Vibes for difficult child cat

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by GoingNorth, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Thomas is an 11 year old Maine Coon cat that I took home from the shelter. He's not really a difficult child in the sense of bad behaviour, but he's got what I swear is PSTD.

    When I first saw him, he was matted solid, filthy, and his rear end and hind legs were matted with his own waste. Two of the volunteers held him down while I shaved him to the skin. His coat came off in a solid piece like a sheep's fleece at shearing.

    His teeth are awful, he's underweight (and weighs 20lbs), and is having a hard time adjusting.

    Squeaky, all 7.5lbs of her, is determined to be alpha is stressing Thomas out. I got him on Saturday and yesterday was able to lay a hand on him for the first time without him being restrained. He tolerated me stroking his cheek and side for a moment.

    He's doing better. He no longer flinches when I move. He's foot and hand-shy and acts like he's been hit and kicked. He's voluntarily come within 3 or so feet of me, and is now cocking his head and flicking his ears in response to my voice.

    He's eating like crazy, but I have to soak his Orjen kibble so he can chew it. He's got at least two broken and decayed molars that need to come out once I can handle him enough to get him in a carrier.

    For all that he is clean in the house though I had to set up a separate litter pan for him because Squeaky refuses to share and got nasty about things.

    We're in it for the long haul, Thomas and I, and it'll be a lot of work. He wanders the house at night calling because the jerks who owned him separated him from another shorthaired cat that he was bonded to.

    Like I said, we're making progress and we'll get there. Please send some good vibes for a magnificent cat who has had a very hard life and a lot of heartbreak.

    Other than that, he's stiff in back. He's a big enough Coonie that I suspect he has hip dysplaysia. I got some Cosequin powder to add to his food as a joint supplement.

    He is a cream tabby with beautiful green eyes and a few freckles on his nose and lips. He's worth the effort though he is the oldest rescue Maine Coon I've tried to rehab. It'll be a journey lasting several months.

    Squeaky? Well, as shy and sweet as she's always been, I'm a bit shocked at the sudden transformation into Queen B!tch. My only concern there is that her mouth is gonna write a check her body can't cash, though so far, other than slapping her once, and chasing her under the bed once, Thomas' seems to have the male cat inhibition against hurting a female, which is a good thing.
     
  2. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    God bless you for rescuing that dear sweet Kitty. I hope the best for you.
     
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    How very cool of you, to have taken him in.

    Sounds like his life has been very hard.

    Really, when I remember the way you've described his coat and teeth and attitude...that you have taken him is an extraordinary act of kindness.

    Remember what Mr. Rogers said, that when bad things happen and we lose our faith in the good, we need to look for the helpers?

    Well, there you are, helping tilt the scale to the good.

    :O)

    I hope you will post again as this new member adjusts to your family.

    Cedar
     
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    We had a sudden break through yesterday. He came over to within reach while I was on the computer. I put my hand down for him to sniff if he wanted to, and to my surprise he came right over, rubbed on my hand and started up with a huge purr!

    He actively solicited attention and loving for about ten minutes.

    Then, when I turned out the lights and went to bed, he crawled in with me and was all over me purring, rubbing, drooling (ick!), etc. He kept me up most of the night wanting cuddles and scritches. He finally passed out at 8AM under the comforter with his body wrapped around my arms and his head on my shoulder.

    I swear I don't know WHAT I did to turn him around. It was very sudden, but we've gone from Thomas being terrified to Thomas being needy,all in the space of day.
     
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  5. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    He sounds very sweet! I hope the new kitty we are looking to adopt is just as nice.
     
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    CG, he's a mush-bucket. The only problem is that he's very physical about demanding attention and he's HUGE!

    He and Squeaky are doing better today which is nice. Thomas is still afraid of her, which is kind of funny as he's nearly 3x her size and could break her in half if he chose to.
     
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Ha! We had a huge black male once whose favorite thing in all the world was to nurse on our earlobes. Spit would run, and he would knead with his paws like kittens do, purring up a storm the whole time. It got to be a normal enough thing for us?

    But whenever we had overnight company?

    They found it pretty disgusting.

    Cat saliva everywhere.

    Ew.

    His name was Dr. Kinder.

    Cedar
     
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Awww he sounds adorable. We are planning on rescuing a cat from a high kill shelter in the next couple of weeks. I hope we get one just as sweet as your new guy.
     
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Cedar, Thomas gets the kneading thing going and drools like crazy, but doesn't actually nurse on me. It still gets rather soggy, though.

    CB, our shelter only puts down unadoptable cats(Illness or temperament), but is small and absolutely full-up right now between Oct. 1 moving dates and older cats being dumped, and fall kittens.

    My taking Thomas home not only got him out of there, but freed up space for another cat to be taken in.

    The number of senior cats in the shelter is appalling. Thomas is 11. There are cats of 15 years in there who will likely spend the rest of their lives at the shelter.

    They were concerned about getting Thomas adopted out at his age and in his condition.

    The shelter runs on donations and a small amount of money from the county. They do spay and neuter and virus test/give vaccines, but that's about it.

    Thomas was already neutered and front-paw declawed when he came in. He is the first declawed cat I've ever had.

    He has bone spurs and calluses where the claws/ends of his toes were and he can claw just fine. Even when you don't see temperament problems as a result of declawing, you still see physical problems.

    At some point he had a decent home (other than the declawing) as he couldn't have survived for 11 years in the condition he was in. I estimate that it took a year or so outside for him to get that bad. Longer for the dental issues.

    He is currently in lion clip. The only fur he has is on his ruff, his head/face, his lower legs, and the end of his tail. He let me comb out his ruff today (full of saliva, blech!) and I don't anticipate any problems grooming him.

    He seems to like any attention he can get, and other than chewing on the comb some at first, seemed to cope just fine.

    He had some irritation around his genitals/anus from the waste buildup there. He let me put some salve on that today. I figure if he allows me to touch him there, he'll be fine with any other handling.

    I was able to pick him up today and put him back on the floor without him panicking. I had no choice as he jumped in my lap and promptly tried to SIT on my SHOULDER.

    I was like, "Hellooo! You weigh 20lbs! You are NOT a shoulder kitty!"
     
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  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    CB, consider taking in an adult when you go to adopt. Kittens don't usually have major issues finding homes.

    I had kittens coming out of my ears for nearly 20 years. I PREFER adult cats. They are a LOT easier.

    Just remember to introduce Lily and your new family member properly. I tried to do so with Thomas, but he opened the bathroom door and let himself out!
     
  11. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I looked at the website of the shelter I plan to adopt. Wow are there lots of cats and kittens. They have quite a few all black cats like Mandy and difficult child and I would like to adopt another all black one. I hear they are the first ones to get euthanized since a lot of people have some very stupid ideas about black cats. Hopefully we will find the perfect fit for us, although I am quite sure I will never find another cat as sweet as Mandy.
     
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Black cats do have a harder time finding homes due to the superstition surrounding the color.

    Another advantage to black cats is that the hair doesn't show up as much as most other colors other than tabby.

    Thomas is either red or cream. His hair that is coming in looks red, but his tail tuft looks cream. He was so filthy before I shaved him that I couldn't quite tell which color he is.

    That hair shows up on everything.
     
  13. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    Sending Hugs Adding Thomas to our prayers
     
  14. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Awww Thomas is stealing my heart.
     
  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    DSTC, he has already stolen mine. He's like a big teddy bear of a cat. He now lets me hug him, and earlier today when I was petting him, he showed how much he trusted me by rolling over on his back.

    He likes his chest scratched, but not his tummy. Not all cats do. Squeaky will kick the stuffings out of you if you try to rub her tummy. Jakey loved it.

    He's also very gentle. Right now he's got an upset stomach from the change in diet. He's malnourished and the diet he was on was so bad that my vet advised doing a force-switch and simply starting him on what I feed.

    He likes his food, but right now he's having a little difficulty getting used to it.

    Next week I am going to call for an appointment with my vet to get him checked over, to get senior blood work done to make sure all his organs are functioning as they should, and to make arrangements to get his mouth cleaned up.

    I think he'll handle that OK at this point. He and Squeaky are getting along a lot better, but thing are still tense between them.
     
  16. Bertmery

    Bertmery Member

    sending prayers to Thomas!
     
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