Posts Tagged With: Cat

Adopt or Foster a Senior Pet

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This is Bella, one of two cats my husband and I took into our home after my Mother went into the Nursing home.

My Mother was still quite healthy and living independently at the age of 85. She resided in a one bedroom apartment about 40 minutes from our home. At the age of 85, yes 85 years old, my Mother unbeknownst to me, went and bought two kittens from a pet store. When I discovered this I was shocked that at her age she not only had 2 tiny new kittens but that she purchased them from a pet store. My Mother then, without my knowledge took the kittens and had them declawed. During her lifetime of owning cats she never had any cat declawed. I was horrified that she did this to the kittens. These poor kittens already had 3 strikes against them before they were 3 months old. They began their life in a pet store only to be sold to an elderly woman who then had them declawed.

Within a year my Mothers physical and mental functioning plummeted dramatically and she had to move into a nursing home. She left behind two CATS with no provisions for their future. I was then faced a moral dilemma. I really did not want two more cats.  I knew full well that if these cats went to a pound or rescue they would be close to unadoptable because they weren’t cute kittens anymore and they were not really socialized.

Faced with those facts, my husband and I opted to take them to live with us and our other cats. It was not an easy transition for anyone. It took months of work to normalize Bella and Gigi’s behaviors. It took over six months for Bella and her sister Gigi to leave our second floor to explore our first floor. To this day Bella is reviled by all of the other cats, even her sister. She lacks claws to defend herself and feline social skills needed to avoid bullying from the other cats. Her only positive social interaction is with me or my husband. We are her protectors.

It is uncomfortable for some folks to contemplate their own mortality, but before adopting that cute puppy or kitten, you must. My husband and I are in our 50’s and we have decided that from this point on if we ever adopt again, we will adopt a senior pet. Anyone over the age of 60 needs to recognize the facts and risks of adopting a kitten or puppy. The average age life expectancy for a small dog or the average cat is 15 yrs. If you are 60 years or older and adopt a kitten or puppy you run the risk of having your pet outlive you.

Everyone should have plans made for the aftercare of their beloved pets. In reality though, the person who promised to adopt your pet 5 years ago may not be able to so do at the time of your death. Make sure your plans are confirmed every 6 months. Otherwise your faithful friend could end up at a shelter alone, scared, and confused. I have seen photos of these senior dogs and cats who have outlived their owners. It is heartbreaking.

I am not saying that after the age of 60 do not own pets, what I am saying is look at the risks to your pets and other options. There are thousands of senior dogs and cats out there who need homes, investigate adopting a senior pet. Or look into fostering a pet until they can find a forever home. Contact your local rescue and speak with someone who can help match your lifestyle and realistic ability to provide for a pet’s needs to an appropriate pet. If growing older with a senior pet or fostering is not realistic given your age or health then volunteer at a pet rescue.

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Installment 2 of the Claw and Fang Society: Dead Chipmunk Running. He chose his fate.

This story has been moved to my animal specific blog

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Write a Story

Try writing a story. Take a small but unusual event that has happened to you and record it. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. You can set it up in any format that you like. The details are for you to decide. This isn’t English class. There are no rights or wrongs, just try.

Here is one of my more recent stories. I use my own style and formatting, why? Because I like it that way!

Enjoy- Mary

The Claw and Fang Society presents:

Mouse in the House Chapter 1:

A herd of cats and one terrier with free range to the house and yard and still a mouse managed to take up residence under the refrigerator. Really? Omg. Off to buy mouse traps tomorrow.

Mouse in Our House Chapter 2: The Search Begins

Last night the moving of the refrigerator commenced. No mouse was found but he did leave behind his DNA. Scrub, scrub, scrub the mousies stink away. Hmmm… no mouse to be found.

So today I got Lulu ready, I assumed Tim cat was available on standby, as he was right there. I ripped off the cardboard grill on the back of the fridge and…out POPS, yep he POPPED, that mouse! And then he RAN across my foot. I screamed, the mouse jumped straight up into the air and down and then scurried away, all the while I am yelling “Get it Lulu, get it, get it!” And what did Lulu chase you ask? Lulu ran in a different direction after a dust bunny that also popped out of the back of the fridge. As I was doing a ninja dance and screaming at Lulu to get it; Lulu was after a dust bunny, Tim cat raised his head and looked at me quizzically. Then he looked around and went right back to sleep. Obviously, this mouse was not meant to die today, but there is tomorrow.


Tim Cat “The Ever Vigilant”!

Mouse in Our House Chapter 3: The Dispatching.

10 pm last night, upstairs. The cats had a mouse, I didn’t know if it was the kitchen mouse or one they brought in, but either way they wouldn’t kill it. No, like some sort of sociopathic serial murderers, their intent was to torment it to death. I don’t like mice but I hate seeing things tormented. It was obvious that no cat was going to give this poor rodent a quick death and there was no way that I was going to kill it myself.

I decided, in what I considered a brilliant strategic offensive move, to throw the wastebasket over it. Yes! All of those hours of playing RISK had paid off! (For those of you unfamiliar with RISK, it is a game of skill and strategy which obviously comes in handy when addressing critical junctures in one’s life such as world domination and mouse catching.)

This move solved the problem of the mouse running amok but left me with a logistical and moral dilemma. Do I try to get the mouse from under the basket and let it loose outside? No, the thing had a broken leg and who knows what else, so a lingering death would be the outcome there. If I tried to slip something under the basket I ran the risk letting the mouse loose. Ugh.

Time for Lulu to redeem herself! Off I went, downstairs and woke up Lulu (she sleeps on the couch because of her snoring and a propensity to chase the cats for her own amusement regardless of the time, be it day or night). “Lulu, Lulu”…she looked at me sleepily. Raising her head she yawned and gave me the stink eye. “Lu, I have a job for you, wake up.” Yawn and stretch and she got up, no doubt thinking big dogs finally lost it. I emphatically pointed at the steps and said “Come on we have to go upstairs. You have to get the mouse, upstairs.” She looked at me, looked at the stairs and looked at me again. “Upstairs, come on.” I said, trying to feign enthusiasm.

Lulu dutifully darted up the stairs. The cats scattered in all directions. I quickly closed all of the doors so only the hallway and the mouse under the basket were available to Lulu. Eureeka! I thought I had hit the mouse dispatching formula! Umm, ya… no.

Lulu saw me standing in front of the bathroom door, even though the door was closed, she surmised I wanted to give her a bath. She eyed me warily and went to go back downstairs. Lulu began to slink away around the corner of the landing towards the staircase.

This is was when I resulted to, well, what amounted to me begging a 32lb. dog to rescue me from this crisis. “Lulu come on, come on, look here, come, get the mouse.” She stared at me suspiciously. I could just imagine what she was thinking… big dog is saying the wrong words for bath, hmmm no bath? I tapped on the wastebasket…”under here come get the mouse.” She must have gotten a whiff of the mouse smell because she barreled towards the basket like the doors were just opened at a Walmart on Black Friday.

Lulu stationed her face right to the base of the basket, eagerly squirming with delight. I knew what was coming, this wasn’t Lulu’s and my first mouse rodeo.  I clenched my teeth and tilted the basket up, Lulu dove into the basket and the mouse was no more. Lulu ran down the steps with her macabre prize and spit it out on the living room floor. I praised Lulu up and down for being a good dog. Then I disposed of the body.

After all of this, I have decided two things: 1. That mouse had some seriously bad karma and 2. It’s going to be a long summer.


  LuLu the Redeemed.


Continuing chapters can be found at my animal specific blog

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