JUNE 19TH we went up to our camp, about 2 hours away, and took the boat out. That Saturday I went home (take care of the dogs, had to work on Sunday, etc) but my parents stayed up. Apparently they left the cover off the boat overnight.
At this point, apparently one of the neighbors' cats got into it.
They took it back out the next day, brought it home, put the cover on it. Couple weeks later we took it out again, covered it again. Last couple weeks have been hot as fuck.
Today, my parents go to take it out. For whatever reason they open the engine cover beforehand, and there is this cat. We had NO idea it was there. This cat has been living in the engine compartment/side compartments for damn near a month. It's seen at least two lakes, and hundreds of road miles. It's had no food and no clean water. (Just want to make clear again before anyone jumps to conclusions, we did not know it was there).
The way it's set up, the engine sits down in the floor and kind of under the back part of the boat (I assume this is the usual setup, but I don't know boats). This poor cat is laying under and behind the engine, just out of reach. I could barely touch it with one finger. It didn't respond to food, couldn't care less about anything. The only option we had was to flush it out with a hose. Seems cruel, but it's all we could do. Got it in reach, got it into a cat carrier/kennel type deal with some food and water (this cat is in NO shape to be dealing with my cats/dogs). Haven't seen it do anything with either yet (either too terrified or disoriented I'd imagine).
I'm bringing it back to the owner tomorrow. How this cat is alive now I have no idea (there's a little bit of filthy water in there, but that's it) but if it lives through this it'll be a miracle. Tiny, skin and bones.
Feel so bad for it. The only reason it's not a the vet right now for some treatment is because we just can't afford it.
Poor kitty, good luck. Cats being desert animals can survive very long times on very little water...
Try feeding it very small amounts of wet food, and tuna juice. Small amounts are key. The cat shouldn't eat dry kibble, as it will dehydrate it further. It will get the water it needs from the juice/wet food.
Good advice on the small amounts of wet food if the cat isn't going to get some sort of immediate medical attention.
It doesn't sound like the cat is interested in the food anyway, but if you do find a wet food that it is willing to eat do lot let it eat a huge amount. Typically ease it back on with small amounts. Certainly try to keep that dry food away until it starts drinking water regularly.
Dude- I don't know any other way to say this. See if you can find out which neighbor might be missing this cat and give them a chance to save their cat. It needed a vet the moment you "saved" it. A cat that does not eat is a bad sign. It's kidneys and liver have prolly been damaged from malnutrition. In starvation, the body begins to consume itself.
Saving a pet means getting it the attention it needs ASAP. In it's weakened condition, just "saving" this cat could have been enough to finish it off. Ask the humane society for advice or help. Or make a decision that the cat can't be saved and do the right thing, the humane thing, if you know what I mean. Really save the cat, or put it down. It needs a professional assessment and immediate help.
Like I said, I'm bringing it back to the owner tomorrow. Ultimately it's going to be their decision. I agree with you guys completely, I hope the owner decides one way or the other SOON and does the right thing... whichever way.
Was at work all night, bought a can of tuna. When I first went out to her(I think, the name is Teff I guess) she seemed a little more active than this afternoon, which I figured was probably a good sign. But when she barely sniffed at a piece of tuna (on a fork) I was a little disheartened. Then it fell off the fork, suddenly it all made sense to her. After a few more pieces she became just about the most affectionate creature I know, and could barely stop purring to eat. She also made her first attempt to get out of the kennel, which I didn't let happen.
1: I agree with the above comments
2: It really is your neighbors decision how to deal with their cat
3: I've heard worse. Cats are incredible creatures and surprise us constantly. This cat just fought for the past month to stay alive, it's probably not done yet. I knew someone in a similar situation and the cat got back to health in no time, it was just traumatized emotionally and took a while longer to get over that. I hope this kitty is ok
Almost a month in a covered boat with ambient temps almost 100, even up in VT? You know how hot cars can get. OK, maybe the boats sitting in 60 degree water, but.....
With only perhaps a little questionable water and no food?
If that poor critter survives, it'll be a miracle.
Rename it Houdini or Copperfield or Viggenluca.
Brought her back to the owners on Thursday, where she went straight to the vet. I haven't seen her but apparently she's doing a whole lot better than last time I did, and the vet said that had she been in there one more day she wouldn't have made it.