Meet Tilly! Tilly is for Otilie which is German for "fortunate heroine" and I'm not sure there's a better name for this little girl! Let me start from the beginning though...
An old friend of mine called me Saturday afternoon to tell me that she has been noticing some ferals not far from the high school we went to together. She wanted information on who to contact about getting them fixed. Relating more to Joa’s Arc though, my friend was calling because not too long before calling me, my friend had seen a smaller, dilute calico dragging her back end (born that way? Hit by car?).
I made arrangements with my friend to meet her near by the next morning so she could show me to the place and we could look for the injured cat. We saw cats, lots of them - but not the one we were looking for. I helped my friend leave food for the cats (who looked to be living off the restaurant left overs and "slop" being fed to the pigs there). You can see in the photo that the orange kitty is eating slop and the little brown tabby with white is eating the dry food we put down. I was surprised they let us get as close as they did before running off - some would let us get within just a couple feet!
I returned for a second visit later Sunday evening and saw even fewer cats and still no signs of the cat with the injured back legs...
With the encouragement of all the other Joa’s Arc members and our supporters, I continued to look for this elusive, injured kitty. I went back Monday morning to feed the kitties and there were a few around, but not our girl. I gotta admit, I was a bit scared because no one was there this morning and there were like 75 vultures picking at the trash and eating along with the cats.
I left, but returned about an hour later. I pulled up where I had been parking for each visit and right in my line of view, sitting in the brush, was a dilute girl. Too good to be true, I thought! But as I approached her (these cats let you get pretty close before running), she got up to run and was dragging her back end! I'd like to brag, but she was pretty slow and didn't put up much of a fight. I went back to my car, got a big comforter and followed her little drag marks in the snow. She was just starting to go under the boat behind the abandoned house when I tossed the comforter over her. She hissed a little, but that was about it.
Medically, Tilly is in rough shape. She suffers from some sort of trauma to her back, though what caused it exactly, we may never know. She has sores on her feet from dragging her feet like the one pictured here. She got her vaccinations and when her sores heal, she can be spayed. Her paralysis in her back end makes her different, but she can still lead a wonderful life now that she's safe and warm inside.
Socially, Tilly seems very, very scared. We're hoping she's not feral and can eventually come around since she obviously cannot go back outside in her condition. Cross your fingers she comes around and learns to trust as her wounds heal.
So far, living outside as she was, she proven she's obviously a survivor.