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Dear Silvia,

Please forgive me for not checking in and replying to your incredible kind and sweet notes. I'm so sorry.

Max is still alive and today I did something I wish I hadn't done. I'll get to that in a few minutes.

The past four months have been incredibly difficult to say the least....for my Max especially and also for me because it's been very difficult to care for a sick feral when you can't get him in a carrier to get him to a vet for treatment or to have him put down.

The church finally closed on their property a week ago yesterday. Now it's owned by a developer who has prepped the church and small house on the property to be demolished starting on Tuesday.

Then all of the 4 acres of woods surrounding two sides of the property will be clear cut.

That has been Max's home for almost all his life except for the year he spent at my friend's house before he ran away and came back to find me. That was many years ago.

He has been having good and bad days. He still eats. He is weak, but happy to see me when I am there which has been often and he loves being petted.

There were three weeks in Feb/March where I was looking for his body because he wouldn't come out and I thought he was dead. It was the most awful three weeks ever and I spent hours every day during lunch and until dark after work looking for him.

Then one night after work, I found him and I thought I was seeing a ghost. Since then he has come to me daily to eat during lunch and the past few weeks he has even come out after work and spent time with me.

An employee of new property owner has given me permission to move Max's feeding station and shelter to the very back corner of their (also owned) adjacent property where I used to work. These woods are all bamboo and I have walked every inch of it many times over the past four months looking for Max on days I couldn't find him.

The space they are allowing me to move him is so tiny and he will never stay there. Plus, I can't even get to it because the brush is so thick. I will start to tear down some of the dead bamboo tomorrow and Monday, but what I did today was in hope of having to not do that to him because they will be moving a huge cell tower right next to his space very soon. He will have no where to hide or go for peace.

Two weeks ago, my vet gave me two 10 mg pills of Acepromozine, I had hoped to not have to use them, but after thinking and overthinking about Max's quality of life and what was looming next week, I decided the best thing to do was to sedate him and get him in a carrier for a one way trip to the vet.

I quartered a pill and wrapped each of the four pieces in a thin piece of pill wrap and put them in his baby food. He ate two and spit the other two out. Mr. Smarty Pants. 😬 I knew a half pill wasn't going to be enough so I wrapped those two again and hid them in Fancy Feast topped with baby food. He ate one of them. So now he had three quarters in his stomach. He got groggy, but not nearly tired enough for me to do what I needed to do.

He laid down beside me and I rubbed his belly and side and head for about 30 minutes waiting for this to kick in. He seemed like he was nearly sleeping so I put a fleece blanket on my lap and picked him up which he will let me do sometimes and put him on my lap. He stayed there for about 15 minutes while I petted him and I moved his leg a bit so I could get the blanket wrapped around him, He became very alert for a minute and then jumped off my lap and went about 15 feet away and laid down where I couldn't get to him.

So I waited and tried to figure out how I was going to do this. After a few minutes, I rewraped the 2 uneaten pills.. I got his beef flavored baby food and the leftover Fancy Feast and crawled over to him and put the plate between us. He came over and ate the baby food and the pills.

So I waited again and moved back to where we had been sitting as the carrier was covered/disguised behind me. He came over 10 minutes later and laid down so I started petting him again and he got groggy again, but not to a point where he was unaware of his surroundings, so I wrapped another 1/4 pill and put it in the remains food and he ate that unknowingly.so now he had 1-1/4 pills (12.5 mg) in his system.

Then it started to rain which he hates and he cried. I hovered over him so he wouldn't get wet and silently begged God to make it stop and to help me.

I laid the blanket out on my lap again. The rain stopped after a few minutes and I slowly picked Max up again and put him on my lap. He laid there for about 10 minutes and finally started to doze off. I slowly pulled the carrier around to my right side still covered and he didn't hear or see it, but something else in another direction got his attention and he jumped up again and walked to an area that is about 20 feet away and sat there looking dazed for 10 minutes. Then he laid down in the most awkward place that was going to be next to impossible to pick him up from quickly,

The whole while I was racking my brain as to how I could get the carrier near him and me get near him without him moving again. Meanwhile, time was ticking away and I had no idea how long the effects would last not that he was in a position for me to put him in a carrier anyway.....but if he did get to that point.....

I slowly moved to him and he moved five feet away so I went back and sat down and waited. He went back to that spot and laid down with his back to me so I waited again, but got up and quietly got a bigger carrier out of my car, covered it and crept to him with a blanket in hand. He became alert and irritated. Then he moved further into the woods heading to that damn overgrown altar and laid in front of it.

It was far enough away that he couldn't hear me follow with that carrier and sit about 15 feet away. When he finally noticed me, he got up and walked away again, this time going under the Altar and laying down. I waited and then moved to a few feet from where he was and acertained it would be really hard to pick him up from where he was laying. So I just sat and talked to him and he got up again and slowly moved to the other side of the altar. I waited and walked around and sat about 10 feet from him and when he realized I was there again, he got up and went across the dry creek bed to a place 15 feet away.

I just started crying quietly mostly because I was worried what the hours ahead would do to him. There were supposedly storms coming late afternoon which, thankfully, didn't happen, but they will be here anytime tonight for several hours with thunder and lightening. His least favorite things.

It had been three hours at that point so the strongest affects of the Acepromozine had most likely passed and it would take another 3-6 hours before it wore off. I worried what would happen to him if he would go into a seizure or a sound sleep and not hear something if it came up to him like a raccoon or another critter like a snake. I didn't know what to do, but knew that God was with him and felt that if it was his time to go that is what would happen. I just hated that I put him in that position. And I hated to leave, but I couldn't take it anymore. I had no control and there was nothing I could do but watch him. He was in a safe enough area so at least I know where he was if he isn't there tomorrow he will most likely be nearby.

I don't know what to do now. Should I try again tomorrow and use 1-1/2 pills? I don't want to OD him and he may not even eat the pills wrapped in the pill pocket film since if he puts 2 and 2 together from today. The warnings say don't give to a cat with liver, renal or heart failure and I know he in in renal and heart failure. The point was that even if something did go wrong, I would have had him in a carrier by now and at the vet for his last moments.

I just hate my life right now and I hate the situation Max is in, I don't understand why God is allowing it to continue. I hate that I put him in a bad situation today and tonight and that he is there alone.

I'm going to have to continue to sneak on and off this property through the back of the woods starting on Tuesday and find him to feed him. For the next two days, I can drive to my normal parking spot without anyone seeing me, He will never find his feeding station and shelter if I drug him tomorrow and I have to have both moved by Monday night, I had moved both slowly starting last Monday up until yesterday and was about more than halfway where I was supposed to put them, but moved the shelter back because of the coming storms last night.

Has anyone had experience with a sick old cat (nearly 17 if not already) and Acepromozine?
Tomorrow is my last shot until next weekend and I don't know what will happen in between once the demolition starts.

I pray constantly and that doesn't seem to help anymore. God has His own plan and I sure wish he'd fill me in so I knew what to do. He may not even be alive tomorrow because of what I did today and that will haunt me forever.

Thank you

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Dear Erin,
First off let me say that I am glad Max is still amongst us and obviously fitter than you might wish to believe because he did resist your ideas. I already love this little smart fellow.
Reading all of what you wrote I learn that Max comes to you, eats and allows you to pet him. He allows you to rub his belly and all this which is just lovely. 
I learn you used a sedative to calm Max down (why?) - you did pick him up and put him on your lap to pet him .... and I am (from what I read without having been there on the spot) asking myself why not pick him up and put him into the carrier right away? And yes, he might have fought you, he might have scratched or bitten you even.
I once had to take a cat (his human mom had died) out of his territory outdoors and take him to a vet for check up and then to a very nice shelter. I did plan this very well beforehand and it was not funny at all, I wore leather gloves and I really did grab him very quickly and forced him into the carrier which was opened on top not on the side (which I imagine more difficult). He was surely furious all the way to the vet and raged in this carrier like crazy. He made it another year at the shelter and grew to be 20.
In contrast to the cat I surely saved, Max is a feral cat and he will never follow what you have in mind for him, this should be very clear to you. Have you thought about what to do next if the vet tells you he is still quite fit and will make it for some time? Do you know where to put him? Can you take care of him? Those are important questions because if you cant take care of him after “saving” him, you might just consider to let him be.
I dont know if you have asked your vet about Acepromozine, what it is, how it works and what side effects it has. Maybe you should google it on the net to get more informations about this sedative which does NOT make the pet unconcious but is thought to calm the pet down, meaning here the pet cant move but is very aware of what is happening.
My prayers go out for you. If you do not find him again tomorrow – please do not worry so much. As I told you ever so often, keep in mind that Max is a feral cat. He might be old and ill but he knows his way in his territory and will surely escape from all the odds out there just like he did escape from your approach to catch him even with quite some sedatives in his system. And like I told you many times before – yes, he might just die out there like all feral animals do.
It is so great that he trusts you enough to spend time with you.
I sincerely hope you dont mind my thoughts on feral animals and I know how difficult and painful all this is for you.
I hug you
Silvia (with Max forever in my heart)


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