Adoptions

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We are often asked:  “How can you give so much care to foster cats and then give them away?”

At first we could not.  We adopted the first two of our foster cats.  But then we learned two things:

  • We can’t keep adopting cats.  
  • Sending cats to good homes makes us happy.

If we adopted too many cats it would limit our ability to help others.  Two (mostly) cat friendly residents is a good number.  This gives us time and space to help other cats.

We do put a lot of care into the foster cats, come to love them, and want them to be happy.  When we find a good home for them we think:

This cat will now have a great home.  They will have people to love it and protect it.  We could not have done that for this cat.  We have now helped one more cat through the re-homing process.

We just sent Bubbles and Shadow to a good home.  Bubble’s came to us first, a Seattle Animal Shelter (SAS) foster chosen to be companion to Mustache, another young cat we were fostering.  (Mustache later went to the Feral Cat Sanctuary.) Shadow came later, one of 5 at-risk cats, removed from a very unpleasant hoarding situation, who came to us for evaluation. Shadow and Bubbles soon bonded.

Bubbles, not the most affectionate cat, and prone to picking on other cats in our house, showed great patience and tenderness toward Shadow.  Shadow went from a shut down, confused little kitten, to a confident great companion to us and to Bubbles.

Shadow sleeping in my arms.

Shadow sleeping in my arms.

 

Bubbles

Bubbles

 

Shadow cuddling with our resident Annabelle

Shadow cuddling with our resident Annabelle

Bubbles grooming Shadow

Bubbles even cleans the bottom of Shadow’s paws!

 

 

 

They were adopted to a nice man who really appreciated cats.  Sending cats away with adopters is bitter-sweet.  Bitter for them because we know it will upset them to be uprooted and sent away from a home to which they have grown accustomed, and bitter for us to say good-by.  Sweet when we hear news of them in their new home.  The next day we go this photo and note:

Bubbles and Shadow taking claim of the bed. Very playful and active :)

Bubbles and Shadow taking claim of the bed. Very playful and active 🙂

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Baby came from FCSNP clinic with a very bad upper respratory infection.  I set him up in the basement and began to explore how much handling he would tolerate.  If he was very feral there would not be much I could do.

He liked to hide in his carrier. I found that if I disconnect the top of the carrier from the bottom I can lift the top up just enough to reach in and can often handle semi-feral cats while they are in their safe place. I start cautiously with stick, then a golved hand, then my bare hands. Baby was a little squirrley but did let me handle him. Later he got wise to my taking the carrier apart and he would hide behind it. I would just move it then reach back and pull him forward a little.

I gave him:

  • Oral antibiotics by squirting some liquid down his throat
  • Eye antibiotics by squirting some ointment into his eyes
  • Subcutaneous fluids by sticking a needle under the skin on his back and letting fluids drain into him

That was a lot of handling and he was surprisingly calm – as if he knew that it would ultimately help him. I was most impressed that he let me administer ointment to his eyes. This can’t be comfortable. With one hand I scruff him and twist his head to one side. With the other I squeeze out a bit of ointment and then lay that across his eyeball. I then turn his head the other way and do the other eye. If I miss I try to massage it in a little.  Baby allowed all that handling and more.

I was always ready to pull my hands back, especially while giving fluids.  To help cats who are not eating stay hydrated we inject saline solution just under their skin with an IV drip.  As the amount of fluid builds they must feel discomfort or just strange and they start to resist little. Often, once I had the needle out, he would swat but he never got me.

After several days I could see that he was improving.

After several more days I began to rub Baby’s cheek after treatment. Soon after that he began to respond. Each day he was a little more open. Soon he would come out of his carrier and soon he was crawling into my arms. In the end Baby turned out to be just a big Baby.

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Baby was promised to a student house in Ravenna as a garage cat to hunt rodents. Since that time his status changed and he clearly wanted to live inside with people. They were happy to have him and gave him plenty of loving. Never the less I stayed in contact to be sure it was right fit. They said that Baby never showed interest in going out side or hunting anything. Ultimately one of the students adopted Baby as his own.

Sitting on our cat bench

This beautiful young lady is ready for her new home.

A charming young girl

UPDATE

March 14, 2012
Sabrina was adopted by loving couple in Fall City.

Winnie – Update

A year ago, beginning of 2011, we received two orange kittens who were very fierce.  We worked with them for a long time.  Marie lived with Odel in her office for about a month.  He eventually grew to trust her.  I worked with Winnie by snoggling him.  Eventually I realized that he did not like contact and forcing it was not helping.  I change policy and let him have run of the house with no attempts to touch him.  Turned out he was a super fun cat to have around – always interested and very affectionate with our boy Nelson.  Ready for play, interested in what I was doing.  He just had a no touch policy.

We tried to adopt them together, and did send them home with one adopter who returned both the next day.  One reason for the return was that they could not touch the boys.  I told them this quite clearly but they must have a believed they had superior kitten taming abilities.  Eventually Odel went to a great home in Edmonds leaving us with Winnie.  Winnie had a number of potential adopters call. I screened carefully for adopters who would have the patience to work with him and stability (less likely to have life changes that required re-homing Winnie) and ended up convincing most adopters to look at other cats.

I was just accepting that he may be our cat, an idea I mostly liked, and he was just beginning to get snuggly when the perfect adopter showed up.  She was looking for a companion for her cat, had experience with shy cats, had patience, and seemed stable.  I was sad to see him go.

Our current foster Sammy is a lot like Winnie.  Wondering how Winnie, is I queried Jill who sent this report.  His name is now Pinto, aka Bean.

Hi Tom,

Little Bean is fantastic. I am SO in love with him! He is such an easy cat. Yes, he is super loving (to me) and although he may always be skiddish, he sleeps with me on the bed, loves to cuddle next to me, lick my hands and even lets me curl my face up next to him and take a nap with him and yes, pick him up. He even sits next to me now on my chair when I am working and lets me put him on my lap (for a while).

He and Pacha get along great (he is MUCH friendlier to her than she will ever be to him but they are really good buds now, finally – it took 6 months for her to be really warm to him and even then she prefers my company to his). She is on prednisone for asthma and that makes her more irritated but he is submissive and follows her around like her kitten. They play-fight and chase each other at least 6 times a day, just like children. They go out during the day and I lock them in at dusk. Pinto changed dramatically once I let him do that. He became SO much happier and less demanding of Pacha. They hang pretty tight outside and when the weather is nice, he likes to stay out most of the day, sleeping out there and coming in for dinner and a few snacks during the day. They love to go for walks with me on the beach and Pinto chases the sand-fleas and seagulls!
Pinto went to the vet, yes, TO the vet recently. I had to trick him into his box but he was fine there and checked out as healthy as can be.
I think because I NEVER pushed Pinto and let him come to me in his own time, he learned to trust me and not fear me in the least. If there were kids involved or a pushier person, I am not sure it would have worked out as well. He has such a strong memory and is overall a scaredy-cat, that I am not sure he will ever warm up to strangers.
I attached some pics. Please know he is super happy and well-loved. Best of luck with your new kitties. I wish I could take more.
Peace,
Jill
Walks on the beach:  sounds like cat heaven.

Winnie and Odel as kittens

Pinto and his new buddy Pacha

Pinto and Pacha

Pinto on the beach

Nelson’s adopters have written us several times with updates:

First night:

As soon as we got him home he did the low walking all around our place like you said he would. Then once he realized there were no other cats or people he instantly started acting like king! We spent the evening playing with the feather toy you suggested and his tunnel box! After a few hours he fell asleep on Dan’s lap while we watched a movie. He has been eating well already (I think you were right 3 oz isn’t going to be enough, we are going to stick to 4-6). More updates and photos to come later. Thank you for raising such a great cat! We promise him a fun, safe, and loving home.

Belly Time

Decembert 20, 2011

The king is doing fantastic! I was home sick for most of this week so we had some great bonding time. Now he follows me all around the apartment! I am never out of his sight! He “helped” me wrap christmas presents, and he was so helpful that I decided to build him a cat condo from the boxes I had left over.

Wrapping presents

 

Casa de Nelson

January 10, 2012

Here are a few pictures of the best cat on earth! I don’t know how he got the laundry basket to balance like this, but he is amazing! Hope you guys are having a good new year!
-Lauren

Laundry basket trick

It is great to hear from them and know they love Nelson and that Nelson is happy in his home.