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With his injured tail healing nicely, black and white feral cat Cookie is back on his home turf with his buddy, the semi-feral Sly. (Photo by Jorge and Mimi Arévalo Mateus)

With his injured tail healing nicely, black and white feral cat Cookie is back on his home turf with his buddy, the semi-feral Sly.

Photo by Jorge and Mimi Arévalo Mateus

NYC Eartips: Summer 2010

The Tail of Cookie

by Meredith Weiss, NYC Feral Cat Initiative

Jorge and Mimi Arévalo Mateus, TNR-certified caretakers in Brooklyn, were alarmed to find one of their cats, Cookie, with a terrible tail injury! Without resources to bring him to a vet or knowledge of how to care for him, they reached out to the NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI) for assistance and guidance. We arranged to have Cookie (a.k.a. "the Cookie Monster") treated at Murray Hill Pet Hospital, one of our veterinary partners. Part of his tail was removed, and he required weeks of recuperation.

Outfitted with a large cage and post-op instructions, Cookie was able to mend with the TLC provided by Jorge and Mimi. He even got chubby having food all to himself! Finally, he was released to his home turf (the backyard) on a bright, sunny afternoon. His caretakers crafted a nice outdoor home (Rubbermaid bin with insulation) and a feeding station just outside the downstairs kitchen door.

Two months later, although he lost most of his tail, Cookie seems happy, even sneaking into the house for cat naps. His tail is about four inches long and is gradually becoming fur-covered again. He enjoys cavorting with his buddy, a semi-feral named Sly. They are quite close, a domesticated feral and a pure feral; they watch out for each other, play together, and even sleep next to each other!

A serious tail injury, if left untreated, can result in dire consequences. Cookie is a lucky boy to have benefited from the watchful eye of his caretakers and the generosity of the NYCFCI veterinary support. Many thanks to Jorge and Mimi and to the NYCFCI for helping Cookie through his ordeal. He's enjoying his life, his well-being, and his freedom!

About the Author

Meredith Weiss is the TNR Director for the New York City Feral Cat Initiative, and she has been a Board Member of Neighborhood Cats since 2000. She is widely recognized for her compelling photographs of feral cats that have appeared in Cat Fancy, The New York Times, and Newsday, among other publications. She has received a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion from the Cat Writers Association for her color photography series that appeared in the Fall 2003 issue of the ASPCA's Animal Watch.