Meet Ghost - Follow along with intros to RCs

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Alldara

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Ghost himself has been a delight. He loves to be brushed and to play. He's a good eater. He's gained muscle that he very much needed. He's an okay size now but if he gains a touch more muscle we'd be happy too.

The shelter has done a great job with him. He gained 1.5 lbs when there. But we're happy that he's feeling softer, his fur is all brushed out and he has significantly more energy. He was getting tired after a few minutes of play. We've had some smoke pollution which is causing some panting occasionally, especially if he's also stressed but the vet said we'd run some tests if it continues past a few weeks. They want to give some time for the pollution to clear and for his stamina to build since the panting is already reduced and he doesn't have any signs of respiratory distress such as coughing without hairball.

Our friend came on the weekend. He thinks Ghost will grow. His back paws are a little too big for him right now. His estimated age of 2 might be off; or he could have delayed growth.

He follows the lead of the other cats a lot. He seems fascinated by having cat friends. He's gentle so we can estimate that he stayed long enough with his litter mates.

He started off being very cuddly with us humans, but now he prefers to spend time with the boys. We think the present fascination will settle and he will be like the other boys eventually, loving both his fur family and human family at different times.

He's learning to sit and is trying to figure out how to use the buttons to ask for play. He sees the other boys use them. He's still learning his name too, but Magnus and Calcifer have his name down. They narrate what Ghost does with the buttons or sometimes help him by pressing buttons on his behalf.

Ghost is also learning to sit for treats.

Ghost did hiss at a delivery driver today. Odd because we get packages often and he's also been fine with guests. Calcifer was sitting next to him at the time and didn't respond in any way to the hiss.
 

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Alldara

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Almost 6 month update - Ghost really looks to Magnus for guidance. They groom one another daily, and though Ghost and Calcifer are affectionate, they both seem more bonded to Magnus as the anchor.

The other week, Ghost chose to cuddle me for the first time. He loves pets and to be nearby but knowing he might become a cuddle cat is great. I think his initial cuddling was "fawn" stress response. He's less stiff when we pick him up as well.

He really wants people-food a lot. Things you'd expect to find in the garbage like fries. I've been trying to teach him to settle like a dog and that he'll get some (when it's safe to do so). Last night he did so well and got a cat-sized-bite of French fry for laying on my legs while we ate the rare TV meal.

Pets-play-catnip are the buttons he presses constantly. He loves to be brushed and pet and we "so far* haven't had anymore hairball issues.

He seems to have stress-panting but we still can't rule out light athsma...he just hasn't had any athsma attacks since the fire smoke so we can't be sure.

He's so sweet and gentle. He seems a bit unsure about some types of play that Magnus and Calcifer do like chase but he also likes to try and initiate hide-and-seek play with them. He's has a few zoomies sessions.

He gets VERY stressed if we leave at night, or even step out to take out garbage during a storm. He wants us to come home. He gets stressed about seeing lone cats outside too, but is fine with Magnus's walks. Ghost took to his own harness well and likes to roll on the patio. He was nervous on the ride to the vet, but when we got there he thought the vet was going to play with him and was only upset that she wasn't.


It's sad sometimes to see that he wants love but it nervous to get it. He's nervous about getting in trouble too, even a loud voice. But he's getting better. We don't spray or hit them, just move them away with a firm no.
 
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Alldara

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Kwik Kwik here you go! And I would love any advice you (or anyone else following this) has on helping Ghost passed his food insecurity. He's past the point where we can just let him graze all day and has been on the schedule with the other boys. He still tries to push them so we have to separate them a bit.
 

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A Alldara -gee,such a delightful journey -its wonderful to read along and see a proper process of bringing home a new kitty to an established pair of residents!Ghost was certainly destined for exactly where he BELONGS! He is HOME

They really did fly past the usual "time" it takes for introductions -Cal & Magnus really sped up the process,didn't they? Lol Your photos are great,what a fantastic trio! GREAT JOB!

I'm not sure what your asking? You free feed ,right? Are you talking about the wet food feeding times? What's the issue,is Ghost a little protective of his food and pushy?From what you've described,especially regarding his love of French fries and people fold I think it's safe to say Ghost was scavenging for survival as a stray- probably had to contend with food competition with other strays or ferals becausd he sure has no traits of a rogue-he's a young social boy that obviously got lost and was looking for companionship and was faced with survival of the fittest....

Can you explain what you describe as " food insecurity" with a little more detail- I'd love to understand better to offer help if I can ❤

Your 3 babies have a wonderful dynamic,,in only 6months time.... pretty impressive,they are STARS for sure
 
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A Alldara -gee,such a delightful journey -its wonderful to read along and see a proper process of bringing home a new kitty to an established pair of residents!Ghost was certainly destined for exactly where he BELONGS! He is HOME

They really did fly past the usual "time" it takes for introductions -Cal & Magnus really sped up the process,didn't they? Lol Your photos are great,what a fantastic trio! GREAT JOB!

I'm not sure what your asking? You free feed ,right? Are you talking about the wet food feeding times? What's the issue,is Ghost a little protective of his food and pushy?From what you've described,especially regarding his love of French fries and people fold I think it's safe to say Ghost was scavenging for survival as a stray- probably had to contend with food competition with other strays or ferals becausd he sure has no traits of a rogue-he's a young social boy that obviously got lost and was looking for companionship and was faced with survival of the fittest....

Can you explain what you describe as " food insecurity" with a little more detail- I'd love to understand better to offer help if I can ❤

Your 3 babies have a wonderful dynamic,,in only 6months time.... pretty impressive,they are STARS for sure
Yes he definitely did scavenge. The rare occasions we get take-out he knows the smell!

Ghost basically does not have an internal stop button. So he's not doing too bad but he's lost his waist so we need to be mindful. Magnus needs many small meals a day and to graze though so we are trying to balance this.

We don't free feed per say but if they leave food out between meals then they can eat it. I don't pick it up. They eat at 6 am, 8 am, noon, 6 PM and 11pm.

We are not sure that he got lost. There were many apartment fires last winter and we believe he escaped one as he's very frightened of fire smell. Even a candle at first or lightly burned food or toast. Someone obviously loved him before, but he doesn't have trust anymore. The other thought, unfortunately, is that he may have been dumped or left behind in an apartment and put outside. It happens a lot on one side of our city. July 1st can be, unfortunately known as "pet dump" day there. And then he encountered some of the fires perhaps while hiding in parking garages. He's a good bug-hunter too and still does love outside.
 

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Wow- he's GORGEOUS....The last photo cracks me up,a well fed boy!

Alldara that makes perfect sense that he escaped a fire,it explains everything- that boy has certainly been through some trauma and it's amazing he has bounced back so well and so quickly-hats off to the shelter who gave him a good restart,,to you( your wife) and to Calcifer & Magnus..... he got exactly what he needed( recipe for success)

How about free feeding with some metabolic or weight management type kibble?Would you consider it? It would certainly eliminate the " no stop" thing.... at first they may gain a little becsuse they don't know it'll always be available but after a very short while once they realize food is ALWAYS there it really changes everything- mull it over,sounds like it would be good for Magnus as well.... how about Calcifer,how is he with food?

The regular wet food feeding schedule remains the same or you can cut back to twice a day.....
 
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Thank you ❣ he looked good when we got him home so I actually didn't notice the transformation because it was so subtle but his fur has filled in and his eyes are brighter.

Calcifer doesn't allow for free+feeding dry food. He eats it all up, even when we had the Royal Canin appetite control. I don't know where he puts it. 😂 I'm happy to try the appetite control with Ghost again though; he's on Science Diet dental right now. He came from the shelter with it, which I thought odd because they told us he needed a bit of weight on. But they did an amazing job with him, they really did.

The reason we have the many small meals is Magnus. He doesn't eat well and never has. I've never met a cat with less food focus. We have to feed him up high so he will eat because if Cal or Ghost walk passed he will sometimes walk away. He's getting better about standing his food ground but that only means I have time to stop the other boys walking over. He has a congenital heart murmur and it makes his digestion a bit slow so he needs small meals as he simply doesn't get hungry enough for a big one. We had cut back to three meals but he lost weight. He also won't eat dry food at all. He goes to a hospital that's cat-only and had one of Canada's cat experts - retired but was Magnus's vet (we are lucky to live where we are) and she wasn't concerned. Just said some cats prefer wet.
 

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Wow-Cal sounds just like my Graycie,that cat can just eat like a bottomless pit - however she does well with the Indoor Advantage weight mgt but when it comes to the 2xs daily wet food- oh boy do I have to watch her and pull up dishes fsst because she is just the " Give it to Mikie " kid-shell polish off anything anyone leaves behind.

It's not easy with multiple cats when they have specific dietary requirements ....I think it's great you have Magnus up high because it's the best way to feed- everyone in their respective place

Honestly,6 months is not a long time -I think Ghost is doing spectacularly,he may slow it down and chill even more within the next few months..... feeding stations at different levels can be very beneficial....I have 2 that eat at separate stations & 3 prefer to eat with company❤
 
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Wow-Cal sounds just like my Graycie,that cat can just eat like a bottomless pit - however she does well with the Indoor Advantage weight mgt but when it comes to the 2xs daily wet food- oh boy do I have to watch her and pull up dishes fsst because she is just the " Give it to Mikie " kid-shell polish off anything anyone leaves behind.

It's not easy with multiple cats when they have specific dietary requirements ....I think it's great you have Magnus up high because it's the best way to feed- everyone in their respective place

Honestly,6 months is not a long time -I think Ghost is doing spectacularly,he may slow it down and chill even more within the next few months..... feeding stations at different levels can be very beneficial....I have 2 that eat at separate stations & 3 prefer to eat with company❤
Yes Graycie sounds like Cal alright! He does really well with wet food though. He will stop when full but anything cronch-y is free game. He gets his dry food in some kind of puzzle or treat ball which does well. But I even have to stop Ghost from sneaking over and eating Cal's puzzle first!

I'm hoping time will help. I just feel like he's back-tracked a bit lately with food since we aren't constantly providing it and just sticking to mealtimes (too much drying up and being thrown away).

I think Ghost should be 10.5 lbs but he is 11lbs right now.
 

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Yes Graycie sounds like Cal alright! He does really well with wet food though. He will stop when full but anything cronch-y is free game. He gets his dry food in some kind of puzzle or treat ball which does well. But I even have to stop Ghost from sneaking over and eating Cal's puzzle first!

I'm hoping time will help. I just feel like he's back-tracked a bit lately with food since we aren't constantly providing it and just sticking to mealtimes (too much drying up and being thrown away).

I think Ghost should be 10.5 lbs but he is 11lbs right now.
I was just thinking about something as I was cleaning up the food bowls after everyone ate tonight ....

We forget sometimes that just like anything cats appetites to have cycles during the year with the seasonal changes- I believe our indoor felines are more "consistent" than those thst live outdoors but still,the climate does effect metabolism

Anyway,I figured I'd mention it-here in South Florida there isn't too much change in weather throught the year and we basically have one Season-summer...... and being in temperatute controlled A/C all the time the body doesn't really have to acclimate to any change but I do remember living up North with 4 Seasons and adjusting everyone's dietary requirements at the barn,at the zoo and at home( horses,zoo animals and my domestic pets)

Having said thst mouthful( lol)- good to keep in mind when we notice fluctuating weight throughout the year-- I thought of Ghost and being half a pound less that average & thought"Hmmm,wonder if he is eating a little less with the heat turned on in the house with the change in season:"

Just some FOOD for thought,lol
 
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I was just thinking about something as I was cleaning up the food bowls after everyone ate tonight ....

We forget sometimes that just like anything cats appetites to have cycles during the year with the seasonal changes- I believe our indoor felines are more "consistent" than those thst live outdoors but still,the climate does effect metabolism

Anyway,I figured I'd mention it-here in South Florida there isn't too much change in weather throught the year and we basically have one Season-summer...... and being in temperatute controlled A/C all the time the body doesn't really have to acclimate to any change but I do remember living up North with 4 Seasons and adjusting everyone's dietary requirements at the barn,at the zoo and at home( horses,zoo animals and my domestic pets)

Having said thst mouthful( lol)- good to keep in mind when we notice fluctuating weight throughout the year-- I thought of Ghost and being half a pound less that average & thought"Hmmm,wonder if he is eating a little less with the heat turned on in the house with the change in season:"

Just some FOOD for thought,lol
Sometimes it's the obvious that we miss isn't it? So good to have a group to brainstorm with.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Ghost is actually a half a lb overweight right now...but were he to be outside he would need that extra weight to keep warm! Hence why he might be backsliding. He thinks he needs to bulk up!
 

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Sometimes it's the obvious that we miss isn't it? So good to have a group to brainstorm with.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Ghost is actually a half a lb overweight right now...but were he to be outside he would need that extra weight to keep warm! Hence why he might be backsliding. He thinks he needs to bulk up!
I think that might be it- now you'll take notice or who knows,very easy to forget the elementary stuff....

It's so true -it is great we all have each other to bounce things off of.....gotta love TCS❤
 
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Ghost will be off to the vet on Saturday 13th. He panted again after a play session. We were able to get a video and send it along. They didn't deem it as urgent as it cleared quickly, he wasn't in duress and didn't flatten his head.

They will listen to his heart and lungs though. That will be good.

I think he's overheating. Our heating system runs under the main floor and that's where they play. His little ears are hot.
His hair is so thick. Honestly, it feels more like soft well-groomed husky hair than cat fur. Is there such thing as artic cat? 🤣

He's also been bloating when he has psyllium so we've switched his dry food.

He is a little chubby though! I finally managed to get a top-down view. When he stretches on the floor he still looks sleek so I think our goal is a touch of weight loss and certainly no more gain. He feels ideal when he's stretched but a bit outside of ideal when not stretched out.

IMG_20240104_065419841.jpg
 

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Ghost will be off to the vet on Saturday 13th. He panted again after a play session. We were able to get a video and send it along. They didn't deem it as urgent as it cleared quickly, he wasn't in duress and didn't flatten his head.

They will listen to his heart and lungs though. That will be good.

I think he's overheating. Our heating system runs under the main floor and that's where they play. His little ears are hot.
His hair is so thick. Honestly, it feels more like soft well-groomed husky hair than cat fur. Is there such thing as artic cat? 🤣

He's also been bloating when he has psyllium so we've switched his dry food.

He is a little chubby though! I finally managed to get a top-down view. When he stretches on the floor he still looks sleek so I think our goal is a touch of weight loss and certainly no more gain. He feels ideal when he's stretched but a bit outside of ideal when not stretched out.

View attachment 467156
Hi Alldara- I think Ghost looks perfect,very sturdy and quite a nice built but photos can be deceiving so I'm sure you know best..... He is so stunning,love his handsome lil self!

All joking aside there are cats that are bred to tolerate cold temps but even they thrive in warm temps as they shed and acclimate to their environment (eg Maine Coons, Siberians,Russian Blues,Norwegian Forest Cats);..... It's difficult for our indoor kitties to suddenly adjust when we flip on the heat or A/C compared to gradually adjusting as the seasons change - so you are probably right about the heat underneath the floor

I'd be going to the Vet too,to be sure all is well .You did mention his little ears and body felt hot too or I was going to say he might be smelling the 'scent' heating systems have when turned on - cats have that Jacobson's organ in their mouths ,the little auxiliary odor detector to help them better decipher odors.... And they sure do look like they are overheated & panting
 
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Hi Alldara- I think Ghost looks perfect,very sturdy and quite a nice built but photos can be deceiving so I'm sure you know best..... He is so stunning,love his handsome lil self!

All joking aside there are cats that are bred to tolerate cold temps but even they thrive in warm temps as they shed and acclimate to their environment (eg Maine Coons, Siberians,Russian Blues,Norwegian Forest Cats);..... It's difficult for our indoor kitties to suddenly adjust when we flip on the heat or A/C compared to gradually adjusting as the seasons change - so you are probably right about the heat underneath the floor

I'd be going to the Vet too,to be sure all is well .You did mention his little ears and body felt hot too or I was going to say he might be smelling the 'scent' heating systems have when turned on - cats have that Jacobson's organ in their mouths ,the little auxiliary odor detector to help them better decipher odors.... And they sure do look like they are overheated & panting
Hi Kwik! Thanks for your message. I don't know if his little belly should be out like that on either side. 🤣 He's such a sweet beautiful boy inside and out.

Hmm. Maybe he has something in him that makes his fur so so thick.

Our heating system has been on since October. We are on hot water heating in our complex. The boilers are located a few rows away. So he shouldnt be smelling anything new. We had a few warm days, so perhaps we should have turned the heat down a little. I'll try and get the video posted here too.

Otherwise they're doing okay. Really wild that we could open a window in Dec. That's usually impossible! But it got up to 11 C over the holidays.
 

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