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Poor Pansy needs help

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hello fellow cat-lovers! It's a joy to be here. My mother and I work for Lincoln Cat Care (in the UK) and last Friday we picked up a starving, emaciated little darling Persian (golden, doll-face). Her coat was all matted and she was so weak she couldn't even stand properly. We took her to the vets and en route we fell in love with her. On Tuesday morning she came home to live with us! She is soooo thin you wouldn't believe she could live. She only has two teeth and her head shakes when she is frightened. Her coat is still matted underneath.

That's the bad news - the good news is that she eats like a horse, has started grooming herslef, has purred and today she played for the first time!! We just adore her, she's sweet, loving and trusting. I would like your advice on building her up, giving her confidence and getting her looking as beautiful as she can.

We discovered her background yesterday when her owner telephoned Cat Care to claim her back (can you believe it?). She wasn't alowed in the house and has been outside for FIVE years, which is how old she is. Apparently, her teeth just fell out ... After a few pointed questions from our 'Lost and Found' lady the owner is signing her over to us.

All this explains why she doesn't want even to LOOK outside through the patio doors and why she flinches if we make a sudden move. She is not used to being groomed or petted but she loves us doting on her. She is no longer hiding and is a gutsy little thing! She's still too weak to leap on to chairs but likes to sleep on my chair in front of the computer.

She's actually settled in amazingly well considering everything and she seems to think she is in heaven. We have a dog (Jack, 11, German Shepherd cross rescue) who is very gentle and quiet with her. In fact, he's been a star but she is naturally a bit wary of him. Any tips on bringing them together?

We would value your words of wisdom, please help us to help our little Pansy.
post #2 of 39
All I can say is bless you for taking her in! There's lots of info and lots of knowlegeable folks here, so lots of help and ideas!
post #3 of 39
What a story! Pansy is a lucky girl to have come to a home where she will be cherished as she should have been all her life.

Since your questions seem to be mostly concerning her behavior, I'll move this thread to the Behavior forum.
post #4 of 39
Welcome to TCS & congratulations to Pansy & you both, on your new relationship together! Sounds like Pansy IS in heaven and Jack is a real saint. Since Pansy is so new, and considering her background, it sounds like things are progressing well. I'm sure that you'll find more info in the health & behavior forums. Please keep us posted on how things are going for you all! Susan
post #5 of 39
I would start scanning thru the different topics...there are tons of stories and questions about bringing families together and I am sure you will find a wealth of information. I think it is wonderful she is doing so well!
post #6 of 39
Are you feeding her moist food??? Did the vet do a thorough exam??? Can you cut off the mats then shampoo her. Even though I would myself want to do that I would wait until she is more trusting as you don't want to shock her. Can the prior owner be prosecuted for animal neglect??? I would hunt around the sites to see what info you can fnd.
post #7 of 39
Maybe you can find some help in this thread

post #8 of 39
Bless her little heart! This woman doesn't have any more cats in her home does she?.

We'd love to see some pictures of Pansy!.
post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your kind words and thoughts - Pansy and I appreciate them. You're right, Jack is a saint! As soon as I can take a pic of Pansy without frightening her too much, I let you take a look, she's such a pretty girl. She's taken to copying Jack and sits on his bed in the sun, grooming herself, or sits at our feet, staring up while we eat. She knows she'll be fed regularly and as soon as her saucer comes out she lets out the most melodious meows.

We're taking her to the vet for a check-up tomorrow, so I'll ask about cutting away the clumps of hair. You're right, we don't want to shock her and are taking things a step at a time.

The previous owner says she has 5 more cats, so I'm asking Lincoln Cat Care to go round and check them out. They can always say they're giving a progress report on Pansy in order to gain entrance. We can't let her treat any more cats like she has with Pansy. However, all the others live in the house and Pansy wasn't allowed in - I don't understand people at all. How can they claim to love an animal they are starving to death?

Anyway, Pansy's at my feet now, snooozing. Din-din time soon.

Thanks again for your welcome, I'll check out the different topics. I've looked on some other sites as well - this one is the most friendly.
post #10 of 39
Bless her! I'm pleased your organisation is going to check on the other cats she has, because if this woman can do this to one cat what else is she capable of?!.

You've come to a brilliant site in TCS!, and i promise you you will love it here

Let us know how the vet visit goes with Pansy, and we look forward to seeing your little girl

Can you take a before and after picture of her?. I don't know if you looked in the link that Hissy put up for you on Starlight?, but the difference to that poor kitty was amazing.
post #11 of 39
Oh that poor little cat! I'm in tears just reading your story. Congratulations, and bless you, thank God Pansy found her way to you! It sounds very like you're going to be exactly what she needs and love, good food, gentle grooming and time will be the real medicine she needs to be the beauty she sounds like she should be. My precious doll faced persian came to me from a rescue home and arrived in a state emotionally and physically. It took about three years before he truly recovered, his coat came to it's full glory and his anxious behaviours subsided right down, he was one of the most special cats I ever owned. I'm sure this little girl will be the same for you, persians are such loving cats.

Hugs and best wishes to you and Pansy both, please put a pic up of her soon and keep us posted?

post #12 of 39
How wonderful for Pansy that you have her. I am sure that you will all be really happy together, and I hope that any more abused cats are taken away from this owner. Good vibes coming for her and Jack, though it sounds like they are getting on just fine!
post #13 of 39
I'll point some of the persian breeders to you for some information on taking care of her coat and things! We're all pretty close knit up here, and, like you, the first thing on our mind is cat welfare!

Just a quick few names, here:
WellingtonCats: Sam is a great young woman that's an experienced breeder of persians and exotics, and is always about somewhere!

PassiquePersians: Also a breeder of Persians, and is often around

KittenKrazy: Cindy is soooo awesome, but busy, but she's always full of helpful information when it comes to fluffs like that.

Hissy: hissy's been rescuing cats for aeons, and has probably seen almost everything a cat can do, good bad, indifferent.

Pat&Alix: Our Friendly Nutritional expert and cat toy guru! She's excellent at giving dietary suggestion and so forth!

Oh there's heaps of really supernice and helpful people around here!!

Thank you for taking on the poor darling, and I hope that you get your anwers!

Also, Is she spayed?

I suggest reading about the Starlight express that Hissy pointed you to, may answer quite a lot of things, as it's quite a similar begininning (I think that's too many n's)

post #14 of 39
Bless you for the loving care you are giving Patsy. This thread brought tears to my eyes. I don't know how anyone can treat an animal they claim to care about in such a terrible way. I wish and your new kitty much happiness!
post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hi again. Latest update - Pansy is asleep on the sofa, surrounded by soft toys, with her little chin turned upwards, when you lean over her, she gives a big yawn and streches, bless. When we had tea, Pansy decided to lie under the desk in the next room and Jack wouldn't eat, he just kept gazing at her. Eventually, she had to be fetched and placed near Jack, then he was fine and took the titbits I offered him. He really loves her, his tail starts wagging when he leans forward to sniff her. Mind you, she's easy to love and such a little darling. We had a play again this evening. She's still wary of Jack but he must look enormous to her.

Vets tomorrow morning and I'm really hoping he'll take her off the anti-biotics as they upset her tummy big time. I'm trying different food, she can't manage dry stuff cos of lack of teeth so it's all wet. A breeder recommended Hill's Science Plan, which is suitably expensive but I got some tins. She's also having cooked chicken and ordinary Felix. She'll eat anything but an aristocrat (or aristocat) needs good food with no additives so I'm being very careful. She's good about drinking, unlike Starlight, so that helps.

She's booked into a grooming salon for Friday 29th to take away the horrid clumps on her tummy and near her back legs. By then she should have settled enough to be able to face it. It's a good place, recommended by the vet.

I checked out Hissy's story of Starlight - boy, that rang some bells with me. trying to groom, feed, love, play and nurture royalty all at the same time is incredibly time-consuming and tiring! Starlight's recovery has given me even more hope and some very useful pointers, he is a real gem of a boy.

Every day there's less to worry about but she is still so terrified. The window cleaner came and she started shaking badly. Jack to the rescue - he barked and guarded her, which helped but it took a long time for her to calm down and stop looking at the window. She still likes to sleep under something or behind something but I guess that'll change over time.

She's definitely put on some weight but when I comb her, the comb goes bump, bump over her spine, ribs, hips and shoulders. Still she LOVES her back being done! She makes me laugh sometimes too - she tried to groom herself while under the desk, up came the back foot - bang! it hit under the desk. A look of surprise on her face, "I hadn't thought of that!"

Many thanks for all the kind thoughts and the names of people who can help.

I'm going to take a pic of Princess Pansy tomorrow for you guys to see.
post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
All went well at the vets!

I took a lovely pic of her but I don't seem to be able to attach it or put it as an avator. Can someone explain it to me as to a child please?
post #17 of 39
Hi there,

First of all welcome to TCS to you and Pansy. She sounds like a lovely lovely cat.

I'm a breeder of Persian cats, so any questions feel free to PM me!

I think you have to have a certain number of posts before you can attach pictures, but if you email her picture to me at captivating@xtra.co.nz I can post it for you.

All the best to you and Pansy!

post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
Many thanks, I've sent an e-mail with a pic of Pansy. I love the pic of your kitten, gorgeous!
post #19 of 39
Hey, my pleasure! I've received the picture of Pansy so I'll post it here in a second...

Thanks for your kind comments.
post #20 of 39
Here is Pansy. Isn't she beautiful.

post #21 of 39
Oh wow... eyes you could drown in, what a sweet face. Pansy is the perfect name for her, she truly does have a flower face. When she's settled and being happy takes it effect you're going to see her coat start to shine and that gorgeous colour she is will deepen right out. She's already beautiful but just wait! She really is going to be something special when she's had time to recover.
post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'd like to thank Sam for posting the pic of Pansy, it's very kind of her and much appreciated.

Thank you Ranger, <<eyes you could drown in, what a sweet face. Pansy is the perfect name for her, she truly does have a flower face. When she's settled and being happy takes it effect you're going to see her coat start to shine and that gorgeous colour she is will deepen right out. She's already beautiful but just wait! She really is going to be something special when she's had time to recover.>>

Yes, already her coat is improving. Also her little pink paw pads are starting to appear - they were black before from years out doors. Doesn't she have the sweetest face, you can see why we fell in love with her. She has more energy now and can climb the stairs without help.

Last night her coat was full of dead fleas, I must have combed out 50 of them . Poor girl would have been alive if she hadn't been treated.

This site is the best - such friendly, helpful people, I feel right at home. Pansy and I send a hug to all of you.
post #23 of 39
It is heartbreaking that the lady would have mistreated her in such a way. Why in Gods name would she put a Persian cat outside? They aren't meant to be outdoor cats. She has an adorable face. You may have to get all of her hair shaved off, in order for it to grow back again. I'll bet it was extremely uncomfortable for her, having all of those clumps through out her hair. That lady should have all of her cats taken away. If she abused this little Princess the way she did, she can't be that good to the others, either.

I'm glad you were there for Ms Pansy.
post #24 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hi Hope,

I agree about the previous owner's disgusting treatment of Pansy. She can't even look out of a window now without shaking. I have a cunning plan ...

At the moment she hasn't given her address or phone number but if she gets in touch again (which Lincoln Cat Care have asked her to) she will be asked for both in order to sign Pansy over to us. When this happens I then ring the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals and report her. They have the power to prosecute people like her. We're playing it very cool at the moment in order to get the information out of her, if she senses we're out to get her, she'll disappear. I worry for those other poor souls in her care.

You're right about Pansy's hair. She's booked into a salon for Friday to be clipped and shampooed. She'll feel better then. We've straightened out her back,front and sides, just her tummy is impossible because it is so bad.

Thanks for your kind thoughts.
post #25 of 39
Oh Lord she is in bad shape! Looks very familiar and I am always amazed when I find that these beautiful cats are left outside, or found outside.

Does she have a covered place she can hide in? I know with Starlight, he liked to go inside a covered litter box I bought, I just didn't put litter in it. It was brand new, and I piled lots of soft bedding in it for him, and when life got overwhelming for him early on, he would bolt inside and peer out of the darkness at us. But after he came out of his shell, oh my! What a delight and a clown he was!

I don't know if the link to his thread contained the end of the story- the forums crashed and we lost so many posts before we came back online- but here is his story in a condensed form:

post #26 of 39
Thread Starter 

<<Oh Lord she is in bad shape! Looks very familiar and I am always amazed when I find that these beautiful cats are left outside, or found outside.>>

Yes, she's a poor thing, still very thin and, although her fur is much better than it was, it's still a long way from perfect. The fur on her neck is very thin and under her tummy is a solid mass of lumps. Her eyes still weep and her nose is a bit squeaky when she breathes.

<<Does she have a covered place she can hide in? >>

Yes, she's chosen under my desk rather than the special box I prepared. She goes there to be out of the way. She doesn't like being alone so if we go in the lounge, she follows and can go under the sideboard. Like Starlight, she also goes under the bed in the spare room sometimes. However, now she is more settled, she spends most of her time on my chair in front of the computer or on the scanner. She's also found a nice spot on a sofa with soft toys all around her and a little table in front. I don't drag her out if she needs to be secure, I don't want her thinking I'm a threat. Unfortunately, she's never been called so she just looks at me like I'm mad if I call her for some reason. I solved that problem by calling her name and getting her saucer out for din-din time, now she's beginning to understand.

<<But after he came out of his shell, oh my! What a delight and a clown he was!>>

I know what you mean - she came upstairs last night, all full of herself and started rolling around on the landing. She grabbed my hands with her paws and put them in her mouth. I went and got her favourite toy and we spent ages with that. Then I discovered all the flea dirt had hatched and her coat was full of dead fleas. She was very patient while I picked them all out. I must have got 50 out and more again this morning. How she ever managed to sleep when she lived rough I don't know, she must have itched unbearably.

<<I don't know if the link to his thread contained the end of the story- the forums crashed and we lost so many posts before we came back online- but here is his story in a condensed form:>>

I read the story on the forum but couldn't resist another look at this site. What a great little guy Starlight is! I recognised your descriptions of the terrible smell, the clumps, the gooey eyes and the absolute terror. Aren't they amazing for surviving like that and then turning into such lovely and loving creatures? Humans would winge for the rest of their lives. I think one of the reasons Jack is so good with her is he is a rescue dog and when we got him, he was starving, had worms and was covered in fleas.

Like Starlight, Pansy was close to death when we found her - unable even to stand. She only managed to drag herself along the ground, we thought her back legs were deformed.

She still has a shaking problem but the vet thinks that it may be a brain injury. It's worse if she concentrates or is frightened.

Did Starlight do this- If Pansy wakes suddenly from a deep sleep, her eyes are full of terror and she trembles. Then she sees where she is and settles down again. I wish I could give her sweet dreams.

Your story of Starlight is a real inspiration to me, thanks for sharing it.
post #27 of 39
Oh my goodness she's gorgeous!!

I'm pleased your treading carefully with her so as to get the info you need to report her to the RSPCA, because these people will come down hard on her
post #28 of 39
This is such a brilliant story -Pansy looks the sweetest cat - I once had a cross Persian called Rosie who looked a bit like her. Good luck at the groomers!
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks susan and Jenny. She IS so sweet, you're right. She now knows our routine very well and wherever we go, she's right there! Grooming is tough, as it hurts her but we do a little at a time.
post #30 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hi, I need advice, please.

I am taking Pansy to a Grooming Salon on Friday to be clipped and washed. Knowing her history, I doubt she has ever been to one before, so I would like to make it as painless as possible for her. The Salon has been recommended by the vet and they sound very nice. They say it is better if we leave Pansy rather than staying with her and that if she becomes distressed they will rest her for 20 minutes or so before continuing.

Is there any way I can prepare Pansy? Do you think she'll cope with it alright? She's very docile and aimiable now but I don't want to freak her out.

Should I warn the salon about her tremor?

When I bring her home, how should I behave and what will she need?

I'll feel a whole lot better if I have some idea what to do and what to expect. This is all new to me - and her.

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