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Thanksgiving Eve Stray

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,
I am so happy I found this forum tonight. I've been reading for a few hours and learning a lot. There is a ton of information here and I need just that right now.
Here's our story:
We have had a stray tabby around our house since early summer, hiding in the flower bed, scoping out our bird feeder. We realized she was in our yard more and more. My husband started feeding her in October and we realized we had to quit feeding her or bring her in. A friend loaned us a small Have-a-Heart trap and we failed miserably, due to it's size. A local pet food store rents Have-a-Hearts for a refundable deposit and three dollars a day and so we got a bigger one. This morning, the second day with the large trap, we caught her. I am so happy because it is currently 24 degrees out tonight.
Now the bad part. My husband was putting her into another carrier to take her to the vet when she bit him through gloves he had on, one puncture wound that drew blood. The vet, when he found this out, had to report it to the state( we live in New York state). After an hour the state called back to say the cat would not have to be destroyed and tested for rabies if someone would keep the cat in isolation for ten days. That someone turned out to be us, because the vet couldn't. He also did not test or treat her for anything. He wants us to bring her back after the ten days. I was at work and found all this out later. Why wasn't the cat checked out at all? To save us money if things don't go well, or can they not treat after a bite? I wanted her tested and vaccinated, wormed etc before bringing her into our household where we have two cats already. We are going to call on Friday to see if they can do something for us. My husband was a bit overwhelmed with everything going on and here we are.
Currently the cat (the vet did think she is a she and probably a year old) is in our spare room in the small cat carrier with the door off. The carrier is inside of a very large wire cage with a solid floor with the litter, water and food. She has not made any noise at all and is just sitting in there quietly, terrified I'm sure. We periodically go in and softly talk with her. We plan on very good hygiene when touching anything and then being with our other two cats, Sam and Clio.
Does anyone have any thoughts or advice? This wasn't quite the plan I had in mind, but she is inside, safe and warm and that was the main idea after all. Thanks for any thoughts or ideas you might have.
~Jean
post #2 of 24
The vet can run tests on her and have her dewormed prior to the 10 day quarantine being up. I was bitten by a feral kitten and he was treated the day he bit me. Perhaps your vet is trying to save you money in case she has rabies. The odds are against it. Call them on Friday and let them know that you want to ensure this cat is not carrying any disease or parasite that can infect your household. They should accommodate you!

Nice working trapping this girl! You will want to keep her isolated from the others for a while anyway, even if she is healthy. She sounds like she's been on the streets for some time and will need to acclimate first to being inside before she can adjust to new cats.

If you haven't read some of the articles in the stray and feral forum, start there. Lots of stories about how to socialize a scared cat.
post #3 of 24
What a miracle! You have saved her life twice! It may be a little challenging to get her back in the carrier and back to the vet. Too bad he didn't do the testing already!!

Best of luck, I hope she tames up nicely for you. Welcome to TCS!
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for encouraging words Beckiboo and Momofmany. When I got up this morning I checked in on her and spoke to her for a while. It is so hard not to look into those beautiful green eyes, but I am following the advice on here and trying to be non-threatening. She is in the small carrier still, all the way in the back of it, and has changed postions, she's facing to the left instead of the right. It doesn't look like she has touched the food/water or litter. She has not made one sound since coming into the house. She seems to just be taking everything in. So we will continue on with holiday preparations today, checking in here and there. The other two cats are curious and tried coming into visit, Sam came right up to the cage before I could grab him. Interest on his part, no comment from her. So things are quiet and peaceful for now. I am cautiously optimistic.
post #5 of 24
It's great that you are taking care of this cat. Definately read the other posts and if you need further help...just let us know.

Katie
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
All is well so far. She is not plastered against the back of the cat carrier and is looking up to see who is coming into the room. Not one sound yet and I don't think she has ventured out of the carrier into the larger cage yet.

I had no idea about feral cats. I thought all the pictures in the paper from the area shelters and societies for cats to adopt were wild/feral cats. I now realize they are probably lost or abandoned pets and probably not a feral unless someone has spent time with it. I never gave thought to any of this before. We have a Siamese that my husband got me (Clio) and a half Siamese (Sam) that we adopted from a shelter. I never realized how scared feral adult cats are. It's easy to understand though once I thought about the way they survive and live. Today is truly a day to be thankful for a lot of different things.
Thanks for all the good thoughts.
post #7 of 24
Bless you for taking in this precious girl! And your hubby has been so nice about this, esp. since he was bitten! {{{Prayers & vibes}}} that your new girl is healthy, and adjusts quickly and happily to her new loving family! BTW, Welcome to TCS Susan
post #8 of 24
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Susan, thanks for the kind words and welcome
Hissy, thank you for the great link, I needed to read through that. You have no idea how timely that was today.
Yesterday was very calm, no noise, no movement from her in the carrier that is inside the cage. We visited with her and I spent some time reading out loud. We went to bed.
Woke up this morning, my husband went in and came out and said "You have to come see this to believe it." One of the steel bars on the cage was bent and she was not in the cage and of course no where in sight.
There is a futon in the room with storage containers under it, when we pulled those out, there she was. Sitting quietly and looking quite sweet. Now the bars on the cage are thin but they are rigid and steel, the one she bent was not spot welded on like the others. Did she try every bar before she found the weak link? Oh my gosh, the strength and sheer desperation needed to accomplish this astounds me. Kind of frightening actually.
We are aware of what she can do now and are getting quite the education. So the plan is changed now. She has the entire room and we will work around that. I wanted to keep her confined more until she's tested and I don't think that is happening for a while. I would love to get her treated for fleas, worms etc. but getting her to the vet probably won't happen until late next week. About the time she calms down, out she goes to the vet. This is not going the way I want, but being flexible is an admirable quality for me to work on.
Oh and we decided on a name. Prudence. The definition of prudent is:
1. shrewd 2. cautious
"Dear Prudence, won't you come out and play...." I love that song. So Prudence it is and Prue for short.
post #10 of 24
What a perfect name for her. Just to let you know, it may be months before you can grab her and get her into the carrier. It may be best to just use a trap her to get her to the vet. And take her to the vet in the trap, it will make it easier for him to care for her, too. They can give her a shot to knock her out in the cage, and then do all the care, including a spay, while she is asleep. Then you can put her back in the cage at home, if it can be repaired.

You don't want to be in the position of grabbing her just as she begins to settle. That is how I got clawed and bit by a semiferal foster! Also, she needs to learn not to fear people. Being grabbed is very scary!

She is lucky to have someone willing to take the time to learn her needs, and to provide the best care possible. Poor frightened Prue, she doesn't understand yet that things have improved for her!
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Beckiboo,
You are right, I need to do something as soon as I can. I just called the vet, they can't touch her by law until the ten days are up because of the bite. I made an appointment for Prue to be spayed/and the works on 12/5. I hate the thought of worms, fleas etc, but I can live with that since I don't really have a choice. The vet's office said they could give us Frontline for the fleas, but I explained there is no way I go get it on her at this point. While she is being spayed, I'll clean the room top to bottom before she gets back. I hope she is FIV and FeLV free, so think really good thoughts on that for Prue and us.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
We checked in this morning on Pru and found the water almost empty and she had eaten some food and the litter scattered all round the box. I was wandering how long she could hold out, looks like three days was her limit. I have to admit I was getting worried.
She is hiding in the corner of the room under a small table or else under the other end of the futon, those are the two places I have found her. I have a crate that I turned on it's side and put an old rug in the bottom close to the corner. Actually she was in the corner when I did this, about a foot away and she was nervous, but no growls or noise. I moved very slowly, talking to her the entire time. The litter box is right inside the door of the cage in the middle of the room, with the food/water dishes outside the cage. The room is only 10 x12 with a wood floor, and I keep a 3 way light on low. She is very quiet, taking everything in. So I am happier this morning since she is eating etc., yesterday's supercat episode scared me a bit. Good feeling this morning.
~jean
post #13 of 24
I hope all goes well for Prue and you....and by the way...how is hubby`s bite doing?
Linda
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
The bite looks quite good-no redness, swelling or tenderness. He feels foolish and very lucky, but much wiser. We had no idea, but we're learning. Thanks for asking.
post #15 of 24
sweet little supergirl - I sure do hope the tests all come back negative for this one and I do hope that in a short amount of time she realises that she is now safe and loved. Dont we wish that for all our ferals we take in.

Glad to hear that she used the litter, and more importantly glad to hear your husbands bite seems fine. What a relief. I sure hope Monday comes around quickly for you and that the transfer to the vet is not to much of an ordeal. She will no doubt hate it, but know that you are doing the right thing and she will be much better of for it.

I havent posted in this thread yet, but know I am keeping an eye on it. I dont have much to offer in the way of advise, just support and encouragement so at times I dont have much to write.

Good luck - there is a whole bunch of us from across the world cheering you & Prue on
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Danielle,
Thanks for keeping an eye on us. Encouragement is good, I know I would not have continued without this group. I didn't know what to expect, and reading the other threads have helped so much, I would have thought something was really wrong and quit right away. Having a sweet little girl cowering in a corner every time I see her is heart breaking. She jumped up into the window today, didn't stay long, but she was out of the corner for a bit. I think she mainly explores when we sleep. She is eating, using the box and that makes me happy. I'm cautiously positve.
~jean
post #17 of 24
Jumping up with intrest into the window is a good sign...sounds like she is beginning to feel a bit more at home.
I`m glad Hubbys bite did`nt get infected.
Keep us posted as to how things are going.
Linda
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
I just returned with Pru from the vets. She is a bit groggy from anesthesia and the vet gave her a mild pain killer. Pru had an old spay scar but no microchip. She had to have 4 canine teeth extracted and her remaining teeth scaled. She already had 6 teeth gone and pretty bad gum disease, whether from disease or living the wild life, they can't tell. So she is resting in her room after a traumatic day.
We caught her and put her in the carrier last night before going to bed. She climbed 6 feet vertically, was actually hanging on the wall. It took about 3 attempts and then we got her in the carrier. I haven't heard her voice yet, no cries or hisses, even while trying to catch her. I would love to know her story.
The vet thinks she is around 5 years old and she weighs 6 pounds. We had a microchip put in. She is disease free, no FeLv, FIV. I've got antibiotics for the teeth and de-wormer. What a relief. Now we just have to build trust and let things happen at her pace. This has been a long 2 weeks. I love happy endings and beginnings.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-ji
I just returned with Pru from the vets. She is a bit groggy from anesthesia and the vet gave her a mild pain killer. Pru had an old spay scar but no microchip. She had to have 4 canine teeth extracted and her remaining teeth scaled. She already had 6 teeth gone and pretty bad gum disease, whether from disease or living the wild life, they can't tell. So she is resting in her room after a traumatic day.
We caught her and put her in the carrier last night before going to bed. She climbed 6 feet vertically, was actually hanging on the wall. It took about 3 attempts and then we got her in the carrier. I haven't heard her voice yet, no cries or hisses, even while trying to catch her. I would love to know her story.
The vet thinks she is around 5 years old and she weighs 6 pounds. We had a microchip put in. She is disease free, no FeLv, FIV. I've got antibiotics for the teeth and de-wormer. What a relief. Now we just have to build trust and let things happen at her pace. This has been a long 2 weeks. I love happy endings and beginnings.
Congrats on getting her to the vet. I'm glad she is ok. Wow...5 years old and only 6 pounds....my girl is 7 years old and weighs 12 pounds.

Katie
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-ji
. I love happy endings and beginnings.
and so do we!!

what wonderful news this all is... (although traumatic for her)

you must keep updating us you know! I for one will enjoy following Pru's progress over the months to come

WELL DONE!!
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Pru has eaten her food doctored with the de-wormer med and just has one more dose of antibiotic to go. My husband put a screen door on the spare room she is in yesterday, so now she isn't closed in and can get used to our sounds etc.
She is still behind the futon when I come in the room, I always pull back the futon pad and talk to her. A few days ago I started putting my hand out to her and touched her nose. She didn't run or protest, but I could feel her shiver. The next day I rubbed between her eyes and advanced to rubbing her ears. She has not hissed or gotten out of the way. Last night I started the same routine and rubbed down her spine, always going back to the ears for a good rub. I realized after a while she was arching her back up as I petted down to the tail. She would turn around to look at me and when I brought my hand up to rub the ears again, she met my hand with the side of her face to be rubbed! After a while she turned her body the other direction and I sensed our session was over.
I didn't wait for her to come to me, there has just been something about her that has made me think she wants contact. We felt this way when we saw her outside and she would run from us. My husband feels she was communicating an interest in us, which is why he started leaving food out for her.
I am so happy she is responding to my overtures and we'll see if she will progress to coming out in the open soon.
post #22 of 24
it certainly does sound like she is progressing really well. You & your husband are doing an amazing job with Pru. I just love reading these updates - thanks for continuing to let us know how everything is going!

how is your husbands arm btw? after the bite? heal up okay?

blowing kisses Pru's way - be brave little one
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Let me be patient,

Pru is letting me pet her through the futon slats and is perfectly happy with this arrangement. She loves the attention of being rubbed and petted, I tire before she does. She is now rolling onto her side and allowing me to rub her belly. Her belly!! She trusts me to do that, but coming out into the open is still too much for her.

She is so adorable. She is black and grey striped with brown fur on the underside, a small tabby for her age. Her temperament is so sweet, she hasn't hissed or scratched. She stretches her paws in and out (not the claws, just the toes) while petting her. I thought she was shivering, but now the shiver has a sound and it is a loud purr. A few times, usually after prolonged belly rubbing, she has put her teeth on my hand, not biting, just touching the teeth to my hand very gently, telling me "enough". I did not expect any of this after our rough start with her. Yes, my husband's bite healed quite nicely.

I sit on the floor when not doing contortions petting through the futon and try to be patient. I think she is a lap cat just waiting to happen. It is probably just a matter of time now, but do any of you have suggestions to tempt her out?
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-ji
It is probably just a matter of time now, but do any of you have suggestions to tempt her out?
honestly - you just need to let her go at her own pace at this stage. When she is ready she will come out.. it might take a while or it might happen next week.

All signs sound positive though!! I dont think its going to be that far away at all... I just love hearing the updates!!
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