Screamer who?

August 20 2012           First Encounter
This morning, at about 4:30 I woke up to hear a couple of my cats yelling at each other. At first I thought it was Redhead or maybe Spit Kitty and one of the other cats. It didn’t stop so I got up and went into the kitchen and found a great big fluffy gray cat who I’ve never seen before and he was scared. I’m sure he had sneaked in through one of the cat doors to get something to eat, but now all he wanted was out. Every way he turned or tried to go, he met up with more cats, and then I showed up. I don’t know how big he really was, but all fluffed up, he looked as big as a bear cub. I kept trying to clear a path for him to get back outside but my cats kept getting in the way. I finally got enough of my cats closed in rooms or at least moved farther into the house to get him out to the porch. I had the porch door open but still he wouldn’t go outside, not even after I opened a can of food and put it outside. Now with all my cats out of the way, I just closed the door from the porch to the house and out he went.
I was worried that my cats might run into him outside and get beat up, as upset as he was. About 10 minutes later, looking out my bedroom window, I saw him eating the food I had put out there. He was cautious but not terribly upset, even with some of my outside cats walking by. My cats must already be used to him, so that was a relief. He looked in good shape and was really a beautiful kitty. I’m guessing he might be a neighbor’s cat. I hope so.
A few times since then this big gray cat has come in through the cat doors and each time when he felt cornered he would freeze in place and start to scream. The longer it went on, the louder he screamed. That’s how he got his name. Screamer.

Two years later…

July 25 2014
About 5am I woke up to some cats having a high pitched conversation in the living room. My first thought was that it was Pretty giving Handsome Stranger a hard time, but I knew that couldn’t be because HS was sleeping in a cat bed on top of the dresser in my bedroom. It turns out that Screamer had come to visit again. This is the cat that doesn’t back up or try to get away when he’s confronted, he just stands there all fluffed up and screams at a pitch and volume that honestly seriously hurts. This is one scary cat. You always have the feeling that he might attack at any moment. I couldn’t talk to him because he was making too much noise and he wouldn’t go out the door on his own. So when all else failed, I figured I’d try feeding him. I slid a plate of cat food to him from about six feet away. After a couple of seconds, he stopped yelling and just laid down on his belly next to the food. He didn’t eat any, but he seem to decide that I wasn’t so much of threat. Finally he got up and wandered outside, sniffed around a little and went on his way. I hope he calms down some and none of the cats get into it with him. Handsome Stranger slept through the whole thing.

August 21 2014
About 2am this morning I woke up to the sound of cats yowling. I finally checked out on the big deck and found Screamer doing his banshee scream. It looked like he was going for the water dish and was surprised by Bright Eyes who likes to sleep there. So Screamer was frozen in place yowling and little Bright Eyes was afraid to move a muscle. I had to move Screamer back so Bright Eyes could escape. I thought of grabbing a broom but I didn’t want Screamer to think I was going to beat on him, so instead I grabbed the colored feather duster that the kitties play with. He was still yelling, but I was able to move him away. I noticed that he didn’t feel threatened by the feather duster, so I tried stroking him with it from head to tail. After a minute his eyes undilated and after a bit more he was finally quiet. By then Bright Eyes had made her escape so I left him and went back inside and back to bed. I think he’ll eventually become less frightened, but I think I’ll still keep that feather duster handy.

September 25 2014
This is the first picture I took of Screamer.

He had just finished his evening meal and was relaxing a little before heading back outside. Hard to believe that this is the guy who used to scream loud enough to almost make your ears bleed. Don’t be fooled though, he still gets pretty excited if he feels at all threatened.

October 02 2014
This is probably more like what you expected Screamer to look like. This still doesn’t show how wound up he used to get. When I took this, Midnight was laying just 3 feet from him and even though Screamer was yowling a little, Midnight didn’t even bother to get up and move away. My cats seem to know that he isn’t a threat.

One time, when Screamer had come to visit and was heading out again, I grabbed my binoculars and watched him to see where he went at night. He crossed my yard, went under the fence, then across a field to a road that ended at a house about 1/8 of a mile away. That turned out to be where he lived.

January 06 2015
Screamer decided that he wanted to come in the house 3 times last week when is was really nasty outside. It was kind of like having a live hand grenade roaming around the house, but actually there were no major confrontations. Each time, after checking the entire house, Screamer would decide that he would rather be outside. Strangely enough, he doesn’t stay in any of the heated cat houses that I have out on the decks. Even when it’s snowing, he prefers to eat his dinner on top of the big cathouse where he can look in the window.

June 05 2015
I took this picture of Screamer when he came in to get some treats.

June 26 2015
This morning at 6am I was wakened by a cat fight in the living room between Screamer and Midnight. Screamer had been trying to throw his weight around a little but most of the cats won’t take up his challenge. He must have pushed Midnight to far. Anyway, they split up when I yell at them, but were ready to dive back in. I couldn’t reach Midnight and, not having a death wish, I wasn’t about to grab Screamer so I ran to the kitchen and got a broom which I used to push Screamer out the door. Sure glad I wasn’t that poor broom. I don’t think either cat took any damage and I hope Screamer learned a lesson.

September 16 2015
Things have gotten a little strange around here lately. Screamer comes over for dinner every night and always sits on the big cat house by a window and waits for me to see him and bring out his dinner. The night before last, I found him inside laying on the cat tree next to my computer, a long way from where he usually waits for his dinner. When I tried to feed him, he wasn’t interested, even when I tried different flavors and even treats. Finally it dawned on me that he wanted some catnip. I gave him some and after he snarfled it, rolled in it, and generally enjoyed himself, he went outside to eat his dinner and then went home. It’s been more than a couple of months since he’s had any catnip, but I guess when the mood strikes, ya gotta have it.


September 22 2015
Screamer has been coming inside just to take a nap on one of the cat trees. After a while he’ll go back outside. I think Screamer is calming down a little, but he’s given so much trouble to the other cats that they always growl at him. We’ll see how things settle out over time.
Here’s Screamer from a couple of days ago. He wasn’t as growly as he looks.

September 24 2015
Here’s another picture of Screamer from a few nights ago.

November 12 2015
I’ve been trying to get some big mats out of Screamer’s fur. I have to put on big welding gloves and even then can only get in 1 or 2 swipes with the mat buster tool before it gets too dangerous to continue.

March 02 2016         Screamer’s house leaves without him…
For the last few days I noticed that there was a lot of work going on over at Screamer’s house. I thought they were putting in fencing or something. It’s about an 1/8th of a mile away so I couldn’t see too clearly. Anyway, today when I glanced out the door I saw Screamer’s house heading down the road being towed away by a big truck. What I thought was a regular house was actually a mobile home. I wonder what’s happening with Screamer as he didn’t show up for dinner last night. He’s kind of a pain, but I worry about him. I guess time will tell.

March 03 2016
The house is gone but Screamer is still here. He showed up last night for dinner and then came back at around noon today asking for some catnip, then went downstairs to sleep the day away.
I’m not sure, but I’m guessing that the people moved the old mobile home out so they could bring a new one in, or maybe they’re going to have a house built there. There is still a nice garage and shed on the property and their car is still parked at the garage. The thing is, if the owners are staying somewhere else, are they coming by every day to take care of Screamer? Whatever the situation, Screamer has a safe place to come to and plenty to eat.

March 05 2016
Screamer decided that the best plan is to come over for dinner and then come inside for the night. Then after breakfast in the morning he heads back outside.
Tonight I decided to try to remove a bad fur mat from his back right before his tail. I gave him some tasty food to distract him and wearing welding gloves and using a matte buster tool, I made a quick strike… and the battle was on. It only lasted a few seconds but it was fast and furious. In the end I got rid of the mat and escaped unscathed. As I went upstairs, Screamer followed right behind me and demanded some catnip. I guess he wasn’t as mad at me as I thought.

March 17 2016
Screamer’s owners are still gone.
He’s been spending more and more time inside at my place. He’s also started demanding affection, which if you’ve ever been mauled by Screamer, is a bit terrifying.

April 06 2016
Ever since Screamer’s owners and his house left, he’s been spending more time at my place. He’s doing his best not to cause any trouble. All well and good but I remember how crazy he was before and I even have the scars on my leg from a bite he gave me, which nicely matches the ones that Ninja gave me on the other leg. Anyway, last night I was working at my computer and Screamer jumped up on my lap, put his paws on my shoulders and started rubbing his cheek on mine. Really a sweet scene, but I was thinking that if one of my other cats jump up and startle him, I’d probably die. It all ended well though with everyone getting catnip.

April 27 2016
Screamer is now part of the family. He’s decided he loves being a lap cat. He’s not causing any trouble at all and loves attention. I might have to think of a new name for him.

May 24 2016              I finally met Screamer’s owners…
Last evening I saw a lady looking in the bushes on the other side of my fence. I saw that she came from where Screamer came from. By the time I got my shoes on and went outside to talk with her, her husband had picked her up and they were gone. I kept an eye out for them tonight and saw them looking all over where their house used to sit. I walked down there and asked if they were looking for a big gray cat. They were very happy to hear that Screamer was OK and staying at my place. They had been coming every night to feed him and they had his bed and food set up in their garage accessible by a cat door. It turns out that they really did care about him. I assured them that he was perfectly safe and welcome at my place. They gave me their phone number in case he needed to go to the vet or anything like that. They’re planning on building a house on the property this summer so Screamer will get to go home. Oh yeah, his name is Bootsie.

September 04 2016      Screamer gets hurt…
I woke up this morning with 3 or 4 cats on the bed and Screamer sleeping tight against my side, which was unusual because he’s usually on the pillow trying to smother me. When I got up I noticed that he was awfully quiet and looking closer I realized that he’d been in a cat fight. Figuring that he probably had a few bite wounds, I gave him an antibiotic pill. A bit later when he got up I noticed he had a limp and saw some dried blood on one leg. When he tried to eat, blood started dripping from his mouth. That’s when I called the emergency vet. Luckily it was my regular vet who was on call this weekend and I got him in right away. Besides the normal cat fight damage she found something that she’d never seen before. Somehow Screamer’s tongue had been slit all the way through, leaving a section hanging off the left side. She removed the hanging bit and stitched up the side of his tongue. That’s going to be painful and I’ll have to keep a close watch to make sure it heals properly. She checked and found that he’s already been fixed. He also got all his shots including Rabies. He’s spending tonight at the cat hospital. I closed the cat doors and plan to keep him inside as long as I can. The weather has turned cold with wind, rain, and daytime temps in the 50’s so I also changed out some of the bug lights in the cat houses with heat lamps.
All my cats are present and accounted for and showing no signs of having been in a fight. With all the other damage on Screamer, bite wounds, claw marks etc, the vet was sure it was a cat fight. He’ll be on pretty good pain killers so he should be able to at least lap up gravy and water. If there’s any problems, I’ll take him back to the vet to make sure he’s healing OK, then we’ll devise a new plan.

September 05 2016
I brought him home from the vet at noon. I gave him his pain meds and after a bit, offered him something to eat that had a lot of gravy. He sniffed it, considered trying it, then decided that he’d rather climb in my lap and take a nap. After a while I got up, gave him my chair and he’s been sleeping ever since.
I suppose tomorrow, I should stop by and tell his owners what happened so they’ll know he probably won’t be showing up at their place until he’s healed up. I hope they don’t insist on paying the vet bill.

September 06 2016
As of noon today Screamer hadn’t had any real amount to eat or drink since the night of the fight. I took him in to the vet this afternoon mainly because I didn’t want him to get dehydrated and for the vet to make sure his tongue was doing OK. Everything looked good and she pumped him full of subQ fluids. I also got an additional med to reduce the swelling and more pain relief.
Screamer’s owners are nice people and really do care about him. I talked to the lady today and she was pretty well in shock when I told her about what happened to her cat. When I told her I’d take care of the bill, she said they’d be glad to help pay. I told her, half jokingly, that if it went over $1000, I’d take her up on that. Actually, unless something else comes up, I’ve already paid the vet bill. Why would I pay Screamer’s vet bill? Simply because I’d like to. Nothing more complicated than that. Of course Screamer’s owners have every right to say what happens with him and whether or not I get to pay the vet bill. At least they know that I’m taking good care of him and that I’m willing and happy to pay. It will all get sorted out in the end.
I think Screamer is right on the edge of eating on his own. I am worried about his balance. Every time he shakes his head, he falls down. I’ll try to take him back to the vet tomorrow.

September 11 2016
Screamer is doing better today. As of yesterday, he was still not eating or drinking on his own and he was still having balance problems. I took him to the vet for more checks. With the thought that his balance problem was causing him to feel nauseous and affecting his eating, she gave him a shot to counter that. He also got some more subQ fluids to keep him from getting dehydrated. His scratches and bite wounds are all healing nicely and his tongue looked good and he’s moving it well. She also checked his ears again to make sure the he didn’t have an ear infection. The was no problem there. The plan now is to call her on Monday with a report on how he’s doing. The good news is that he finally started eating on his own late last night, a little at least. The best way to treat his balance is to give him Prednisone, a steroid, but with his infected wounds that was a no go. Now that his wounds are looking good, we can finally address his balance problem. Today Screamer again ate a little on his own and he’s looking sharper and a little steadier.

September 11 2016
Because Screamer’s balance problem doesn’t seem to be caused by anything else, the vet thinks it’s neurological. Maybe he got his head banged in the big fight. He only wants to go outside when he needs to use the cat box. I still haven’t seen him drinking any water, but I might have missed it.

September 12 2016
I talked to the vet today and the plan now is to wait for 2 or 3 days to be sure there’s no persistent infection, then start Screamer on Prednisolone for the next 10 days. Screamer’s owner called to check on him and was relieved to hear how well he’s doing. I’m sure she was disappointed that it’s going to be at least another couple of weeks before he can go home. I told her that he’s got a safe home here for as long as it takes.

September 14 2016
Screamer’s balance problems seem to be resolving on their own. Last night his symptoms were barely noticeable and today, if you didn’t know he had a problem before, you’d never suspect it. If he’s still as good or better tomorrow, I’ll talk to the vet about holding off on the prednisolone.

September 18 2016
Screamer is still doing well and his balance is rock solid.
And drum roll please…  He’s back with his owner. As soon as I told her how good he was doing, she wanted to get him home as soon as possible, which was yesterday afternoon. I just got a call from her saying everything was great and how much she enjoyed having him back.
So, for a while at least, everything is back to what passes for normal around here.

September 18 2016
Screamer’s owner let him out to play in the yard and after a while he disappeared. She called to see if he’d come back to my place, which he hadn’t, and later she called to say he’d come home all happy and content. I’d have to say that’s a good outcome. Well, good enough as he’s been an outdoor cat his whole life. She works at her store 6 days a week and I don’t know if she plans to keep Screamer inside while she’s gone or not.
I do miss him, but he was a terrible bed hog.

September 25 2016
Apparently keeping Screamer inside is a no go for his owner. He come’s over to my place every other day for a big meal and a nice snuggle nap. After sleeping the day away he’ll eat dinner and then head home. His tongue is all healed and his other wounds are still healing but look good. His balance problems haven’t returned. So basically everything is back to the way it was before he got hurt.

October 16 2016
Screamer still stops by for dinner and a nap on a semi regular basis.

Dec 03 2016
Screamer showed up again, late last night. You guessed it… he had been in another cat fight. A bite on his head, a scratch on one eye and a chewed on neck. I guess he knows where to come to get fixed up. I gave him an antibiotic last night and again today and some eye drops. After a good nights sleep and a ton of food, he headed home.
Screamer’s owner owns and operates a quilting store six days a week so she doesn’t stay up too late at night. If Screamer misses last call and doesn’t get inside before his owner goes to bed, he’ll head over to my place. I have security cameras outside to keep track of my cats so I always see him when he shows up. He’ll come in for some dinner and maybe a little catnip. Then after a few hours sleep he’ll go back outside and head home. He did get caught by a snow storm and spent a couple of days here.
His owner called to check on him. He was anxious to go home so I let him out. He followed the path that I keep cleared to the edge of my property, but when he tried to cross the field to get to the plowed road leading to his house, he could only make about 20 feet before the deep snow left him marooned on a big rock. I waded out and scooped him up and carried him to the plowed road. As soon as I set him down, he took off for his home.

January 22 2017
It’s snowed and drifted a lot so even though I’ve kept the pathway cleared to the edge of my property, the field is now impassable. Screamer hasn’t put in an appearance and probably won’t until the snow melts enough. I do keep an eye out for him and I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of my boy Screamer.

December 07 2017
Last night I noticed there was a voice mail on my home phone. It was Screamer’s Mom wondering if I could take Screamer for the next few months. She’s moving to a trailer which is in a trailer court that doesn’t allow pets. She took Screamer to the new place a couple of times but he was miserable not being able to go outside. Needless to say, I agreed to take him and walked over to his place to bring him home. His Mom cried as he left but she knew he’d be well cared for and was safe. It was hard for her though. So at least for the winter, Screamer is one of my babies.