I want to talk about a few tips for those of you with kittens or those of you who are thinking of rescuing/adopting a kitten; Here are some tips to help you on the journey.
- Vet Visit-First and foremost your new kitten should have a visit with the vet for a check up. You’ll need to ask about vaccines, dental care, the proper nutrition and you should also get the kitty checked for parasites, fleas and ear mites…some of these little fellas are found in pretty sad conditions. The vet will fill you in on everything you need to know as well as a proper inoculation schedule. Oh yeah, and any vet that even entertains the idea of de-clawing means you need to get the hell out of there and find yourself a new clinic immediately.
- Spay/Neuter ASAP– Again, consult with your vet on this one to find out what the proper age is to have the procedure. It’s generally safe after 8 weeks but check into it just to be sure and then GET IT DONE! Shelters are FULL of cats…help control the pet population.
- Socialize-When you bring your kitten home be sure to give it lots of attention but also give it a safe place. Make sure the room is kitten proof and safe for play. Ensure that your kitten has fresh water and that it won’t be able to get into anything harmful.If you have other animals, do introductions slowly…give them both time to adjust to eachother and don’t force it. They’ll be friends when they’re ready and even if they don’t become friends, they’ll eventually tolerate eachother.
Please don’t neglect adopting senior cats, they are so special and loving! They need homes too and just because they’re older doesn’t mean that they should be forgotten. And never buy cats or kittens from a pet store, or breeder, please adopt or rescue them-our shelters are full of these sweet creatures and they desperately need forever homes.
I recently read an article that said some companies in the United States are offering Pet Bereavement days. I wholeheartedly support this movement and anyone who has ever had to say goodbye to a pet knows that it’s like losing a member of your family. A Canadian therapist agrees, she says, “In many cases, an employee can’t perform their best after the loss of a pet. They’re not focused. They’re just not fully there and need the time to grieve in order to be their best self again.” This was me.
We had a tabby cat named Scout who was the spitting image of his dad, Simba. He was born with intussusception, this is when part of the intestine telescopes inside of another one. He had multiple vet visits and was on special prescription food. In one year he must have visited the vet 30 times and that is not an exaggeration.We watched him like a hawk and I knew all of the symptoms of his illness. After a successful surgery and a little while of being symptom free, he suffered a set back, the intussusception returned. One summer morning after spending the night on the floor with Scout, I called my sister at 7 am, he wasn’t eating and seemed like he was sick again. She told me to meet her at the clinic. I assured myself that all he needed was his electrolytes back in order like the last time and that he would be fine. That was not the case…he was dying. I sat on the floor of the clinic in the back room and held him while I cried like a baby. He died in my arms and a part of my heart went with him. He was euthanized because there was NOTHING else we could do for him, the vet said that if we tried another surgery he wouldn’t make it through the anaesthetic. I didn’t want him to suffer and he had been through so much already. This was the hardest thing I had ever done. It was like losing a family member. We had been through SO much together and there were times where I would be up all night checking on him, or sleeping next to him on the floor, silently praying that he would be ok.
Even as I sit here and write this I start to cry. I miss him like crazy still every single day. He was my boy, my friend, my youngest of the litter. He was a fighter, a trooper and one hell of a tough little guy. I was so devastated after his death that I took 3 days off of work…I really appreciate my boss understanding my grief because essentially, everyone in the office went through it with me. They held their breath when the vet called after Scout’s first surgery, they supported me when I came in a bit late because I had to drop him off before work at the vet, they were there through the hardest of times and were totally supportive. So YES! I agree 100% with companies offering pet bereavement days…it was like a part of me was gone and there was no way that I could’ve functioned at all. I could barely get out of bed as it was my heart was so broken.
Scout now rests in peace on our mantle in the living room where we spend most of our time. We have his photo on the wall with him and his brother Sebastien and his dad Simba watching over him. He still holds a very special place in our hearts and will remain there always.
With Easter just around the corner this post is quite important. Guests who will be joining the festivities may bring a gift of flowers that pose hidden dangers for our feline friends. Here’s a list of plants that are know to be toxic to cats (please note that this list is not completely comprehensive and there may be plants on the list that are toxic but perhaps overlooked):
- Autumn Crocus
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons
- Castor Bean
- English Ivy
- Peace LILY
- Spanish Thyme
- TULIP & NARCISSUS
If you need more information please ask your veterinarian. Also if your pet does consume toxic plants, get IMMEDIATE care!
Have a wonderful Easter weekend and lets keep our furry friends safe!