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Advice For Taking In A Stray!

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#21 echo2_62

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    Posted 09 October 2009 - 10:07 AM

    Well I am sure that if your house has some turkey cooking in it then this kitty is going to come running right for you!

    One other thought that I had, and I'm not sure whether you'd be willing to try but... you mentioned that there is a door from your house into the garage. I had wondered if this was in a mud room/laundry room that also has a door that can close off to the rest of the house. I'm just thinking that since the cat is so obviously craving warmth but is still very timid of the new space, then perhaps you could coax him into the garage but leave the inner door open so that he can get used to the sounds and smells of your house? Your other cats would remain completely protected still, which is important, but also give this guy a chance to check you out a little further on his own terms. And of course at night you could still just leave him in the garage with his box and blankets etc. Plus it might give him some more pleasant experiences to associate you with, as opposed to just feeling like he is trapped in a strange place all of a sudden.

    As for whether or not he's fixed, that can be a tough call sometimes. Our one boy is fixed but still has some shape where "the boys" used to be, however our female cat (the one we rescued) is fixed but doesn't have the ponch like females would tend to get. And she is tiny as well, but we know that she used to have a home so we don't suspect worms in her case. It honestly might just be that he's a small, or young, cat!

    Good luck and I hope you all have a great thanksgiving weekend - fuzzies included!!!!

    #22 BlissfulMsMiranda

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      Posted 20 October 2009 - 01:22 PM

      Update update update!!! :)

      Alright, so after not seeing Ghost Cat for a few days, we were worried that he had either been hit by a car or he'd gone away for good ... or we hoped he was actually owned and the owner had smartened up to the cold weather!

      Such was not the case!

      Over the weekend GC returned, cold, hungry and rather wet from the rain we'd been having. He always showed up at the worst time (just before leaving for work, just before leaving for an appt. etc.).

      However, last night he chose to arrive while my husband was home relaxing by the television ... and he managed to coax him into the garage. :)

      So, GC is no comfortably renting out space in our garage! He is absolutely adorable and SO happy to be there. He's not crying, not trying to get out, not scratching at any of the doors int he garage (there are two, one into the house, one to outside and the garage door of course). He is so cuddly and happy to be around us. He even started to purr and drool a little when I was petting him.

      I've made a vet appointment - the earliest they could give me was next Thursday!! So, poor little GC is going to be cooped up in the garage for over a week. But we can't risk him being in contact with our other two ... just in case.

      We didn't realize how dirty he was until we got him inside either ... his white fur is almost beige with dirt and his little pink paws are all scabby and hard and dirty. Poor little guy. He is VERY happy to be in the warmth though ... he's like an A.D.D. child going from the food, to the water, to the littler, back to us ... hehehehe it's a joy to watch him actually be comfortable and inside!

      I'll post another update (and hopefully some pics) once he's been checked out at the vet!

      Again, thanks for ALL your help ladies ... it really did help in the capturing and final decision to take him in. :)

      #23 bholthof

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        Posted 20 October 2009 - 01:31 PM

        Aww... thats great. I'm glad you were able to help him out!
        21 people + Bride & Groom booked!!


        #24 echo2_62

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          Posted 20 October 2009 - 01:35 PM

          HOORAY!!! I'm so happy to hear that he's safe and sound! You really are wonderful for taking him in and getting him looked after. It's so rewarding when they get all cuddly and purring on you!
          (I had a good snuggle last night with our rescue kitty I mentioned a while back - she curls up on the couch with me when I'm laying down and pretty much lets you snuggle her like a teddy bear - its awesome!).

          Maybe you could try brushing him out a little bit to clean him up?? If he's been exposed to the bad weather lots then a little TLC with the comb might help his skin heal if there are any problems with it, even just dryness. Plus I'm sure like any other kitty he'll just love the feel of it anyways and will be even more happy to stick around with you a little longer!!

          #25 ACDCDCAC

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          Posted 20 October 2009 - 01:45 PM

          awwww miranda, i hadnt seen this thread before but it just warms my heart! we have a feral cat that adopted us, we call her OK for "outside kitty". its taken a year and a half but in the last couple of months i have finally gained her trust enough to scratch her really well all over her neck and head before she gets scared and swipes at me

          we have moving plans in the works and the plan is trying to capture her and bring her with us, because we know she depends on us for food. she is a talker too! she runs up whenever we come home, and she wont eat until i scratch her head.

          anyways, you are so sweet to take in GC, i really hope the vet gives her a clean bill of health so she can continue to live with you!

          #26 BlissfulMsMiranda

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            Posted 02 November 2009 - 03:46 PM

            Hello again everyone! Alright ... another update on the stray ... because I know you're all DYING to know. :)

            So, we got the stray to the vet without a hitch ... some treats thrown into the cage solved the issue of how to get the cat IN the box. :)

            Once at the vet, the cat was given a full medical exam (including a stool sample analysis) and the biggest revelation of the night was:

            Ghost Cat is a girl!!!!!!!!! :)

            All this time we've been calling her a he ... poor thing. :) So, he's a she and she's fixed (so the vet thinks), declawed and she has fleas. So we have her on the Avantage treatment right now and we're keeping her in the garage for another 2 weeks before introducing her to our two because of the fleas and because we have to bring her back to be tested for FIV and Feline Leukemia and for her to get her booster shots. :)

            I'll have some pics of her soon, I promise. She's adorable.

            There's one thing though: I've never had a cat I didn't have from kitten-hood on, so I'm a bit unsure of how to deal with a cat that has "baggage." It would seem that Ghost Cat was abused in her past home ... or maybe she just got really scared being out in the streets ... but she tends to lunge at your arm when you're petting her. It's not all the time, and it's not hard (she did break the skin on my hand a few times), and she's not angry ... she's purring and enjoying herself so she's not hissing or growling or looking aggressive ... she just lunges, bites, then cowers on the ground as if she's waiting for a smack. It's really sad.

            I told my husband that when she does this to not react to her bite or her cowering on the ground. Just to continue cooing to her and then pet her when she comes out of her balled up state on the ground.

            Is this a behaviour we can get her out of? I've only ever experienced this once before (my parents rescued a 2-year-old Siamese from a family and he was also declawed and he was a biter ... for no reason ... he would just attack and bite, but he would growl and be angry ... he's Satan's spawn).

            Thanks everyone!!! And I do promise pics soon ... she's just lovely and SO loving ...

            #27 echo2_62

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              Posted 02 November 2009 - 04:20 PM

              Oh I'm so glad that she checked out ok for the most part! Obviously it's not that uncommon for an outdoor cat to get fleas anyways but I think you just have to make sure to wash your clothes in hot water that have come into contact with her just to be safe?

              As for GC's 'baggage' I think you'll find in time that it will definitely be manageable. She may not have been abused but sounds like she has learned to be untrusting of people and their approach at any rate. If she's still purring and everything then that is definitely a good sign, and if you can handle the occasional chomp that is a bit harder, I think the consistent handling of her will start to take its effect. You could also try associations more, like reaching down to hand-feed treats so that she begins to connect that a hand/arm reaching towards her is an okay thing and can even be rewarding! We've learned lately that our kitty has moods about the level of attention she wants from you. There are some days when she'll flop right over and snuggle against you and let you pet her belly, while other days she simply wants to be near you and not have you pet her (at which point she rather gently 'bites' at your hand so you know to please stop!).

              It really sounds like she just has conflicting instincts of whether to trust you or not which, like people, can only be established over time. It may take a bit of time but keep at it and I bet that she'll come around soon!

              Thank you SO much for the update! It really is wonderful to hear how things are going! Can't wait to see pictures!

              #28 BlissfulMsMiranda

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                Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:55 PM

                Time for an uber fast update for you all on Ghost Cat:

                She's FIV and Leukemia free so she's in the house!!! We brought her in this weekend and although the fur and spit is flying between her and the Rex, we're hoping it will settle down soon! We left them to their own devices today (home alone unsupervised, all together in the house) so we're hoping for very little or no bloodshed when we get home after work! (fingers crossed)

                Ghost Cat (no christened Seven by my husband ... let's see if any of you get that reference ... hehehe) is the cutest, happiest, sweetest little thing and she is SO happy to be in a home, warm and loved and we're so happy to have her too!

                And now, finally, a picture! Here she is, curled up on our bed ... she was DYING to get on the bed all day yesterday (I was keeping the door closed so our cats felt like they still had a place of their own ... but I couldn't resist that face and let her in when I was getting dressed for the evening and she ran straight for the middle of the bed and plopped down).

                Click the image to open in full size.

                #29 ~Stephanie~

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                  Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:29 PM

                  Yay! So happy you took her in! We recently added another stray to our collection. They will slowly get along better, they just have to establish who is the alpha, then things will settle down.

                  Congrats on your new furbaby! Adorable!

                  Our wedding websitewww.mywedding.com/stephanieandmichaelbailey

                  #30 echo2_62

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                    Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:39 PM

                    YAY Miranda! I'm so happy to hear that she's inside and enjoying a warm loving house now! I'm guessing Seven is the number of strays you've taken in? And it sounds like she knows the best place in the house if she jumped up to the middle of the bed as soon as she was allowed.

                    My FI has been dropping not-so-subtle hints lately because our two cats we've gotten over the last two Christmas's so in his mind Tis The Season for NEW KITTIES!! I think we're more like you though in that we seem to acquire our pets by random means so I think we'll wait for the next one to wander our way!

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