The front courtyard has been dominated for several years by this tabby-and-white bundle of fluff.
Jerry is one of those cats that is pointed out to visitors not just for his beauty (and he is very beautiful) but because you really need to know where Jerry is at all times.
Mostly he’s happy simply to lounge around and be admired – but when Jerry’s on the prowl, you have to be super-aware. He will suddenly decide that another cat has invaded his personal space, and attack – and woe betide the human that gets in his way (the cats can usually look after themselves).
Jerry has had a lifetime history of allergic reactions (when we got him, we had to treat the skin on his tail and hind end, and he had many subsequent flea allergies). Because his immune system is compromised by leukemia, he recently had a hypersensitivity to a parasite treatment applied to the back of his neck. Veterinarians call it “necro-ulcerative dermatitis,” and it was confirmed by a skin biopsy. Jerry suffered major fur loss and developed hot, itchy skin and ulcerated sores that wouldn’t heal because of his scratching. For some time he looked miserable – as if he were becoming a Sphynx cat. In deference to his feelings we won’t post a picture of him at his worst, but it was looking something like this:
The condition was eventually healed with steroids and antibiotics, plus little vests that were sewn by our wonderful volunteer, Cheryl, which protected Jerry’s skin from his scratching. For some time he had to wear both the vest and a soft collar, to protect him from himself.
Thankfully, Jerry is recovering well. He’s out and about, indulging in his favourite pastime of drinking water raccoon-style – he stirs it up with his paws and then licks it off.
His fur is growing back – not yet as luxuriant as it once was, but it’s looking promising – and he’s feeling well enough to be back to protecting his personal space once more.
Photos: Michele Wright & Debbie Wolanski