Two weeks ago, he dragged his broken butt back to the farm and plunked himself down beside the south barn wall where we'd be sure to see him. One emergency vet visit later, and twice daily doctorings by me, and he's up and at it!
He may be hobbling around on three legs, but he's leaving his little bed in the empty horse stall, sitting up on his own, and trying out his right hind to see how much weight he can put on it. He has been the BEST patient I've ever worked on. I've had to stuff pills down a cat's throat many times and he's the easiest ever. He let me clean the wound on his leg, scrubbing the scabs off and all, without flinching or mewing. Only in the last two days has he tried to pull his leg away; I take it as a good sign that he's gaining strength! On Saturday evening he took off with his new strange gait before I had a chance to work on him. By the time I let the horses out of the barn, he was out of sight.
Just a couple days before that, I got Bucky to bring him out of the barn for some sunshine.
Soon after, he recovered enough to squeeze out from under the stall door and start wandering the barn aisle. Oh my gosh, we're just so proud of him. I think cats in general are pretty good at doing their own physiotherapy. They get up and move when they feel strong enough to. What really impresses me about this guy though, is his attitude. He's totally agreeable.
And has possibly the strongest will to live I've ever seen.
If a cat is close to death, he'll crawl away to a dark hidden corner and pass on. Not Moe. Call me sappy, crazy, sentimental, accuse me of anthropomorphizing this critter, but I am so sure he wanted us to find him and help him. I am convinced he knew enough to let me scrub away at that ugly wound, that it was part of the healing process.
There was a time when our barn housed up to 20 cats. Some lived to adulthood, some didn't. Sweetie and I tried to name them and tame them. If they got a taste for fresh warm pork, they didn't stay. We didn't buy kibble for them - they ate our leftovers. They never got rabies shots and nobody got neutered or spayed.
Now with just Moe and his little brother Larry, the folks can afford a little better to spend some cash on them. These two are superb barn cats. They keep the varmints in check, and they always have time for a cuddle. It still feels a little silly to spend vet money on a barn cat, but man, every time I look into Moe's beautiful eyes, I feel like he's worth every penny.