more wounds than was normal, we feel that his poor vision made him even more susceptible to attacks. Because he can't see well, it's likely that he was searching for food and got attacked. He could also have wandered into the territory of other cats and gotten attacked. The poor cat can't even see well enough to escape or defend himself. The scruffy cat had been roughed up so many times that he looked old and tired beyond his years.

His gums were terribly pale
Poor cat, he must be so tired from the constant fighting. Trying to look for food must be difficult with his limited vision. Wandering around, stepping into others' territory, unwittingly getting into fights, trying to escape, running away to nurse his wounds, and doing everything again, even before his newest wounds have healed.

For now though, he can get some rest. He needs to stay warded at vet for 7 to 10 days, to have his wounds cleaned and treated. Because his vision might be impaired and quite helpless, we are also appealing for an adopter to take him home after his discharge. He's sweet and docile, and not fussy. Please rescue this cat from a life on the streets, where he obviously has difficulty fending for himself.

For contributions towards Hiraku’s vet bills or to adopt him, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg