And what's more, Buddha is a changed cat. Not only does he not go running for the hills, he's become a skritchslut. Much to our surprise, he positively loves being carried and held, now that he's got it through his noggin that we're not about to try to eat him or anything. I sat on the floor of the garage for a good 45 minutes with Buddha in my lap just turned into a pile of kitty Jell-O from the TLC that laurie_robey and I were giving him. This really reinforces the conclusion we had already come to that he was once a housecat -- his whole air tonight as we showered him with attention was that of somebody who'd been starving for ages finally getting food again. He lapped it up like a sponge.
Unfortunately, we spotted what we believe is yet another tick on him (GRRR!), this one nestled under his right armpit where we can't possibly get to it while Buddha is conscious and able to move under his own power. The cat does not fight back, nor in fact does he even get particularly aggravated -- he just squirms relentlessly. He doesn't like being upside down in mid-air, and he doesn't like having his arms shoved around so you can poke at tender spots under them. He doesn't argue about it -- he just doesn't cooperate either.
So we're now working on emergency plans to get him shaved (completely shaved, if you please) and de-crittered (completely de-crittered, if you please) before the weekend, as we're going to be off in the merry old land of Laurie's parents' house then. This has got to be the real deal -- no more of these "we shaved a few of the worst bits off" "well we got a couple of ticks off" halfway treatments that he's been getting so far. (I am in fact rather frustrated about this -- we've been trying to get him complete treatment since that first trip to the vet three weeks ago, and it seems like nobody is willing to do the whole shebang.)
I expect to be burning up vacation time for this, le sigh. But we've gotta get this cat in better shape!