Itchmo Forums for Cats & Dogs

Pet Behavior => Feral Cats and Dogs => Topic started by: catmom5 on March 05, 2012, 12:18:20 PM



Title: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 05, 2012, 12:18:20 PM
Hello,
I have been feeding and providing shelter for a black cat all winter. He is doing well and looks good. However, in the past several weeks I have also had another black cat (with white on her chest) who is here all the time. She does have a collar on, but clearly either is an outside cat or a stray. She's very spooky, but doesn't go far when I'm around, just into hiding. She's been hanging out in the tall grasses in the backyard these past days so I just put food out where she could see me doing that. She ate like she was starving and looks - um, plump.

I need to get her trapped, for sure. I have done this once before (with a sad result for GC) so I'm nervous again, particularly if there are kittens. I just emailed the HS about handling the vetting/spay/etc when the trapping is so unpredictable.

Any thoughts? ideas? comments? PRAYERS PLEASE?

I will work on getting the other black one after I get this little girl trapped and taken care of. She can stay here as a feral, but I'm sure she had a family at one time. Too many folks around here either let their cats roam or just toss them out and move.

Thanks!
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Meowli on March 05, 2012, 12:25:09 PM
Sending prayers from here,that all goes well with these little ones.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catbird on March 05, 2012, 12:32:49 PM
It just tears at my heart to hear about this poor kitty, who had a family at one time.  Bless you for taking care of these ferals.  I hope you can trap the little lady and ensure a better future for her and her babies.  If she has a collar and had a home at one time, chances are she could live indoors again.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 05, 2012, 01:01:21 PM
Wow, this was me last winter!  A black feral hanging around, never coming near, I built him a shelter and fed him regularly...and then another black cat shows up (only she wasn't entirely black, she's just a VERY dark calico whose only light markings are on her belly).  I could only glimpse her from time to time, she kept her distance for sure.  Turns out, she was pregnant (and probably dumped in the neighborhood very close to term - barely out of kittenhood herself, poor dear), but we never knew that...until the dog found the kittens...

Got both adults s/n, they now live out on my deck in their yellow cat house, with freshly heated Snuggle Safes every cold night.  They are best friends and the female often tries to teach the male to play with toys (she's very good with toys, he acts like he's never seen them before, but he's getting better).  The surviving kitten (the emergency vet tried to save the others, but it was not to be, alas) is now an adolescent living indoors and happy as a clam. 

So now I have two deck ferals and a new indoor cat out of the deal.  The whole process was extremely stressful and worrisome, but now that we're finally sorted out, it's all good!  My little feral girl has finally decided that it's ok if people touch her (just don't let her see it coming - she enjoys being scritched immensely, but she cannot deal with the sight of a hand coming at her) and their house is warm and dry and safe.  And the kitten?  He's everyone's favorite.  And he OWNS the dog that found him.  He LOVES that dog and that dog tolerates all of his loving with dignified grace...





Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 05, 2012, 01:20:48 PM
I just heard back from the HS. They are willing to work with me on timing and can often get the ferals in the same or next day. They also would be willing to have her delivered to the clinic once she's trapped. I am going to buy the trap tomorrow and get her evening meal set up in it (without the trap set) tomorrow so we can get this taken care of. I would love to have her be an indoor kitty, but I can't take another indoor cat right now (between CJ really struggling medically and Cassie and Rascal having cat wars at times). I don't know what I'll do if they do find she's very pg - maybe they will have to spay her and just not tell me. I don't know how I could manage a feral/stray mom and kittens right now.

At any rate, I am so happy to hear of a good result (for most of the kittens and the others). I do have a decent shelter and enough food for everyone. They get wet food at night and kitten kibble out all day. It's not ideal (to me) but manageable.

Thanks for your support and kindness. It's nice to be "understood". I will definitely keep you posted.
Hugs
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 05, 2012, 02:09:56 PM
CM, if she is pregnant, they might be able to find a foster home for her until they can wean the kittens and adopt them out. Many shelters do this. I'm wondering if she's tattooed or has a microchip. She just might be someone's long lost cat -- never know. Awesome to have your own trap. I bought one long ago and it has served me well for both cats and small dogs. Hope everything works out with this girl.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on March 05, 2012, 02:43:42 PM
Catmom, hope everything works out for you and that cat is someone's lost cat. 

My friends's Ukrainian grandma told me before, in order to make trap easier (does not work on dog), you should put a mirror (or any broken mirror, so that the animal can see their image or reflection) at the end of the trap.  I am not too sure if it works ??? ???, as I had never done it before.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: August on March 05, 2012, 03:07:46 PM
I just want to send many good wishes your way.  It's funny how emotionally attached one can get even without really knowing the cat/animal - I know it must be a lot of worry and stress.  I hope things will go smoothly and that we'll be hearing the wonderful continued story soon.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 05, 2012, 04:08:57 PM
So glad that the HS will work with you!  That's a big step.  In the meantime, you might want to post the female on craigslist and whatnot as "found", just in case someone is looking for her.  Hey, you never know...cats can end up in strange places and look like they've been abandoned when they're actually lost and someone misses them.  And be sure that they scan the cats for chips too, just in case.

BTW, I had both my "deck cats" chipped.  I didn't think a collar would be safe and I wanted to be notified if they ended up at the shelter for some reason.  They really don't wander far at all, though...





Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 05, 2012, 04:39:54 PM
Wow, here you go again ! Hoping you can catch her easily & she has a family looking for her.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Mandycat on March 05, 2012, 09:05:29 PM
Bless you! Hope you can catch her and that she will eventually have a good forever home. 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 06, 2012, 10:43:36 AM
Spent some time at the HS this morning, with the director, who was someone I worked closely with when I was a volunteer there in my past life! The trap is set and the arrangements are made for vetting and spaying as soon as I get her. IF it looks like she can be socialized, there likely will be a foster available for her (as well as if she is about ready to give birth IF she is a she and pg). I am cautiously optimistic - but hate the trapping part! It's a warm, sunny spring day here in Michigan so I'm guessing she's off hunting somewhere.
Wish me luck!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: macush on March 06, 2012, 10:59:06 AM
My fingers are crossed!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catbird on March 06, 2012, 12:42:29 PM
Good luck to you all!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on March 06, 2012, 01:20:39 PM
Good luck and keep my fingers and toes crossed!!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: merrihart on March 06, 2012, 01:51:15 PM
Best of luck!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 06, 2012, 04:14:13 PM
Fingers ,toes & paws crossed here !


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 07, 2012, 05:22:03 AM
Thanks, all. I will keep you posted, for sure.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Fizzy1 on March 07, 2012, 10:45:43 AM
Come on, kitty, get in catmom's care.  She's the best ;)  :-*


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: August on March 07, 2012, 06:12:46 PM
Fingers and paws crossed over here, too!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 08, 2012, 05:27:41 PM
NEWS -
I have the little girl (we think) trapped and at the humane society late this afternoon. She will have her spay tomorrow and then I will bring her home for her recuperation. The biggest issue now is that I don't think she is feral. I don't know what her story is - she is not social or comfortable around people - and I don't know if she can be socialized well enough to live inside with someone. I will know more after she's here for the weekend, at least. I plan to borrow (or buy if I must) a large dog crate so she can have some move around room here. She will be isolated in the den (and who knows what kind of situation that might set off with my two who have not been all that friendly with each other at times) but she needs someplace warm and dry and safe to recover and she will have that.

IF anyone is interested in taking in this cat and trying to socialize her, please let me know. Or if you know someone who would do that, I will transport. I'd love for her to not have to go back outside, but I know that I can't do anything long term. This is breaking my heart, but I'm doing what I can for her.

Still need help/support/prayers. And this poor girl still doesn't have a name. She is black with a bit of white on her chest - a very pretty little thing.

Will keep you posted!
Thanks for all of your support.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 08, 2012, 05:34:47 PM
Well, I thought that my girl was feral - she certainly acted like it!  But as she got more comfortable with me, she started to hiss and growl at me (actually a good sign!).  Now, she's a total lovebug!  She's still not ok with being picked up, but she LOVES to be petted and she'll even rub up against the dog.  It took time for her to realize "this is safe, no one here is going to be mean to you".  I wonder what her background is?  She's so young, but she definitely came with history...

Your girl may end up being less anti-social than you think.  A cat who has been mistreated and had to live on her own can certainly seem more feral than she really is.  After all, someone gave my girl toys at some point, she's so good with them...

Best of luck to you both! 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: August on March 08, 2012, 05:40:33 PM
Such great news that she is now warm and safe!

Big hugs and wonderful pats! 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: petslave on March 08, 2012, 06:06:57 PM
I'm so glad to hear you managed to catch her and get her in for her spay and medical check!  I agree with mikken - this kitty may just be extra shy, raised as an indoor & only cat, maybe feral as a little kitten.  My 2 girls are terrified of people they don't know and new situations, but very loving and well-adjusted when their world is "normal".  With time, your little rescue girl will most likely adjust to a new home, but it will probably need to be a quiet one.  I hope you are able to find her one without a lot of upset among your kitties in the meantime. 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catbird on March 08, 2012, 06:40:23 PM
Congratulations on the successful trapping!  It is so good to know that another cat is warm, safe, and fed.

Ya done good, catmom5.  :-*


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 08, 2012, 07:23:03 PM
Ah, yes, but what to do after her recovery period here inside? Back outside? That's the part that breaks my heart. How can I find someone who knows what they are doing and willing to socialize this cat?



Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 08, 2012, 07:37:29 PM
About socializing: call shelters and vet offices to see if they have any foster homes or anyone able to help her. You'll be able to tell in a couple of days if she will calm down. You may not be able to handle her, but she may show signs of being tame. Just give her a lot of good food and treats.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: merrihart on March 09, 2012, 04:44:06 AM
I'm so glad she's safe now.  I hope you find a foster mom for her :)

How about Locket for her name?


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 09, 2012, 05:52:25 AM
I'm so glad you caught her ! Do any of the local vets do socialization ? 1 of ours always has strays or ferals in a large cage in the waiting area to get them used to people & other animals. They use 1 of those large play crates, with a closed area for hiding. She may surprise you & be friendlier once she calms down from the trapping & vet visit.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 09, 2012, 12:12:11 PM
Lucy is coming home this afternoon. I talked with the humane society this morning and everything went well. She was pregnant (but just) so they went ahead with the spay. They are able to pet and touch her, but she's very uncomfortable with it. So, this girl is NOT feral and I'm going to keep her here and do my best to socialize her. They are loaning me a large dog crate and I will buy a small carrier that will fit in the crate along with a litter pan and food (and some toys, of course). She will be in my den away from everyone else and until I can find someone to either foster or adopt her (or she goes completely nuts on me) she will have a home with me. I am concerned about it creating problems with Cassie and Rascal, but Cassie might need to be confined to my bedroom when I can't be here to supervise them directly.

I've never done this before, so if anyone has any thoughts . . . please share.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 09, 2012, 01:42:15 PM
That's nice that they're loaning you a crate!  Giving her a little den is great - someplace to feel safe.  A soft, warm blankie in there will be nice for her.

If you have a small radio you can tune to a talk station, that can help her get used to voices.  Keep it low for her.

Toys - you never know!  A toy or two might interest her.  I had one of those Cat Dancers clamped to the crate so it bounced in the crate if my girl wanted to bat at it. 

Best of luck - I know it's daunting, but you don't know what you can do until you try!



Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 09, 2012, 02:09:19 PM
Thanks - she's home and set up in the den. She actually let me pet her without freaking out. She was very interested in the ride home - coming to the front of the crate and watched me.
The vet figures she's about 5 - has some teeth that have broken off, but nothing that will cause trouble. She ate well at the humane society and I just put some food and water (and toys, and litter box) in her crate, but she is staying in the carrier for right now. I think I'll just let her be and see what happens.
She is a beautiful cat girl and I'm glad that I made the decision to keep her inside. I still know nothing about how to do this, but I guess letting her make the moves at her pace when she's comfortable is best.
Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. Not sure how my other girls are going to react.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on March 09, 2012, 02:34:30 PM
Best of luck to you.  Let's hope she reacted well and others girls are going to be okay with her.  You are an angel catmom.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 09, 2012, 04:51:28 PM
I hope it all goes well & yours don't react badly to her ! It does sound like she is used to people.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 09, 2012, 05:08:36 PM
It's very likely that this girl will not react badly to other cats. It's people she needs to get used to again. I don't think there's a formula, but what I do is start off with a small space and gradually add more space as they get used to me. I usually go in and sit with them and read to them quietly, while I give them cat nip or treats. You want to create dependency for the ones that are shy. The only way to do that is to make them be with you in a small space. Use Feliway spray if you have some. If the dog kennel is large enough, see if you can insert a carboard box at the back on its side, open to the front of the kennel, so you can put an open litterbox inside it and she can sit on top of the box if she wants to while still being able to use the litterbox. You could also hang a hammock in there if it's the hard-sided kind with metal vents. It won't take long for her to associate you with good things. Once you can pet her no problem and you can see that she doesn't startle easily, you can let her out for short periods of time to see what she does. This sort of thing is the biggest reason I bought that octagon pen. it's perfect for introducing cats to their surroundings, while keeping them enclosed and giving them enough space to play and whatnot. Bless you for taking her in and giving her another chance. I just really wonder if anyone had been looking for her at any point in time.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catbird on March 09, 2012, 06:06:45 PM
I agree with Soo, catmom5, that you are an angel!  

I've never had to re-socialize a cat to humans, but know others who have.  (I have worked with a cat who was social, but appeared to have been abused previously--Phantom; and as you know Cameo also suffered emotional trauma from Hurricane Katrina.) I interpret the fact that she has already let you pet her to be a very, very good sign.  A true feral would not react that way.  I think she'll adjust sooner than you might expect.  Slow, quiet, and careful is the way to go.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 09, 2012, 07:59:30 PM
She's growly with me tonight so I am trying to give her her space. I'm sure she is scared to death right now - she has had a tough couple of days. I'm not doing anything that all of you wouldn't do. The bottom line is that she needs a forever home that will work for her.
Thanks for your kind words, everyone.
Lucy needs lots of prayers that she will realize that she is safe.
cm5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 09, 2012, 09:41:34 PM
CM, she's growly because she's been spayed. At her age, it's going to take a bit more time to heal and older cats just don't ignore this kind of procedures the way young cats do. She'll be better in a couple of days. I'm sure they have her some painkiller before giving her back, but it will have worn off and it'll take some time to be OK. You're doing great!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 10, 2012, 04:45:01 AM
Thanks, bug. I am going to shop for a larger cat cage with multiple levels so she can have a bit more space. Even though she is growly, she allows me to pet her for a bit. She cried all night long and seems to have settled down now that I'm in the room with her for a bit. She's in pretty rough shape - scabs from flea bites and her fur isn't as beautiful as it will be with some TLC and decent food. Just going to take some time. Thanks for encouraging me to bring her in and give her a fresh start.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: macush on March 10, 2012, 06:39:51 AM
catmom5 -- I think you're doing great.  When my Macushla show up about 6 years ago, he ate three cans of cat food without stopping.  We tried hard to catch her without luck.  He was a very scared kitty.  Then he showed up with scars all over his back (I think it was a neighborhood cat).  We used a have-a-heart cage and finally caught him.  He was scared out of his mind.  The vet wanted to put him down because of the threat of rabies.  I took one look at his eyes and know I couldn't allow that.  So I put him in a room with all he needed to wait out the incubation period.  He was very scared everytime I entered the room but finally allowed me to wrap him in a blanket and sit in a rocking chair with him talking to him.  That's when he first began to purr.  My two older cats have never fallen in love with him but I have to say he is the most loving cat I have ever had.  When he curls up on me, it's like he's trying to get inside me and he truly is my shadow.  So time and patience does seem to work.

It's a wonderful feeling to get one off the streets to where they're safe, warm and not starving.  Even though it takes a while to get them to appreciate that.



Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on March 10, 2012, 06:52:09 AM
I agree with Bug, she just had her surgery, she might be in pain, hence the growling.  It's going to take some time.  You are doing awesome!!!  Best of luck to you two.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 10, 2012, 07:19:58 AM
I gave her buprenorphine that I had from Foster this morning, just to take the edge off (but that was the end of the meds). I'm wondering about trying to get more, but taking her to the ER vet is the LAST thing I need to do to her right now. She isn't eating all that well, but is allowing me to pet her and even raises her chin so I can scritch it. I just put some chicken baby food in her cage and will leave her be to see if she's interested in that. Probably going to get some FF and see if that encourages her to eat more.
I'm sure that this has turned her whole world upside down. She will be okay, I'm sure.
What do you all think about getting the large cage? Right now, with spay sutures, I'm thinking she might be better off in a cage where she can't be all that active.
BTW . . . this was NOT in my game plan for spring!!!
Thanks - keep the support and ideas and experiences coming. Makes it easier for me to have that kind of support.
I know that she will be well worth all of this time and energy - just to have her off the streets and healthy and no more babies.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 10, 2012, 12:48:19 PM
I think I would let her be confined to a smaller kennel for a week, then transfer her to the large one you want to get. Even feral spays don't get pampered for a week before they're let go. As for her not eating much -- not sure if that's the buprenorphine or the combination of the complete turn around for her life. I know if you find something she really likes, she'll eat more, but I'm sure she's also not used to eating on a regular basis. Their systems do get used to being on the hungry side and they tend to ignore it when out in the "wild." Try some catnip on top or some canned tuna water mixed in. She may have been used to eating dry food outside -- at homes where they put food out for strays. I know you'll both be OK.

I'm dealing with our new little boy. This cat never shuts up and I really don't know why he's meowing so much. I think it's probably because compared to all the stuff he had to do outside, he's bored. Even with all the toys and attention, it isn't enough. He's sleeping right now and it's so nice to not hear the constant meowing. He's a sweetheart and once I get him back to the vet at the end of the week, I'll be able to really start integrating him with the others. He, too, had so many flea scabs, poor thing. I was combing them out by the dozens and picking them off his skin. Now, he's shedding a ton -- getting rid of the winter undercoat and I hope, soon, he'll be comfortable in his new environment.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 10, 2012, 05:34:19 PM
Update:
Lucy is doing better. She had some pain medication which seemed to relax her considerably. She ate some kibble and a small portion of wet food. AND we got some serious purrs. She is sleeping soundly now and that's probably what she needs to do. Lucy has a lot of healing to do - both physically and emotionally. But she has the time and place (and love) to do just that.

Thank you all for your support and advice. Right now Lucy wouldn't win any beauty contests. It's clear she has had a rough time, but life is going to be much better from here on out. She's a sweet cat and I see her just wanting to feel safe enough to love someone.

catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catbird on March 10, 2012, 06:33:56 PM
This is wonderful news!  Good thing you had the leftover pain med to give her.  She sounds like a real sweetie, which bodes well for her finding a good home.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: petslave on March 10, 2012, 10:15:04 PM
It's good to hear she's "home" and slowly settling in!  I agree about keeping her a little more confined until she heals a little more and has time to get used to her surroundings.  When she's a little better, some interactive play with a string or feather toy may make her a little more relaxed.  But since you're able to pet her now and she likes it, I have a feeling she will turn out to be more tame than you originally thought. 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Mandycat on March 10, 2012, 11:22:05 PM
catmom,
So glad that Lucy is improving a bit.  Poor thing was probably just very scared of all the activity over the last few days.  She is realizing now that she is in a very safe place, I am sure.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on March 11, 2012, 07:34:58 AM
It's good to hear that she is doing much better.  You are doing such a great job, koodos to you :)


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Spartycats on March 11, 2012, 10:49:42 AM
Here is Lucy

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7052/6827213164_58f0d0bb7d_z.jpg)


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 11, 2012, 11:18:49 AM
Thanks for posting her picture, Spartycats. I'm not good at photographing black cats, unlike Spartycats is! 

I realized this morning just how far she has to go (Lucy, not Spartycats!) She had spilled her water bowl so I had to empty the crate to clean it up. She sat in the corner of the crate and growled at me - just the change and the rag upset her.

The good news is that she continues to eat some, but is very uncomfortable until she gets the pain meds. I checked her incision and it isn't red or draining or oozing - but I wonder if her pregnancy was further along than they led me to believe.

catmom5
and Lucy, of course


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: merrihart on March 11, 2012, 03:20:41 PM
Poor Lucy.  I hope the pain goes away fast.  I don't understand how they can do that to an animal then not provide pain medicine.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 11, 2012, 06:01:36 PM
I would call the vet and request pain meds.  She shouldn't need another visit, they should just fill a prescription and you can pick it up.  Tell them that she eats so much better with the meds, she's clearly uncomfortable.  Cats are like people - everyone has a different pain threshold.



Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 11, 2012, 07:08:17 PM
Awww, she's so pretty. And she looks shiny. I love black cats. She'd fit right in with Sparty's boys. Please do go get some medication for her. I don't think it's fair they didn't send her home with some.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Mandycat on March 11, 2012, 09:24:29 PM
Lucy looks very sweet.  Her coat does look shinier and in better shape than I had imagined.  Hope you can get more pain meds so that she is comfortable and can eat better.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 12, 2012, 03:07:18 AM
Morning update:
She isn't as shiny as it looks in that photo, although getting the flea scabs off of her and some decent food will help that a lot. She is a sweet girl.

This morning I found another messy cage (she really needs a bigger box - she's a litter flinger) but that will have to wait until her multi-level condo gets here). She did eat most of her kibble last night and did drink all of her water. As I cleaned the cage, she ran out to hide on the bottom shelf of a book case - so she's more active and moving around this morning.

I am going to get the humane society vet to call in a prescription for her, even if she won't need it all the time.

Now, I just have to work on getting her to a better place (emotionally and physically) and then find her a good home.

Thanks for your interest and support. I will keep you posted, for sure.
catmom5
and Lucy


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Fizzy1 on March 12, 2012, 08:44:30 AM
It's good to see her!  Thanks, Sparty. 

I'm glad she's in such good hands, catmom5. 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catwoods on March 13, 2012, 01:58:50 PM
Many congratulations on such a quick capture, and many blessings for getting this girl into your house and under your excellent care. Lucy looks gorgeous, and if she's not quite as shiny as she looks in the photo, I bet she soon will be.

Since you can pet her a little, I'm thinking she may have had some human contact before. Although it may take time, there's nothing quite so magical as seeing a cat who was living wild warm up and become sweet. We've seen several cats who were all "don't touch me" at first, eventually become lap kitties.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 13, 2012, 03:17:03 PM
Lucy seems depressed to me. She was out and hiding this morning when I cleaned up her crate, but she doesn't want to get out of her bed right now. Her incision looks good, dry and not red or swollen. She had buprenorphine this morning and isn't due for more. How long should she need pain meds anyway? (I went to pick up the prescription and they ordered injectable - and I refused that.) Last night she snuggled right up for quite a while (over my shoulder like a baby) and growled at me when I put her back in her bed.

Since I'm new at this, any thoughts? Physically, she's looking better, but emotionally she seems sad or depressed to me.

Thanks,
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 13, 2012, 03:37:31 PM
It could be hormones due to the spay while pregnant. It could also be just the difference in being caged inside vs free outside. I would continue the pain meds for at least a few more days to be safe.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: caylee on March 13, 2012, 03:41:52 PM
Her depression might be from hormonal changes to her body since she was pg and is not anymore. You are doing great CM.

Hugs

ps posted same time as Lesliek



Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catbird on March 13, 2012, 03:51:05 PM
Phantom was spayed after her kittens found homes, but was showing signs of going into heat at the time.  Although they took extra precautions, it seemed to take her longer to recover after the spay than any other female I've had.  She was not back to normal for a couple of weeks; seemed very tired and kind of droopy.  I think those hormones do make a big difference.

I wonder if she growled when you picked her up because she's still a bit tender?


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 13, 2012, 04:01:19 PM
She growled when I put her back down in her bed. She really snuggled into me while I was holding her. Thanks for sharing you experiences. If she doesn't perk up soon I'll contact the at home vet I used or take her into the vet clinic. She was purring while I was posting a little while ago - one finger typing and the other hand petting. ;)


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: petslave on March 13, 2012, 05:37:41 PM
She probably is going through some depression with everything that has happened and hormonal changes from the spay.  Plus she was outside for who knows how long, battling the elements and suddenly she's in a house and safe.  I wonder if she's grieving from losing her people too.  That's great that she is snuggling and purring!

But it might be worth having her checked again if she's not scheduled to go in soon and hasn't improved in a few days.  Maybe she has pulled something open internally that isn't showing up outside.  A friend recently adopted a 5 yr old female shepherd that had been used for breeding.  She had internal bleeding after her spay.  It did show up externally though by leakage from the incision.  The vet said older female dogs that have had litters aren't easy to spay and it wasn't that uncommon.  Not sure if that applies to cats though.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 14, 2012, 07:48:59 AM
Thought we were doing well until this morning. I have let her out of the cage (actually opened the door and let her decide) and when I tried to put her back in she went ballistic on me. I managed to get her with a towel and put her back in, but I'm wondering now if I let her out too soon. Her incision still looks good and she got some buprenorphine this morning.
I think she might be more feral than I originally thought, but she's not going back outside to live yet. I'm not giving up on her and believe that she is still very workable.
Any insights here? Right now she is sitting in her litter box (new litter) which is as far away from me as she can get! Not a happy girl.
Think I'll give her some lunch and go back to work!
Feeling a bit discouraged and just plain stupid here!
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 14, 2012, 08:30:18 AM
Don't be discouraged!  She's going to have ups and downs - the fact that you can TOUCH her at all is fantastic.  My girl (whom I would have sworn was a hard feral when she was trapped) was untouchable for MONTHS.  Snarling and hissing whenever I came near...if she didn't have a kitten to nurse, I would have just given up on her, she was so aggressive/defensive.  But she just needed to know that I was not the enemy (although I looked a lot like it, with the cages and all!) and she's a total sweetheart now...

What about that stuff I'm hearing about - H2P2? http://www.h2p2wellness.com/  I have no idea what it is, but it sounds like it might help you get over the hump in a situation like this?  Oh - and are you using Feliway at all? 

And - have you tried brushing/combing her?  You can use a long-handled (actually make one with a regular brush or soft brush taped onto a stick) one to help maintain the distance.  That was the only kind of touching my little pound kitty who was badly abused could tolerate - I used a soft baby hairbrush and that was the ice breaker for us.



Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 14, 2012, 10:13:00 AM
Thanks for the information and encouragement. Now that I have had some time to reflect, I'm not surprised she freaked out. She was cornered and I had my work badge hanging from my neck so she was probably very scared. I have been able to pet her (although I can feel how tense she is) now that she's back in the crate.

Question(s) - how long should I leave her in the smaller cage? Would it be worth purchasing a multi-level condo for her? I can do that, but will something that limits her space make her feel more/less secure? I hate that she hardly has walking around room. With the larger condo, she could at least jump and look out the window, plus there will be a level for her litter box and other levels for food and lounging. Do you suspect she will need to be confined for a while? (It must seem like prison to her after living outdoors and roaming for so long.)

And I did order the H2P2. Hopefully it will help her relax.

Thanks, again. As hard as this is to watch, it must be much harder for her. Bless her heart, but I'm hoping that she will find that being safe inside with someone who loves her is better than roaming around the streets.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Sandi K on March 14, 2012, 01:42:51 PM
catmom, Im just catching up with this story of the new girl you have rescued.  Bless your heart for caring so much and thank goodness you do!  No matter what, she is much safer and better off being inside with you than where she was at before.  Who knows what would have happened to her if she was pregnant and went to have the babies by herself at her age.  Maybe she is just a little off from the surgery, can you tell if she feels warm, that would be the only other thing I would see, is if she is feeling warm to the touch.     I would think its close to the time you can let her go to a larger cage unless she is still having problems from the spay?  You could get a small cardboard box and make an opening and turn it upside down and put a bankie in it so if she wants to go in there while she is in the larger crate, she can get some quiet time.  I think the multi-level condo would be great if you could afford it. Is she eating better now? 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 14, 2012, 04:33:09 PM
It took a month for Punkin to come up out of the basement willingly & that was just to the doorway ! I think you need to expect some set backs & let her move at her own pace. The kitty condo would give her more room & you can still let her out under supervision. Just don't expect it to always go well & you will be happy with any improvements.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Fizzy1 on March 15, 2012, 08:37:00 AM
I want to add my support :)  Try not to get discouraged although I know it's hard.  It just might take her a while to get more comfy with the new environment.

You're doing good! :-*


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 15, 2012, 09:07:46 AM
I think something with multiple levels will help reduce her stress.  You may want to call the vet to make sure it's ok this close to her spay, but I'll bet it is.

How are your cats dealing with the intruder?



Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 15, 2012, 10:46:48 AM
Update:
After a night of crying and crying (Lucy), I made the decision to open the cage doors and let her go in and out at will. She has found a couple of places where she can just hang out and I'm not trying to engage her at all, just talking with her when I'm in the room. She only eats at night. I really think that being confined in a small cage has made a difficult situation more difficult. I also brought in a short cat condo so when she wants she can get in it and at least look out the window.

I also cancelled the multi-level cat cage - simply because it's a cage. I also am looking at managed colonies and barn cat programs with caregivers if I can't find an adopter, when she's ready. She can stay here as long as the other cats are just curious (which is where they are with her right now) and I can find a good place for her.

I had a man here cutting back my ornamental grasses this afternoon and she absolutely freaked! So I closed the window and put the shade down. I don't have any idea how she would ever handle being outside all the time - although she could just run and hide. The world must be a very scary place for kitties like Lucy.

The good news is that she looks better every day. Her fur is getting shinier and healthier looking and her flea scabs are gone.

We'll just have to wait and see how things work out for her. I'd love to keep her forever, but I don't think keeping her confined in a small room indoors for the rest of her life is fair to her. So - I'm trying to be patient and optimistic and to do what I can for her.

Thanks to all of you.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 15, 2012, 03:54:13 PM
I'm glad she is improving ! Even if she ends up in a barn colony, she will go there healthy & more used to people near her.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 15, 2012, 07:26:16 PM
Lucy somehow got the screen off of the window and is gone. I am just sick about this.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Fizzy1 on March 15, 2012, 07:35:41 PM
Oh catmom, I feel your heartbreak :'(

Do you have any idea when she got out? 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: caylee on March 15, 2012, 07:40:12 PM
Oh No! Hugs and prayers that you will find her. Do you still have the trap? Maybe if you put food in it, she will come.

Hugs


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Mandycat on March 15, 2012, 08:18:29 PM
Oh no!   :'(  I can just imagine how you must feel, catmom.  Maybe she will stick around your house. Obviously, it is night-time right now, but I hope you can look around in the morning and see if she is nearby.  As suggested, put out some food and see if she comes to eat.  I will be praying that you can get her back.  Have you looked in your little shelter to see if she went in there to sleep?


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: August on March 15, 2012, 10:29:33 PM
Oh, I can just imagine how sick you must feel.   :-[   (Actually, I know first-hand how you feel since Sunday got out while under my care.)

She had plenty of time smelling you and your home to know that's where to stick close to.

Do you have her litterbox/used litter?  I've read it's good to put that out near your door or side of the house.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 16, 2012, 03:27:54 AM
I found the screen out and empty room when I went in to feed her wet food late last night. When I went outdoors to look for her, I saw her sitting across the street watching me. Then she took off. Tough night here without much sleep.

Lucy's past week has been pretty traumatic so I doubt that she will put herself in a position to be trapped again. I will, of course, continue to feed and shelter her (and the other feral) but my hopes for catching and socializing her again are small. It's really up to her, but when I think about the progress we made in a week, I so wished she wasn't out there on her own again.

Please keep my Lucy (and all the other ferals and strays) in your prayers. Life is not easy for them. I am just sad beyond belief.

Thanks
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: merrihart on March 16, 2012, 03:51:39 AM
Oh no!  I'm so sorry you lost her this way   :'(  I will keep her in my prayers and heart.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 16, 2012, 04:56:07 AM
As long as you don't try to trap her, I think she will stay nearby . Even the small contact of using the shelter & getting fed will help get her more used to you & you might eventually be able to catch her again. I know how bad you feel right now, but you did your best for her & she is healthier now & has been been spayed . That alone will increase her chances.
My Bil's ferals & friends ferals have all gotten to the point where they will enter the house if the door stays open. They freak out if you close it & they feel trapped, but they do come in & let them touch them sometimes.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catbird on March 16, 2012, 05:08:44 AM
Oh, catmom5, I am so, so sorry that this happened.   :'(  I hope she will stay around so that you can watch over her and keep her fed.  But as others have said, she is at least spayed now, and will be healthier without having litter after litter.  And it will be that many fewer babies born into such a hard life.

You did a very good job.  But Lucy apparently had other ideas about what her life was to be, poor thing.  I think she loved and trusted you as much as she was able to love and trust anyone, though.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: August on March 16, 2012, 05:29:47 AM
Thinking about you and sending more good wishes ...

My friend's newly adopted cat ran out of the house and this cat was known to be very difficult to trick to get in a trap.  My friend (after days of fretful searching she found the cat under a neighbor's porch) eventually ended up shaking the treat can and very slowly walked backwards and then into her house as the cat came forward.

Big hugs to you and fingers crossed.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Meowli on March 16, 2012, 06:30:23 AM
I am sorry about Lucy getting out...sending prayers that she will stay close to the house and you can catch her again.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 16, 2012, 09:04:11 AM
As distressing as her escape is, I think the timing is pretty good! 

Her spay is healing nicely, she's had a few days to recover and eat well, and the weather is much better than it was.  She doesn't have to deal with the stress of pregnancy/kittens and she now knows of a place where the food is good and there is shelter. 

And she may surprise you yet...


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Sandi K on March 16, 2012, 01:46:39 PM
I agree with mikken, she may surprise you yet.  I sort of think she might miss the loving she got from you.  Even though its something she wasnt used to, my guess is she liked it enough to maybe show up again at some point.  Im so sorry though that she got out, and I know how beside yourself worried you must be, because you care so much.  Hang in there catmom, I think the story isnt finished yet.  {{{hugs}}}}


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catwoods on March 16, 2012, 06:40:43 PM
I got distracted earlier and I was really tired, so I neglected to say how sorry I am to hear that Lucy has gotten out. I think the same as others though, that she has gotten used to being around your house and may stay close, becoming even more accustomed to you. It may take awhile but I think one way or another she may become friendlier and you will be able to coax her inside again. Many {{{Hugs}}}

I have also used treat food to draw shy kitties closer to the door and get them into the house.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: petslave on March 17, 2012, 06:11:37 PM
Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that Lucy escaped, catmom!  I hope she does stay around so you can keep tabs on her.  It sounds like she is just determined to be a wild kitty. 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 17, 2012, 06:57:10 PM
Oh, CM. That just sucks. Keep putting food out and if you see her, stay within eyeshot so she can see you. If there was something you did for her or gave her that she really liked, maybe have that on hand. As crappy as that is, having her out there with more kittens is much worse. Sometimes they come back to you because they're on the fence about you. They just didn't like the confinement. She may be just fine to be around you after a spell, but its the kennels and rooms and indoors they can't cope with in the short term. Even the little guy I picked up who is just over a year old, is having a tough time not being outside and he's as friendly as they come.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Sandi K on March 17, 2012, 08:31:51 PM
catmom, you doing OK?  I just wanted to check in and see how you are.  Anymore sightings of Lucy?  {{{{hugs}}}}


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Mandycat on March 17, 2012, 09:38:48 PM
catmom,
I'm still praying that Lucy will come back and you can get her back inside.  {{hugs}}


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on March 22, 2012, 05:24:59 AM
Oh no, that's too bad that she got out.  At least she's healed.  Praying that she will return to you soon.  Have you seen her lately? {{{Hugs}}}.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 22, 2012, 05:28:52 AM
No, I haven't seen her at all. I'm now trying to trap the tom cat who is my other feral, but he hasn't been around since I put out the trap (unset for right now). Thanks for asking about Lucy.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: merrihart on March 22, 2012, 01:51:13 PM
It's so hard.  You know the "right" thing to do, but it frightens the ones you are trying to help.  I hope Lucy and the tom come back, just so you know they are ok.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: lesliek on March 22, 2012, 03:46:11 PM
Leave the trap & shelter as is & try putting the food a little further away from them. They are probably not far away & hopefully will come back soon !


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 23, 2012, 04:41:10 PM
Well, it is spring now and your tom kitty will be looking for love. Fortunately, Lucy won't be his baby mama this year. I hope she does return -- I hope they both come back.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 23, 2012, 06:43:41 PM
thanks - haven't seen Tommy for a few days and it's been over a week for Lucy
hope she's okay!!!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on March 25, 2012, 01:31:10 PM
Catmom, any sightings on both Lucy and Tommy?  Can you tell that the food have been touched? Hopefully they will both return soon and doing okay.  Maybe someone close by is also leaving out food for them.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 25, 2012, 02:14:23 PM
No Lucy at all. Tommy is sleeping in the sun on the porch across the street right now and I hope will soon head over to eat. The trap is set, but he wouldn't go near it last night, so we'll see. I'm not worried about Tommy taking care of himself - he's a smart boy. However, Lucy was so close to being tame that I would just like to know that she's okay. Not giving up hope. Thanks for asking about them. It's so hard to love these feral/semi-feral guys because there's so much you can't control.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 25, 2012, 04:18:56 PM
No success tonight. I think this is one very street smart cat. I'm going to be feeding him outside of the trap for a while and then gradually move food closer and then into . . . one way or another I'm going to make sure he gets to the vet and is healthy and neutered!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: mikken on March 25, 2012, 04:34:20 PM
You're very determined - good for you!  They can be so difficult and the trapshy ones moreso...I have heard that warm KFC (no bones) will tempt many cats into a trap...

FWIW, neutering made my feral guy's life SO much easier.  He no longer is driven to roam, he's not fighting anyone, he isn't out "defending his territory", he's just...happy to have a place to call home and regular food and sunshine (when the weather is kind) and the companionship of his spayed girl. 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on March 25, 2012, 07:15:23 PM
I'll mention to Tommy just how lucky he will be once he enters the trap . . .

 ;)


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Mandycat on March 25, 2012, 09:13:02 PM
Still hoping that Lucy will come back.  I wonder, though, if someone else could have taken her in.  Maybe she would be reported as a "found" cat or posters put up?  Someone would notice the recent spay incision and think she is lost.  Just a thought.

Good luck catching Tommy!


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on March 27, 2012, 10:11:50 AM
Well at least we know Tommy is doing okay.  Good luck catching him.

Any sightings of Lucy at all?  Hope she will return soon.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on March 28, 2012, 07:35:33 PM
KFC does work as long as it's pretty warm when you put it out there. I also have used New Zealand green tripe in a can (for dogs) for traps. Might also work with cats. Really reeks.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catwoods on March 31, 2012, 02:02:23 PM
Sending many hopes and prayers that Lucy will come back, and that you will be able to catch Tommy. I know how frustrating it can be to be watching out for ferals when they don't show up for awhile. However, sometimes they do range around the neighbrhood and drop back by. Here they seem to prefer twilight hours, which of course makes it harder to see them. I second the idea of using something with a really strong odor for the bait.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on April 09, 2012, 05:06:31 PM
Catmom, any sightings on Tommy and Lucy? Don't they know that they are going to be very lucky if they enter the trap ;)


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catmom5 on April 09, 2012, 05:48:10 PM
Thanks for asking, Soo.
Lucy has moved on, I'm afraid. It breaks my heart to not know that she's okay. Maybe with colder weather and less available food she will be back.
Tommy usually comes for dinner, but wasn't here tonight. I cleaned the trap really well this afternoon and let it dry out in the sun and then put it back where the food is, so I'm hoping that he didn't come and then leave because of the trap (not set, yet because I want him to get used to it being there). It's hard to love a feral cat because there is so much you cannot control.
Guess they don't understand that I'm trying to help them.
catmom5


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: bug on April 09, 2012, 06:05:35 PM
Don't worry, CM. There are a lot of people on this planet who live the same life as ferals. They're on their own, don't know that there's a better life out there for them, won't take help of any kind and yet, they still manage to make their way through life just fine. Your outdoor kitties are smart and they don't know any different or didn't like the indoor life they used to have. They'll visit and get some food and maybe spend the night, but they're having an adventure they wouldn't be able to have if they were indoors. Some can never be the cats we'd love them to be -- and that has to be OK, too. It hurts us, but it's what they want.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: Soo on April 12, 2012, 01:37:22 PM
Sending prayers to Lucy and hope she is okay and safe.  As for Tommy, I am sure he will be back. 


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: fayelapp on April 13, 2012, 09:34:52 PM
I am praying that there is a good outcome for your friend the black kitty.   Faye


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: catwoods on April 25, 2012, 02:32:42 PM
Your ferals and all those out there remain in my thoughts, catmom5. Many hopes and prayers going out for them.


Title: Re: could use your help/support
Post by: caylee on November 16, 2012, 05:32:16 PM
This is just to update this thread with the happy news!

Happy Dance, here. Tommy came first and then Lucy showed up about half an hour later. SO they are both alive and well and coming home for dinner at least. I'm going to get an area set up for them both tomorrow afternoon. Any advice on setting up feeding areas for 2 cats (who don't hang out together - in fact, I watched Tommy chase Lucy off last spring)? Do I need another feeding station? I'm just so happy they are both okay that I'll do whatever they need to keep them comfortable and safe.

All those Itchmo good vibes must be working!!
 
catmom5