Well, I finally did it. I snatched up Max and took him to the vet.
I suppose at this point I ought to back up a bit. First off, I feed the strays in my neighborhood. I not only feed them, I name them - because after all, it's the best way to differentiate them in conversation. It's so much easier to tell Husband that I saw Jay or Tom or Max than for me to say I saw the skinny long-haired black (Jay) or the beefy orange tomcat (Tom) or the scaggy long-haired Maine Coon lookalike with the broken jaw (Max). Anyway, Jay and Tom are feral, but Max was somebody's baby at some point. He'd very friendly and all he wants is a little food and a lot of love.
Lately, Max hasn't been looking so good. I mean, worse than usual. (He's generally a healthy, if thin cat, other than the jaw thing, which didn't stop him from eating and gave him a quizzical look. He just drools a lot and it gets in his thick fur, so he looks gross.) So, Husband and I made the decision. I'd scoop him up and take him to the vet. The idea was one way or another Max wasn't going to suffer anymore. Not an easy decision but one we felt it was time to make.
This morning we woke up to Max sleeping on our porch. Right in front of the door as a matter of fact. (Like I said, he had an owner once upon a time, so he thinks he can come inside.) I put on some gloves and slid him inside the vet's cat carrier. He wasn't particularly happy about his confinement, but some chicken helped. Then I took him to the vet.
We learned a few things this morning. First off, I was right. Somebody owned and cared about this cat at some point because they went through the trouble of neutering him. Second, he's a fairly young cat - only 3-4 years old. Third, he's not contagious, so our fears of tracking some disease into the house with our own cat were put to rest. Fourth, Max is friggin' huge! He's underweight and he's still got to be 12+ pounds. My Kira is around 18 pounds, and he doesn't feel that far behind her.
Lastly, and most importantly, despite the fact that he's skinny and his breath could take out a basilisk, he's pretty healthy for someone with a broken jaw. All he needs is a little surgery to repair his face and his shots - plus a bath and a good brushing - all of which Max (aka Maxie or Maxmillian Mew) is now receiving. As long as everything goes well, he'll be ready to pick up on Monday.
Yay. He'll be happy, healthy, and back to his attractive self. And then we'll fatten him up. (If he's 12 lbs now, he'll be Godzilla-kitty when he fills out. Whooph.)
Too bad I can't have another cat without breaking my lease. =o(
Good news is I have a couple leads on people who might be willing to get a new and very personable furbaby. One of them took a cat I rescued a few years ago, so I know he's a stable pet owner. He just has to talk his wife into making Max cat #3.
Keep your fingers crossed for Max. He'll be well soon, but if I don't find him a home, he'll be back on the streets - albeit living as my outdoor cat now. (The landlady can't complain if he never comes inside, right?)