Recycled Cats

Recycled Cats "Desmond" and "Dasher"

The thing about cats is, they’re wonderful, funny, cute, some are cuddly, others are not, but sometimes they just aren’t working out for a particular household.  I know this from my practice, and recent experience with re-homing (hence, recycling) of some really special cats.

“Desmond” and “Dasher” are my cats, they have to be full brothers, but about a year apart in age.  They were both found by the same vet student near his apartment and passed through other student hands before ending up with me.  I met “Desmond” (his earlier name has been withheld for security purposes) as a four month old kitten–he spend a few hours in my office at Penn in a carrier before going to “foster” home with a vet student.  I got a call from her a day or so later, when she described the kitten as being unable to jump up on her lap, though he was wanting to pull himself up with his forefeet;  since he had looked so darned normal just a short time before, we both thought this was odd.  I suggested an exam, and met her and “C” at my practice.  He was painful on his  mid-back, and it was deemed best to sedate to do a proper exam.  A growing abscess was disclosed, the area prepped, and the abscess drained.  I am pretty sure we castrated him at that time, too.  We started him on antibiotics, and he proceeded to win his household over to the point of becoming what we in the shelter world call a “foster failure”–he became one more cat in this cat-rich household (three Savannahs, two other DSH’s, for  a total of 6, plus a rotation of foster cats and kittens).  “C” was remarkable for his willingness to play with their newest Savannah, a very large specimen who was quite intimidating to the other cats.  In a multi-cat household, there are often cats who are stressed enough to begin “thinking outside the box”–using other surfaces/textures to eliminate, most commonly urinate.  So, after over a year of keeping him, although “C” was a plus in some ways, the household cats were not 100% reliable in their litter habits, and there were challenges around how to manage the group.  Ultimately, and luckily for me, “C” was offered to me, I stashed him at the practice for a bit, and then brought him home to meet “Dasher” (found about a year after “C”, “Dasher” stayed at the practice and with my staff for about a week before being voted into the Moyer household).

The short version of the story is that “Desmond” and “Dasher” are absolutely perfect cats here, amazingly well-adapted to three young children, perfectly happy with the 85 lb. Labrador.  “Desmond” loves to be picked up and carried, often upside-down, and is uncanny at detecting fleece or warm laps.  He needs to be watched, though, when hungry, as he’s famous for biting your feet in the kitchen if you haven’t fed him yet in the morning.  He is, in my professional and personal opinion, the world’s most perfect cat (except for the biting feet in the morning).

If there is an action step for you to consider, it would be giving cats a shot at recycling–they may do very well with you in your household, even if they were not perfect (or were destabilizing) in another household.  Also, if you like cats–have at least two;  they are much better at playing with each other, and that social play outlet is crucial for their enrichment in your home.  And it makes for cuter pictures, too.

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