Yes, I’ve been MIA…

Clyde 6/4/99 - 12/5/08

Clyde 6/4/99 - 12/5/08

It’s been a rough couple weeks in our house. Clyde stopped eating. We had him to the vet several times. They did bloodwork, they checked him out, he had X-rays and steroid treatments. Nothing helped. So last Friday we had to let him go. It was hard to say goodbye. Clyde had been a part of our family for as long as we’ve been married – 9 years. We were a little more prepared this time than when we lost our Oliver whom we had for 8 years.

The circumstances were eerily similar. Oliver wasn’t really eating and was vomiting. Oliver did seem to respond to the steroid treatments, but the vet still didn’t know what was going on. We opted for exploratory surgery and he was just too weak to make it through. This was our first loss and we had a difficult time deciding what we wanted to do – cremation or

Oliver 4/4/98 - 9/19/06

Oliver 4/4/98 - 9/19/06

burial. We had finally decided to bury Oliver at M.’s grandparents in the woods on their property. I called the vet to make arrangements to pick him up and found out there had been a mix-up and animal control had mistakenly taken his body for cremation. The vet attempted to get his ashes and purchased an urn for us.

When Clyde got sick and we had to make the decision to let him go, we decided that he would have the burial Oliver was denied. We also decided to bury Oliver with Clyde. They had grown up together and had been the best of brothers.

We have been a two cat household for the longest time. After Oliver passed, we decided to adopt a little brother for Clyde. I am a

Luigi

Luigi

big believer in not purchasing pets from pet stores and supporting your local humane society, so that’s where we looked. We found a 4 month old bundle of fluff named Luigi and decided he was the one for us.

After Clyde passed, we made the same decision. Luigi needed a brother, we needed to have 2 cats. We decided against a kitten this time. Luigi was (and still is) a joy, but he was also destructive with all his kitten energy and claws. We still have walls that bear his deep scars. When we visited the humane society’s website, we saw and fell in love with a 2 year old they called “Bob.”

We met “Bob” on Saturday and decided he needed to come home with us. We renamed him Clover (a combination of Clyde and Oliver). Clover is a very loving cat with such a good purr motor! But he is also very scared – of everything. I am not sure what happened to him, but something must have. He was found by a humane society worker, just wandering the streets. He came to

Clover

Clover

the humane society neutered, so someone owned him at some point. He spent over a month at the humane society before we adopted him and no one claimed him.

Clover is slowly warming up to us and we are slowly integrating him into our household. Right now, he is living in our 2nd bathroom which is his “safe room.” He is comfortable in there and really doesn’t want to explore the rest of the house just yet. Luigi is slowly coming around. This morning was the first he was able to look at Clover and not hiss. (Not that Lu’s hiss is very intimidating, in fact, it’s pretty pitiful since he rarely has cause to use it.)

In this instance, my unemployment is a blessing. I was home to care for Clyde and I am home to work with Clover and get him comfortable with his new home and his new brother. Clover and I will be making a trip to the vet later this morning so he can have his first checkup.

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2 Comments

  1. Storm said,

    December 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for the advice about the cats! We’ll definitely try that out, of course, she’ll have more time than me to do so.

    -M.

  2. Nicole said,

    December 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I came over to visit your “Curious As a Cat” post and scrolled on down to find this one. I’m so sorry to hear of your losses. Believe me, I know the feeling! When I first moved out of my parents’ house (a million years ago) I promised myself “no pets” because I couldn’t stand loosing them. But eventually a stray cat moved in and I haven’t been without one since. He was an older cat and we had a weird, roommate kind of relationship. Pappy (short for Papillon) was the first cat I ever had (grew up with dogs) so he taught me how to live with a cat. I don’t know why, but I think I only have one picture of him.

    Since Pappy, it’s been a pretty solid stream. I found Pug when Pappy was about 9 years old. He was a teeny tiny ball of a kitten who “meeped” instead of “meowing”. He was my “baby” for his entire 16 years. I just lost him about 3 years ago. If you look at my blog and my “Camera Critters” postings, you would swear he’s still around…

    Anyway, I’ve always brought in (found) kittens, never an adult cat. I’m sure it’s much tougher. I do have one cat, Flynn, who has her own “safe” room. When I have to travel, that’s where she hides from the pet sitter. It’s also where she hides from repair men and anyone else who dare step into the apartment, or even knock on the door. I don’t know why she is like this, it’s just who she is. When I come home from my business trips it takes, literally, hours to get her to come out of hiding.

    May I suggest you give this a try, if you haven’t already:

    Try hanging out in that bathroom. Don’t move things around, it’s Clover’s place now and that would be disrespectful. Just grab a pillow or a cushion from the couch and sit on the floor, or even in the tub and read. Depending on how scared he is, don’t approach him or try to coax him out. If he is okay with it, you could give him a little pat on the head when you walk in, and always say “hello” whether you touch him or not. Just stay for about an hour and then say “bye” and pat him on the head again when you leave. And leave the pillow in the room at all times. He’ll get used to your scent. After a couple of day, leave him a treat (on the pillow) when you go. Also leave a toy (mouse, ball, catnip sack) so he can get some stimulation when he’s alone.

    Animals each have their own personalities and he may never be what you’re used to but he’s definitely better off than he was, I’m sure he knows that.

    I’m a pet-sitter and have worked with a lot of different personalities and have found that this approach works very well with the more shy cats. At least they don’t disappear when I walk in the room anymore. Well, they might for a second…

    One last thing:

    If your cats ever fight, let them. It’s can be tough, but don’t break them up (unless fur starts flying, then break them up, but don’t scold, conjole). They need to learn to live together on their own.

    Remember, he’s young, you’ve got years to be together!

    I hope I’ve been able to add at least one thing that you haven’t tried yet…


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