This is Sylvester, the Outside Cat.
Whenever a new cat presents itself to our menagerie, the upstairs bathroom is where they go. There is a litter box and a water bowl always in there -- we add a food bowl and after bathing the cats (oh yes -- to remove any gross from wherever they came from) we usually lock them in for the duration of their stay, whether they're entering the pack or moving on to another home ... or at least until we can get them to the vet to make sure they don't have anything contagious or life-threatening to the other cats I already hoard.
We knew when we brought Sylvester in that he wasn't in the best shape. He was super skinny and sneezed all the time. He's been living on the front porch for years at this point, and the rumor from our old elderly neighbor was that he belonged to a house behind us, but when the people that lived there divorced and moved out, they just turned out their animals. The dog they left tied up in the backyard had to be put down, but Sylvester, he found us.
And he became our outside cat.
He is smelly and only has two teeth and claws like talons. He seems to tolerate other cats just fine, but would occasionally chase of some that rubbed him the wrong way. However, I have watched him let other strays eat, and once a Himalayan parked her sick self in his house and he just crouched outside, watching her with mild curiosity, but no malice. Maybe he could tell she was nearing death, but he let her be. When a friend of a friend came and picked her up to nurse her back to health and give her a home, he just watched her go, then went back into his house and laid down as if nothing had been happening.
He's a very mellow cat.
Over the last month, though, it's become apparent that Sylvester has more than a cold. The snot from his nose is blood-tinged, as is his urine, which he seems to have lost complete control over where and when he releases it. He is vomiting bile multiple times a day. He began to gain weight when we first brought him in, but has lost it again. His back legs appear to only work some of the time, and he falls over quite a bit.
And he pretty much just sleeps either on top of the heat vent or behind the toilet, his interest in when people enter the room waning with each passing day. He's not eating much or drinking hardly anything, and his eyes look sad and lost.
I'm afraid we've finally brought this cat inside -- something he's been trying to accomplish for years now -- to die.
With the weather, it's been nearly impossible to get him to the vet (I only myself made it to an important appointment last week, after rescheduling four times over six weeks) but we have an appointment this afternoon ... which I'll have to bring the kids to as well, during naptime no less. We also don't have a lot of money to spare, so I'm not sure what good can be done if his prognosis bears any severity to it.
I am bracing for the worst.
And on top of everything right now, this breaks my heart wide open.
So if you can, please send good vibes Sylvester's way, that whatever is ruining his quality of life is either easily fixed (and financially achievable) ... or that if it's not, that at least he can go peacefully and know that even if it was just for a little bit, he was loved as an inside cat one last time.
I know I'm going to need all the extra strength I can get.