I've been a bad kitty mommy, mainly to one of our barn cats, Zelda. Zelda was a stray cat that came to us years ago when we first moved to Virginia. At first, she was a shadowy creature, coming to our house at night to eat the dog and cat food left on our porch. Soon, we saw more and more of her and one day I finally was able to coax her to me so I could pet her. One of the kids discovered that she was a mother cat and had three kittens hidden in a building on the property we were renting at the time. The kittens were the spitting image of their father, the tom cat we had recently taken in. (And that's another story.) The kids named her Zelda and she joined our family's rapidly growing menagerie. Over the years, Zelda has become extremely attached to our black lab Ginny, much to the annoyance of Ginny. Zelda is a very shy cat, but she's very sweet and I enjoy her company.
A few weeks ago, I noticed a crusty patch on Zelda's back. I assumed it was a hot spot and was going to keep an eye on it. Well, I got busy and didn't think to check her. One day I realized I hadn't seen her for several days so I went in search of her. Zelda has two places that she likes to spend time - in our barn and in our equipment shed. I found her perched on the stack of hay in the equipment shed and she came down to me. That's when I saw the crud that had taken over her body. It covered a large portion of her back and tail, plus was on one of her ears. I was going out of town that afternoon so I rushed her to the vet for treatment. I was told the crust could be due to a variety of things: allergies, fungus, even cancer; only time and treatment would tell. I left Zelda at the vet overnight to be partially shaved and bathed and my daughter picked her up the next day, with instructions to give her a liquid antibiotic twice a day.
Well, Zelda seems to not like her treatment and has disappeared. My wish is that she's just hiding, that her skin is healing just fine without her medicine, and that she'll show up when she's good and ready. Zelda, please come home; we miss you.