Ginger, who is about 14 years old manages to get out and into the garden this way. But after spending the day in the sun under a large shrub near the house, while the others can get back inside, he waits until I return from work, and then enters the house by the front door.
This is how he did it every day.
On Tuesday, when Skabenga and I returned from our walk, I walked into the house and closed the door behind me. Chappie, Shadow and Ambrose were waiting in the kitchen for their afternoon treat of kibbles which I give them at this time. This is when I realized Ginger hadn't come in. Totally out of character for him to wander around outside the fence like Shadow and Ambrose.
I went outside and checked under the shrub; no Ginger. It was getting cold so he'd not have been there anymore anyway. He'd have been indoors. And thinking back to when I returned from work, he wasn't waiting at the door.
I called and went outside into the dairy area and my carport. Checked under my car; checked up at the shed. No Ginger. Not that he ever moves further than that shrub during the day.
It was as if he'd sunk into the grass on which I'd seen him lying early that morning never to be seen again.
Then I remembered that John and Ronnie were away overnight; John was having cataract procedure in the city and would only be home on Wednesday afternoon. I've noticed that when they're away, their three dogs (one a Staffie) tend to dig under the fence and get out. Or dig under the fence between our gardens and get into my yard. I realized that they'd got in and Ginger not being able to escape into the house through the open window, would've been a prime target for the dogs to attack.
Although I could picture the poor old lad being mauled by the dogs, I hoped that he'd rather gone quickly and not suffered. Yet every minute I thought about it, I went outside and looked behind the tree trunks, next to the house and outside the garden.
On Wednesday evening, I was late coming home from doing my monthend business in town. Just from habit, as I put the key into the lock, I called: "Ginger"! And I went indoors.
A few minutes later I looked towards the glass door leading to my veranda and there was...
I quickly opened the door and in limped a very bedraggled old kitty. He was obviously in great pain because as I tried to lift him, he cried piteously.
I quickly made a hot water bottle, and placed him on a sheepskin donut in my bedroom. He lay down gingerly (no pun intended!) and rested his head on his paws. I phoned the vet in a nearby town and explained what I thought had happened. She said don't try to get him to eat; he'll just not eat. But to get some electrolytes into him at hourly intervals. I arranged wi8th her that I'd have him at her surgery by 8am.
Which is what I did through the night.
This morning Estelle said she'd open the shop for me while I took Ginger to see Dr Ariena. When we arrived at her surgery, she was pleased to see that Ginger didn't look at all bad. She examined him and said, yes, it looks as if the dogs had mauled him. Fortunately because he is quite a tubby cat, they hadn't managed to get a good grip on him. I can also imagine that Ginger, who has always been the Boss and takes no prisoners, would've fought the dogs until he got loose and managed to escape.
Ariena injected him with antibiotics against infection and also painkillers. I took him home and set him up on the donut in my bedroom. Missy was on the chair looking down at Unca Ginger who wasn't feeling all that good.
I firmly believe and hope and pray that when I get home, Ginger will want a bite to eat and well on his way to recovery. I don't imagine that he's going to be going outdoors without Mum being there from now on.
All I can say is Praise God that He cares for animals as well. I would've hated to lose my dear old kitty. He's been with us for eight years!
Ginger, in great pain when he got in last night
Asleep on his donut in my bedroom with a hot-water bottle under that grey blanket
Ambrose came into the sick room for a minute to check on his dad!
Have a wonderful day!