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Our Outdoor Family - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Thread Starter 
No update in a while, not much has gone on. The kittens, two males (Loki and Zumzum), have been moved to our bathroom. They were getting restless and making huge messes when they were kept separate in the same room, so we let them be together. On Thursday, we'll get them both checked out (including a fecal) and then we'll work on adopting them out. We'll have to separate them at least for tonight to get a stool sample from each one. If they're all clear then it's adoption time.

I really want them to be adopted together. They nap together, play together, and are generally happier when they're with each other. The first time I drove Loki anywhere, he was so scared that he piddled. When it was time for them to get their booster shots, I put them in the same carrier and there weren't any messes.

I think it's generally easier to adopt out younger cats, so hopefully we can get them into a new home soon!

Socializing them has been a slow process. Loki is extremely shy, and still hisses when he's startled. He's never tried to scratch or bite, he's just very afraid. I do manage to pet them from time to time. Zumzum is easy- he relaxes quickly once you roll a ball at him or give him scritches. Progess with Loki is slow. In the past couple of days, he comes out when he sees the food scoop. Also, he pops onto the bathroom counter to see what I'm up to, but keeps his distance.

On a worrisome note, my SO saw the tom we haven't been able to trap trying to mate with a grey and white cat. Mater and Quietus, our two adult females, are grey and white but they were spayed 2 months ago. We've seen a third grey and white, but she hasn't been spayed, so I suppose it's urgent to get back to trapping the adults.

I'll end this post on a happy note- Vesper adjusted well to her new home. Her new owner said that she now sleeps on his bed at night and she enjoys playing with her many toys! Isn't that funny? The little cat who used to scavenge in dumpsters is now sleeping on a warm, clean bed every night.
post #32 of 52
Thread Starter 
Woo! The lady who sets up at the Petsmart on Fridays, the one who invited us to bring our ferals in to adopt them out, let us in on an excellent resource.

In our area, there is a regional occupational program that trains people to be veterinary assistants. We took Zumzum, but left Loki at home because he is still very shy. We did, however, bring in a stool sample for each of them, and they did fecal exams. They gave Zumzum a checkup and he had his nails clipped, eyes cleaned, and his ears cleaned as well! Everything was free, and everybody was incredibly nice.

Their fecal exams looked good, so I guess it's time to look for adopters. I hope we can find a nice person who would like to take them both.
post #33 of 52
Thread Starter 
Photos of Loki and Zumzum in this thread:
post #34 of 52
Thread Starter 
We maybe have a home for Loki and Zum, but they wouldn't be able to go until March. SO put up flyers at his work, but I didn't put any up in the department because the main part of our building is closed and doesn't get much traffic. Maybe I will walk around campus and let the people working in different offices know about the kitties.

I've been letting them out of the bathroom every once in a while. Zum loves to come out of the bathroom, he likes to play with Nova. Nova was initially excited about them, but doesn't seem to like for Zum to be in the main part of the house. She tried to bit his throat and belly! So now, I only let them out if she's napping in the bedroom. I close her in and let them wander.

Loki just sort of peeks out. Today, he actually made it down the hall into the living room. Then he decided that he was afraid and went back to the bathroom. Then he came out again. He did this quite a few times... his curiosity is winning out.

I have a secial soft spot for Loki. He used to hiss at me, but now he enjoys petting and even gets comfortable when he's getting scritches.

I think, secretly, we don't want them to go. We haven't been looking for a new home for them as actively as we could...
post #35 of 52
Thread Starter 
Today, we took them both to the adoption day at our local PetSmart. Poor Loki was hyperventilating nearly the whole time. When he shifted in the kennel, I was able to pet him and his breathing slowed to a normal rate. I feel so bonded with this kitty, it'll break my heart to let them go.

I've tried letting them wander around the apartment sometimes, just in case they end up staying here. But Miss Nova still does not want to share her space with them. They are submissive and roll around on their backs, but she still goes after them and tries to bite their necks and bellies. Is this a sign of aggression or is she establishing dominance? They're half her size and I worry that she'll hurt them. She doesn't mind when they're in the bathroom. She even cries at their door when they go back in, so I'm a little confused about her behaviour.

Loki has come such a long way. I really hope to find a great new owner for him and Zum. Hopefully, someone as nice as the man who adopted Vesper.

People oooh and ahhhh over Zum all the time. Many people commented today on how good-looking he is. He's a real cutie, friendly and playful like Vesper. The poor little guy has got some kind of lump under his chin. The vet thinks it might be a side effect of his dental issues. He's on antibiotics and is due back for a recheck next week. Please send that he hasn't got any serious health issue going on.

Well, that's all for now. They're hard at sleeping in the bathroom, all tired from their exciting day.
post #36 of 52
Thread Starter 
Poor Zum, whose name is now Zoom. He had trouble eating and had these lumps under his chin. He was teething, but even after teething he had problems. Poor little guy had bleeding gums. Fortunately, the vet said his dental issues are reversible. So, he's there today.

Meanwhile, Loki figured out that if he cries pathetically, I'll run in to check on him and he gets some extra petting. I think they learned this from Nova. Much to my surprise, Loki jumped into my lap today! I can't believe this is the same kitty who was hissing at me just six weeks ago. I put him in the bedroom and he stopped crying. The bedroom is a nice place for cats. It's comfy, and he's got a window with a fleecy perch.

Last night we tried to trap another adult feral. Instead, we caught a skunk! The ferals were all just kind of hanging around, away from the trap. Poor little skunk! We managed to release him/her without getting sprayed. I've nicknamed the skunk "Stinky." He usually scavanges around the dumpster at night, and our ferals don't really bother him. He's kind of small, maybe a young skunk.

I found a great pet sitter. She does some adoptions herself, and is willing to feed the ferals. I haven't met her yet, but I got a good vibe during our phone conversation. My SO and I were worried that if we vacationed, our ferals would stop coming around. Well, that's all for now. I think SO is reluctant to let "our boys" go. We're really dragging it out, huh?
post #37 of 52
Such progress. It does sound like Nova is trying to establish dominance over the kittens. It's possible she could adjust to them... I don't know. Perhaps someone with more experience integrating a multi cat household can help you... that is... if you just can't bear to part with these little guys.
post #38 of 52
What a wonderful job you're doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow - have you read back through this thread? You've done so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sorry to hear about Zoom ( !!!! ), but look at Loki's progress!

AND you released the skunk without getting sprayed AND you've found someone who may be able to help if you need to! You GO girl!

The one thing I hate about rescuing is the fostering kittens part. Some people are cut out for it, some aren't. We didn't actually hate it - but we just always got attached. It was so hard, so I sympathize. We always managed to let them go to good homes.

The hardest was the latest. This summer/fall we had a pair of older boys, totally attached as well. Because they were older, it was just too difficult to find a home to send them to together. Billy has now become a part of our gang, and he's making progress on converting some of our cats to be his friends. Thank goodness he just doesn't give up. His brother is doing great and is VERY loved in his new home, but it broke our hearts to split them up.

and keep up the great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #39 of 52
Thread Starter 
Today, my SO is at PetSmart with Loki and Zoom. We've had some people take interest in them, mostly in Zoom... people like colorpoints.
Unfortunately, they didn't work out, two people flaked, one person wanted to declaw him, and one person wanted to keep him in the garage.

More and more, they're foster failures.

Loki, the one who used to hiss at me, is so sweet and loving. He follows me around now and demands to be pet.
Zoom likes petting too, but he's much more interested in playing. He has so much energy!
They're very smart, and so much fun to have around.

Nova still doesn't accept them, but Zoom still tries to be her friend. Loki, on the other hand, stays as far away from her as possible. They're almost Nova's size now. We still keep them separate. Boys in the bedroom during the day, Nova in the bedroom at night. It works out OK for everybody. Nova more or less tolerates Loki, I think because he stays away from her. As soon as she goes after one of them, I shut the door. I'd let them work out the pecking order, but Nova bites them in their soft, vulnerable parts and just won't leave them alone even after they submit.

Our intentions weren't to keep them, but we have treated them as our own, have spared no expense in caring for them, and will keep them as long as we need to until we find a suitable home for each. At least, I think so. I'm unemployed after this month, so it's mostly up to my SO until I find employment. SO might be more attached to our kitties than I am.

...I think I'll make cat pages about Loki and Zoom.
post #40 of 52
Thread Starter 
I still need to make some cat pages for Loki & Zoom. See recent photos of them here:

Nova had a URI over a week ago. We kept her in the bedroom all week, washed our hands between petting her and petting Loki & Zoom. Still, about the time Nova finished her meds, Zoom started sneezing. This time, the vet gave us enough meds for all to be treated simultaneously. I'm getting good at medicating them, at least orally.

My SO and I are thinking of moving a couple of towns over. We haven't decided. We're really attached to our ferals. I wish we owned a home... we could build an enclosure for them and keep them with us.
post #41 of 52
Thread Starter 
We're moving in one week and we're leaving behind the three who are outdoors. It breaks my heart, but we can't take them with us to the new apartment. I plan to continue feeding them, though it'll be a bit different because I'll have to drive into the parking lot of the family fun park next door to do it. (Our apartment complex is gated.) I don't have the time or money to keep trying to trap Rex, the male cat. He disappears for days at a time, and I'm concerned about his wandering. ETA: I'll continue with the trapping when I get a spare moment. Right now, I need to figure out the next couple of months, and what to do about income.

Loki and Zoom will be coming with us to the new apartment, of course. We made half-hearted attempts to rehome them because neither one of us (in spite of our better reasoning) has the heart to split them up. The plan is to move them to the new apartment first, with a Feliway diffuser. Then, move Nova. We hope she'll be less territorial and will at least tolerate them. If that doesn't work out, we'll work at rehoming them in earnest. It's getting difficult to switch them back and forth twice a day so that everyone gets plenty of room to run around and human contact.
post #42 of 52
Thread Starter 
Today, I went to PetSmart to buy some feral food. I saw a little grey thing scurrying across the parking lot. This is the third time I go there and notice cats running around. The last time, I saw a yellow mama cat and two kittens.

I did the best I could to approach kitty. He/she didn't hiss, but seemed pretty scared. I opened my bag of food and left some. At least for tonight, kitty will have a full belly. I suspect that people drop off cats there because of the PetSmart. I know they did that at Petco. It breaks my heart... but what can I do? Even if I managed to trap him/her, our apartment is pretty full of cats. There isn't enough room to keep everyone separate and safe. Maybe we could keep him/her in the bathroom for a little bit... At least our bathroom is better than a parking lot.

I think we could help more cats if we didn't keep Loki and Zoom, but I'm super attached to them by now. I don't know what to do.
post #43 of 52
Thread Starter 
Wow, it's been over a month since I updated the thread.

We moved a couple of towns over, and I was so heartbroken about leaving our ferals behind. I'm gone for most of the summer, so SO has been feeding going back to the old place to feed Mater, Quietus, and Rex.

We had difficulties because their eating spot was invaded by skunks! Not one or two skunks... several skunks. I went to feed, and saw about 5 of them frolicking on the hillside!

So then we started to feed earlier (before sunset, when the skunks come out), and pick up the dishes after feeding. This resulted in some of the ferals missing feeding time on several days. Yesterday, we managed to feed all of the cats and get the dishes up before any "stinkies" showed up.

I think everything will work out OK.

Rex is limping quite a bit. We want to try to trap him and have him checked out. Hopefully SO or I will catch a break with work and find the time to trap. It's more difficult now that we have moved, since the apartment complex is gated. We either have to park at the family fun park next door, or sneak in behind someone who does live at the complex.

The boys have adjusted well to the move. Nova is still aggressive toward them, but she tolerates them a little better. Loki is just about Nova's size now (12lbs), but so docile. I wonder if Loki and Zoom aren't perplexed by Nova's behaviour. They lived in a friendly clowder before.

It's easier to manage them with two bedrooms. They each have a different safe room.
post #44 of 52
Thread Starter 
There's a new addition to our colony. This cat is definitely not feral. He/she allowed me to pet him/her today, but is very skittish. Cat was extremely hungry, looks like he or she was recently a pet. Cries a lot. Managed to trap, but the trap didn't latch. Still let me pet him/her afterward. Will retrap and figure out something... until I come back from working, we're at our limit. M can't juggle all the cats around on his own.
post #45 of 52
Thread Starter 
I leave for work today... 250 miles away. I'm bummed because I wanted to get to work on the new cat. The more I think about it, the more angry I become. What kind of scumbag would let their pet out like that? What kind of scumbag abandons their pet? That poor cat. At least the poor thing still has his claws. His/her coat is kind of orange and grey, something like an Abyssinian in color.
post #46 of 52
Aw kitty sounds like a cutie, and you are so lucky that your bf supports you in your wonderful efforts.
How is the kitty doing now, have you found his owner?
Good luck at your work
post #47 of 52
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kittykattiva View Post
Aw kitty sounds like a cutie, and you are so lucky that your bf supports you in your wonderful efforts.
How is the kitty doing now, have you found his owner?
Good luck at your work
Thank you. My boyfriend is a great guy, extremely kind-hearted. He was actually the one who started feeding the cats, though I suggested spaying and neutering.

I'll be home in a few days, and will put up flyers in an attempt to find the owner. I was thinking of putting them up at our local shelters, the apartment complexes in the area, craigslist, and the Pennysaver. I'm worried that someone noticed we were taking care of the ferals and decided to leave their cat with us. I contacted the local humane society, and we can bring the cat to their adoption events but there aren't any foster homes available.

I will see if my wonderful boyfriend will let me keep kitty in the bathroom until we can adopt him/her out or a foster home opens up. I think it'll help my case if I take over the cat care duties.

Nova is still pretty aggressive toward Loki and Zoom. She lunges at them with all her weight and clamps down on their soft spots.

We were hoping that she would at least tolerate them when we moved, but that didn't happen. I wonder if it's been too long to hope for a successful re-introduction? In any case, I plan to buy all the products people have suggested for this sort of thing and give it another try. I held off on buying them before because I didn't think I'd be employed past June and was trying to save money.

We live in a 2 bedroom apartment now (The rent is less than at our old place!), and it's a lot easier to keep the cats separated. Our bedroom is Nova's safe room, and the computer room is Loki and Zoom's safe room. In the day time, Loki and Zoom sleep in the computer room and Nova has the rest of the apartment to run around in. At night, Nova is in the bedroom with us and the boys get the rest of the apartment. It works out OK, because the boys sleep in the computer room even if the door is left open so everybody is happy more or less.
post #48 of 52
Thread Starter 
Today, we trapped "Goopy." Her eye looks pretty bad, but I don't know if we have space/time to foster her. She's in our bathroom for now. Tomorrow she'll be tested and have her eye checked out... that is, if I can get her into the carrier. She wouldn't go into the trap, but she let us pet her, so we scruffed her and put her into a kennel. I'm going to lobby the local rescues for a foster home... she's extremely friendly, definitely not a feral!

I'm worried about her eye. Anyhow, here's a photo of our lovely guest.

post #49 of 52
Thread Starter 
Our little houseguest is totally at ease. She's already trying to explore the rest of the apartment. The boys somehow know that she's in the bathroom and they're curious about her.
post #50 of 52
Just saw this thread. I'm alone at work all day so I'm bored out of my mind! Anyway, I think what you're doing is awesome! You sound just like me. I have a mommy and 4 8 week old babies in my spare bedroom right now, that I've been fostering since the kittens were about 4 weeks. You can't beat the feeling that you get by helping out and knowing that you're preventing more litters from happening.
post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 
Feliway diffuser has been plugged in for a week now. Once in a while, each of the cats will walk right up to it and give it a sniff. Since we now have 4 cats in our apartment, separated into 3 groups, I'm very eager to get Nova to the point where she will tolerate the boys so that we don't have to shuffle cats around nearly as often.

'Goopy' is still in the bathroom. She has an appointment with the vet (Nova's old vet who just opened his own practice in town earlier this month) for later today.

In the meantime, I followed the advice from the other thread and decided to let the cats sort out their pecking order without interfering. I got a cheap baby gate and put it in the doorway to the boys' room. The boys are able to jump over it, but Nova isn't.

Anyhow, Zoom decided that he wanted to be in the living room. Loki decided he wasn't going to let Nova eat him and went to sleep in the closet.

I don't know if it's the Feliway, but Nova hasn't lunged at anyone's throat or belly. She did give Zoom some good swats and bites, and for the first time ever he decided he was going to swat her back! They've been coexisting for about an hour now, and I'm so relieved! M and I were stressed about taking on 'Goopy', but if Nova can tolerate Loki and Zoom, life will be so much easier.

I did catch this photo of Nova and Zoom. It doesn't look like much, but I'm very excited.

P.S. If Loki and Zoom stay with us, we might change their names. At least, I'll be changing Loki's name because I don't think the name suits him.
post #52 of 52
wow, it sounds like things will work out, good for you for rescueing yet another kitty! i am going through the same thing right now, cats in separate rooms and moving them around. right now it's okay but i too am hoping everyone will eventually get along. it just takes time and patience.
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