Many of you may remember my previous blog about Lusca, the new kitten, we got a couple of months ago. What I did not mentioned in my previous post was that we were also fostering a cat until a friend could find a home for her. Well, she moved in two weeks ago, and for those of you keeping track, our cat population has just about doubled. Initially, we didn’t have any intention of keeping Snowball and in the past, I have had no issues returning fosters to their new families, but she is a bit special.
She was a stray that had been hanging around my friend’s house for a few months, and with winter approaching they didn’t want to leave her outside. She also had developed a skin infection and a lovely case of fleas and ear mites. We quickly determined that she was incredibly sweet, cuddly and, in addition to her skin issues, she had a fairly loud heart murmur. My friends realized that she was going to need a special owner to take care of her, so they began looking for the perfect owner.
In the meantime, Snowball took up temporary residence in my basement, until her skin infection healed and her vaccines were updated. During that time, she quickly won over anyone that came downstairs to watch TV or snuggle. She became quite comfortable and started sitting at the top of the stairs so she could bolt up whenever you opened the door.
During this temporary residency, Lusca developed a love for escaping down the stairs. Sadly, Lusca was STILL in his, “I’ll attack everything that moves” (OK really anything that exists) stage, so I was a bit worried the first time he busted down the stairs. However, when he got down there something amazing happened … instead of immediately pouncing or attacking Snowball … he ran up fairly close and stopped short. I hadn’t seen him respond to anything that way before, so I watched in rapt attention. As he would get closer to her, she would make a “chuffing” noise, which, in cat, I equate to “I dare you!” and he respected it!
When Kyle got home, I was telling him about the interaction, and he thought I was crazy since Lusca has no respect for our other cats. Therefore, I “accidentally” let Lusca downstairs again when he was down there, and the same thing happened. We then decided to start letting them interact on a more regular basis and occasionally be roommates. As Lusca got braver, he managed to get himself swatted a few times, but, in all honestly, it was deserved and hopefully he will eventually learn some manners.
After much conversation and debating, we decided Lusca needed a feline mother-figure in his life and, given my veterinary background, our home seemed perfect for a cat with heart issues. Snowball apparently already liked dogs and was cool with other cats, which amazed me. Currently, she has taken up residence on the one foot rest that has not been claimed by anyone else (as a note- humans never get to have full access to any footrest here) and is loving life.
Nikki Kline, Veterinary Technician
French Creek Veterinary Hospital