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Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 30,609

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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.

We are now a two cat family! Lucas and Maya are in the house!

I posted about Lucas the other day - the people I got him from called him Rascal or Kittiboi. But I got his records yesterday and his original name was Lucas. I can live with Lucas so rather than change his name for his medical records, I will stick with that.

Yesterday my husband and I went to the cat cafe to see the light gray female kitty. We didn't get to see her much since she kept running into the back room where all the litter boxes are kept (and guests are not usually allowed. Before they would let me adopt her, I needed to have his records which I didn't yet have, mostly to make sure that he had all his vaccinations and tests so he wouldn't expose her or her him.

The former owner brought over his records yesterday evening. After I went over his medical records I realized he had not been tested for FIV or Feline Leukemia, plus his vaccinations were due within a couple of weeks. This morning I called the vet's office I will be using for the cats (my current horse vet does not do cats except under extreme circumstances) and explained the situation. They worked me in and gave Lucas his vaccinations including against Feline Leukemia and tested him for FIV and FL - he was negative!

I took Lucas home, grabbed a quick lunch, drove to the cat cafe and picked up Maya, the light gray kitty. She is tiny! March 2019 when she last was seen by the vet, she weighed 7.9 pounds. I don't think she's gained any weight since then. Lucas weighs 12.3 pounds and I thought he was small - my last cat weighed about 10 pounds but the comparison I had was my husband's fluffy monster that weighed almost 20 pounds even though he was not fat.

Lucas had run under the bed so we set him up in the master bedroom and bath with food, water, and litter box. The first few hours Maya was here she hid, just like Lucas had his first day. Since about 8 o'clock, she has come out of her shell. She has explored the entire area we left open for her (master bedroom is Lucas' for now, studio, library, and living room have not been open for either cat. She even went upstairs to walk across my husband's keyboard.

Tomorrow evening we'll let Lucas out so they can meet. So far there has been no acknowledgement on either side that there are two cats in the house. Even after I went in to pet Lucas so he didn't feel abandoned, Maya sniffed my hands with his smell on them and didn't seem concerned. Lucas is just lounging on the bed, not even worried about being confined after two days with the house to himself.

We may give them the cat toys with refillable catnip before we let them see each other face to face.

Looks as though I have a new cat!

It's been nearly a year since my 17.5 year old tabby point Siamese disappeared while my husband and I were in the UK. WE finally found his remains a month or more after we got back - he was just curled up as though he'd fallen asleep so our worst fear that he'd been taken by a coyote were not true.

I've been looking at cats on the local Humane Society website but since we still have to get the porch roof repaired, and the upstairs deck and downstairs screen porch rebuilt, I'd been delaying.

A friend had a plain dark tabby cat, neutered male about a year old, that her daughter adopted in Pensacola as possible barn cat. He is definitely not a barn cat. He's very gentle, and likes being indoors. The daughter brought him home for the summer - and she can't have a cat where she will be living this fall. The family is a dog family - they have several Labradors that get along with this cat, but the son's blue heeler makes out that she would love to eat a cat. The cat has been living on their screened porch.

Today I stopped by the Humane Society's local cat cafe. They serve coffee and other quick drinks and have a big window into a room full of cats. I'd been watching a pair of cats for months - they showed up months ago as three month old sisters, brown tabbies, but they have not been adopted since they need to go as a pair. We really only want two cats so they would have been great but...

My friend offered to bring over the dark tabby that her daughter had adopted. They really need to find a home for him before winter. He is a sweet cat, not very big but weighs about twice what I expected for his size. Beautiful green eyes. The daughter calls him Rascal but her mom calls him Kittiboi (she probably spells it KittyBoy, BTW). I'm not sure either name will stick if we keep him. ("IF" - HAH!)

He seems to be settling in, which is kind of bad news. I'd planned to introduce our two new cats at the same time so neither would feel as though they 'owned' the space. I may have to go back to the cat cafe tomorrow and adopt the light gray tabby female they have. She is equally relaxed, used to people since she has been in the cafe's cat room for months where they let people come in and meet the cats. Or there a tuxedo male with medium length hair that might work...

If I get another cat right away, Kittiboi will not have time to claim the place completely, I hope.

My husband has not met the new cat yet.

I'll post pics as soon as possible.

Watching a heron stalk live on Africam - pretty cool

One of the Africam locations (now on YouTube) is a place called Rosie's Pan, a little pond created I think by daming up a natural spring. It was just past dawn when I turned to the channel and the camera operator had zoomed in on a gray heron. At first I thought the heron was standing still but he was oh so slowly moving - the water was so clear you could see his feet under the water moving in slow motion.

He worked his way across the pond, his eyes not moving from something on the other side. He got a bit away from a clump of reeds, then struck - and caught himself a big frong. Right now he's still beating up the frog getting it ready to swallow. Oh - the frog is history now.

I'd seen the heron there before and he always left disappointed. I didn't think there were any fish or other aquatic life in the pond. Now I know why he checks it out most mornings!
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