Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Checking in on Art3mis
Last Friday I went to the shelter to check on Art3mis. She was not too pleased to be in the cage and have people invading her space. When I first open the cage door she didn't know what was going to happen so she hid in her cat bed and hoped no one would bother her.
I talked softly to her and reached my hand in to let her know who it was and she came out of her shell a bit.
She liked having her ears rubbed and slowly she came out even more. I had her eating a few treats and then I offered her a little food.
Her mammary glands had swollen up quite a bit and were actually so bad they were sticking out at least an inch on either side of her. Fortunately, she was dealing with it and it wasn't hot or obviously painful for her. I eventually picked her up and held her, which she didn't seem to mind, but she was still not quite sure of her surroundings and being out was more uncomfortable for her. I couldn't get her out on the cat tree, nor could I hold her for very long.
I went back on Sunday to see her again. This time, her cage was covered with a towel, an indicator that she wasn't dealing well with the stress of being there. I am sure it had something to do with the cage cleaning that the staff or volunteers do each day. Art3mis is a cat that likes to be asked permission to do things and whoever is cleaning wants to get in and out as quickly as possible. You can't really blame them for that, but it can cause a few things to not be done and putting up with a quirky cat can be one of them. I learned that back when Abby was at the shelter, which is why I was making it a point to stop in and see her and give her some time with a human who she knew.
This day it only took a short time to remind her who I was and that I was willing to work on her schedule. I was able to pat her and she pushed into me as I scratched her ears. I reached in and picked her up, and for the first time, she actually snuggled into me and seemed to enjoy being held. I walked her around the room, giving her a better view of the other cats and the hallway to the other rooms as well as to the dog run. She saw the cat tree and she wanted to sit on it. I patted her and praised her and she seemed to soak it in. She wasn't comfortable with the some of the things going on, but for the most part, she was relaxed and it was very nice to see.
After a few minutes she seemed to get tense again so I put her back in her cage. She gave off the vibe that she wasn't happy about that, so I moved the cat tree over to her cage to see if she would come back out.
She was happy. She started rubbing on the tree and I gave her some loving. I tried playing with her feet and she let me. I finally got a good look at her poor feet.
If you look carefully at the first close-up of her foot, you can see I was able to pull some of the dead skin off. I asked the shelter what they are using for cracked pads, and they gave me some bag balm for it. I kinda wished I had brought my coconut oil. Ah well. In time, the dead skin will shed off and her feet will heal and be soft again.
As I was taking care of her, three staff members came in and talked to me about her. They asked if I thought she would prefer to be in a condo instead of a single level cage. I really couldn't answer that, but knowing that this would allow her to be away from whoever was cleaning the cage, I said it would probably be a good idea. They also asked me if she liked other cats. I don't really know that either, but she was unreactive to the cats in the cages in the room with her (it is a good sign that she will but not necessarily a guarantee that she will). They asked me to stay with her while they set her up in a condo in another room. As I waited I saw signs that Art3mis was going back into heat again. It has got to be hard on her but being in heat will cause her to want to have someone touch her which has to be a good thing.
Once the condo was set up I picked her up and carried her down the hall. She took it very well. I put her in the cage and pointed out the amenities to her.
She could look out the bay window at the people or the birds. There were a few bunnies in the room waiting to be transported to a satellite adoption center, so she was able to watch the rabbits for a while. I warned the staff that if the bunnies weren't moved out before the shelter closed that they should take extra steps to secure Art3mis' cage. As a free roaming cat, I would imagine she hunted and caught her own meals for a while and bunnies might be too tempting for her. I doubt she would do it with the hustle and bustle of an open shelter, but when it was dark and quiet... I'd say all bets would be off. I was told they weren't going to be there much longer, but if that fell through precautions would be made.
The shelter was closed on Monday, so I'll try to stop by today or tomorrow to visit her again. I wish she would have been adopted by now, but I'm not shocked that she hasn't been. She does not show well at all (see that first photo) and she is going to be limited to the available homes that don't have children and are willing to work with her a bit. You never know when that right home will show up, but I'm expecting her to be there for a few weeks.