Jungle came here for help.
This story was originally posted on our Facebook page in October 2021.
Jungle started hanging around the block right after the freeze, in March 2021.
From afar, he would skirt the edges of the cat colony, only coming at night to pick at the food that was left over after the resident community cats had their fill. He was absolutely skeletal. Still, despite how hungry he must have been, he didn’t start fights. He just kept struggling through and eating leftovers.
He kept a wary distance of humans, but the more he came around, the colony managers saw that he had an injured foot and had started to struggle to eat, drooling a lot.
They tried for a week to capture him, but Jungle evaded the traps. His frail body was trying to fight infections, but he must have been exhausted. It was a bit of a surprise how elusive he was, even for seasoned trappers — surviving on the streets, in his shape, I guess it’s to be expected he’d have some wiles to call on.
When they finally did trap Jungle, we learned in just how bad of shape he was. At 5 or 6 years old, Jungle had great blood work but was FIV+ with severe dental disease (stomatitis) and a toe with an abscess where the bone stuck out.
These aren’t surgeries or care that a “just the leftovers” cat usually gets. But you know us by now… these are the ones we are always here for. “Letting him go” was one of the options on the table, as we discussed his case with the vet. And yet… Jungle came here for help.
He didn’t lay down somewhere in a back alley to die. He did the non-feral thing: he came to our block and looked at us. And when the dry kibble was hard to eat, he looked at us more intently – until we found some soft food that he licked up.
He was not ready to go.
Jungle’s surgery started at 11 am this morning and is still going. That’s a long time for surgery. Once he wakes up, he’ll need a lot of pain meds and around-the-clock post-surgery care and monitoring. We’ll be here to get him all of that.
We haven’t been posting all of them, but we’ve been taking on medical case after medical case after medical case lately. The options for so many humans and animals are just… not there like they were pre-pandemic. We end up being the last stop for many of them. And the bills rack up. The pandemic has taken away options, but it’s only made our calling clearer.
“As long as they are fighting, our job is to help them fight,” Salise says.
If you can get behind that, Jungle could really use it right now. Even the smallest bit helps. ???? We’ll keep you updated on his status.
Update 1 × October 28 at 5:50pm
Jungle is out of surgery! He has a 72-hour pain med injection, and he’ll be recovering at his colony managers’ house. He had to have ALL of his teeth removed. The x-rays showed they were all heavily diseased, so they had to come out. He also got his toe amputation and neuter surgery. This guy has quite a recovery ahead of him, but coming out of such a long surgery is another sign of his fighting spirit. We’ve got you, bud.
Update 2 × October 29 at 4:19pm
A HUGE thank you to everyone who has already donated! You can help us by also sharing this fundraiser with your social networks.
Jungle went to his colony managers’ home last night and started his 10-day recovery. Once he’s well, we’ll start planning what’s next for him on this journey.
Engineering a way for Jungle to move to his recovery kennel. We’ll let him move into the new space on his own time to reduce the stress of all of this.
Update 3 × November 2 at 1:00pm
The vet “We’ll keep this collar on for 2 weeks.”
Jungle: “No, we won’t.”
Yeah… we found this lonely e-collar next to Jungle’s food bowl. The bowl was empty – again! Now that Jungle started eating, we’re planning on moving him to a larger space.
His first behavior consultation with the Friends For Life team is tomorrow! It would be absolutely lovely if we could help our toothless boy develop a liking of people.
Update 4 × January, 2022 – Socialization in progress
For the past 2 months, Jungle has been living in a spacious 3-story, indoor catio. His body condition has improved, and he now sports a thick, healthy coat.
Using guidance from our Behavior Team, Jungle’s fosters are working to develop pro-social behavior. And there’s progress! He has recently engaged in play and has taken treats tossed to him (that’s huge!) At night, Jungle has access to part of the house – for enrichment, and to let him get used to the indoor environment.
He only roams for a short time, because he really loves the heated bed in his catio : )
We take on the long-shots.
If you’d like to get involved helping the animals we’re currently guiding through the medical chapter of their journey (like Jungle), visit our Medical Care page.
From a feral-herd mom,
Thank you so much for saving Jungle! With very consistent daily work it “might” only take 6 months to bring him around–could take 2 years–or more…. Living in a household of tame cats as soon as possible, once he has done some quality isolation in that same house, seems to work pretty well. But I’m sure you are well aware that changing his person/house/cat friends, if he has bonded at all, will likely throw him right back to square 1 or 2 emotionally for a while. Gotta love these tough smart ones though. They have stories to tell.