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kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #1 
You know that I lost my last angel cat Julian January 9.  Click on my name for threads I've begun.  I just can't live without kitties and tried to for three months.  What I really want is for my Julian to still be here to love, but he had to go to heaven, now I have to go on without him.

Now I have met Ace and Sissy, 6 year old tabby siblings whose human mommy died 7 months ago.  I've been to their house twice.  Today I learned that I am the *only* person whose been able to pet them since their mommy died- in seven months, which is two whole cat  years, even though dozens of people have been in the house= volunteers of rescue organizations, relatives,  humane society staff.  These were all trained people, their goal is to help kitties. But none of them could ever even touch Ace and Sissy.  I did it within five minutes with Sissy and about that long on the second visit with Ace.

I have zero training,all I do is love kitties.  I pet Sissy within about five minutes of her laying eyes on me, for several minutes.  Ace ran off, but today I pet him twice and he could have run away at any point but didn't.  I'm going to adopt them and would have stuffed them into carriers and taken them home tonight if it were just my feelings.

But they have been through so much, they had no love at all  for seven months until I showed up this week.  They were born in that house, their mommy never let them out.  But they'll never be happy there now that she's gone. 

How can I quickly build a relationship with them?  They will be traumatized leaving their home, how do I minimize that?  Time isn't on their side, I want to minimize the stress that moving will cause.

Any tips anyone can give would be so much appreciated.  I've never been in this situation before and am going perhaps too slowly.  But maybe I ought to just say bleep it all, and drag them into my home and their new life... it'll be hard for them no matter what.

When they lost their mommy, it was the feline flip side of when I lost my Julian.  I'm doing better because I'm online and do have some social outlets, but they lost everything except each other.  We lost our whole family.  I think they and I could make a new one and go on.

Thank you all for even reading this mess!




Snowystree

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Posts: 35
 #2 
You love kitties. They will know this. Maybe not immediately and maybe they will be traumatised by the move. One of ours was very much so when we moved home last year and only wanted to escape at first. Food, water, comfort and someone who loves them is all they will need. They may well need some patience at first and just want to hide, so building a relationship may take some time. But it will come. So I'd say get them in and let us know how things go!
aussiepaws

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Posts: 733
 #3 
For kitties moving can be traumatic no matter if they've been with you forever or they're making the first move they've had in their life time.  It seems you've built up a trust with these two and once the move is made they will eventually adjust because they have a connection with you.  Good luck and I guess be patient and let them settle into their new environment.
Les

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Posts: 282
 #4 
I'll start this by saying I know very little about cats. 

Many years ago my mom told me, you don't pick the pet, they pick you. It sounds like these two are picking you. They are telling you they trust you.

When I went to the shelter little Eleanor came over and almost right away rolled over on her back to get her tummy rubbed. She was lost and found so they had no info on her. It turns out she had anxiety issues, so the first few months were rough, as is thunderstorm season. Even to this day, other people get her stressed out, but she's fine with me. 

One thing that helps is Composure. It is a natural calming remedy, and they do have a formula for cats. You can get it from amazon.com. 

Follow your heart. It sounds like these babies need a home. 
goofygirlinva

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Posts: 1,082
 #5 
When I moved to my current place, I had 2 kitties. One, Rufus, is a fearless boy and the move did not bother him one little bit. As long as he was with me, he was fine and he adjusted to his new home pretty much as soon as I let him out of his carrier.

The other, Squeeker, needed time to adjust to his new surroundings. When I adopted him, he adjusted instantly - he got out of his carrier, jumped up on my bed and made himself at home, LOL! But when it came time to move to my current home, he was not happy. He hid under my car in the garage for a couple of hours, ultimately taking about a week or so to get comfortable in his new home. For him, all he really needed was time and a consistent routine. Once he had both of those and realized he was safe in his new home, he settled in quite nicely.

I've fostered a number of cats and the way I usually help them get accustomed to their new place is to first pick a room in the house that I use a lot that has a door, is spacious and has a nice window for looking out at nature during the day. I make sure they have food and water and a litter box and plenty of toys in the room, along with a radio that I leave on during the day. When I bring them home, I put them in their room and just sit in the room with them to help them know this is their space, it is a safe place to be and I am here with you. I leave them in the room with the door shut for as long as they feel they need to be there. Sometimes they are ready to explore the house in as little as a day, sometimes they need longer - depending on the cat it could be a few days, a week or even longer. They will let you know when they are ready to explore the rest of the home. Whenever they want to explore, I always leave the door to "their" room open so they can go back to their safe space if they feel the need. During the initial adjustment period, I only let them explore when I'm home - they stay in their room with the door closed whenever I'm not home, just to be safe. Once they've been out in the rest of the house a few times and they seem to be comfortable in their new environment, then I'll start leaving the door to their room open for longer periods of time and I'll even experiment with letting them have the run of the house while I'm gone for short periods of time. Sometimes the foster cat can get comfy in their new surroundings in as little as a day or two. For others, it takes longer, depending on their temperament and other factors.

As for helping them get through the trauma of not having their first human momma anymore, I agree with others that they seem to have picked you and are telling you they trust you. Once you move them to your place, just be patient and give them time and love (but you already know this :-) ). I've also found that, along with a calm presence and patience, playing with cats will deepen the bond you have with them. So once you figure out what kinds of toys they prefer, try to have some play time with them every day. That way they'll see you as more than just the person that feeds them and cleans their litter box. :-) 

Good luck with this - I hope you're able to put them in a carrier and bring them home with you. And I look forward to reading stories of your new adventures with Sissy and Ace!

- Kelly
Blackie's mom

kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #6 
Thank you all for your replies, and I'm still very much hoping for more thoughts on this upcoming change.

Besides this message board I asked the same question of my closest cyber-friend, my contact at an organization that has been helping with Ace and Sissy, and the founder of the organization that fostered Whitney and Houston before I adopted them.  

The consensus is to do the move sooner- like now- instead of wait to build more of a relationship with them.  They'll be upset whenever it's done, patience will be needed, and already is. So, being a Libra, I'm compromising, lol: I'll make two more visits and take them home at the end of the second visit.  They will be here in only days, midweek sometime.

Snowystree and aussiepaws, your messages combined say what just about everyone else's have; had I known that in advance I would have just asked you two and saved myself a lot of typing. ;)

Les, I agree there is a definite element of them choosing us.  It's amazing how quickly that can happen. I didn't know about Composure, but have heard a lot of good things about Bach Rescue Remedy and used it on occasion.  Neither actually drugs a cat, it just takes the edge off their anxiety.

goofygirlinva, thank you for your detailed message; I am taking full advantage of your experience as a fosterer.  As it turns out, I did almost exactly the method you described right down to a window to look out of when I adopted Whitney and Houston 10 years ago.  And that's what I'd planned to do with A&S; they will need a "safe" room and a place to hide for however long it takes.  To them any room will seem spacious; their current home has a lot of stuff in it for its size.  

I figure they'll live pretty much under the bed (guest room) the first week; I think cats are stoic about physical pain but sensitive emotionally.  They've become so scared that last winter somebody told their mommy's human son that they couldn't be rehomed, they'd have to be come outside cats- or else be euthanized.  (I disagree, I've been able to pet them both, and neither ran away even though they could have.)

Golly, I'm getting excited- by this time next week I'll have two beautiful kitties!  For sure you'll hear about it on this message board.  Good news is nice to hear, especially with all the sadness that has brought us together here.

And please, anybody else add to this thread; I'm still gathering information. 

Thank you all.


kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #7 
Another reply, it looks like a reply to myself.

Today I visited the two.  It was totally frustrating, a step backwards.  Someone had opened a door closed to a room full of stuff, had no reason to, and both cats went in.

Took Mike 40 minutes to empty the middle of the room to check the perimeter.  He is such a nice person, he didn't get angry or yell or swear (though I said a few words), just quietly hauled a bunch of stuff out.  The cats were then sort of trapped: he and I were in the middle of the room between them and the door.  I pet and talked to both of them twice, they both growled softly and steadily.  He had to point out to me that they do already trust me, neither laid its ears back, scratched nor bit me despite having plenty of opportunity.

This can't go on.  I'd hoped to finesse things by building a better relationship, but it's too abnormal a situation. One gets upset, so the other does, too, and there's no one there to stop that.  They've not been *prisoners* these past 7 months, having had run of the house, but they've become so reclusive, all they want to do is hide. 

So Wednesday I'm going to the house with long sleeves and gardening gloves.  We'll load the car with their food, litter box and toys, then somehow get each cat into a carrier to come home with me.  Once they were trapped- in their own home!- to take to the Humane Society for a potential adopter to look at... but it took about three days to trap Ace after Sissy had been.   Ace would be even harder to trap now.  I think the two of us can manage to get them without traps. 

This is so alien to how I usually think, but this is so far from a normal situation.  Once I have hold of a cat, I must not let go, even if I'm scratched or bitten.  Override those automatic reflexes if that happens.  About four doctors and a physical therapist have told me I have a high threshold for pain.  That isn't really true, I just try to control my actions better, lol.   The sooner they are in the carriers and can be brought to my- their- new house the better.

What practically everyone else said is what I have to do.  Sooner rather than later.  Pull the Band-Aid off fast and get it over with. 

Anybody who reads this between now and Wednesday, please offer prayers, positive thoughts, white light, blessings, calming thoughts,  whatever you can, to these two terrorized cats and to Mike and me who want them to begin a new life of again being loved.
Les

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Posts: 282
 #8 
I would suggest getting some composure for cats. it seems to be stronger than Bachs, and you can double and triple the dose with no side effects. Amazon can overnight it. 

Bring along some cat treats, catnip etc. Also bring along some towels, that you can roll them up in. 

I'll be thinking about you. 
Snowystree

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Posts: 35
 #9 
These two may not know it yet but they really need you. Make sure once you have them that there are no escape opportunities as cats are very good at escaping and hiding. I'm sure you know this anyway, but they can still surprise me just how good they are at it. The worst will be over when you get them home even if they remain traumatised for a while, which they probably will. I think it's wonderful what you're doing, all the very best of luck and look forward to updates! 
brenrae

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 #10 
Maybe if you brought some of the things, whatever would be easy to add to your home, then it may soften the blow a bit. Just having something familiar, and giving them extra love may help them adjust easier. 
soothspader

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Posts: 233
 #11 
You certainly not only have my prayers that everything goes well, but also my deepest admiration for all you are doing for Ace and Sissy, who although they may not know it yet are two of the luckiest cats around because you found them and are willing to go through all this on their behalf.  May you all enjoy many many happy years together!  
goofygirlinva

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Posts: 1,082
 #12 
Wow, this is going to be a challenge for you, but I am confident you will be able to make it work. After all, they haven't bitten or scratched you yet, and they've had plenty of opportunity to do so. It shows they are scared but they trust you.

I agree with Brenda - try to bring some of their things from their current home to your place so they will have something familiar with them in their new home.

It is so sad that they have become so reclusive. Hopefully that will change once they've adjusted to their new home. Regardless, I'll be thinking of you this week and hope you're able to get them in carriers and to their new home without too much trauma...

Best of luck to you!
- Kelly
Blackie's mom
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #13 
Thank you for all your replies; this could well go more easily than I expect-hopefully.

I will bring all the cats' toys home, also their most familiar food dishes and their litter box.  They don't seem to have many toys, though.  Towels from their home, having the smell of their house, will be used to cushion the inside of the carriers... and may be used to help get them into the carriers.  Great reminder; occasionally I've wrapped a kitty in a towel for pilling.

Julian slept on one corner of the rug in the guest room, so I'll put one of those towels over it. 

Composure for cats, unfortunately, seems to be only orally administrated.  They've been far too skittish to take a chewable treat, dosing them with liquid would involve keeping them still long enough to get their mouths open and squirt the liquid in.  Thing is, if they're that immobilized, they may as well go straight into a carrier, or so I'm thinking this morning.  Something that can be applied topically, like Bach Rescue Remedy, is feasible, but not prying their little jaws open.  Some one called them "indoor ferals", only half-jokingly, to give you an idea of how they are acting.  I'll call Petco, maybe the veterinary, and swing by a pet store near the house.

Again, though, I'm the only person who has been able to pet them in 7 months, and I just see them as really scared.

Today is my usual volunteer book mending at the city library.  I may ask a librarian to do some quick research for me; they are so good at that, and after doing this volunteer job for about 18 years (probably more, I lost track exactly when I started) I am still getting thanks and praise  practically every week, and extra little favors on the side.



AmandaWI

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Posts: 1,415
 #14 
I wanted to respond to this post and forgot.  Anyway, I agree and would have suggested bringing familiar scents via items from their prior home to your home.  Also, I know you are picking them up Wednesday, but could you drop some things off there today that have your scent to leave with them until Wednesday?  That will give them a longer time to familiarize with your scent as well.  Now I must add that I know nothing about kitties, my babies were dogs but I am sure the scent/familiar items can only be helpful in the transition.  I also agree with having the librarians help you with research, that's a great resource!  I'm sure you know this but if you should happen to get bitten or scratched, please see a doctor asap.  I very recently heard through some form of media that so many people get violently ill because they think that a small cat bite or scratch is nothing but they are very infectious and you can avoid much added illness and expense if you get attention immediately.  I am so happy for you, Ace and Sissy!  I will add that you may want to be careful if Murphy decides to visit after they arrive, I'd hate for them to harm each other.  I look forward to more updates!  Best of luck.

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
AmandaWI

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Posts: 1,415
 #15 
One more thing regarding what Les posted.  Again, not knowing much......if you got them loopy enough on catnip, would that make handling them easier??????  If so, that sounds like a potentially great solution.

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
brenrae

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Posts: 4,645
 #16 
You will be in my thoughts and prayers, as will the two cats. I pray they adapt quickly to their new home,and all goes smoothly with the move.
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #17 
Amanda, I left one of my tops that had been worn for parts of three (sedentary) days on my second visit on Friday.  It now looks a little more flattened, but I didn't see any cat hairs on it.  It's next to the bed that they so often hide under.  I'm not sure that they react to catnip, though saw a new-looking "50 lb. sack" toy atop the bed.

Cat bites can become serious, being punctures.  I've always just washed with soap and water, then applied Neosporin or some antibiotic immediately.  Once one of Houston's bites made my finger swell, but 2-3 soakings in Epsom Salts solution, as a doctor suggested, resolved it quickly.  Our veterinary once got such a bad infection from a cat bite, which he said felt serious even as it happened, that he ended up wearing a bag of antibiotic solution which went in intravenously.  Cat scratches bleed more and can raise a welt in minutes, again washing and antibiotic salve have always prevented any problem.  I'll take that little tube with me tomorrow... and maybe a few Band-Aids, too. ;) 

This morning I've been watching cat rescues on youtube.  Invariably, when a cat is grasped by the nape of its neck, it goes pretty much still.  That's how the mother cat picks up kittens, and the reflex lasts through life.  An adult cat is too heavy to actually lift by the nape, but once they're still it's easy enough to slip a supporting hand underneath.  In fact the usual way the vet got Julian out of the carrier was to gently pull by the nape, with a hand beneath the belly.  Julian never made a sound then- though had plenty to say, loudly and profanely, through the rest of every appointment.  The rescuers sometimes wear only short-sleeved tops, though always have gloves on- look like leather ones.

I plan to call the Humane Society when they're open in a few hours to see if I can get a few more tips.  For all that I'm trying to prepare for this, as a lady at the library pointed out yesterday, it *could* go "as smooth as silk."  In honesty most of the things I've ever worked myself into a frazzle worrying about have never happened; what I imagine is practically always worse than reality.   Cats are astute at picking up human emotions; I'll be quietly resolute as possible, so they know that this is going to happen, just like how cats quickly learn that struggling at the vet isn't going to really work either.

Once they're here, they are going into the guest room, the door will be kept closed, it will be the kitty suite with tall cat scratching tree so they can look out the window, a bed to hide under, litter box as far away from food and water bowls as possible, and their cat toys on the floor.  They'll hear me doing things in and out of the house, the usual neighborhood sounds, get information from whatever they scent. 







SharG

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Posts: 533
 #18 
Hi Karen, glad to see you won't be kitty free much longer. I was just reading "The Cat Whisperer" that I got from Amazon to see if there were any suggestions but most of what you are planning seems right.

Have you also considered pheromone sprays? I know this is usually used for introducing a new cat to another cat but if I read carefully, she seems to say that pheromones are naturally calming anyway. Just a thought.

Did Murphy pay an Easter visit? Write about Ace and Sissy when you have them home. Oh, belated Happy Easter to you and Julian!

Sharon
InMemoryOfRascal

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Posts: 2,422
 #19 
Karen, I don't always get time to stop in but heard about this exciting news!  Congrats to you, Ace & Sissy.

My view point - move them sooner than later.  Once the hard part of catching them is complete, put them in a room that they can stay in at your house with the doors closed to get used to.  Make sure there are places in there that they can hide, go under, climb up, etc...to help them feel like they have a choice.  A huge empty room is scary.

I would spend as much time as possible in there - even simply sitting there reading a book (ignoring them) so that they get used to "you".  Talk to them so that they learn your voice.  That combined with you feeding them, etc....will calm them down quickly.  The important thing to remember is that they have known love so that is in them which will make it easier.  You have already gained their interest - they let YOU pet them!  Although it could take a month or so, it could take only a week for them to settle down.  I think they will settle in quickly because I am pretty sure that deep down they are afraid and lonely - and all will improve with you.

Bless you for taking these two into your home.  Very excited for the three of you.

InMemoryOfRascal
Nicole
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #20 
Sharon, I hadn't even thought of pheromone sprays.  I could go by a pet store today and see if any are there, spray in each room, pet kitties, wait a few minutes, then do a hopefully quick "kitty grab."  Spraying something in the air or on them really looks like the only choice; trying to still them enough to administer something orally sounds like a way for blood to be spilled- mine.f

Murphy hasn't been here since April 13.  He hasn't come here regularly, and maybe his humans are keeping extra close tab on him now. 

Nicole, moving day is tomorrow, the guest room is being prepared for them; they will be there with food, water, their own toys, litter box and a tall cat scratching tree to see out the window.  About the only place for them to hide is under the double bed, the spread reaches almost to the floor.  They can get up onto the tree ( 6 1/2" tall), the dresser or book shelves over the bed; they'd be visible there, but they need to adjust to a more normal life.They will be in that room exclusively until they calm down, however long that takes.  I'll visit them a lot, and also leave them alone to calm down.  I've considered lying on the bed reading, to be in the room but not directly interacting with them. 

They are definitely very afraid now, having spent the last 7 months hiding from everyone, which means they've sort of built up a new habit.  Once they're here, time will again be on their side.  Thank  you for your good wishes.  It will be so good to have kitties again.
InMemoryOfRascal

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Posts: 2,422
 #21 
Karen, one other thought (which may not be possible since they have been alone in that house for so long)...but IF there was anything of their former owners that had not been washed (clothes, bedspread, etc...) if they would give that to you it may help the two adjust.

When my mom passed and I brought her three to my house, my downstairs looked like my mom's!  LOL  I had her loveseat cover over my loveseat (didnt match the decor but so what), her bedspread from her bed was spread across a chair.  All of their cat trees, toys, etc came with them.  There was so much "familar" for them that I know it helped them adjust.  Of course they knew me but still, my mom's things I know brought them comfort.

Good luck!!
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #22 
Will be heading up to the kids in about 45 minutes.  The take-along bag has antibiotic ointment and band-aids (just in case), gardening gloves, a pouch of Temptations, a small can of Fancy Feast fish, Bach Rescue Remedy and Feliway spray.  Managed to tip over the little bottle of Bach, so gave myself quite a dose.  It actually works, but I don't see how it can.  I've not used Feliway before so learned only today that its active ingredient is an analogue of the pheromones in the scent glands of cat faces that they use to rub up against things to mark them as their own.

The Feliway will be sprayed in the carriers, and also into the room at large.  Possibly one or both could be tempted into the carriers (with towels put over them so they look more like a hiding place) by snacks.  I'm willing to give it about an hour, then will go to a more active method.  Subject to change after talking to Mike who's had years more observation of them than I have.    I met them exactly one week ago today.

A woman at the humane society told me that not all cats go still when grasped by the nape of the neck.  Maybe she was trying to caution me, but I was relying on that and dismayed to learn it's not infallible.  That's how the veterinary gets cats out of the carrier, it worked in every cat rescue video I've watched on youtube, it's how the male steadies the female during mating, a multiple cat guardian I know always lifts hers that way to put them into carriers. 

Since no month has more than 31 days, more than one event is bound to fall on the same date in someone's life.  Yesterday I realized that September 23 was the day of Julian's big surgery, which was meant to be a cure.  Today is April 23 and I plan to bring these two frightened cats home.   This time the 23rd will be the start of a new chapter and not the beginning of a final chapter.

Nicole, I think I could bring home a throw from one of the living room chairs.  Looks like nothing's been washed in that house except cat dishes for awhile.  The towels to line the carriers will also be from there, plus their few toys.  Maybe Mike can point out a pillow or something that he's seen them lie on, too.
goofygirlinva

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Posts: 1,082
 #23 
Good luck - I'll be thinking of you & Ace & Sissy!

- Kelly
Blackie's mom
brenrae

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 #24 
Good luck with your new babies, and bless you for giving these two frightened babies a new chance at life. I know they will be loved and well cared for by you. My prayers and thougths are with you.
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #25 
THEY'RE HERE!!!!  I am so excited, couldn't help yelling.

A wrong door had again been opened despite the large sign Mike put on it.  Both were in there and not the bedroom which would have been so much easier. Per the instructions on the Feliway and Bach I bought today, I sprayed Feliway inside the carriers, also in the air over where the two were hiding. Mike and I doused ourselves with Bach; I still don't see how it can work, but it does. Can't say it helped a lot, but probably it did.  My worrying was not in vain; it was as hard as I'd expected.  Mike said he'd thought it would be even worse. We ended up emptying about a third of the room to get to the cats.   Ace got past both of us, but the door was closed, he couldn't get out.  Eventually after an hour 10 minutes we trapped him so he had nowhere else to go except into the carrier.  I got scratched once; the top of the glove is only cloth.

We adjourned to the patio to talk things over; my "lunch" was a can of sugar soda- better than nothing. We congratulated ourselves that we were halfway done.  Sissy took about 10 minutes to get into a carrier; she'd watched it happen with Ace and knew what was coming.    Then we gathered up their few belongings, a pillow and a few blankets that had cat hair on them.  Mike followed me home (Murphy's Law said the only time my elderly car would break down this year was when I had two frightened kitties in the back seat), the trip was uneventful.  Neither made a single sound.  I made sure their carriers were facing so they could see each other.

I set up the room first,  laying "their" blanket, towels and pillow atop the bed, then brought them in and opened the carrier doors and closed the door to the room.  They were both still and silent in the carriers.  Brought back bowls of food and water.  Both were under the bed by then, pressed against the wall and each other.

Mike and I walked to Scotty's Market.  He bought the priciest bottle of chilled champagne, we came home and celebrated to the beginning of their new lives.  I'd have chosen a much cheaper one, I like them all, it's a happy drink,  but he insisted on paying and chose that one.  We kept hugging each other: he is so elated that I came into the kitties' lives, I'm so happy to have kitties again.  If I'd ever had a son, I'd want him to be just like Mike is, he is incredibly mature emotionally and a very thoughtful, caring and downright *nice* person.  And quite cute, too, superficial me can't resist saying that. ;)

I'm so happy, kitties are here again!!!

Two hours later, they're still under the bed as anticipated,  I've been in three times and have been able to pet Sissy's darling little rump.  I'll visit them a few more times tonight.  The door is closed, they need time now.  This is a much more normal life for them already: there is a human in the house who interacts with them again after 7 months of nothing except people coming in to feed them every other day.  They can hear me doing things, pick up information from whatever their acute little noses can smell. 

But it was infinitely better for them during that time that they were at least in familiar surroundings, not in cages, and had each other. 

Now is a time of waiting, for them to calm down, to begin interacting with me, to realize this is their forever home.  It could take weeks, but they are here where they are safe and loved now.

Thank you all for your help.

Love,

Happy Karen



goofygirlinva

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Posts: 1,082
 #26 
Yeay!!!! I must confess I stayed up past my bedtime in hopes of reading something from you. :-) I'm so glad you were able to get Ace & Sissy & bring them home with you. You are right - at least they had each other during those 7 months. They still have each other and now they have YOU. They can't even begin to imagine how lucky & blessed they are to have you caring for them. 

I look forward to reading many more posts from you about your new life with your two new kitties!

Happy Kelly :-)
(Blackie's mom)
eternalblue29

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #27 
I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but Feliway can help immensely. I used it during two big moves for my Bubba -- it seems to ease their stress a lot. Congratulations on your new furry friends, I lost my Bubba last week. Part of me so wants to have another kitty but I am trying to give myself more time to heal. Very happy for you, I hope they bring you much joy as you take care of them and watch them grow and play and do what kitties do best. :)
Snowystree

Registered:
Posts: 35
 #28 
This is wonderful and will bring a lot of smiles and happiness to the board! I know it has done here. 
AmandaWI

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Posts: 1,415
 #29 
Congratulations!  I am so very happy for all of you.  Please continue to update with the smallest details, it is such happy news to look forward to. 

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #30 
Kelly, I was honestly touched that you stayed up late in hopes of hearing how yesterday went. Ace was so hard to get that I wondered at one point if they'd have to be trapped again, but I didn't say that, Mike's resolution kept on when mine flagged, and we got it done!! This morning I woke and thought to myself, "Kitties in the house again, yay!", and that today begins their first full day here.

eternalblue29, I am so sorry for the loss of your Bubba only last week; the first days and weeks hurt so much.  Yesterday morning I bought Feliway (pricey stuff I discovered).  I sprayed it inside the carriers, and in the air above the kids' hiding places,  and also sprayed some in the back seat of the car before loading them in for the ride home.  It must have worked: neither made a sound all the way home.

Snowystree, yes, this new adoption is happy news on this board, to see a new beginning.

Last night I pet kitties under the bed a few more times.  One of those times must have been Ace: I got scratched again. During the night I heard a "strange" sound: it was somebody flamboyantly using the litter box.  This morning they were both under the bed, but at opposite ends, so I was able to pet Sissy this morning.  I think that she is already feeling a little more secure since she was barely even under the bed at all; Ace is still centered under the bed and against the wall.  

I split a 3 oz. can of Fancy Feast for the breakfast and there is always dry food and water available.  Will see how much they eat during the day, which they were too upset to do last night.

Will keep you posted.
AllyCat

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #31 
Congratulations on your two new family members, I can't wait to hear how they progress.  What a thrilling time for you, and for the kitties.  It sounds like progress is already being made, yay!
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #32 
Their second day here has begun, and by 7 am there was good news:

During the night the kids (I hope it was both of them) ate everything I put down for dinner: a 3 oz. can of Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers fish, and 21 salmon Temptations!  That's a half day maintenance amount for one cat, but now they are eating again.  There is always dry food and water available, so far I don't see a lot of either disappearing.  Eating is important,  I do want them to keep their prosperous shapes and was quietly fretting about them not eating at first.

Sissy is now reaching her head forward to sniff my fingers, instead of sitting rigidly still like she's done until this morning, and her expression looks calmer to me.

The second time I went into the room, Ace had joined Sissy at the foot of the bed, still under it, but in easy reach.  I pet his rump a few times and stopped when the growling gave way to a spit.  I told him he might be getting into a little habit of growling when I touch him (which is a transitional state).  But he didn't move away when I touched him, though he could have.  Sissy stayed right by him, I pet her again.

Obviously I won't be writing every day, this thread isn't meant to be a never-ending saga, but I wanted to let you know that progress is being made.
Lyronica

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Posts: 23
 #33 
I would love a never-ending saga! It is so lovely to hear about two cats getting a new loving home and settling in.
electric_monk

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Posts: 82
 #34 
I am so happy that you have the new kitties. Please keep us updated, I think we could use the good news.

Dan
AmandaWI

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Posts: 1,415
 #35 

Thanks so much for the updates!  I personally would love for continued updates, it gives me something to look forward to.  Sounds like amazing progress in two days.  So happy for all of you. 

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom

InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,422
 #36 
So excited.  I am thinking that they are doing great so far!  The fact that Ace doesn't move away already says that he isn't feral or aggressive...and he has improved quite a lot in 24 hrs.  You guys will be so great together.  So very excited for the three of you! 

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #37 
I am glad to hear they are doing well. I know that with patience and love, they will come out of their shell. I know you have plenty of both. Congrats on your new family members. Please keep us updated.
Eddysmom1

Registered:
Posts: 2,528
 #38 
Hi Happy Karen,

This is Happy Linda..........happy that you now have Ace and Sissy!  Congratulations!  (I know I'm late on this thread, but we've been chatting, too, so I do know some of what's going on :) ).  

You have done such a great thing for these two beauties.  They've been through so much, and become so reclusive because of it.  There is no one better or more loving and experienced than you to bring these two out of their shells.   

I loved going through this thread.  So many good ideas and well wishes from everyone.  But, the thing that makes me smile the most is the way I can feel your excitement and happiness.   You have been through so much, and Ace and Sissy have, too.   You are all going to feel better together and be a happy threesome. 

You weren't meant to be in a home without kitties.  I've known that since I met you.  Ace and Sissy weren't meant to be alone in that house for so long.  Now the three of you have been brought together and I can't wait to see how this forever love story evolves.  And, I am lucky, because you are my good friend and I get to hear all about it!  Yaaaay!

Congratulations Karen, Ace, and Sissy!!!!!

Love,
Lin
goofygirlinva

Registered:
Posts: 1,082
 #39 
Count me in for hoping for regular updates! :-)

- Kelly
Blackie's mom
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #40 
My goodness, I cannot believe, still after all these years I don't take it for granted, how many wonderful people are on this message board.  I've been online now for at least 13 years and am still so grateful for being able this way to meet really wonderful people like you all whom I'd never otherwise have encountered in physical life.  Thank you all so much!!

It's now 4:14pm Saturday afternoon: Ace and Sissy arrived here 3 days ago, at 4:19pm to be precise.

This third day began, sigh, upsettingly for me.  During the night the kids had eaten at least dry food, but the canned food offering wasn't a success.  I've begun keeping a "No" list, since no one knows what their mommy fed them.  

I made a breakfast offering of canned food and was pleased to see somebody ate some of it right away, so added more, and that was at least licked at, too.

The good news is that Ace is now always at the foot of the bed, not hiding as far as possible from me with his back literally to the wall at the head of the bed.  He started out 5 feet away from me, now he's no more than a foot away. The bad news is that he scratched my hand while I was petting his *sister*.  As soon as I lift the bedspread he starts growling.  He doesn't move away, he's apparently a "stand your ground" guy already (not that he has a gun, but he has very sharp claws).  I actually haven't touched him today, I just look at  him, slowly blinking my eyes which is supposed to signal contentment or relaxation to cats, and talk softly.  Staring eye to eye can be threatening, so I won't do that, even though he has the most beautiful huge eyes. Poor guy is so scared.

His growling upsets Sissy, so sometimes she moves away when I pet her.  It is out of the question to separate them, I'm not sure how to calm him... actually, I'm hoping for time to work its magic, and possibly the spirits of my Julian cat and their human mommy will help.  

I really know better than to get so upset by this fourth scratch he's given me.  Just like after surgery, recovery is not a straight line process, and they are very definitely recovering emotionally from the last 7 months of their lives, plus moving them here Wednesday afternoon.  There will be up days and down days, it's the overall trend that really matters.  And I knew when I brought them home that this wouldn't be a three day wonder.

The litter box with its clumping litter has both liquid and solids in it, which is a good sign.  I'm surprised they are peeing to make such big clumps, although my vet says that there is enough water in canned food for cats to actually survive on that alone for a few weeks.  Canned food is over 90% water by weight.   I don't mean to sound indelicate, my apologies if this is more detail than anyone wanted, but this is a way to monitor their health.  If they stop eating and drinking, on top of being emotionally traumatized, things could go south fast.

And then this afternoon, I was able to rub under Sissy's chin for the first time!  She was so cute, she stretched her head forward, pressed down on my finger, rubbed herself against my fingernail and blinked her eyes.  She likes that.  Ace looked at me with somewhat widened eyes, and didn't say a thing, he could see that she enjoyed it.

They are actually both doing better today, and it's a positive thing that I can see the improvement so quickly.  

I can give them weeks of patience if they need it.  Had I died first, Julian would have been in their situation, but all alone and 12 years old.  So as hard as it's been to have lost him, I'm glad that he went first and knew love right up to the last hour of his life.

Any tips or ideas would be much appreciated.

The kids are settling in, anything that will help them would be a wonderful contribution from the people on this board.

Karen


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