It's been more than two weeks since Fishtail and Rusty Rose came home with us. In that time, Fishy has been allowed free access to the entire house, has had his sleeping quarters moved from a little bedroom to the laundry room, to the upper level of the house -- or wherever he wants to sleep. He developed a kitty cold, which I had to treat with an antibiotic/antiviral cocktail that I had to give him through an oral syringe (0.6cc/day for 7 days -- ARGH!). He met my brothers, sister-in-law, and nephews, all of whom love him. My one nephew even was extremely insistent that we keep the name Fishtail, though there's still debate on whether that's a good name for him. My brother who studied in China thinks we ought to name Fishtail "Hun Ben", which means "Very Stupid", or "Hun Kwai", which means Very Fast. Either is a good name for him, since at times he can be either very fast or very stupid or both at the same time!

Rosie, OTOH, has had a much more difficult time. For most of the first week, she did not eat and barely drank any water. We even tried canned cat food for her, which at first, she snubbed. We had to tempt her with ham and turkey cold cuts before she would eat a single thing and even then, she really didn't want to eat. Within a week, she'd lost an entire pound off of her thin 8.2 lb frame. WAY too much weight to lose for a cat. When she finally started eating, she couldn't eat more than 2 tablespoons of food, and she refused to eat more than twice a day. She's been afraid to walk on the floor, and when she did, she ran like a crazy cat to get to "her" spots -- next to me or in the bay window. That's the extent of her interaction with any of us. She only explored around the house twice, and both times, when she was spotted, she ran back to her hiding spot under my bed. But what concerned us most was the fact that she had lost a great deal of weight and did not seem to be motivated to eat. There's no way we could bear to watch her starving herself. It broke my heart, but today, I took her back to the shelter. Perhaps if it were just me and I had a very small apartment and it was just Rosie, I could have worked through this. But we have far more room than she is obviously used to and she was not a happy girl. If we couldn't make her happy, I'd rather give her up than be selfish and keep her while she suffered. Still, it made me sad because she is a very special kitty.

We talked with the people at the Humane Society and discovered that Fishtail has a brother and a sister who had not been adopted. Fishtail's brother has been taken off the list for adoption until next week, but his sister was available. Her name is Swerve and she's just a bit younger than Fishtail. She's a true tortoiseshell cat and is what the intake people called a "forever kitten" -- she's a very small cat in comparison to her brother (only 5.8 lbs and has very short legs, very much like a kitten). She's definitely got a little personality and is a talker, but at the moment, she's a little intimidated by her brother, who has come to believe that every toy in the house is his toy! At least she is assertive enough to get back at him, which, IMO, was one of Rusty Rose's problems (he was constantly staring her down). So, with a little luck and patience, I hope that Swerve will become a member of this little family.

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Tags: Cat, Fishtail, Kitty, Rose, Rusty, Swerve

Comment by Ila on March 25, 2014 at 6:48am

So touching. How has Swerve adjusted by now? Do you know what happened to Rusty Rose after you took her back. I sure hope she found the right family.

Comment by AngelaC on March 25, 2014 at 5:54pm

The new kitty is adjusting quite well! We've decided to call her Shadow, because as she walks around, she blends in so well it's like having a shadow. She's gaining confidence everyday, walking around the house pretty much wherever she wants, making "demands" ("Don't touch my belly!" "Stay away from me!"), and manipulating people with her cuteness to get her way. She's standing up to her brother more frequently and has claimed space in the living room that's all her own.

She has developed an upper respiratory infection with loads of sneezing and watery eyes. The shelter allows us to get free medications if this happens to a kitty within two weeks of adoption, so I called, they got the meds together, and went to the shelter to pick it up. Of course, I stopped in to see Rosie. They'd put her back out on the "up for adoption" list, so I was very curious. I couldn't imagine she was ready to be readopted by anyone. I found her in a room with other cats they call "Diamonds in the Rough". Some have behavior problems, some have very special needs, but in the long run, these cats are ones which are going to be difficult to place. Rosie's sister is also in that room, because she has a problem with aggression and energy. So, obviously, Rosie's problems weren't us. I was happy to see her, and I think she was happy to see me, as she gave the cage a little head butt before going to sit on her cat bed (which she didn't have in her other cage).

The people at the shelter told me that they were unaware that Rosie was that terrified of the floor, and they obviously confirmed her fears. The cage is near the floor and all the volunteers who work with the cats have been told to work with her on keeping her on the floor, helping her to overcome her fears. They also took into account my comments that Rosie needs a very quiet home without kids and as the only pet, and have that listed on her kennel card. Thankfully, this shelter does not kill most of the animals brought to it (a few dogs are put down, but they are ones with a history of vicious behavior, like the ones that ripped apart my neighbor's Pomeranian), so even if it takes more than a year before Rosie is a well-adjusted kitty who finds that special family for her, they will keep her.

Comment by Ila on March 25, 2014 at 6:47pm
Good news all around.

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