Thursday, April 3, 2008

Foster kitty news

We've had a decent week here in our foster home. Sweet little Salvador got adopted by a very loving young woman. He had been so very sick and thin that I had her wait a couple of weeks while he was recovering. We had to switch his antibiotics to fight the infection. I also had to treat him for ear mites a couple of times. He was under four pounds at over six months old, and I am proud to say that he gained over a pound under our care! His new mom reports that he has stayed healthy, and she is absolutely in love with him!

Ansel, our black and white kitty, was very shy and skittish. He was especially afraid of hands, and he would flinch and cringe if we went to pet him near his head. One day, about a week ago, I was hanging out with him, and something just "clicked". I can't even describe it, but it was like he had some kind of epiphany. The trust barrier was broken in one instant, and he became a purring ball of love who wouldn't leave my side after that! He flirted, rubbed against us, threw himself on the floor and showed his belly until we rubbed his belly, and velcroed himself to my side at bedtime. He was a new cat!

Ansel is currently at the adoption center, waiting for someone to notice how wonderful he is. I visited him last night, and he was so happy to see me that he leapt into my arms when I opened the door to his enclosure. He then snuggled with me and flirted with the volunteer that was on duty! When he threw himself at her feet and looked up at her, I said, "He is asking you to rub his belly!" She replied, "Really? Cats don't normally do that!" So she gave him what he wanted, and he responded by being totally in love with her.

There was another cat, Onyx, out of an enclosure and getting exercise at the same time. Ansel was very polite and walked up to Onyx, rubbing against him and occasionally giving Onyx a gentle, friendly lick on the forehead. Onyx was pleased to have a nice friend, as was Ansel! They played together a little bit, but Ansel was mostly busy getting snuggles from his human friends.

Little Ianto got neutered on Sunday. He continues to have bad mood swings, but he's improving. He's attached to me and follows me everywhere, even to the bathroom. He wouldn't leave when I was taking a bath earlier, just curled up next to the tub and waited for me to finish. He's a sweet baby most of the time, now that he knows we are going to feed him and not abandon him. He is kind of growly when there is food around, though.

Poor Clarence is still afraid. The people who'd adopted him and returned him undid a lot of the trust I'd built with him. It was like they didn't touch him at ALL. He has certain "safe spots" where, if he's curled up in them, he will be just fine with me petting him. He is scared, though, if he's approached when he's walking around the house. We're working on it, poor baby. I can now scoop him up and hold him on my lap while I read, and he purrs the whole time instead of acting like I'm going to eat him.

Owl's not improved at all. All of the work I did just vanished after his adoption and return. Not only did they traumatize him; he also just seems to have some developmental delay issues. Not sure what's going to happen with him as he gets older, but I'm going to have to just ramp up my approach with him.

We have a new foster, Graycie. She was caught as a stray by a lady who brought her in to an adoption clinic. Brian and I were there to bring Ansel in, so it was kind of fortuitous for Graycie. She's six months old, and was being mounted by a male at at the time of her capture. We don't normally just take in cats that people bring us without warning, but the volunteers staffing the clinic were kind of at a loss as to what to do, and were on the phone with the director. We can't just have random untested cats in the center, in case of pathogens, so I told them that if the director was okay with it, we could take her and isolate her at our foster home. The director said that, as long as she wasn't feral, we could take her. I assessed her and determined she was not feral, so we kissed and hugged Ansel goodbye, put him in the enclosure reserved for him, and put little Graycie in the carrier. She's tiny, slate grey, and was really mad at us the first couple of days. She is a lot happier now, and she will be spayed on Sunday as long as her FeLV test is negative.

Yesterday, I visited a fellow foster mom, and I gave her some tips for dealing with a particularly difficult kitty. The first step was to trim kitty's claws, as it's hard to work with a creature that is capable of shredding you! It's the very first thing we do with new ones in this household, because they will tear us up even if they don't mean to. I also loaned her my Feliway plugin for her foster enclosure, and told her that kitty needs to be picked up and held, even if she doesn't want it to happen--she'll get accustomed to it once she realizes that kicking and fighting doesn't work anymore. My last email from the foster mom indicates that things are going pretty well, so that's good :)

So that's the state of things here. I've been putting a lot of effort into my business, my fosters, and my marriage the past couple of weeks, but I do have some blog ideas to write about, so hang tight during this little hiatus :)

1 comment:

Charlynn said...

All the work you do with cats is just amazing. I admire you for everything you do. :)