Wanna Meet Sid?

Sid belonged to my neighbor.

Then she moved. And left him.

Then another neighbor took him in.

Then she moved. And left him.

It took a while, but I managed to coax him over to my house, where he has lived outside for the almost four years. He is one of “front porch kitties”, about 8 stray cats I feed twice a day.

A few weeks ago, early in the morning, I stepped out to feed the porch kitties and was surprised that Sid was not in evidence. He’s always in evidence for food! But, cats being cats, I gave it no thought.

Late in the afternoon, I pulled my car into the driveway after returning from the Cross House, stepped out, and expected the “ritual”. This is when Sid and two others strays come over to greet me. I then bend down and give each some pet pets, and Sid, in particular, delights in this.

But there was no Sid to greet me that afternoon.

Then I recalled that he had been missing that morning.

And all my alarm bells rang at once.

My heart tight, I walked towards the front porch. Oh! There Sid was! He was lying down. I waved and called his name out. He was unimpressed.

I shrugged, walked over to my side door, and into my office.

Two hours later I stepped onto the front porch to feed the kitties. Sid was still in the same place, lying down. I put all the food out and, just as I was about to step inside, I realized that Sid had not moved.

In an instant, the alarm bells went off again.

Something was wrong.

I waked over to Sid, and bent down. “Sid, are you OK?”

He just laid there, with his head on the deck. He was incredibly dirty, with mud caked on his sides and head.

WHAT had happened to him?

I gently picked him up. He was kinda limp.

My heart about stopped from fear and anxiety. Oh! Poor Sid!


Fast forward:

Sid went to vet the next morning. The vet had no explanation for his condition, which centered on his hind legs or hip not working quite right. The vet said the hip was not broken, and both legs were not broken, even though something was very obviously wrong.

At the end of the visit I quietly asked: “Is he dying?”

The vet firmly replied no.

And for the first time since the previous afternoon, I felt some hope.


Fast forward:

Sid has been in the house ever since. He received a comb-out that first day, which got most of the mud off. After two days, he got a bath. Sid was not happy about that, but was clearly pleased after he dried off. Golly, he was soooooooo silky!

He eats like a pig, and drinks like a fish. He is walking better but something is still just not right. Importantly, he does know what a litter box is for! I had not known this.

My friend Patricia said one of her cats had something similar happen, and it took three months for him to walk normally again. Did Sid sprain a muscle? Did he get hit by a car? Did he twist something while climbing a tree?


Every winter I make Sid a custom cat house, which I place right next to my side door.


Sid, two weeks ago after I brought him inside. He stayed in the box for hours, not moving.


Late that first night, I held a bowl of water up to him. He drank and drank and drank and drank. Then I put another box next to him as a table, and gave him some food. Which he scarfed down. He seemed unconcerned about the lack of table cloth.


Sid walks around the house, well, hardly at all. But he is walking. He has figured out how to get on my desk.

I have let him back outside twice, after he indicated, maybe, wanting to go outside. After ten minutes though I opened the door…and he darted back in. Well, sorta darted.

Until he is 100%, I plan to keep him inside, and suspect that Sid quite agrees with this decision. And if he is never 100% again? He will become, officially, another Ross Cat.

NOTE: Gray and New Kitty are not happy about any of this.




  1. Dan Goodall-Williams on October 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    My heart breaks for him. Poor kitty. My neighbor is a cat lady and we order from omaha steaks which arrives in a styrofoam container. I give her the container for outdoor cats. She cuts a hole in the side. She says it really helps keep them warm.
    I hope Sid improves, but I hope he gets to stay inside too.

  2. L.Harlow on October 20, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Have seen this before in cat that all of a sudden lost use of back legs. It was a bite he got from another cat or dog. It became infected and pressed nerves close to spine. He recovered.

  3. Karen Spencer on October 21, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    You are such a good and caring man Ross. I have always had cats, but for the past 10 years I have had a little rescued dog, Bosqui named after Jean Michel Basquiat, who does not know he is a dog and he does not like dogs. He likes cats.

    In August for 34 days a white dove (who I named Peace) lived in our yard. I did not know anything about birds and I did not do enough to protect her. She fell victim to a cat, but that is the animal world I guess. Harsh.

    I love all animals and very much appreciate what you do for them.

    Big hug to you Ross

  4. Cindy Belanger on October 21, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I hope Sid recovers and feels better soon. Gray and New Kitty are probably wishing the same, so Sid can get outside again. haha A challenge for all the kitties.

  5. Pat on October 22, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Oh, poor dear. Perhaps it is paralysis from a tick bite? Wellness vibes on the way. Please keep us updated on his condition. Bless you…

  6. Sandra G. McNichol on October 22, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Ross, you are such a wonderful kind-hearted human being. Bless you bless you. Your kindness to all your kitties gives me great comfort in these outrageously terrible times in this country. I hope that Sid fully recovers.

  7. Debbie on October 22, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Oh goodness Sid – please get better soon! Ross, you are amazing!

  8. Andrea on October 23, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    Did your vet check the pulse in his back legs ? Saddle thrombosis (aka throwing a clot) can cause this. The clot lodges at the juncture of the veins that go from the spine to the legs – like a wishbone. Some cats can recover from this, while in others euthanasia is the kindest option.

    If this happens, it is usually in cats with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (a type of enlarged heart).

    I really hope this is not what is up with Sid, and that he can make a full recovery.

    Toxoplasmosis can cause some strange physical symptoms, too.

  9. GRETCHEN on October 28, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    We lost our dear Emma kitty about a month ago. She too, was lethargic and weak. She died on the way to the vet (we live a half an hour from town). We also have a German shepherd who had has a spinal cord injury. He missed Emma, too. Kitties are such a blessing! Thank you for taking care of Sid and the porch kitties! We are praying he recovers quickly. Even if he always has mobility issues he can still live a full and happy life!

    • Ross on October 28, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      Hi, Gretchen,

      Big, big, big hug. I feel your loss of Emma. What helps me with such a loss, in time, is the many happy memories. I had my adored Gilda for 17 years! And my most common memory is when she just just a tiny kitten and came up to me in my driveway and introduced herself!

      Sid is doing like 90% better. He’s still inside but I scoot him out about 20 minutes a day. He’s THRILLED to come back in.

      Much love,


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