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post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I posted last weekend, fretting about having decided to adopt a homeless cat from our office parking lot. Well, that kitty is home with us now. Her name is Blackberry.

She was trapped on Wednesday night, spent that night in the trap in my coworker's bathroom, then was transferred to a carrier, transported to my bathroom. She peed on a towel in the carrier (despite there being a litterbox in there), so I took a chance and tried to remove the towel. As I pulled the towel forward, Blackberry "rode" the towel toward the door of the carrier, then crawled out of the carrier and into my lap, where she curled up and seemed to enjoy it when I petted her. Expecting a nearly feral cat, I was shocked at this affectionate behavior. I also was astonished that she continued to sit there calmly while I worked over her head taking out the wet towel, rattling newspapers, putting a fresh towel.

She spent Thursday night in the carrier, with no food, because that was the order from the vet who would be spaying her Friday morning. She was spayed and vaccinated (radies and 4-in-1) yesterday, slept all night last night with the carrier door open in the closed bathroom--although she did at some point figure out what the litter box in the shower was for--and this morning crept out of the carrier into my lap and slept for as long as I would sit there and hold her. She ate a little bit of wet cat food today. She has slept all day, both in her carrier (with the door of it open) and on my lap. She purrs a little; has meowed quietly a couple times. She doesn't seem to be in pain, but according to the spay recovery materials, she should be alert and eating by now. She just seems groggy and apathetic, and perhaps cold, the way she curls up and snuggles into my legs. I would guess that her abdomen is sore from the spaying.

She also met our other cat, Betsy, today, and was unperturbed. Disinterested, really. She just sniffed her a little and put her head back down to sleep. Betsy, also, was fairly low key about it. Initially Betsy's tail puffed up to about 40 times its normal size, but once she figured out that Blackberry wasn't any threat, she just sniffed her thoroughly, then laid down on the floor and hung out with us, purring and batting around a catnip mouse.

Is this apathy common post-spay semi-feral behavior? I really expected her to be terrified, hiding out, just traumatized beyong belief. Could her lethargy be a side effect of the vaccines? Or is she just pooped from her traumatic week: trapping, new environments, new people, surgery . . .? If it were me, I'd be wiped out, but Blackberry's a kitty, and she's not acting at all like we expected her to. I do believe she is tamer than we thought, but I'm also worried that she's physically unwell.

Please share your experiences and insight!
post #2 of 16
She could be having a reaction to the drugs they used, or her whole system could just be shut down while she absorbs what has happened to her. Sometimes when they realize they are finally "safe" they do nothing but sleep for about 48 hours, waking up to eat and use the litter pan- uninterrupted sleep is something they can't do while outside. If she is not eating, not using the litter pans, is running a fever, drooling and or not drinking, I would call the vet.

To be on the safe side and to achieve peace of mind, I would call your vet and talk to them. Without any of us being there monitoring her, we could tell you the wrong thing and then if something bad happened that would be disastrous.
post #3 of 16
It could be a reaction to the surgery or the vaccinations. I know Princess is very sensitive to vaccines. It's not uncommon for her to be very lethargic and hardly eat from her shots. She's not a feral or stray but she has trouble adjusting to change and sounds alot like Blackberry.
post #4 of 16
When I rescued Nano as a stray, she slept 22 hours a day for the first two or three days. As hissy said, I think just rescued strays sense it is "safe" and take the opportunity to get caught up on their sleep. The problems will start once she feels more energetic and her real personality takes shape.

I read your other thread so I know you're smart about it, but remember Blackberry has a lot to adjust to over the upcoming months. Congratulations on rescuing a stray and hope it goes well for you. It takes a lot of patience but it can be very rewarding.
post #5 of 16
Also once she becomes comfortable with your presence, she will discover a kittenhood she never was allowed to have! LOL
post #6 of 16
what a marvellous story this is!!

Unfortunatly I have no advice I can offer but I will be keeping an eye out on this thread and keeping a track of Blackberries progress... what a wonderful person you are for taking her in and giving her the safe home that she obviously so deserves
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Blackberry is obviously waking up. She ate a massive dinner tonight, and hissed at me and swatted when I tried to remove her from my lap a few minutes ago. Maybe now that she's settling in we're seeing those feral tendencies? I'm thinking we better regroup and back off this kitty for awhile. I don't want to ignore her if she's seeking solace in a warm lap, but if she chooses to sit on my lap, what's the best way to move her off without getting attacked?
post #8 of 16
My best suggestion is to keep a towel or a small pillow on your lap. When you eventually need to remove her, it gives a buffer between the two of you and you are less likely to get hurt. You can drop the towel/pillow aspect once she is fully acclimated to the idea that human laptime is limited.

My second best suggestion is to start shifting or moving. She might sense you are getting antsy and willingly leave your lap. That way it is her idea to leave and doesn't feel rebuffed.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Today's Blackberry update: I'm thinking now perhaps I got hissed at and swatted last night because I inadvertently hurt her incision when I tried to move her off my lap. Today she has made no move to get in my lap, and has exhibited no aggression. She's still tired, sleeping on the (cold) bathroom floor against the cabinet even though her fleece blanket is right nearby. (?) She ate a little more in the middle of the night last night and used her box, so at least we know she's functional. We're just making food and water available, visiting her a lot, talking softly to her, stroking her head and back--which seemed to be what she was seeking when she rammed herself into my lap. She purrs and her eyes go half-mast when we pet her and she seems to relax. It's been a very peaceful day.
post #10 of 16
Sounds quite positive. Switch the blanket with a cardboard box of dry leaves off of nearby trees (if possible) and she will feel right at home. Straw works too- though straw is messy inside your home
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Interestingly, Blackberry was totally into that blanket yesterday and the day before. Would lie on it no matter where I put it in her carrier, front or back. But today I had to remove the carrier from the bathroom because I've got to return it to my coworker tomorrow morning (she needs the big one with room for the litter box for one of the cats she's fostering and having fixed) so I set up a stiff, good-sized cardboard box, on its side, for Blackberry--with her blanket in it. She chose to lie against the cabinet instead, so I moved the blanket nearer her so she could climb onto it if she wanted. Nope. She'd rather just lie on the floor. I'll put some leaves in the cardboard box and see if she takes to them.
post #12 of 16
Sounds good. I would only say that taking in a new stray can be a rewarding experience but you will have lots of ups and downs that require patience as a pet owner.

Just as an anecdote, Nano refuses to pick a specific place to regularly sleep. One day it is in the hallway, the next it is by the door, the next it is in the bedding sheets I set up for her (surely more coincidence than intentional?), the next it is near the stove, the next it is on the she spent about eight hours in a metal filing cabinet.

Anyway, keep us posted on what happens next.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Has Nano ever tried the sink? That's where Blackberry is now. All curled up in the bathroom sink. What might THIS mean?
post #14 of 16
Nano drinks out of the sink...and right now she is snoozing under the sofa's end table.

Hey, at least Blackberry is comfortable enough and healthy enough to make the jump up onto the counter.
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by witch's mom
Has Nano ever tried the sink? That's where Blackberry is now. All curled up in the bathroom sink. What might THIS mean?
One of ours has done this in the past, usually in the summer, so I assume it is because of the coolness of the sink. If the cat is used to being outdoors, it may find the inside too warm (is that possible for a cat? )and so the "cold" bathroom floor and the sink refreshing. Just a guess....
post #16 of 16
the sink is also cat sized and snug. maybe she feels safe and supported in it?
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