Adopted Adult Cat Adjustments – Week One

Our new cat observes the world.

Our new cat observes the world.

Our new 11 year-old cat is adjusting to our house.    We have allowed her time on whatever terms she chooses and most of the time it  was sitting up high in a closet watching the world.  We reminded ourselves she was deserving of time to adjust.   Imagine if you were 40 years old  and had lived in the same place since your childhood, then suddenly you went to prison, and when you were finally released you did not go home, but went to a foreign land.  This is the human equivalent of what happened to our cat.     She had spent half of her expected lifespan  in one home, with one set of people.    She had spent the last five months in a shelter, where the routine was likely very consistent, the noises likely very routine but nothing like living in a house.      Now she was living again in a house with the sounds of appliances, toilets, showers, a dog, stairs, people, the howling wind,  and so much more that we take as normal, but nothing like she remembered.

Now that the first week is gone and we are starting to ask more of her.   We pick her up from  her safe zone and take her with us upstairs, to the office(which is in the home); in general we take her with us where we go.    Once you  pull her out of her spot of observation and hold her she is full of purrs seeking attention.   She is calm and cuddly.   Sometimes she will sit in the living room with us for several hours and other times she only stays a few minutes.    She has become less wary of our dog who seems to sense her feelings of not being sure of what is all going on.   It is a slow process,  but I try to imagine what my life would be like completely uprooted at this point.   It would be hard.

What we have discovered with about her:

  • She likes to sleep.  Lots more than any of our prior cats.  At least that is how we remember that.
  • She eats very little.   Not since our first two cats has that been the case.
  • Declawed cats like the most sand like litter possible. (We had never had a declawed cat before)
  • She loves to purr at the drop of a hat.
  • She loves to look out the windows
  • Despite what the owner claimed, that she lived with dogs and was ok with them. So far she is VERY wary of the dog.
  • She likes human companionship but hasn’t figures how to do that comfortably.
  • She isn’t  clingy.
  • She has confirmed that the ideas we have for a cat name work for her.

We really believe she was a great choice for us .  Eleven is a great age for a cat.   They know the score and know what they like.   And we are pretty sure she likes us, but isn’t going to show us her cards until she is sure is staying.

Adult Cat finds a New Home

2013-07-13-Lily-editThere is something about adult animals that go to a shelter that break my heart.    I know sometimes it is as the result of unforeseen and unmanageable circumstances and when those are the reasons it  pulls at my heart strings.  One of the  hardest reasons for a pet surrender is when a person dies or goes in to a long-term-care facility and their life’s companion can’t find a home short of the shelter.   Any cat who is ten or older and suddenly find themselves at a shelter, my mind wonders what they must think happened.   I read those stories and know that I could become one of those crazy pet owners who has too many animals.   I allow myself one cat and one dog.   That’s my limit based on time we give our pets and the economics of being a responsible pet owner.

We once again found ourselves catless and I wasn’t sure when we would add a cat back into our home.   You never are sure when the time will be right let go of your sadness and move on.   Then if you are like me and are drawn to the older cats, there are so many of them. How to know which one is yours based on that picture online and a visit at the cat room at the shelter?   Your tender heart grows sadder with each story.   Yet, you know that there is only one cat you can change the life of, which one is it?

I found what I thought was supposed to be our  cat last week.  She was nearly 11 years old, and had been turned in because they had a new baby and the husband did not want her around the baby.  She had been at the shelter since March.   I called the shelter and it turns out someone had already put in a potential adoption for her.   I knew destiny had found her a home and she wasn’t mine, even though I was sure she should be.    This week she was still there and when I check it turned out the first person did not pan out.    My gut was telling me go meet this cat.   So we headed off to the city to the shelter for a meet and greet. We came home with a new cat.

The transition period is going well.   We are still waiting for her to tell us what her name is suppose to be.   She has a safe space where the dog is not allowed.   She has wandered out of her space  and explored her surroundings last evening after our dog, Harley, headed to his crate for the night.   But it is going to take a little while for her to find her footing.   She lost the only home she knew, spent four months in the limbo of a shelter, and now moved into a house.   She has no idea what that means, but we have time and patience while she finds her footing in her forever home.