Friday, October 16, 2009

Dear Skippy's new owners

You have adopted yourself one special little boy.  He is playful and cuddly and all around a great kitten.  He has a long back story before you found him, and I hope you won't mind listening to it.

He was found in a neglect situation.  He was so badly off, he was almost dead.  He was brought to a vet and survived, but he developed a urinary tract infection.  UTI can be a problem for cats.  Once they have them, they can happen again, so I hope you keep a good eye on his health.

While at the shelter waiting to get better and for a foster home to come along, he was exposed to ringworm.  Having just met him, I could not allow a simple exposure to risk his life.  Ringworm is fungal, and not fun to treat, but it is not fatal.  Unfortunately though there are lines that have to be drawn in a shelter environment.  Ringworm is very contagious. 

This is where I came in.  Sometimes when I visit the shelter there are kittens or cats that just cry out to me to help them.  This is probably why I own seven cats now.  Skippy was one of them.  Knowing what he suffered before I came into his life, I could not risk ringworm being his downfall.

I brought him home and set him up in my bathtub / shower in my bathroom, hoping that if he did bring ringworm into my house, that this double barrier to my own cats would prevent it from spreading.  It was a very long 10 days while he lived in my shower.  He was very good the whole time.  Every time I went to spend time with him, he simply wanted to cuddle.  In the past overly cuddly kittens has always been a sign of severe illness.  In Skippy it was just a sign of his personality.  He had to get in his mandatory cuddling, then he would be off to play.

When his quarentine was over, I brought him down to meet the other foster kittens I had.  They were smaller than he was, and I realized almost immedately that his prey drive is VERY strong.  He was relentless in his play with anything smaller then he is to the point of harassment.  I would strongly recommend that you not bring in another animal into the home that is smaller than he is.

Because he could not play well with the others, he went back into his bathroom, but he did not want to be contained.  Often he would slip out of the bathroom and run straight into the room that houses my rabbit.  Bri is a pretty standard size 5lb rabbit, which was bigger then he was when he met her.  Skippy fell in love with Bri.  He would always go and visit her first, and play very gently with her.

He never outgrew his need to spend time cuddling though.

As he grew, it was time for him to go up for adoption.  I reluctantly brought him back and he was adopted.  Unfortunately he came down with pnemonia and they returned him.  While I hated the idea of his being sick, I was overjoyed to spend more time with him.  He was very slow to recover so he spent quite a few more weeks together.  As he became healther and stronger, I introduced him to my own cats, hoping that a love match would be made, and I could justify taking on another kitty.  While he did enjoy playing with my younger kitties, his style of play just did not mix with some of my older kitties. 

It was so hard to return him a second time, and hope that his new owners would care and love him as much as I do.  He is a very special boy, being one that demands to spend so much time cuddling.  Just watch out.. he drools when he's happy!

He will bring much joy into your life if you let him.  I hope you bring joy into his life as well.

(and if you EVER need a pet sitter.. I am so there!)

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