Does this girl look confident? Does she look relaxed? I guess SO!! She is actually still a bit guarded: so much is new around here, so many new cats. I was just thinking of how abused children are said to be "good", or well-behaved. They don't want to attract attention or cause any inconvenience for the abusive adults. A bit of that with Chelsea, maybe. I have a feeling that she was not too well cared for. You can bet she's being treated well here!! Bless her heart. She isn't too wary of humans in general, so that's a relief. Just cautious. but as you can see, she's been enjoying the outdoors, and has staked out a cat tree in the back bathroom for her main venue. She's a quiet (so far) and affectionate cat. She still has that serious look about her. She actually comes when we call! Do not want her out after dark. So we're very, very happy to have her here...and to see how she has blossomed and healed. She doesn't have any special friends yet, but does play a bit with the others. She's still a pretty young cat!
Meet Junior! Named after Junior Mance, the jazz/blues piano player...
Junior was at one of my colonies, and friendly, though a bit jumpy. Not neutered. I thought he might have a human family, but as the weeks went on, it seemed not. He was always there, always hungry, not neutered. Sooo...I brought him home. He was in the safety of the big cage, off the floor, for a few days, not he's gotten the lay of the land, and is out and about. Got him neutered. Got him an appt. with my holistic vet on June 2. He has some kind of inflammation in his mouth. Not enough to keep him from eating, or make him drool. He's a wiry little man, still a bit jumpy, but loves to have his tummy rubbed as often as possible! Welcome JUNIOR!!
This small family has blossomed! So many changes! Daddy Jules is watchful, Mama Julia takes cues from him, but is often the one to make the first move into new territory. Now that they are out and about we see that they are VERY athletic, graceful, curious, and...SWEET! They are great jumpers, too...effortlessly jumping six or eight feet...into everything...sleeping with me on the bed...purring and rolling over and over in delight...Yes, I'm in love. Baby Jennie is still wary of us, though she lets me pet her, and purrs, when I come up on her lying down...they have long since lost any trace of respiratory infection...It is such a joy to see them starting to feel that life is worth living. They are making the most of it, to be sure! Better photos to come. This one does show off the shine of Jules' glossy soft coat...
The best news is that I'm comfortable, and they're comfortable, going outdoors now! (not the baby yet) Jules went first to see if it was a good idea...he very slowly and carefully sniffed and looked along the walls of the house, then ventured onto the patio a bit, and gradually went further and further, always making sure he could get back in. (door left open) He loves it! I don't know if any of them ever even saw the light of day, let alone grass and bugs under their feet, or flowers. Julia followed, and hasn't gone as far yet. I think I'll let baby Jennie out today...mom and dad can keep an eye on her..and she will stick with them. Mom and dad are really still kittens...I think mother Julia has even grown a bit since she arrived. They grow till they're around two...
There is nothing more gratifying than to see traumatized, shut-down people (yes, personhood for all beings) open up and start to experience love, joy, and new smells, safety and freedom, all the good things life has to offer. And it's spring!
Her story hasn't ended, but so far is a happy one! Chelsea is seen here at the All-Star Rents lot in San Pablo, where I feed a colony. She showed up there with this harness, and, if I'd been more observant, I would have noticed the collar, cutting into her armpit. You can just see part of the collar here, and the gap in her fur where the collar goes under her front leg. This can be a deadly condition: the collar cuts deeper and deeper into the armpit, gets infected, and the cat slowly goes downhill and dies. She obviously had been with a family, but was now too frightened to let us catch her. The folks at All-Star Rents are kind and considerate. When I didn't see her for a couple of days, they told me she was still in the yard. The rest of the colony takes shelter inside the walls of the yard, and these folks leave food and water for them. KUDOS. Within a few days she showed up outside the yard and, long story short, I was able to trap her.
She was calm when I got her home, and let me look at her.
I put the new ones in a big cage in the living room, so that they can get their bearings. Covered if they are frightened. She was pretty relaxed. She ate well! After she ate, I examined her.
That's when I discovered the collar...embedded in her armpit. I cut the halter off, and the parts of the collar not stuck to her. I didn't dare pull at the stuck parts, for fear of making the wound worse. There was blood on the halter...
In the morning I found that Chelsea had pulled the rest of the collar off! Shown below. She let me lift her arm. The wound was not nearly as deep and wide as another cat's, (Archie) had been yay, but there was a deep hole; "pocket" in medical terms. Fur was missing on her back ( scab from the halter, too) and around the path the collar had taken.
After our experience with Archie, we knew that this was a very slow-healing wound. I geared up for the long haul, and called the doctor.
When Chelsea was seen the next day, I was amazed at how much the wound had closed up! There was no hole, or pocket left, certainly no infection, and the dime-sized area was "granulated" and light, not dark, pink! WOW!!
What a happy surprise! How well these young ones heal!! Even after days, or longer, of privation, she was able to heal this wound quickly. Astonishing...
It was probably only a few days after she was lost that we saw her...yes, I posted posters, put her on nextrdoor.com, etc. No response. Her halter looked new. In any case, it is extremely fortunate that she was caught as soon as she was! More to come!
A couple of posts ago, I introduced this small family, which arrived on March 31st. Here they are, still in the (safe) introductory cage, up high in the living room, getting the lay of the land. After a few days, they were moved to a big back room with plenty of windows, cat trees, etc., where they stayed until a few days ago, when I began leaving the door open to the rest of the house. (cat door locked in the 'out' direction for now) They made a few quick and timid forays out, but yesterday...!! All of a sudden they were all over the house! Mind you, up to then they had mainly huddled inside a tiny condo in the back room. Mother Julia had seen fit to lie on top of the big cat tree, but daddy Jules stayed hidden 99% of the time. What joy to see the switch flipped...and so quickly! They explored the whole house, said howdy to the other cats, rolled around on the floor...Go Figure! Always a surprise, with cats! And what a happy one! I had worried that they would take forever to learn to trust us, to be comfortable in this new environment, but no! Our dear Bruna, who came last April, has only last month started going into the inner bedroom...took her a year to leave her first room...glad it had a window seat with a view... We still can't touch her, but she lounges on the bed, grooms and is groomed by the others...and has two new views. At night she does roam the house, while we're safe out of her way, asleep.
The new family: I had feared that they'd been badly neglected, or abused. They were totally passive... did not express any frustration, anger, or resistance to being in a new place, being picked up, etc. Most unusual, They did not seem frightened, just paralyzed, made uncertain, by our presence.
They're all "home"now, sleeping. When they get up and about again, I'll take some more photos of them in action!
The founder of Bee Holistic, Cynthia Burke, has been caring for cats most of her life, volunteering with such groups as the wonderful Animal Balance, and Fix Our Ferals. In 2009 the non-profit was formed, with the help of a frIend who was invaluable in that process.