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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 30,385

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Lucas is HOME!

Lucas is the cat we adopted almost two months ago. He was adopted by the college aged daughter of a friend who is studying via computer and got to extend her summer job through at least this fall - but she could not have a pet where she is living. Lucas (aka Rascal aka KittiBoi) was relegated to the screen porch at her parents' house. Their dogs - golden retrievers - are fine with cats, but her brother's blue heeler (another rescue) wants to eat them.

So they had been trying to find a forever home for Lucas - and we were it. He was happy here but a week after we got him, my husband came home late. He was not accustomed to indoor only cats and watching the door and Lucas snuck by him unseen. We didn't even realize that Lucas was gone until the next morning and ran around calling and trying to entice him with food, but no sign of him.

The next two weeks we had a lot of construction, mowing the pastures and the yard, all sorts of chaos. If Lucas had wanted to come back, all of that would have scared him away.

A few weeks ago the previous owner thought they saw him on the other side of our farm, but just a glimpse. With a brown tabby at dusk, it was hard to be sure.

Monday night he showed up at her house. Now her place isn't far, maybe a mile in a straight line, but that straight line is through the woods, across a stream and through some rough areas. Plus there foxes and coyotes that live around here, a black bear has been seen in those woods, and at least one neighbor has dogs that would tear a cat apart.

So we are very happy that Lucas is safe!

He's a little thinner - but he was a little chubby before - and was limping on one paw. I took him to the vet today and the diagnosis is that he sprained his leg, probably got a foot caught when he was jumping down and twisted it. He's getting a couple of days of anti-inflammatory and a lot of rest.

Now we have to introduce him to the girls. We'd adopted Maya two days after adopting Lucas so they sort of knew each other, but he has not met Sabra yet. We're keeping him confined and separate for a few days until we're sure his leg is healed. He's in the upstairs bathroom, but my husband took him into his office and Lucas jumped into his lap for attention, so he wants to be an indoor people cat again.

While Lucas is the largest of the cats, he is the least assertive, so other than Maya and Sabra hissing at him, the biggest problem will be where to put three cat boxes - oh, and finding another cat tree for Lucas. Sabra has claimed his.

I'll post a picture of Lucas as soon as possible

Good News! Lucas has been found!

I posted about adopting Lucas and Maya over a month ago, then the sad post about Lucas disappearing (https://www.democraticunderground.com/116150350) a week later.

Lucas, also known as Rascal by the old owners, showed up last night at his old home. He's a little thin, but otherwise in good condition. He'd been seen at the barn on our farm a week or so ago, and I have no idea how he found his way back to the house where he had only lived for a month.

I am so glad he is safe. I told the woman that I would take him back, but she is worried that we have two kitties and a third might be too much. She's not really a cat person - she and her husband have gold retrievers that get along with the cat fine, but their son's blue heeler does not like cats and looks at them as if she thinks they might be a good meal.

I've made the offer and it is up to her to make the choice. It might stir things up here for a while, but Sabra and Maya are adjusting and we have the room for another cat. We've had more than three cats in the past - at one point we had eight, though three or four were supposed to be barn cats. (Those cats were not stupid and moved into the house during the winter and the hottest parts of the summer.)

Whatever their decision, I am so glad that Lucas is fine.

Mean Birds

I love Aaron's Animals!

We're making major progress with our shy kitty, Sabra

I have pictures to show you!

Here is Maya:

Maya is two and a half years old and had a litter of kittens before she was put up for adoption by the local Humane Society. She was shy at first but now she runs the house. She's tiny, weighs less than eight pounds. I've adopted kittens larger that Maya!

I finally got a picture of Sabra. It's not great but she let me take several while she was in her tent:

We have not been able to weigh Sabra yet but while her frame is not much larger than Maya's, Sabra probably weighs half again as much. I was concerned about her weight and called the Humane Society to check. Since Sabra was spayed as a young cat, there is no chance she is pregnant. She's probably just fat from hiding all the time.

Today we made a major break through with Sabra. I'd posted here about how shy she was. Since I got her the tent, she has been spending time in it instead of under the bed and she will let me pet her when she is in it! In fact, she's gotten so if she is in the tent and I walk by without petting her, she meows at me.

Today she spent time in the larger of the two cat trees we have and was so relaxed she let me pet her while she relaxed in it. This evening she came out of her tent to ask to be petted and even let my husband pet her! We are both so happy with the progress she is making. Even if we could never pet her, she has a home for life, but I was very worried about her mental health and the stress she was under.

We have one more week with construction outside, then the house will be quiet. It's been quiet for four days, which has helped with Sabra's progress, but she will probably have a set back this week. But once the construction is finished, the cats will have a screened porch to hang out on which I know Maya will enjoy and I hope Sabra learns to appreciate, too.

Oh, at night, both cats travel all over the house. Most mornings they are upstairs in my husband's office. When he goes upstairs, they run down. Maya has shown Sabra the living room and they gallop the length of the house whenever they are found in there, even though we do not restrict where they go. I'm glad Sabra feels comfortable doing that, even if she is not comfortable with people other than in the bedroom yet.

Decoding US Postal Searvice excuses about not delivering the mail

I was expecting a package on Saturday that did not arrive - a cord cover from Amazon so the cords and cables for my computer are not exposed trip hazards. When I checked the tracking number from Amazon, this is listed:

Saturday, October 3
7:04 PM
Delivery attempted - Front door / Driveway was not accessible
Tallahassee, FL US

The thing is - Saturday was one day that no one was here working and the driveway WAS accessible. Since the 800 number that Amazon gives out for the USPS has no useful information (lots of stuff about Covid-19, a two choices if you have not received mail in 2-3 days or more than 3 days) I called the local PO branch.

The woman there told me that the line that is given above about "front door/driveway not accessible" is their code for "the carrier had more mail than they could deliver and will attempt the next delivery day. I suspect that they have standard reasons for non-delivery and have adapted this one for the current situation.

I would have been happier if they had told me the truth from the beginning!

UPDATE on traumatized cat - we're making progress!

I set up the bathroom for a cat space, but right now both cats have to be confined to the bedroom suite since we have workers coming in and out, so Sabra still has access to under the bed. I have a castle cat cave (even has crenelations around the top with a door and windows on each side) in there for a shelter

Early yesterday morning (5 AM) I went in and Sabra was in there, so I trapped her in the bathroom with me. She was upset but not as terrified. Tried to give her a couple of treats, but she was not interested. Instead she bumped my hand with her head so I petted her - she loves her pets and scritches! I spent about an hour petting her and talking to her. Sabra still wants to hide, but she would come out for pets.

Yesterday Sabra was hiding under the bed, but ever time I went into the bedroom I talked to her and to Maya. Sabra would talk back to me, even if she wouldn't come out. Maya is sulking a bit about the new cat, but when she is allowed out of the bedroom, she is back to her normal shy, but fun loving self.

Yesterday I went into town and got a Feliway dispenser and a spray for cats beds (can't remember the brand, but it's not Feliway). I think it is helping since the cats are being less antagonistic.

I think the Feliway is helping. Last night after it had been running a few hours, I went into the bedroom and Sabra was on the bed. AS soon as she saw movement she ran under the bed, but still, this is better than Sabra being the invisible cat. This morning when I went into the bathroom, both cats were in there, neither hissing or growling. Sabra ran back into her castle and Maya jumped on the counter.

Maya is jealous and wouldn't let me pet her after I petted Sabra. Sabra would not come out of the castle, but wanted petting if I stuck my hand into the door of the castle. She is not at all aggressive - once I felt her teeth, but that was because I stuck my hand in her mouth when she was meowing.

Neither cat likes being confined and both want the heck out of the bedroom. I may let them loose, keeping the doors closed to the space where the cats can hide in dark spots. If I move Sabra's castle to the library once it is set up, maybe she will come in and spend time with me.

I'm using the technique I used with my horse foals - pet them until they like it but quit before they are tired of it. This leaves them with the memory that they wanted more and were willing to let me come up to them to give them more scratches. This morning Sabra stuck her head out of the castle window when I walked away. I think she is ready for more pets.

Will Feliway help with a scared, traumatized cat?

I wrote yesterday that we have adopted a kitty, Sabra, that has been badly traumatized. I'm not sure exactly what happened to her. According to the Humane Society page, she was found in a wheel well as a kitten, raised by a Humane Society foster, then adopted. Her adoptive family returned her by dumping her at the door of the Humane Society without explaining why they were returning her or what had happened.

I adopted her from the cat cafe that works in conjunction with the local Humane Society - they have a cafe room, then a cat room so people can interact with the cats. Sabra (then called Vera Bradley) never interacted with anyone. She hid under the lowest piece of furniture where one of the young adult cats would comfort her.

We brought her home and released her in our master bedroom suite. The original plan was to let Sabra have it and Maya, who is shy with strangers, but relaxed around us, have the rest of the house. Unfortunately, some of the work to finish the house started the next morning so both cats spent from Tuesday morning until Friday afternoon cooped up in the bedroom together. At night Sabra would come out from under the bed but we mostly didn't see her.

Yesterday when I went into the bathroom, she was in there eating. The other door was closed so I was between her and the exit. The poor kitty was terrified. I talked softly and moved out of her way so she could run out.

I am very concerned about how frightened she is and would like to ease her fears. I know Feliway is used with cats that are not getting along but their web page says it can help with cats that hide. Sabra is doing more than hiding, she seems frightened out of her wits.

I'm thinking of getting their diffuser - but our house is pretty big and they recommend using it in a 700 sq. ft. room - I wish I'd gotten it the first week when she and Maya were in the master by themselves! I have sprinkled catnip around where I thought she was hanging out, but don't know if she even noticed it - it did not look as though it had been disturbed, while the catnip around where Maya was definitely had a cat rolling in it.

I will call the vet and ask for recommendations. Even if we can't get Sabra to be friendly she has a home. But I don't want her to be terrified all the time. Maybe there is something we could feed her that would help - but both cats eat from the same dishes so Maya would also get some of it. Right now we do not know where Sabra is staying in the house. She is going back to the master bath where her food and litter box are - but Maya has access, too.

The other problem is that we need to take both cats in for checkups and vaccinations which will just increase the stress. I'll ask the vet if there is something that will help with that, too.

We're back to a two cats house - Maya and Sabra!

I posted (https://www.democraticunderground.com/116150042) about adopting Lucas and Maya at the beginning of September. WEll, exactly a week after adopting Lucas, he somehow got out of the house. Unfortunately, the next day began five days of work being done around the house and on the farm. My husband and I walked all over the eight acres closest to the house, no sign of Lucas - but he's a brown tabby and under a bush would be invisible. He never learned to come to us calling him.

I've checked the local animal shelter site, put in a lost cat notification, put the word around, but nothing.

I was sort of in denial that we had lost him, especially since the day we realized he was gone, Maya hid for twelve hours. I was devastated thinking that if we lost two cats in one day, I could never get another cat. It turns out that the barn cat had disappeared from the barn last year, but he turned up at someone's house and is now an indoor cat. I can only hope Lucas finds a new home - I did register his microchip so if he is found, I will be notified.

Maya has gotten very friendly and comes when I call her - she loves canned food so I would call her and give her a little treat. Now when I call her, she may not come to me, but she will run to her food dish, LOL.

But I really wanted two cats on the theory they would keep each other company. Maya and Lucas had begun to interact so it was sad to see Maya left alone. The night after he got out, she wandered around the house calling. So I decided it was time to get another kitty.

I had gone back to checking the Humane Society web site for cats and fell in love with a black kitty they named Vera Bradley. Last Monday I went in and adopted her - they were thrilled. It turns out that Vera had been adopted, then dumped on their doorstep with no explanation. Vera was traumatized by that treatment and spent all her time at the cat cafe hiding under a love seat. Maya had been shy, but she would just walk away from people. Vera never let people see her!

I had intended to put Vera in the master bedroom and let Maya still have the run of the rest of the house, but unexpectedly the crew to rebuild the porch showed up Tuesday morning. Both cats spent all this week in the bedroom. Nights were rough - they would growl at each other and one kept pawing at the window blinds, maybe to get the view. Not sure which was which. Wednesday night when I went to the bathroom, Vera was in there and when I closed the door she freaked out about being trapped in there with a stranger. I talked to her, but she was very upset so as soon as I could I let her back into the bedroom. I saw her for the second time yesterday morning when I took food in - she was at the bedroom door and as soon as she saw me, she disappeared back under the bed.

Today all the work inside the house is done for a few days, so I opened up the bedroom door. Maya is thrilled - she'd been giving the cold shoulder for locking her up with a strange kitty, but once she had free roaming she came over to let me pet her and keeps dashing from one end of the house to the other. For a tiny eight pound cat she makes a lot of noise when she runs!

Vera is renamed - she is now Sabra (named for my fourth great grandmother) she's still hiding under the bed but when I go to sleep I will leave a door open and hope she will start exploring. Even if she stays really shy, she will have a home. We will just have to figure out how to get Sabra to the vet for her shots and other treatments that are now overdue. I have a plan but will give her another week or two to let her settle in before I try it.

I'm still hoping Lucas will show up but don't have much hope for that. If he does, he will have a home and we will be a three cat household.

Dang - it was my day for a wasp sting.

Since the work on the addition is finished and we have our Certificate of Completion(!) the contractor will be picking up the permit box soon - that's the box that all the plans, forms and permits have to be in during construction. I decided collect all those papers from the box to store. We did that with the original construction of the house and some of those plans were really helpful in the addition.

So I wander out to the box and reach up to grab the papers - and saw the wasp nest just as one zapped my right hand. I have no idea what kind they were - I dropped the door, froze for a second in case more swarmed out, then headed back to the house.

I've got to restock my Benadryl cream and tablets - both are way past expiration, but they still seem to work. The sting is below the webbing between the thumb and first finger. My hand is swollen half again as big as it should be from the middle finger to the thumb, then down the wrist and about half way down my arm. It itches all the way to the elbow.

Mostly I've been icing it with my home made ice packs (1 part isopropyl alcohol to 3 parts water, double bagged in ziplock freezer bags). I can wrap my entire hand in one of the gallon size (1 pint mix in the gallon bags works great) and that relieves the pain better than anything else.

But this is on my right hand and I am extremely right handed. PITA.

2020 Through The Eyes of Simon's Cat

Mostly old videos, but the themes of all of them fit this year.
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