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Capturing a cat ... what to do if successful??

January 21st, 2007, 06:27 PM
We have noticed a small cat sheltering itself from the elements under our kitchen window (we have a small overhang, can is bedding down on the mulch behind some small cedars). We noticed it last weekend after Jack took a more than normal interest in that part of the yard when we had him out for a pee.

Over the past week it has come and gone. We have left some tuna out for it which it has eaten a couple of times. We've been unsuccessful in capturing it so far. Today I took a box, cut the side out of it, lined it with an old blanket and placed it under the window (at the very least the cat should be somewhat warmer than curling up on the cold ground in sub-zero weather. My wife ran out to the drugstore to pick up some cat food (tuna was getting expensive!). I placed the food in a bowl at the back of the box. We are hoping to catch the cat in the box.

I have no doubt that, in time, I will be able to catch it. My dilemma is what to do after I do. If I take it to Animal Control / SPCA and it is truely feral (and or deemed unadoptable) its outlook will be bleak. Also, with the two dogs in the house, i am not sure how they will react to us bringing it in (my guess is that one or both of them will look at the cat as something to chase and pester.

Any thoughts on what to do?

January 21st, 2007, 06:39 PM
well first off..good luck in your task. From experience, it's really hard to catch a cat. THey're very sneaky. And don't mean to discourage, but a box won't do anything. You literally have to grab her and shove her in a kitty carrier or cage. If the cat does go in the box, trust me she won't stay put when she sees you walking towards her.
We tried to atch a cat in a shed and shut the door on her and well no luck :(

The only way I was able to catch ferals was if they were kittens. It;s a difficult task and if the cat won't trust you, then she won't let you come near her. You'll have to befriend her until she lets you touch her. Then MAYBE you can grab her and put her in a cage. BUT, even indoor cats are terrified of cages/kitty carriers.

Once you catch her, you can put her in a spare bathroom. That's what I did when we cat some feral kittens. THen she can sleep there and be fed there until someone from a shelter or rescue is willing to take her. It would also help trying to socialize her after you catch her and get her used to human presence and pet her and play with her. The more socialized she becomes the more friendly she is and the easier it will be to have her get adopted. :thumbs up

what other people do with cats that can't be socialized is they get them spayed/neutered and then release them back into the "wild", that way they don't reproduce but get back to their normal life. You can keep on feeding her after that and make a shelter for her.

January 21st, 2007, 07:30 PM
Last night I was able to toss a beach towel over her (let's call it a her for now until I am able to check out the goodies), which she didn't attempt to get out from under. My problem was getting my arms over the snow, thru the cedars, and getting a firm (but gentle) grip. When I realized that I was not going to be able to pick her up blanket and all, I got hold of one corner of the towel and pulled it off (at which time she bolted).

I am hoping that if she gets comfortable going into the box for the food we left (the box is a paper box with the side cut out and the top put back on making it into a little house) that I can toss a blanket over it and pull the box out, hopefully with kitty inside.

January 22nd, 2007, 12:00 AM
Hmm,,,I hate to be pessimistic but the SPCA (assuming you mean the one in Dartmouth) will prob put her to sleep if they think she is feral. They have even managed to put to sleep family pets - one when the family looking after a cat somehow got out and the catsitters never considered the SPCA and her 72 hrs were up and so was she (sigh!). They also took in a cat who was roaming the streets and while her family searched for her, again they were just barely under the wire in getting to the SPCA - thinking she would co me home the first day (I forget the whole story, was in the Chronicle Herald) and also, this cat as well - healthy et al - was put to sleep. Ferals especially - Siamese are in the same situation - do not do well in shelters. They scream and want out and are thus deemed to be unadoptable. :sad:

However, you might have better luck wuth Border Collie rescue *they do take in some cats), Raven's Haven Animal Rescue Society
Animal Rescue
and the Harbour Cities Vet Hospital on Wyse Rd in Dartmouth who have pets on Petfinder and do some adoptions.

You could trap her/him - but make sure you cover whatever you use so she is not too scared. Covering a carrier with a towel for ex seems to calm them down - along with food and music and let the kitty get used to your voice. There is so much more but I am being called...

Good luck!!

January 22nd, 2007, 12:24 AM
This might help:

I wouldn't recommend trying with a cardboard box though unless it's really tough or you've reinforced it. Cat's get surprisingly strong when they are trapped and wriggle out of things pretty easily. Also if he/she happens to pee the cardboard will not hold up well.

kashtin's kin
January 22nd, 2007, 01:01 AM
I hope things are going 'okay' at this point. It's wonderful :thumbs up of you to try to help this poor cat out. Don't be too discouraged! Until June of this year I had NO experience with feral cats; 7-8 mos. later I've gentled/brought to vet/trapped/adopted an entire family of 5...with a LOT of help/encouragement from this BB.

If you post specific questions, more 'feral' people will eventually see the posts, and respond with possible solutions. A plastic cat crate is definitely better than a box...livetraps DO work with cats...tuna was an invaluable tool for younger ferals adapted to inside life quite happily :cat: (were isolated in large cage, then a room for the first while).

GOOD LUCK, and let us know how things progress!! :fingerscr

January 22nd, 2007, 01:53 AM
Thank you for your efforts.
The fact that you were able to grab her once and she didn't immediately turn into a whirling dervish makes me think she is not feral, but a lost or abandoned pet. Please don't give up. Try to position the box where it is more accessible. When you are in her vicinity, talk to her calmly, try just touching her initially, without moving in for the snatch. I have a feeling this cat is just waiting to be caught. And it's so damn cold out your way!
I agree that the SPCA is a bad idea, particularly if they have a reputation for putting cats down quickly, as CK mentions. You could look around for the owner, put up some posters, but don't hold your breath :(.
If you are open to keeping her, there's no reason she and your dogs can't adapt, as long as you introduce them slowly, keeping her at first in her own space, making sure she is healthy, and giving her time to settle. There are many people here who have successfully integrated cats into doggy households.
Let us know what happens, eh? I'll be waiting to hear that this little soul is safely out of the elements.

January 22nd, 2007, 08:35 AM
I checked this morning on my way out the door. Doesn't appear that she was back last night (all the little piles of food I left out were still there). I agree that a cardboard box is not the best capture device, but on a cold Sunday evening it was the best option available.

Last week I able to get within 4 feet of her. I talked to her a bit. She (understandably) hissed a bit when I put my hand in to touch her (If I was in her position I would have taken a swipe at me!). She doesn't try to run away until I start to get really close.

My hope is that she is a got away cat and that she has found her way home (or will find her way into my home).

The SPCA here is supposed to be a no-kill shelter but only if the animal is deemed adoptable. In Halifax, if a stray is brought in, it goes to Animal Control for 72 hours or so to give time for an owner to claim it. If that time passes, and the animal is deemed adoptable, it is transferred to SPCA. This is the process for dogs, but I am unsure if it is the same for cats. I've been in at times when they have been wall to wall cats/kittens in every available area (including under desks). I don't believe that they euthanize for space.

January 22nd, 2007, 08:50 AM
Well that's a relief, if you decide to do that. Although I hope they do good adoptability assessments, cats get pretty stressed in a crowded environment and tend not to put their best foot forward as a result. What you could do is put a 'stop kill' order on the cat, that is, if she is going to be euthanized, they call you and you go and get her :). It would probably mean an adoption fee, however.
Keep us posted!

January 22nd, 2007, 11:24 AM
My wife was home for lunch and looked in the box and found kitty curled up inside (which was nice to hear. Temp right now is about -6C ... it was -20C first thing this morning). She had eaten all the food we left. My wife put some food in her hand, reached partially into the box and dropped it in front of kittys nose. She said that she didn't appear to hiss or try to escape. Hopefully she stays warm for the afternoon.

January 22nd, 2007, 12:04 PM
awww poor kitty. My heart just melts when I see animals curled up in a shelter from the cold. But she'll be ok if she lets you catch her :)

i think that she'll have a good chance to get adopted if she's so trusting of people:thumbs up

January 22nd, 2007, 12:10 PM
Wow, she's so lucky she found you!!! Good job.:thumbs up

January 22nd, 2007, 12:12 PM
First, I think what your doing is really great and kind hearted. Since your kitty seems to be used to the box, maybe if you put a 'have a heart' cage/trap there instead, she will go in and then be captured inside. If that's possible, then I would think a trip to the vet or animal rescue center is in order, to have her checked out and make sure she's healthy. You don't say what kind of (monetary/emotional) commitment you are willing to make, but, in a perfect world, this kitty would need to be neutered once he/she is deemed healthy. I have incorporated cats into a doggy household and vice versa with little problem and some patience. If that's not an option, perhaps someone in your network of friends would be willing? Hopefully, euthanasia is not a option for you!! Good luck.

January 22nd, 2007, 12:20 PM
Just received another call from my wife. The cat let her pet it (seems like this is/was someones 'outdoor' cat) and curled up against her and let her hold it. Kitty is now residing in our main floor bathroom with her new blanket and box. Apparently she is very skinny (and cold).

No tags / collars on her (still don't know if male or female ... wife said she was so happy that the cat will now be warm that she didn't bother checking it out).

Black cat with white front ... wife is saying that with the markings it is Monty reincarnated as a cat (if so I feel sorry for him ... he was afraid of cats if they were withing 10 feet of him ... if they were 10+ feet away he was the toughest cat-hating dog in the house ;) )

We are going to decide at supper what our next step is. I have a feeling that we are going to have a full time feline resident. We are seeing if we can get her into our vet this evening for a quick check up.

For all you cat people out there, what is the absolute minimum supplies that we should pick up to get kitty through the short term?

kashtin's kin
January 22nd, 2007, 02:21 PM
That's so great to hear that the cat is indoors now :D , and that she doesn't seem to be a real feral. Also, sooooo nice to hear it sounds like she may be 'absorbed' into your household. Before our feral family appeared, we had set a 3-cat moratorium on felines (due to 2 dogs, and a horse on pricey meds); we somehow ;) ended up adopting 2 of the ferals ourselves.

As for cat basics short-term: a litter box, litter, litter scoop (should be able to get all 3 for not much over $10...wide range in sizes/styles of litter boxes, thus prices also), some wet/dry cat food, possibly some evaporated milk (in the case of younger, skinny, cold cats...I dilute it a bit, and they seem to put weight on and enjoy the 'comfort factor' of warm milk).

There are all kinds of fancy cat beds out there, but for the most part I use cat-sized boxes, with towels/small blanket as bedding. I have some pet dishes from a pet food store, but more often use older plates/bowls of the human variety (ones without cracks etc.).

Eventually, a scratching post is pretty essential. Ooo, and if you don't have an actual cat crate-for vet visit or?-they are pretty inexpensive and easy to get i.e. small-ish one may be $25 or so at pet stores/Zeller's etc. You really don't need to spend too much $$ for the basics. Hope things continue to work out; you folks are doing great :angel: , and that lucky cat likely feels she's won the lottery!

p.s. if you use evap. milk, also have a bowl of water litter-traditional 'scoopable' litter vs. 'fine' flushable? litter: I actually use a mixture of the 2, and scoop it into a container/bag (I can't really flush litter with our system, but the fine litter helps things 'hold together' better when when scooping!)
p.p.s. know what they say, " We don't find cats...they find us!" Good luck with everything :fingerscr , and keep us posted!

January 22nd, 2007, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the info. I am going to buy a cheap carrier after work as well as some basic supplies (if this had been a dog I would have opened up a drawer and pulled out everything we'd need ... cat needs are pretty foreign to me). We have a vet trip scheduled for this evening to get things checked out.

January 22nd, 2007, 02:49 PM
yay kitty!!

i'm glad she's inside now and i hope she likes her bathroom :D

January 22nd, 2007, 03:49 PM
Sounds good but I have heard the opposite about the SPCA but maybe it is the provincial one - I am referring to the one in Dartmouth that covers Metro. Those are where the two incidents I know of occurred. I never thought they were a kill shelter either - esp since they seemed so good - until then. Hopefully the Chronicle herald is wrong. I have a friend who is involved with the paper - I'll ask her to do a search of the archives. I do know we they allow is the take Siamese from there so they do not end up killed. Not sure what that means.

The 1st family at the time was so upset - that's why they went to the paper. They went to pick up their cat at the SPCA and I think it was Dartmouth - which I thought covered all of Metro???) only to discover they were too late and their cat had been put to sleep because she was deemed unadoptable. *which is not the same as euthanizing for space - they do not do that but if a cat is not adoptable, that is another matter again from what I have heard.) I guess I am just worried. If you do bring her there, ask them explicitly - and call each day!!! Or go and see her. Or you could ask one of the local rsecues to put up a notice for you???

I don't want to be negative - these may be aberrations but the SPCA apparently did offer to give them another cat but of course they wanted their cat!! They do get some good publicity too - they did care for that cat that some kids abused in Eastern Passage but with so much publicity, they had mega calls for him!

Good luck and keep up the good work. Anlother oplace that will take cats is the Cat Hospital on Quinpool. :angel:

January 22nd, 2007, 05:00 PM
Right now the cats bathroom door is being guarded quite closely by two very very inquisitive terrier mutts. They ate their dinnner tonight one mouthfull at a time ... take a bite run to the hall and sniff the gap at the door, run back for a bite, repeat.

I spent a few mins with the cat before we closed her back in and let the dogs out. She is a sweet little thing. Seriously underweight - you can feel every bone on her. She seems quite content to nuzzle her head into an open hand. I don't think she spent much time off her blanket, except to drink a bit of water.

Out vet was good enough to get us in for an appt at 8 this evening. Hopefully all is well.

I'll post an update following the vet visit.

Thanks all for your great advice with kitty. :pawprint:

January 22nd, 2007, 05:30 PM
:highfive: :thumbs up What a wonderful thing you have done. If you decide to keep her/him I have read that getting a baby gate and placing it say in the door way of a spare room etc... and then leashing the dogs and slowly letting them check her out is one way to introduce them. Also giving her when she settles a bit one of the dogs blankets and the dogs one of her blankets so they get use to each other's smell helps. Lots of praise to the pups when they act accordingly. The baby gate gives the cat a dog free place to retreat to until everyone is happy. I am sure other's will have other ideas that will help with introductions.

Hope all goes well at the vets and we would love to see a picture.

January 22nd, 2007, 05:59 PM
This cat was probably within days of dying; I'm so glad you have her inside.
Just a tip: give her kitten food, if possible (it is richer) and feed in small, frequent amounts. You could also give her some canned kitten food, or meaty table scraps (no bones please), but always in small amounts; her system needs to be built up slowly and surely.

January 22nd, 2007, 07:56 PM
We had kitty to the vet for a check out. She (yep, she's a she!) is very skinny, approx 5 lbs, they guesstimate her age at around 6 mos. Teeth and skin appeared to be in good condition. She has a large abcese on her front right elbow. They were able to cut the matted hair away, drain the fluid and give her an antibiotic shot (which she was not very pleased with), plus some antibiotic pills for the next few days.

We are going to keep her with us for a while to see how she adjusts (right now she is happily eating in the bathroom with two very loud and whiny pups outside the door. Whether she ends up staying with us or not, we've decided that her name will be Gracie (now that she has a name I suspect that she end up staying providing all works out well with the booger-twins).

We let the pups see her very quickly when we got back with her. She hissed at them when one got its nose a bit too close to the grate on the carrier and decided to give her a few barks, but she settled down very quickly when we put her back in the bathroom.

I'm not sure if she's litter trained or not ... I'm assuming no, but I'm being a pessimist and going to assume that she has had very little inside house experience until I discover different.

We're going out tomorrow to get her some proper supplies.

When things settle down here I'll take a couple of pictures and post.


:dog: :cat:

kashtin's kin
January 22nd, 2007, 11:13 PM
Wow, you've got a LOT accomplished with 'Gracie' (good name :D ) already! Way to go! This kind of thing tends to be a bit of a whirlwind at first, but calmer days should lie ahead. We took in a non-feral but very shy and scrawny older kitten who turned up on our doorstep a few years ago; 'Sally' lived in a separate space inside for a while.

We had a comfy boxnest for her, and fed her up gradually with rich kitten food and diluted evaporated milk. She gained weight quickly, and was so thrilled with her cozy nest that for quite some time she only got up to refuel and use the litter box.

Our cat-indoor only-population generally runs at about 6, and although there is the odd 'litter box miss', we've never had any problems with feral/new-to- indoors cats figuring out the whole litter situation (if anything, it's the well-trained older cats that sometimes get a bit careless or ?).

It's always a little interesting as 'original' critters adjust to new ones, and dogs and cats learn to coexist; we just supervise a lot at first, and make sure everyone knows what is acceptable behaviour...a lot like teaching kids. Our Jack Russell is a bit zippy!, but quickly realized that going after a fast-moving cat was just not on.

Now that one of our dogs is older, and has snapped once or twice at a cat (otherwise, she's a wonderful girl) we simply crate the two dogs when there is no one in the house for longer than a few minutes. ...Sooooo, welcome to 'Catland'; it sounds like you're handling this development/change GREAT:thumbs up . I'd be surprised if Gracie didn't turn out to be a fun addition to your household.

p.s. any cat that has been in rough shape when taken in by us has tended to be very sweet :cat: and appreciative!

January 22nd, 2007, 11:19 PM
I'm not sure if she's litter trained or not ... I'm assuming no, but I'm being a pessimist and going to assume that she has had very little inside house experience until I discover different.

you know when I caught my kitty(she was SUPPOSED to be taken toa rescue but that didn't ..anyway) she lived in the basement bathroom too and i didn't have a litterbox for her but she refused to pee or poop anywhere in the bathroom. She was about 4-5 months. ANd once I got the litter box and filled it, she jumped and used it. I didn't have to teach her. Maybe you'll get lucky too Dogastrophe:thumbs up

January 22nd, 2007, 11:32 PM
WOW. WOW. WOW. Dogastrophe ~ whether this sounds maudlin or not, thanks for being a hero.

January 23rd, 2007, 06:08 AM
We had quite a restless night last night. Gracie settled into her bed quite well and didn't make a peep. Jack and Lucy, on the other hand, were being little brats. They would settle down and sleep for an hour, then get up whining and pacing (we had them in the bedroom with us with the door closed). Part was Gracie related, part was due to all the water they drank last night due to the 'excitement'.

After putting the pups in their crates on the way out the door, we spent 5 or so mins with her. She is guarding her food and will immediately go toward the dish when we come in to see her (don't really blame her for doing this).

She seems to love to have her head scratched and her ears rubbed. We've handled her paws with no objection from her. I tried to coax her out of the bathroom so she could take a look around. She made it as far as the door and spent a few minutes peering around the corner (likely wanting to ensure that the two loud beasts were not nearby).

She left a present in the litterbox this morning, which was good to see. As a result, we are going to move her to one of the upstairs bedrooms (my computer room) to give her a bit more room to move if she wishes. Plus there is very little in the room of value that she can destroy if she gets the inclination (I'll have to kitty proof a little bit).

I was able to snap a couple of pics this morning, which I'll post this evening when I get home.

January 23rd, 2007, 06:51 AM
That is great:thumbs up Another kitty rescuer. Good work in helping this poor kitty out. Can't wait to see the pics:)

January 23rd, 2007, 10:07 AM
i'm getting warm and fuzzy feelings :lovestruck: This reminds me of my Twiggy experience :lovestruck:

I'm glad kitty's doing great. She's so young, before you know it she;ll greet you with purrs and walk between your legs with so much excitement to see you you'll most likely trip and fall :cloud9: AWWWWW!!:lovestruck:


January 23rd, 2007, 01:20 PM
Glad all is going well for you, and you can bask in the glory of having done such a good deed. I know that I have posted this elsewhere, but I have a wire cage of about 2x3 feet that I always put a new pet into, particularly in a household that is mixed with dogs, etc. The cage is large enough for a bed, what, food and litter pan (which I find most cats prefer to use when they are introduced to it), and I cover the cage on 3 sides with a blanket so that the cat can go into that area when she wants to be left alone. The front of the wire cage is exposed and this way the dogs and cat can smell each other and get used to each other, while the cat is in the safety of the cage. I think that when you introduce cats through a closed door or closed off room, you are delaying the inevitable, as when you finally try to put the cat in the room with the dogs, they have never really gotten used to each other and it's as though you're just starting out. Maybe you vet or SPCA can lend you such a cage, as they can be expensive if you buy them new. This process always works for me, and usually takes about 2 weeks before the cat feels secure enough to come out. Good luck!

January 23rd, 2007, 02:41 PM
She does not sound feral is she is so friendly - and I think she may have found a home by the sound of it. :) Gracie indeed!! And awwwwwww, she sounds cute just hearing about It, poor thing - being so hungry. I bet you someone just dumped her from a home- most so called strays tend to come from homes anyway - with the exception of course of the truly feral and unless kittens are born of a feral mom (which does not sound like the case here), kittens that are "stray" tend to be easily "trained."

You are doing all the right things. Once the dogs and Gracie get used to each others' smells, they will be better I would think - as long as it is done slowly. The fact she allows you to touch her is amazing and means she is very unlikely to be feral. I have taken in ferals and a real feral cat can take months sometimes, depends on how long they've been feral to socialize. I have had to resort to putting them into their own room, playing soft music, reading to them so they adjust to human voices being OK - and associated with good things like food. The first time a feral kitten will play is just something that makes you want to cry!! They have spent so much time just watching out for their life!!) So my guess is that Gracie is not feral but likely dumped by some uncaring human. Can I ask where in Metro you found her? Was it Metro?

One thing that always works for me is putting the same towels for a time with the dogs and then with Gracie. That way, they learn that these smells are OK. the same is true of dabbing a little vanilla under their chins - it neutralizes the smell which is how cats especially determine who is their friend and part of their territory and who is not. (It's why when you bring home one cat from the vet, the other cats sometimes hiss at her - they don't recognize the smells, and prob hate the smells of the vet added to that!)

Patience is what you need the most but if Gracie was in a home, she may recall her litter habits faster than you imagine. Tho no doubt she is used to going outside now. With true ferals, we used to sometimes use earth that one buys at a gardening shop but I would not try that with Gracie since nothing actually points to her being really feral. If she will allow you you to scratch her paws in a litter box (even if you do it gently with gloves on), she might begin to realize that is where she is supposed to go - and like a small puppy, if you see her sniffing and place her in the box, she will realize she has "earth" (ie litter) to dig in and may well do her thing there.

I thin kyou are doing amazingly well tho!! Can't wait to see pix!!!

January 23rd, 2007, 03:00 PM
Found her in Clayton Park West (we live a few streets down from Far. Gate, toward the soccer field).

She has used the litter box at least twice (two litter encrusted 'presents' left in the box). I suspect that she has had a pee or two as well.

The dogs have been fixated on the bathroom door since last evening. My wife said that today at noon was the most relaxing noon she has had in years .. she didn't have to tell them to settle down, or slow down, or to come inside. They ran out for a quick pee then took up their spots by the door.

January 23rd, 2007, 04:43 PM
Sounds she is the star attraction in more than one way. :) Good for her!!

Perhaps someone did drop her in that area - maybe from another part of Metro, thinking someone would take her in. I have a friend who works at the MSV Motherhouse (well, until it ceases to exist as we know it tho they are having trouble with the company from what I hear) and they found a few kittens around Gracie's age about about a week ago and took them in - she actually took one home and another person there, one of the nuns, took the other. These kittens were also friendly and the one she brought home easily integrated with her other cat. I realize that is Rockingham but it makes you wonder if someone is selecting areas in that part of the city to drop kittens? (Gawd, it makes me so angry at humans when I hear that - as many cats as I have seen, it is sad that there are still ppl out there who will do that and more to an innocent animal.)

Keep up the great work with Gracie! I am more anxious than ever to see pix!! We are always on the lookout for "therapy cats" at the IWK if that is something you (and Gracie too - she needs to like it, lol) are interested in - if you do end up with another family member. :)

January 23rd, 2007, 04:49 PM
Here are a couple of pics that I took of Gracie this morning. When she gets more comfortable and will stay still, I will take a few more (among the many many that I'm sure we will take in the next while)

I think that she is a very pretty kitty.

January 23rd, 2007, 05:14 PM
Awww she's very pretty.:love: I can see a little sparkle in her eyes that she knows she's been rescued.:o

January 23rd, 2007, 06:34 PM
She is adorable and maybe I am just emotional today but for some reason looking at her brings tears to my eyes( good ones). I think maybe because she reminds me of when I found my two furbabies. I am glad things went basically well at the vet. Other than the abcess and her being thin she looks good. Love the name by the way and I hope all works out with her and the pups. She was very lucky to have found you and your wife.

January 23rd, 2007, 06:57 PM
AWWW a tuxedo, my absolute favourite; they always seem to have special little characters to match. She'll be gorgeous (not that she isn't already). Looks VERY young. Good thing she's not pregnant, couple more months and it would have been a given.

Gracie, your ship has come in!

January 23rd, 2007, 10:07 PM
Aww, she's a pretty kitty. It will be great to see the before/after pics in a few months :D . Congrats, hope the doggies settle soon for ya.

January 23rd, 2007, 10:29 PM
i was waiting and wiating for pictures in the photo thread...but here they are!!:D
my goodness she's such a cutie!!:cloud9: Skinny though but well i'm sure she'll have no problem fattening up at your house:thumbs up

January 23rd, 2007, 11:06 PM
Awwwwwwwwww, a tuxie girl. She is a sweetie and I do agree- she looks very happy, you can it in her eyes!!

kashtin's kin
January 24th, 2007, 01:32 AM
We must all sound like a bunch of 'doting aunties'?? :grouphug: , but what a sweetie-pie! Thanks for getting some pix up so fast; inspiring stories just seem so much better when :cat: illustrated!! Soooo great to hear how your family sort of 'intersected' with Gracie; I think y'all will enrich each other's lives a ton. Thanks again for being such good critterfolk :D .

January 24th, 2007, 09:28 AM
Awwwwwwwwww, a tuxie girl. She is a sweetie and I do agree- she looks very happy, you can it in her eyes!!

What i see in her eyes is her thinking "i'll have this whole house wrapped around my paw in notime cos i'm so darn cute and they'll all LOVE ME!!":D

*chants*more pictures!more pictures!:lovestruck: :lovestruck:

January 24th, 2007, 09:57 AM
Gracie is settling into her own room (my computer room / office) quite nicely. We have her litter box and bed set up in the now emptied closet. We've placed her food a few feet away from the closet to encourage her to leave the closet.

The dogs are starting to get a bit bored with the smells on the other side of the door. Last night they came downstairs on thier own and curled up on the couch with us only going to check out the door every once and a while.

When she heard us and the dogs get up this morning she started purring away. She has eaten quite a bit of food (we put her on Felidae last night) since we brought her in. She is eating in bits and pieces throughout the day and is not gorging.

When we went in to see her she rolled on her side and let us scratch her belly a bit. She doesn't mind being handled, but seems to have some sensitivity with her back right paw (her absece is on the front right leg, so possible that their is a connection between the two).

January 24th, 2007, 07:28 PM
A suggestion get a few spray bottle place in convenient place around the house for later, have the bottle set for stream rather than spray, start now give the dogs a squirt of water if they keep hanging out by the door and tell them "leave kitty " The kitten is at a good age to introduce to the dogs.

You have dog crates, place one in the center of the livingroom or office, put the cat in for introduction . if the dogs are calm around the cat praise, and excited and overly interested in squirt "leave kitty " only when the dogs are a the point where they ignore the cat and have calmed down are you going to want to try the cat loose, with dogs on leash, the cat will run around, which will make the dogs want to give chase all the more so having them on leashes at first is important, as you want to stop them from becoming overexcited and from being competitive about trying to catch the cat first by this point, that combo together can be dangerous for the cat as it can set the dogs into preydrive and packing behaviour, so the dogs need to know from you as pack leader it is unacceptable they should be respecting the spray bottle most of the time( which provides you with extended reach and better than having you running toward them to stop behaviour and they could view the running as wanting to joing into the "hunt") and stopping as soon as they see it, or even to just voice of " "leave Kitty" only when thing are going well on leash with no attempts to chase are you going to be ready to try off leash and when you have 100% time to supervise with spray bottle in hand, you will probably start noting that when the kitty starts running the dogs will begin to turn and look at you to see if you are watching them and if things are going well it is time for them and have stopped chasing and respect your "Leave Kitty" it is time to learn you are also listening, so time to do some quiet activity like read or sit at the computer where the dogs don't think you are paying attention to them and if they should give chase after seeing you are not looking you should give a a big booming stern sounding voice "leave kitty" For a good period of time you should not leave the house or dogs unattended with the cat without ensuring total seperation, in time you may feel comfortable with leaving them together but it should be with plenty of places for the cat to escape and hide, pulling the couch out from the wall a bit, access to a bedroom to hide under a bed. a slightly rased babygate the cat can run under, some dogs and cats will play together, but with multiple dogs I do recommend maintaining restrict space with the use of babygates so the cat always has escape routes, in the event the dogs decide to gang up an play, if you ever note the cat is starting to avoid the dogs it is possible this has been happening while you are not home so it would be wise to start and maintain total separation when you are not home, some people prefer to just do this way only.

My own dogs were highly excited about the cat when I first brought Tipper home, my one has a high prey drive when it comes to squirrel and rabbits outside but I had noted prior to introducing a cat to the home he was not focused on cats while at the vets and was more worried about what would be happening to him at the vet rather than thinking of the cat as dinner, which told me he was cat trainable which is different than being cat safe, he can be taught that a cat or cats within his home can become part of his pack but a strange cat outdoors will likely always be viewed as prey or at least something to chase. Any dog whose focus of a cat in what should be a strange or stressful setting for a dog, cannot be easily broken will never be reliably cat trainable, and this is one of the methods they use down on some of the dog race tracks to determined which dogs to be adopted out are cat safe, cat trainable or absolutely no cats, with cat trainables extreme care should be used when introducing to cats to avoid injuries to either

January 24th, 2007, 07:45 PM
When we went in to see her she rolled on her side and let us scratch her belly a bit.

that's GREAT!!:thumbs up
when cats let you pet their belly it means they trust you. Way to go!:thumbs up

January 25th, 2007, 06:25 AM
OntGreys, thanks for the advice. We use a spray bottle on occassion to keep them from jumping when people come in the house. All we need to do is show the bottle to Lucy and she clears away. Jack seems to enjoy getting squirted everywhere but on the back of his head, right between the ears. I've gotten to the point where I am ready for the National Squirt Bottle Targetting team. I can place a stream of water between his ears from about 10 feet away!

During the day both dogs are crated when no one is home, so no worries about anything happening between them when we are out.

Last night, other than a few trips up to the bedroom door for a quick sniff, the dogs pretty much ignored the interloper in their house. We took a comforter that is normally on Lucy's futon and piled it up in the corner of the room. I came in the room and laid on the floor with my head propped up on it. Gracie came over and flopped next to me on it.

This morning, my wife got up before I did, closed the bedroom door to keep the dogs in with me, and then opened up Gracie's door. Gracie took the opportunity to come out of the bedroom to check things out. She wandered down the stairs, looked around, then came back up to her room.

After we crated the pups on our way out, we went in to say goodbye to her. We popped the door open (which she was waiting in front of) and let her come see us. She walked into the hall and peered around our bedroom door to look at Lucy in her crate. She gave a little purr, which I'm sure meant "ha ha ha, who's locked up now, stupid dog".

She is eating very well and should be starting to gain back some of the weight that she lost. Her wound/absese is starting to heal nicely.

January 25th, 2007, 06:57 AM
What a great story to read first off in the morning:lovestruck: I don't know how I missed it before..
Gracie is adorable,a bit thin,but I am sure she'll soon fill out and she's a very lucky kitty:cat:
Like Badger said,she would more than likely have died out there,no food,no shelter:sad:
Then you and your wife came along,thank you,thank you for saving her!
I am sure she'll love you back tenfold and I hope the doggies will learn to accept her in to the family:fingerscr
The thought of putting this little girl in a cage at SPCA brings tears to my eyes,but I have a feeling you're hooked:lovestruck: Hopefully:fingerscr
Thank's again,hugs to you and your wife:grouphug:

January 25th, 2007, 07:33 AM
We had discussed what we will do IF (and that's a very big IF) things do not work out with her and the dogs. We would contact a private cat rescue in the area, fill them in on the story, and ask them to work on the adoption process. We would, at that time, foster Gracie and look after all associated costs until such time as a suitable family was found for her (after we get her stronger and a bit 'fatter' she will need spayed and vaccinated). The rescue could then use the resulting adoption fee to cover off some of their own expenses.

However, at this time, we are planning to keep her forever. I think she is going to be a great addition to the family. :dog: :cat:

January 25th, 2007, 01:42 PM
now you're a 'catastrophe' too!

(hehe I always liked your user name!)

January 26th, 2007, 10:11 AM
does Gracie wonder around the house when you're not home? with teh dogs crated she'd be out of harm's way to "make herself at home" and explore her surroundings in peace to accomodate better :thumbs up

Do the dogs react in any way that would suggest they'd want to attack her as prey?

I read somewhere that the dogs won't want to chase a cat that doesn't run from them, so you know with time when you let them out, if she isn't inclined to run, things will go smoothly with them getting used to each other :thumbs up

any updates on her and the dogs?:D

January 26th, 2007, 11:39 AM
We haven't let her wander the house yet. However, this afternoon we are going to close the bedroom door that the dogs are in and open her's. Hopefully she will take advantage and wander around some (and not scratch up the furniture).

Last night the pups essentially ignored the activity on the other side of the door. A couple of times they would go up and give a quick sniff then come back downstairs. On a few occassions we asked "where's Gracie?", they would give us a quick look, then run up to the door and sniff.

We are going to do a formal introduction tomorrow. Jack was in to see her the other night (on lead with my wife). He made his way to the far corner and stared at her (tail going so fast that his back legs almost came out from underneath him). He didn't make any noise until he found out that he wasn't allowed to get any closer. Then he started to bark / whine. Gracie gave him a few hisses in return.

I don't think that they will see her as prey but rather an oddity that needs to be checked out. They are fairly intelligent (if not very 'smart') and will quickly learn that they are not allowed to pick on her.

She doesn't seem to want to jump up on things (last night she needed lifted onto the futon). She is favouring her back right leg so I suspect that she is still a bit sore from her adventures. She is eating very well and is getting a bit stronger each day.

January 26th, 2007, 11:46 PM
do the towel trick before you introduce them.

Put something of the dogs in her room and she can sniff it and get used to the scent, then take something that Gracie slept on and take it to the dogs and get them to sniff it and i guess train them to not get overly excited about it so that they remain calm around Gracie.

Or rub something like a towel on them long enough to pick up some scent then let them sniff it.

Hope it works. Can't wait to hear how the introduction went

January 27th, 2007, 02:07 AM
I used both towels and vanilla strategies to introduce Beau (long name is Beauregard - my bf says he is "too regal" to be simply called Beau - to the "girls". They are all getting along exceptionally well now, esp Chelsea and Beau. (I'll post pix separately - this is Gracie's thread!).

Now granted, that was cat-cats and not cat to dog but I have done that too and she seems like such a friendly kitty and your dogs seem so well socialized that all should go well. (if done slowly and carefully - we don;t want any pooch with a scratched nose or a kitty feeling scared. But she has managed thru so much thus far, I will cross my fingers for you all!) They are by now also accustomed to her scent so that should help - often we worry about the big build up and then when it happens, they surprise us and are as good as gold (tho soon to gang up and plot against those humans, lol)

It is evident she is not feral or she would never have allowed you to go near her belly like that and that also indicates she trusts you too - a very good sign that you are doing extremely well in a short period of time!! That's great!!!! She is so lucky to be in out of the cold - now that we finally have cold (not that I want it - I talked to someone in a hospital in northern NB and they told me it was -39 with the wind chill today. That usually occurs at nite, NOT during the day. Gawd!!)

One small piece of advice I would give you is to have everyone in a good mood when the intros are made (like give your dogs a good meal, make sure they are in a relaxed mood) and for added security, keep them on a short leash or hold unto them tightly -around her for the 1st little while. I would let the cat investigate them - she does not sound like a scaredy cat so while many recommend using a cat carrier, let her to be as comfortable as she needs to be, with the ability to return to her safe place - and using that blanket is a super move since Lucy's scent is already on it and she will think that is just par for the course when Lucy comes along near what she is trying to figure out her territory.

Have LOTS of treats for all 3 of them. Positive reinforcement works extremely well in these situations but then I am not a big fan of negative reinforcement - it only causes needless anxiety, esp with cats anyway. (and I never used it with my dogs either and certainly NOT my bunny).

Here is one site that I am sure has more info that I have thought up.

I am at work, awaiting a very ill patient being brought in by helicopter to the IWK. I hope the weather is not a factor since there is a huge storm in CB tonite. Last year, we had one plane that has to make an emerge3ncy landing (well "we" don't;t own the helicopter - it is actually operated by STARS (a prov acronym for a program, govts love acronyms, sigh!) tho no one was injured.
At least they are not the Sea Kings. (The prog almost did not get off the ground - pun intended - when some of the good folks of the south end (My neighbours, hhhhmmmpphhhhhhhhhh! - did not want us to construct the heliport because God forbid a copter might crash into one of their homes, something that has not happened to any children's hospital yet. (A crash is not the same thing as a emerg landing - :D ) Anyway, I am offtrack or is that in the sky, lol

Good luck with pooches and Gracie!!! I have lots of confidence it will go well - you are doing so well so far!!!

If it were me and it did not work out - tho you know I have good feelings about this (I just do, feeling like a doddering aunt here as someone observed) - the 1st call I would make would be to the Cat Vet Clinic on Quinpool. There are other private places as well though, as you know.

Good luck!!!!!!

January 27th, 2007, 09:18 AM
CK, Looks like the weather worked out favourably last night / this morning. Hope the heli was able to land and your patient is doing well. The people in the Sth End who complain about helipads are the same who complain about everything that has the potential (whether probable or not) to upset their little lives.

I would argue that the IWK needs its own fleet of helicopters with all the good work that they do (I am quite biased when it comes to IWK because if not for them 35 years ago I likely would not be on this forum today).

January 29th, 2007, 04:59 PM
Thx Dogastrophe, the weather did work out well and esp thx for the q re my patient - doing as well as can be expected with a confirmed cancer diagnosis. (But a little late staged given that the parents did not think their child seemed that ill though it is a fast moving type, sigh!).

I am glad the IWK was able to help you!!! I am all too biased as well to provide an objective assessment of the place - which to me is not just the buildings (now that we have a new addition and some temporary (I hope they'll be temp) offices on Spring Garden Rd.) but the spirit of the people and resources we have throughout three Maritime province tho we also treat a significant number of women and children from Nfld (even tho the Janeway is there, there are some complicated procedures they do not do), St. Pierre & M and Bermuda.

Honestly, I was furious when some of my neighbours in the south end - who live maybe all of 15 minutes from the ER - and that in some cases is by walking - opposes the helipad!! I could not believe it!! And some of them are uiniv profs who had developed long treatises on the possibilities of crashes and other academic papers on why this was a bad thing. At the public mtgs we held to address the issue, I was so frustrated I had to remind them that while it is a relatively simple process for them to rush their sick child to the Health Center (which official name which we keep changing for a variety of reasons - had to take out the Grace part because the salvation Army did not want to be associated with any place that did in vitro or on occasion therapeutic abortions). I reminded them to think of the family in northern NB or central PEI who were 7-8 hrs away by car or rail and even by air, they had to get to an airport - and at the time, some prov were still using fixed wing aircraft for medical transport now and then (sigh!). One countered by imagining a helicopter landing on top of Groosebrook school. Give me a break!! We still have a committee with ppl from the neighbourhood who sit on it so we can keep the area updated on figures related to the helicopter. Oh yeah, they also worried about the noise!!! If they live THAT close to the IWK, that means they also live close enough to univ residences which are not exactly quiet tho that is another issue again. Gawd!!! To be fair, it was certainly a minority of the south end but you know the south end - they think they own the city - and well, some of them have enough money to do just that but the ones who do support us financially are very good neighbours indeed.

I have rep the docs on the Foundation (our friendly money raising arm) now and again and I recall one of the very pensive and traditional lawyers from the south end - a childless and older married man - who speculated that we should "identify" ppl with no children to leave money in planning for seeking donors and I kind of laughed and said "I can see the headline in Frank (At the time, our Chair was the VP of the Herald) - "IWK Goes after childless Couples", lol I am not sure he was all that amused with my levity, lol To his credit, when I ask him if the noise from the copter bothers him, he says he looks up and thinks , "hopefully, we are saving another life." So he's a good guy.

It just irks me sometimes that ppl - esp in that part of metro - seem to think the Health ctre serves only Halifax or even Nova Scotia and I have to often keep reminded the Minister of Health of NS as well tho I rather like Chris D'Entremont - tho I preferred Angus MacIsaac - he came to many of our events, even came to us for his flu shot even if it was photo op.

I have been to many children's' hospitals and I would put ours up against any in the world. I did my own residency at Children's' in Boston and while they have more money and resources, they also are a for profit hospital and not every child in New England gets to benefit from their services. (Boston is consistently rated as Number one in the US). We have a good relationship with them tho.

I have to say while Sick Kids is also a great hospital, I was a bit taken aback when on a trip there to ironically discuss revenue generation for research and some clinical services that govt does not always pay for, I saw their huge Shoppers Drug Mart sign on the hospital - not to mention the Disney store and other shops. (all of which seemed more expensive than their regular stores are). One of my colleagues, a world renowned neurologist, says the day there is a SDM sign on the IWK is the day he resigns.

I have to note we have 2 Tim Horton's - one an express and while we have I think an adequate cafeteria, I see pizza coming in the door on a pretty consistent basis, lol (Not to mention the new Starbucks on Spring Garden is not that far away and there is a Starbucks at the Sub bldg at Dal up the street on Univ Ave.) We also have a shop operated by the Auxiliary called Bigs and Litttle. (There used to be 2 - one concentrating on Maternity and the other on the "Children's side). It amazes me that many Haligonians still thin of the IWK as just a pediatric center - taxi drivers are the worst. They will ask when you call for a patient or occasionally if I am in a hurry and cannot be bothered with traffic to get to a mtg downtown or to the airport, "the Grace or Children's'). Arrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhh!!

Anyway, sorry to digress!!!!! :sorry: :offtopic:

Thx again for your kind remarks about the hospital though! I would also add we have the most generous people in this region - yr after yr, Maritimers per capita donate more per capita than any other hospital that is a member of the Children's Miracle Network.

And no, I am not going into PR for the IWK, lol (Ironically - if I forget my Passport , which I can do if I am travelling within Canada and I use my IWK ID, the ppl doing the security work inevitably forget about my luggage and ask if there are any openings for volunteer or security work at the ctre. While I am happy so many ppl apply for such positions but I hope they check my luggage!! (Tho when they don't, it does expedite my getting to the gate on time since I tend to be perpetually running late, lol)

Sorry this is so long!