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Need ADVICE ASAP before Monday! URGENT

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Good morning!! I have been trying to think of different solutions for my situation and have not really liked what I have come up with so I thought I'd ask you guys for help.

Let me try to explain the situation first-

I found mold on one of my bedroom walls- right next to my BED ( no wonder I have been pretty sick the last couple months! GRR) so I reported it to my apt maintence dept and one of their inspectors came by on Wed to look at it and determine what to do. That day I found a bit of mold in KITCHEN on one of the window sidings so I pointed that out to the inspector also. After he saw the mold on my wall and a crack near a window, he immediatey said that that wall will have to be removed, fix the leak then put up new drywall and paint. That means I have to move all my furniture to the other side.

They will be coming on Tuesday to do this. I asked about being moved into another apt but they don't have any available apts at this time.. GRR

Now, my problem is- I have a foster cat named Heidi who lives in the bedroom since 2-3 other cats likes to bully her and Heidi is EXTREMELY SHY.... She REFUSES to let me pick her up or hold her.. It's really difficult to get her into a carrier (last time I tried, it took me over an hour and I had to chase her out of the bedroom first so she couldn't hide under the bed where I can't reach her) before I was able to get her into a carrier.

I was advised by some friends to move my mattresses to the living room so dust from the removal/putting up of drywayll won't settle into the mattresses.
If I DO move the mattresses, Heidi won't have a hiding place in the bedroom.. There will still be a dresser in the room she could hide under BUT I think it'd be more traumatizing for her to stay in the bedroom...

However, I'm afraid if I move her out of the bedroom that other cats will attack her cuz they will be scared cuz of all the noises and would take it out on her.

I cannot afford to board all six cats for the days so that's not an option. I don't want to board Heidi either since it took me a LONG time to regain her trust and I don't want to traumatize her more..

I will be at home that day so I can watch my cats and make sure none gets out by accident since I'm sure workers will be in and out of my apt..

Any advice on how to handle this (especially regarding Heidi) would be very HELPFUL! I need to know ASAP so I can start making plans...
post #2 of 22
Can you put Heidi in the bathroom while the work is being done? Or is there a friend who can keep her for the day?
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenomsmom View Post
Can you put Heidi in the bathroom while the work is being done? Or is there a friend who can keep her for the day?
I was thinking that
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Here's 3 pictures of the wall that has mold.





post #5 of 22
Oh I am so sorry to hear about the mold! On the other hand, I'm so glad you caught it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some of them can be so toxic - like you said - no wonder you've been sick. Thank God they're getting it taken care of so quickly.

Yup. Bathroom was what popped into my mind. Even if it's small, it's better than a hasty meeting with other kitties.

The only other thing I can think of is a large crate - covered with a blanket. Maybe you can borrow one from a shelter?
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
I was thinking that
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenomsmom View Post
Can you put Heidi in the bathroom while the work is being done? Or is there a friend who can keep her for the day?

I did think of keeping her in the bathroom but I've tried that before and it's really difficult to catch her and put in the bathroom. I can't keep her in a carrier in the bathroom since she's pretty BIG and won't be comfortable for her laying down in a carrier all day.

If I keep her in the bathroom WITHOUT her being caged, she WILL escape OR other cats WILL get into the bathroom if I go in to check on her or to use the toilet, etc.. I've tried keeping cats in the bathroom in the past when maintence needed to come and do work and found out at least one will ALWAYS get out or in...

I could buy a crate but it won't fit in the bathroom (my bathroom is very small)...

Most of my friends are either allergic to cats, won't let me keep cats at their places or live too far away to help out..

Any other ideas besides catching her and putting her in a crate?? I really don't want to do that because it was very traumatizing for her last time. I had to chase her OUT of the bedroom then cornered her in the living room before I pushed her into a carrier. As soon as I closed the carrier door, she immediately peed since she was sooo terrified..
post #7 of 22
If you're moving the bed and mattress and stuff into another non-mold room, would it be possible to set up Heidi with her own fort?
Maybe create a little place that she can hide and not be bothered by the other cats.

You will definitely have to keep her out of the bedroom because of all the drywall dust.
post #8 of 22
The problem of crating her is going to exist no matter what option you choose, because she obviously can't stay in the bedroom.

And as the bathroom isn't an option, I still recommend the large cage - like they use at shelters. It can be placed in any room and covered with a light blanket. That will help her be less afraid - it will also help prevent unwanted kitties staring at her. That way she can have space, a litter box, and food and water - and privacy - yet be safe from workmen, escaping - and other kitties.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all your input on this.

I guess the best plan so far is to buy a big crate/kennel where she can move around in and try to catch her EARLY TUES MORNING before they come and put her in the living room (crate won't fit in the bathroom) and put a blanket over it so hopefully that will keep her calm and lessen the chances of other cats trying to attack her through the crate.

HOPEFULLY they will be able to finish this in ONE DAY and that I won't have a lot of mess to clean up (HA!).

I will try to move the mattresses Tues morning into the living room so I won't have to worry about dust getting into the mattresses.

Please send me positive vibes on this because I am very worried about Heidi. She does not handle changes well at all. Last time I brought her home from the vet, she hid under the bed and refused to come out for like a week before I was able to pet and cuddle her.
post #10 of 22
Over the weekend, sit and explain to Heidi - out loud, in your thoughts, vibe it at her - all of the above - numerous times - what is going to happen. Pretend you have to explain it to a 2 year old and go with that. It wouldn't hurt to explain it to your other kitties as well.

You might want to arm yourself with some Feliway as well. Spray it LIBERALLY throughout the crate and around whatever room the cage is going to be in.

If she likes catnip toys, you may want to get her one to have in the cage with her to help alleviate the stress.

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Over the weekend, sit and explain to Heidi - out loud, in your thoughts, vibe it at her - all of the above - numerous times - what is going to happen. Pretend you have to explain it to a 2 year old and go with that. It wouldn't hurt to explain it to your other kitties as well.

You might want to arm yourself with some Feliway as well. Spray it LIBERALLY throughout the crate and around whatever room the cage is going to be in.

If she likes catnip toys, you may want to get her one to have in the cage with her to help alleviate the stress.

I was thinking maybe I'd buy a crate tonight and set it up in the bedroom then try to move food/water into that crate so she'd go in to eat and see if that'd help her get used to it and maybe then it'd be easier for me to herd her into that instead of scaring her half to death chasing her and trying to push into a carrier... What do u think?
post #12 of 22
Good luck to you and your crew. I hope all goes well with very little stress.
Vibes coming your way

I agree with all that the large crate is best. I bought one for like $100 at the store and it easily fits a cat, food, and a small litter box (far enough apart so the food and litter aren't close). One way you might be able to get her in there is if you cover it in blankets and leave the door open in the bedroom (in other words make it an inviting hiding spot) and then when you go to get her from under the bed, maybe she will run right into it thinking it's a nice spot to hide.
post #13 of 22
Geez - sounds like it must be a real problem in the area! I didn't know you had to wait for them to come inspect it - but at least they're getting to it quickly now that it's been identified.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Oh I am so sorry to hear about the mold! On the other hand, I'm so glad you caught it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some of them can be so toxic - like you said - no wonder you've been sick. Thank God they're getting it taken care of so quickly.?
Actually, I had to wait TWO weeks for someone to come look at the mold!!! I found it the day after Thanksgiving as I was doing deep cleaning and moving furniture so I could vaccum behind furniture.

They said they were BOOKED until the 12th (last Wed). I washed the wall with bleach while I waited but still... I just HOPE it won't affect my cats healths like it has affected MY health.. They seem okay so far..
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisasha3 View Post
One way you might be able to get her in there is if you cover it in blankets and leave the door open in the bedroom (in other words make it an inviting hiding spot) and then when you go to get her from under the bed, maybe she will run right into it thinking it's a nice spot to hide.
That's a good idea about putting blankets over the crate so it'd look like a dark inviting hiding place.. I will have to close the bedroom door so no other cats will get into the crate. Zebra, Tango and Spike LIKES to hang out in carriers so I know they will get into the crate! LOL. I will also put her food/drink in the crate starting tonight so she'll get used to it.

I tend to put dry food up in a cabinet during the night (so they'd eat the wet food quickly during the night) so in the mornings, cats tend to get all excited about dry food so I'm hoping that if I put dry food in the crate in the morning, that Heidi will go in quickly and I'll be able to close the door without traumatizing her.

I will go to Target, Petsmart & Petco tonight and see if I can find a good sized crate. Wish me luck!
post #16 of 22
I agree, she can't stay in the bedroom, the drywall dust is not good for anyone to breathe in. Also, the noises would scare her..... what about securing the bathroom? Like even a chair up against the door knob sorta thing? Or even a hook & eye latch, that would keep her in & the others out, and they are about $3-$5. They are really easy to put in too. And much cheaper than a crate/kennel. Also, I think she'd have more room in the bathroom, just be sure there are no dangerous things (like cleaners) out that she could get into....
post #17 of 22
It will take them more than a day to fix the problem.

They will have to take down the wall and fix the leak yes. But if they are doing things right, they will have to leave the area open so that it will dry out because if they close it back up again when the wood is wet, more mould will grow!

I had a similar problem with major construction being done in another apartment I had lived in. The lady who owned the house decided to sell it and was doing some cosmetic fixing up to make it more appealing. Part of that involved some major repairs to my apartment upstairs. I came home from work one day and literally found all of my living room furniture piled high in a mound in the living room and covered by thick heavy plastic. My bathroom was a disaster with paint supplies and plaster trash everywhere from tub to sink! The kitchen had everything covered over with heavy plastic and taped down from cupboards to stove to fridge and floor. The bedroom was the same. My bed had been covered with heavy plastic that was taped down, and all the doorways had a curtain of heavy plastic. There was drywall dust and pulled down plaster everywhere!!!!!!!!!

I was hopping mad! My apartment was not at all inhabitable like that! I couldn't cook, sleep, bath. Everything was unplugged and unhooked. It was a nightmare. I worked for a lawyer and talked to him about it. He said that while I didn't have legal rights to withhold my rent, that I still had rights and then he sited some law about the landlord having to provide alternate accommodations if the apartment is unlivable while the repairs are going on. That alternate living place could be another apartment or a hotel for the duration of the time the apartment was being worked on.

It sounds like some major work is going to be needed in your place, and it might not be very healthy for your babies to be around there. Not only will it be noisey, but those guys will be needing to use the bathroom for cleaning up etc, so that room is not an option to keep your kitties in. There will also be dust and mould spores flying around. Not at all healthy.

I would contact the shelter and tell them the situation and ask if they have an alternate foster home for the period of time. And I would look at finding yourself someplace else to stay while the work is being done because you don't want to be breathing in mould spores and plaster dust.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamela View Post
That's a good idea about putting blankets over the crate so it'd look like a dark inviting hiding place.. I will have to close the bedroom door so no other cats will get into the crate. Zebra, Tango and Spike LIKES to hang out in carriers so I know they will get into the crate! LOL. I will also put her food/drink in the crate starting tonight so she'll get used to it.

I tend to put dry food up in a cabinet during the night (so they'd eat the wet food quickly during the night) so in the mornings, cats tend to get all excited about dry food so I'm hoping that if I put dry food in the crate in the morning, that Heidi will go in quickly and I'll be able to close the door without traumatizing her.

I will go to Target, Petsmart & Petco tonight and see if I can find a good sized crate. Wish me luck!
Best of luck to you!
Also - as a side note - and you DIDN"T hear this from me. I had to use a crate like that once. I knew it would only be for one night and I knew I would never use it again - so I returned it the next day. I know that's awful, but it was $100 I'd never use again. So if you're like me.........keep the box and receipt.
post #19 of 22
I would think the shelter would have an extra cage or crate that you can keep her in. It may be a little traumatic, but you have to think of her safety. As far as getting her in a cage or a crate you would be supprised what a very closed over area with a little food will do. I had to move a feral cat from a cage to a large carrier (with a litter box in it) to go to the vet to get spayed. She was laying in her box so I put a towel over her so she couldn't see what was hapening, picked up the litter box put it right in front of the carrier (which was totally covered by a blanket) Pulled the towel up just enough for her to see & she went right in the carrier without a fight. You should try something like that because it's obvious she can't stay in the room. I would not only worry about her interaction with the workers, but I would worry about her getting into the wall when the drywall is removed.
post #20 of 22
Natasha also gets very stressed out when she needs to go in her carrier. The last time I took her to the vet I upended the carrier so she could be dropped in and then I scruffed her, just make sure to support her back legs. It's amazing as soon as I scruffed her neck she calmed right down and let me pick her up. Good luck-I hope the work in your apt goes quickly and smoothly.
post #21 of 22
Can you contact your vet to see if you can get some kitty "prozac" for a few days to calm her down?? As a veteran remodeler -this work cannot be done in a day. The drywall and 1st coat of joint compound is done one day-the best work would be a couple more coats of joint compound (sanding inbetween coats which unless the contractor has a vaccuum system its REALLY DUSTY!!!!!
Then a primer has to be applied on the drywall before painting and and trim/moldings re-installed. You could be looking at 4 days!!
Good luck.
post #22 of 22
Personally I would avoid the bathroom. Most of the apartments I have lived in they echoed a lot. So that could terrify kitties just as much as 5 other cats chasing after it.

Plus any noises from the bedroom (if the bathroom is right next to it) will echo into the bathroom, making it a frightening time for little Heidi.
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