Our Boy cat is a survivor. And a hunter... And a big lovey... as long as things are happening on his terms, i.e. his tail is not being touched, there's food in his dish and he's free to roam as he pleases. Any kind of hitch is his get-a-long will be loudly yowled, hissed or growled at. That said, just try to bend down and pull a weed in the front garden and not get head butted, rubbed on or lunged at.
Boy loves the undeveloped wetlands across from the house. When we moved to this house, he was lost in there for 5 weeks, sustaining himself on critters until he found his way back to the house, considerably lighter and more friendly than when he left. While he doesn't stray far now, it's not unusual for him to disappear into his small woods for 24 hours or so on one his nature hikes. As a barely-rehabilitated feral cat, Boy enjoys all the food and shelter he could want and the freedom to come and go as he pleases. Sometimes he's more like a dog than a cat... running down the street meowing at the top of his lungs to meet TOG at night when he hears his truck come from work at night!
Boy went on one of his hikes Friday and wasn't back by Saturday which caused us some concern. He reappeared last night in pretty bad shape. After some tussling with gloves and towel, we were able to get him in the dog kennel and take him to the all night vet. After a round of xrays, the vet said he'd been attacked by a larger animal and he's got significant bruising and puncture wounds to his abodmen and hips. While there's no broken bones, the xrays weren't clear about how bad the trauma to his innards was. Without further tests (which would have been even more expensive and may not have been any more conclusive than the xrays) or even surgery they couldn't say what his survival chances were.
Rather than put him down, we decided to give him a chance as long as we could keep him comfortable. They shot him up on mega antibiotics and kitty morphine and we brought him home to see if he can recover. K2, the nurse, is watching over him.
We just gave him another dose of pain meds and he's still being very sweet, making biscuits on his cat blankets. As long as you don't talk to him, K2 says he just lays quietly.
I'd love to see him return to his crabby, loud mouthed, opinionated, semi-wild self.