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Thread: Anxiety, depression, laziness...Can the nameless wonder change? page 673

  1. #6721
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    Vet appointment - The verdict was: Snuggle Pumpkin is feral, she has fleas, and that's how she got tapeworms (good job shelter! We're more than a little unhappy at them). The vet also showed us how to clean a cat's teeth with a gauze pad, but told us not to try cleaning them until one of Pumpkin's loose top incisors falls out (I cleaned Fae's teeth when we got home, not sure how often to do it but it was pretty easy). We got a look at what teeth she is missing: one upper canine and 2 upper incisors, which means she'll be left with 1 canine and 1 incisor up top in the front. I think she has all of her molars. They gave her a pill for the tapeworms, an Advantage treatment for the fleas, plus an additional treatment for next month and two tubes for Fae as well. I treated Fae when we got home. Fortunately, the shelter had given us a coupon for this particular vet's office so the exam cost was free, we just had to pay for the meds. They weren't too pricey for just a couple of treatments.

    Maybe we should have put it together based on her life story (not much human interaction), but the shelter never used the term "feral" and that is pretty well beyond our experiences with cats. The fact that she sits still and allows petting if you hold her, but will otherwise hide and be shy/keep distance is apparently classic feral behavior. I had thought that only aggressive behavior was really indicative of a feral past. I guess there are all types, which makes sense. The vet suggested that we boil some chicken and feed it to Pumpkin, try feeding it in our hands or close to us. She tried to eat off of Hulky's plate last week, so we know she likes cooked chicken. We got some cheap cuts yesterday and I'll cook them up tonight. I might get some bones out before cooking for Fae to chew on. Neither cat has been eating well since the flea treatment, which I observed as consistent behavior for Fae after flea treatments. They should start eating better today.

    I think I'll switch to this vet's office. They had several available Saturday appointments, whereas the one I usually take Fae to is booked out months in advance on Saturdays. This office also had a number of brochures about fat pets. It was the usual advice (timed meals, less food, weight-loss food, exercise ~20 min a day w/ toys, climbing equipment), but I liked that it seemed to be a focus. Their exam costs are the same as the other place ($65 w/o any treatments).

    Gut - A TMI-full update. I've been taking 2 tablets of Nutricology's ButyrAid 3x a day and/or with meals, but even prior to that, my constipation was much improved. In London, I took cascara sagrada once or twice a day to keep things moving. It's a stimulant laxative, so it was actually making my intestines contract etc.to move things through. I also took a NOW Foods probiotic with SBO's 2x a day. Upon return, I kept taking the probiotic and started eating soaked-overnight oatmeal at breakfast. Sometime around our return, I started having a daily BM in the morning. With the ButyrAid, I think the volume of the BM got larger, but the consistency remained the same (easy to pass). I haven't been using the potato starch in a while. I've only had a few days in the past month since our return that I missed a BM. Is it the oatmeal? Is it the probiotic? No idea! But I'm happy about it.

    Sleep - My sleep has been awful for the past 2 weeks. I fall asleep okay, but wake up too early or in the middle of the night. I am almost out of Theanine Serene, which I have been taking irregularly. I'm going to finish off that bottle and then resume a 1 TB of potato starch before bed to see if that helps. I think I am purposely going to get up earlier so I have more time to prepare for cycling to work. I think I'm averaging about 6 hrs of sleep every night, interrupted since I wake up some time before the sun comes up.

    I forgot that my doc also told me to take Benadryl at night for my allergies. I haven't been taking it. I'll start that tonight, taking it around 9 PM, and hopefully it won't make me too groggy in the morning.

    Today is supposed to be in the low 80s! I wore a springy outfit . It's also Hulky's b.day, so I went out early this morning to get him donuts from a local place. I woke him up with a candle in an eclair, sang to him, and gave him a card that sings "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".

    Tonight, I think his mom is coming over to make pizza with him. Hulky will be preparing the dough from scratch earlier in the day. Our friend C might come over too, since they're supposed to do physics tutoring on Mon and Wed. If Hulky is okay with it, I'll cycle after work and try to get a full commute's distance (~8.5 miles).
    Journal on depression/anxiety
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  2. #6722
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    Oh yeah!

    Mustang - Hulky's dad swung by yesterday to meet the new cat. He got her to hold still long enough to pet her by making circles on the floor with his hand, slowly moving the circles closer to her until she would sniff his hand. He asked us what we're doing with the Mustang and gave us $100 for the battery we bought. He's taking the Mustang back! I'll bring the title by soon and find out if I should hold onto the plates. The sooner I can ditch those, the sooner I don't have to pay insurance on it!

    One less bit of stress to worry about.
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  3. #6723
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    Excellent about the car not so great about the feral cat. Maybe she'll love her new home so much that she will become a love cat for Hulky.

    Reading MMMs blog makes me want to live in a place where riding a bike daily is a viable transport option. I guess I could ride the 6 miles to my gym, but would I have energy to work out. Then how would I get back up the giant hill to my house?

  4. #6724
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    I don't much about feral cats......... I hope it all works out. The shelter should have been more "honest" about her background!
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  5. #6725
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pebbles67 View Post
    Excellent about the car not so great about the feral cat. Maybe she'll love her new home so much that she will become a love cat for Hulky.

    Reading MMMs blog makes me want to live in a place where riding a bike daily is a viable transport option. I guess I could ride the 6 miles to my gym, but would I have energy to work out. Then how would I get back up the giant hill to my house?
    From bicycling to work last summer, I learned that you eventually have the leftover energy for more activities after cycling, but a workout sandwiched between cycling would be pretty rough! I live very close to my grocery store, but the intersections are so crazy there, it would take a while for me to build up the courage to bike the whole thing (rather than dismount at crosswalks, not allowed to ride on sidewalks here). It would probably save a decent amount of gas, though I'd have to get a trailer for the bike to cart things.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomi View Post
    I don't much about feral cats......... I hope it all works out. The shelter should have been more "honest" about her background!
    I agree. We're not about to give her back, but they should have been up front about her being feral and used the term, rather than skirt around it. I doubt they "didn't realize" like we did, they're supposed to know these things! I'm still thinking about contacting the shelter regarding this, but not sure quite what to say.
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  6. #6726
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    I have grocery panniers and they hold quite a bit, but they are a little expensive. Mine are similar to these:

    Amazon.com: Banjo Brothers Grocery Pannier: Sports & Outdoors

    They simply clip onto the bike rack so you can easily take them into the store and fill them, no need for grocery bags. i've had mine for about 4 years and they are as good as new.

    I saw this way to make your own that looks pretty easy to do. I don't know how well they hold up though.


    How to make Grocery Panniers for $4
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

  7. #6727
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    Oh that's cool! I need a rat trap first. I'll definitely get one in the next couple of months, I've been meaning to anyway.
    Journal on depression/anxiety
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  8. #6728
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    Spring cleaning - I've been doing a lot of dusting and sweeping lately, but I'm doing it in chunks so I don't get overwhelmed. I need to clean under both beds, but not sure how to dust all the way under there without being able to reach with anything (broom would be pretty awkward, might be time for a Swiffer). Maybe I'll just slide Fae around. I'm also getting rid of clothes. I want to get more tank tops and more plain shirts I can wear at work or out of work. Shirts I WANT to wear out of work. Seems like most of my work-friendly clothes are not things I actually enjoy wearing. I put a few pairs of pants into my donation bag (which is now over-full). I decided I didn't WANT to fit back into those pants. They're size-6, but either shrank or the thighs are too small. I'd rather have bigger, muscular thighs, so F those pants. Now there's room in my pants drawer! I also got rid of a couple of pairs of shoes. I think I'll put my old goth boots in storage.

    I might break my no-clothes-in-stores-except-thrifting thing for this year to get some basic tanks and things I know I like at Target. It's hard to rely only on thrift stores for some of those things (when I don't want to sew). I'll make do for a while yet, I'd rather buy bicycling accessories than clothes.
    Journal on depression/anxiety
    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

  9. #6729
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    I guess I don't see why 'feral' has to be a negative connotation. According to Wiki,

    The term "feral" is sometimes used to refer to an animal that does not appear friendly when approached by humans, but the term can apply to any domesticated animal without human contact.[1] Hissing and growling are self-defense behaviors, which, over time, may change as the animal (whether "feral" or "stray") begins to trust humans that provide food, water, and care.
    Given that she was raised for breeding purposes, she was likely caged and not interacted with. Makes sense that, given this definition, she'd be a feral cat, but reading on it sounds like she can be converted with time.

    Feral cats that are born and living outdoors, without any human contact or care, have been shown to be adoptable and can be tamed by humans, provided they are removed from a wild environment before truly feral behaviors are established. Such behaviors are established while it is still a kitten being raised by its mother.
    Your description of her makes me think she's not TRULY feral yet, based on that last quote. Since she already allows some interaction, I don't suspect it'll be long before she's a normal house cat.

    Feral cat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I don't normally trust wiki, but given this is just a definition of a term and not something like biochemistry, I'll take Wiki's word for it. But, because I don't generally trust Wiki, I looked at the humane society's website. They have an FAQ on feral cats that might interest you. Feral Cats: Frequently Asked Questions : The Humane Society of the United States

    I found this tidbit to be interesting (and it makes me suspicious of your shelter)

    What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

    Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a strategy for improving the lives of feral cats and reducing their numbers. At a minimum, feral cats who are TNRed are spayed or neutered so they can no longer reproduce, vaccinated against rabies, and surgically ear-tipped on one ear (ear-tipping is the universally-recognized sign of a cat who has been TNRed). Dedicated caretakers feed and provide shelter for TNRed cats, monitor the TNRed cats for sickness and remove new cats for TNR if feral or possible adoption if tame.
    It's really too bad they weren't forthcoming with you regarding her history, but hopefully she'll warm up and all will be fine. What will you do if she doesn't warm up? I can't imagine it'll be all that fun to have a cat that hides all the time, but I can't imagine that she'll NEVER warm up either...
    Last edited by jenn26point2; 04-14-2014 at 11:42 AM.
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  10. #6730
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    I had a feral cat once. My ex loves cats and had noticed her outside as a kitten, obviously having no home. He tried to coax her inside but she couldn't make herself do it. Until it started to snow really hard one and he heard scratching at his bedroom door. It was an exterior door that no one used. He opened it, she came flying inside and essentially only came out at night for a long time. Men's footsteps scared her, as did any attempt at direct eye contact or touch. You were not touching this cat, lol. When we started dating, she had been there a couple of months and only came out to eat at night and he couldn't get near her.

    I was a bartender so was around during the day. I was lying on his bed reading a book, one that you spend all day reading. Her curiosity slowly overcame her anxiety and I could feel her peering around the room (she had been hiding under the bed). I waited and just kept reading and didn't look at her or try to touch her. She jumped on the bed and then I looked at her. Her ears flattened and she dove back under the bed again. Sigh. It had taken her 2 hours to get on the bed. So I went back to my back and decided not to move at all. She came back out after 30 minutes and jumped on the bed. I did not look or move, except to keep reading.

    Ha, she kept sneaking closer until she was about 3 feet away and she just sat, staring at me. I snuck another look and then looked away and she didn't run. We were on that bed for hours playing at stalemate. My back hurt so badly but I knew stretching would frighten her again. Eventually, without looking at her, I moved my hand out and let it sit there. She came over and sniffed it, then bumped her head against it. I just slowly held my fingers open and she basically pet herself on my hand for a while before something scared her again. But after that, I'd do the same thing of waiting for her to come to me and it took less and less time for her to get the courage. Then, I'd be more active petting her, but letting her control how much. It took a couple of months but she became a normal member of the house, hanging out in the daytime and was glued to me at night. She still didn't like heavy footsteps, but patience and letting her guide the integration was important. She also became the most affectionate of the cats, like once she broke the dam and trusted someone to pet her, she couldn't get enough.

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