Meet BC, a Maine Coon

HOULTON, Maine — The Ark Animal Sanctuary is home to a beautiful Maine coon cat named BC. BC stands for big cat, because he is very large and very handsome. Unfortunately he is also very feral.  

BC came to The Ark years ago. He was living as a stray here in Houlton. Our original plan was to alter him and release him back but it was the dead of winter and we did not have the heart to put him back out in the cold. We have all come to love BC at The Ark even though he has never warmed up to any of us but instead hisses at us if we go near. BC is always first in line in the morning when it comes feeding time as he loves his pate.  

BC, a feral cat who has been with the Ark for several years, is currently in hospice care at the Ark Animal Sanctuary.
(Courtesy of Lorraine Monfils)

A few weeks back we had taken a group of the ferals to the vet for wellness exams and vaccinations when we noticed BC’s nose was very swollen.  He was put on antibiotics and they made a small incision in his nose to relieve some of the pressure. After a few days the swelling had gone down but BC started to have labored breathing almost as if he had an upper respiratory infection.  

We went back to the vet where he had a full series of x rays on his nasal passage and head.   The x rays showed that BC had a growth and it also showed that that growth had eaten it’s way through the nasal passage.

That day I was given three options. We could euthanize BC; have a biopsy done for a definitive answer, which would mean tearing up his face; or do a needle biopsy, putting him on meds to make him comfortable and bring him back home for the time he has left.

I chose the latter option. BC could only have a few weeks left or if we are lucky a few months.  I chose to let him live as long as he could without pain. He has come back to the sanctuary and he was put in a room by himself to insure he was eating and taking his meds.

After two weeks he had finished the antibiotics and he was miserable being by himself. He cried all of the time and his breathing was getting labored again.  I made the decision to put BC back with all of his friends so he could live out his final days where he is the happiest. BC was so happy to see his buddies he was rubbing up against them and purring.  

BC is still eating and not in pain but I can see that he doesn’t have much time left. When he stops eating, we will know.

Why go to such lengths for a feral cat? To us BC is more than just a feral cat he is family and we love him. The care that we are providing for BC is the same care that we would provide for any animal animal that walks through our door.

The past few months have been very difficult for us, because we have lost so many. We now have two cats in hospice care Moose and BC. We will be there every step of the way making their final journey as comfortable as possible. We will be there to love them and hold them and care for them. They came to us homeless, lonely and afraid and  we are determined to make sure when their time has come they will know that they were loved and that their lives mattered.

Thank you for your continued support and as always thank your for reading our column.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.