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 > Homeless Cat -- Now Spotacus' Legacy

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Wanderlost

Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 07/30/21 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]

Meet Harley. Yep. Was in PetSmart picking up some cat food for Nephew's cat, and there she was in the adoption cages. Came to a screeching halt in front of her cage, because she looks so much like a cat we had for 20 years. Frightened, but still responded to me and no one else. One of only two adult cats in there, and the oldest at four years.

Seems she had lived her whole life in a small home with one person, then "person" gave her up, claiming she was moving and couldn't take Harley along. The shelter folks didn't buy the story; it must have been pretty poor. At least "person" did tell them the cat's name is Harley.

So even though our luck with female cats isn’t the best, I wasn’t about to leave her in that cacophony. She called me nasty names when I reached in to pick her up, fought like mad to not get stuffed into the carrier, then really called me names out to the pickup. Quiet on the ride home, called me names as I carried her into the house, then totally quiet until yesterday, when she started meeping at us. Holding off on taking her to our vet for a chip until she’s more comfortable with being here, but before we head out on an RV trip in a couple weeks. Clearly, she never went anywhere except to the vet, then being tossed out, so carriers are baaaad.

Spousal Unit slept in that bedroom last night. Harley slept on the bed with him, and each time he woke up, gave him some serious head bumps. She's coming along nicely in getting used to new people.

Czarny has been vaguely aware that she's in the house, but hasn't seen her until just a few minutes ago. We let them both growl and hiss at each other for a few minutes, then took Czarny out of the room. We'll keep doing this several times a day until they both calm down. Appears neither is an alpha cat and we don't want either to become one.

We have the big cage already in the RV, so if Harley feels safer in it, she can ride there. Czarny prefers under the bedcovers. No idea how either will react to almost a week in the RV, but we're not about to slap either one in a kennel. Last thing Harley needs is to come home with us, then back into a kennel three weeks later. Nope, we'll just deal with both cats in the RV and possibly still in the get acquainted phase.

Life around here is pretty spicy right now.


"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Czarny, black cat
Harley, blacker cat

magnusfide

On the Road Again and Again and Again...

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Posted: 07/30/21 07:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for adopting Harley. I'm sure that she will appreciate it too. Herself and I struggle every time we go into a pet store with animals up for adoption. We want to take them all home with us and can't.

Hoping that the weather has improved for you. It's humid and hot here.


"The only time you should fear cast iron is if your wife is fixin' to hit you with it."-Kent Rollins
First law of science: don't spit into the wind.
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen.
Magnus



Wanderlost

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Posted: 08/06/21 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harley really likes Spousal Unit; me, not so much. Well, I did shove her into a carrier and haul her for miles and miles, so I expect a bit of a grudge. I'm fine for a few minutes of petting, then she's done with me.

Unfortunately, Czarny seems to be jealous of her being here. He went from curious to jumping her yesterday. Fortunately, Harley defends herself just fine.

It did indicate it's way too soon for them to share an RV. After much deliberation, we decided to put Czarny in our vet's kennel and take Harley, so she will not feel abandoned yet again, and to become used to traveling. It's only a five-day trip, one day's drive up, four nights stationary, then a one day drive home. Without Czarny in the mix, she just might get more comfortable with her new humans and realize she's home for keeps.

Not happy about having to board Czarny, but he won't feel abandoned like she would. We'll send his favorite binkie, since we can't send his favorite napping spots (the top of both cat towers) and his favorite toys. He'll be ticked when we retrieve him, but he'll adjust to being home quickly. Then we'll go back into the getting cats acquainted business.

We bought a TempStick to monitor the RV while we're out and about. Temps aren't supposed to be terribly high where we're going, but we don't want to take any chances.

Day before yesterday, Spousal Unit brought the carrier into her bedroom. She immediately went into hiding. Next morning, SU woke up and saw her in the carrier. As soon as she noticed him watching, she jumped out. Keeping it nearby will likely help get her used to it. She has to visit the vet next week to be chipped before we go anywhere; I am not looking forward to that. Can you say Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds? Yep, that's her...

Haven't seen Leoghaire in more than a week, but her last living progeny and her baby are coming up every day for some carrots.

Ripped out the dead rosemary beside the house and planted Copper Canyon Daisy in its place. The deer won't eat it and the butterflies and bees will love it. Fairly easy to care for, too. Copper Canyon Daisy care

We're hoping the rosemary shrubs out by where the flag pole used to be will come back. The bottom stems are still alive, so some serious pruning is ongoing, then we'll see. Meanwhile, we're still researching affordable flag poles that won't bend and break when the wind gets up.

Time to repair some stuff. Later, y'all.

magnusfide

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Posted: 08/06/21 08:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good luck on the trip. If we were gone for only a week, we'd let the cats stay home with an extra litter box and a full 3 gallon feeder plus a 3 gallon watering dispenser. They liked it just fine and did not destroy anything while we were gone.

There were some mysterious charges for sardine pizzas on the credit card that we left at home however.[emoticon]

* This post was edited 08/06/21 08:37pm by magnusfide *

Wanderlost

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Posted: 08/21/21 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harley was not particularly happy on the ride up, but she adjusted to RV life nicely. She was very happy to be with her human (and me) without being locked in a bedroom. She had the run of the entire RV at will. The ride home, she was pretty quiet, just chatting with Spousal Unit occasionally. Then she spent the night and most of the next day running freely throughout the house, until I had to bring Czarny home.

It was Czarny's first time in boarding, and the vet techs said he just hid under his binkie and stayed nervous the whole time. So when we got home, I let him out of the carrier outside. He shot out, ran about 10 feet, turned and called me names, then ran into the trees to his favorite potty stop. That night, he kept waking me up, wanting to be in direct contact. Took him about three days to stop clinging.

Harley and Czarny have met several times now and it did not go well. We've put Feliway all around the house so the aggression can lessen, hopefully. The anti-stress "treats" I've researched are so expensive, and so many cats refuse to eat them, that I don't want to spend the money and find out neither will eat them. I'm wondering if a little CBD oil on the fur for them to lick off might help.

We were stunned to realize yesterday that Harley was declawed on her front paws, leaving only her dew claws. Now we really, really despise her previous owner. I understand now why she hates having her paws touched. I'm sure she's in pain from those amputations -- wonder if there's something out there that will help ease that pain.

At the moment, Czarny is on his tower and Harley is on top of Spousal Unit's chest of drawers, curled up on a bunch of tee shirts. We monitor them during the day, and sleep in separate bedrooms with our respective cats. As they become used to seeing each other, we hope the aggression will lessen. Last thing Harley needs is to be attacked by a clawed cat.

It also means when she's finally adjusted to living with us and Czarny, we'll have to teach her to wear a harness, for her safety. Her fight or flight (mostly flight) reaction is so touchy that if someone accidentally leaves a door open and she gets startled, she could be out the door before she realizes it. That could be disastrous.

Nothing like some excitement around the old home place, eh?

Stephany

Brier, WA (just north of Seattle)

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Posted: 08/21/21 06:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CBD oil will help with Czarny's anxiety and Harley's sore paws!

Human CBD oil is fine for cats as long as it does not have any alcohol, butane, or essential oils or flavoring in it, and it is made from hemp or cannabis grown without any pesticides, for ingestion. Start with a drop and titer up every 15 minutes to find the best dose for each cat. Or you can slowly increase the dose each day until you see results.

I put a drop on my finger and rub it on their gums so that it absorbs into the bloodstream. You can also put it on a treat or in their food, but it won't act as fast or as effectively, going through the digestive system.

I prefer to use CBD oil from cannabis for a broader spectrum of cannabinoids, but it sounds like pot isn't legal in Texas yet, so you will probably need to use hemp CBD. The good news is that hemp CBD is legally available throughout the US and you can even buy it on Amazon! One of my favorite online CBD oils is Nuleaf. My son takes it for ADD and my husband takes it for arthritis.

I hope this helps.

Stephany


Stephany & Wally Schneider + 2 almost grown kids, a bouncing baby beagle and a camping cat
2003 Sunnybrook 2850SL
2002 GMC 2500HD Duramax crew cab short bed

Stephany

Brier, WA (just north of Seattle)

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Posted: 08/21/21 06:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh - one other thing:

Jackson Galaxy (My Cat from Hell host on Animal Planet) has some great tips on successfully introducing cats. Here is one of his videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsYT7yIOdqQ&ab_channel=JacksonGalaxy

Stephany

magnusfide

On the Road Again and Again and Again...

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Posted: 08/22/21 03:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wanderlost wrote:



Nothing like some excitement around the old home place, eh?


Knowing what good cat parents you are, I am confident you will solve their challenges nicely. Thank you for taking Harley in.

Wanderlost

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Posted: 09/01/21 12:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were happy to learn we're wrong. Harley does have front claws; they're just kitten sized.

So a month into Harley living here, and she's taken up residence in the master bedroom and on the window sill at the top of our shower. She's showing interest in the outside door we go in and out of to get into the bedroom, as we've placed a screen on the door into the great room, so she can see/hear us and Czarny, but not actually have him jump her. We're being very careful to not let her dash out the outside door. Czarny's starting to get interested/curious, and will occasionally sit at the screen and talk to her. She goes to the middle of the bed and watches him, sometimes hissing back and sometimes just watching him.

Harley is also learning to play. She likes the wand (not the dangly string on the end, just the wand) and lightweight balls she can fling into the air and catch. Have to change the batteries on the red dot lasers, then we'll see how she likes the red dot. If she likes it, we will start using Jackson Galaxy's plan to distract them both with playtime in the same room. But that will have to come later, when she decides to be curious about the great room again. Until then, she and Spousal Unit sleep in the master (on the new mattress), and Czarny and I are in the spare bedroom. We're switching out bed blankets, so each cat can smell but not encounter the other.

Most interesting way of introducing cats I've ever used. Slowest, too. But we'll get there, eventually, as Czarny learns that Harley prefers SU over me, and as Harley learns that being with SU means Czarny will ignore her.

Patience, Wanderlost, patience...

Meanwhile, on the wildlife front, we've seen no sign of Leoghaire. I'm guessing her life span ran out. We only occasionally see her last living fawn/doe and her 2021 fawn. The six bucks are still around, but they never come up to the house.

A roadrunner makes a daily stop on the deck, where it climbs up on all the furniture, stares into the windows, annoys the hummingbirds, then leaves. We have raccoon scat on the deck every few days, but they can't reach the hummer feeder, so they don't hang around.

Cantaloupes failed again. SU refuses to spray, so the bugs ate them before they got bigger than a baseball. No tomatoes yet. Probably time to harvest the sweet potatoes (if there are any).

Someday, we might figure out gardening in this climate. Sigh.

Czarny wants me to go for a walk. Later, y'all.

magnusfide

On the Road Again and Again and Again...

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Posted: 09/01/21 10:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry to hear about Leoghaire. Sad when she has become such a fixture in your thread.

I see you're using the incremental approach to cat introductions. Those take time but they're worth it. Czarny just wants her to know he's the alpha of alphas. He's trying to impress the girl. It's a guy thing.[emoticon]

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