Struggling With Play Time

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
Well, Ember ended up having to stay the night at the vet clinic because they couldn't get a urine sample. Fortunately, she was still willing to eat and they got some Gabapentin in her pretty easily. I still almost couldn't leave her. I brought her in when I went to work Monday since they figured she'd have to stay a while, but she didn't have enough urine for them by the time they closed. They got the sample today though. There was some microscopic red blood cells which is a sign of inflammation. They're doing a culture to see if there's an infection and we should know within 48 hours. If there's no infection, then it's likely to be caused by stress.

Oh, yes! I would want to get to know the dog a little more anyway. I'd have to talk to someone who knows more about the dog, hang out with her on my own at least one more time, and then do introductions with Stella. It would've taken another couple of weeks anyway. I didn't get up to shelter last weekend either, so the earliest I'll get to do any of that is this weekend. And I'm honestly not getting my hopes up. I need too specific of a dog to fit into our household. That's if she's even still at the shelter. She's too good of a dog to be there in the first place.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
26,870
Reaction score
36,357
Location
Colorado USA
Hi!
I might also wait for fostering until the cats get healthy again. You don't want to add any stress until they are back to normal.
I agree with this, whether in Ember's case it's an infection or stress, either way she needs the opportunity to get healthy :sickcat::lovecat2:
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
Hi!

I agree with this, whether in Ember's case it's an infection or stress, either way she needs the opportunity to get healthy :sickcat::lovecat2:
Of course. It would be at least another couple of weeks before I fostered even if the cats weren't having issues. I'm not rushing into it. Ember is top priority right now. Hopefully Ash doesn't decide he needs a turn at the vet.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
1,695
Poor Ember. Hopefully it is "just" an infection that can be cleared with antibiotics. It must have been really hard to leave her and I am guessing it was stressful for her. I bet she was excited to see you when you picked her up.

Yes, I think being picky on what dog is a good idea. I know, it is hard to see good dogs in shelters. :(

Did you get a sense Ember was more stressed? I wonder if Ember missed the puppies? Any change can be stressful for cats. :(

Let us know how Ember is doing. Let's hope she gets well soon.
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
Well, she was on Gabapentin, so I don't think it was too horrible of an experience for her. They all said she was really sweet and sociable. I felt bad that she wasn't allowed to have any bedding overnight though. I was tempted to make up one of the big cages they have and sleep in there with her. :lol: That would've been a funny sight for the staff to walk into.

Definitely being picky. I don't want to cause anyone more stress than necessary.

Honestly, no. Everyone keeps pushing that it's stressed, but it seems weird to me. She does stress easily, but she's gained confidence and it's been better. They still have their fights, but not as often and they aren't usually bad fights. We had a bad one the night before she went to the vet, but that wasn't the norm. Surely she would've been more stressed when they were fighting on a regular basis, but we didn't have any of these issues.

She seems to be doing fine. Maybe a tiny bit clingy after coming home yesterday, but nothing major and otherwise normal. She chose to sleep with my mom instead of me last night. :sniffle: I'm feeling a bit abandoned.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
1,695
That is really good. That is a good sign that she was nice and sociable. You are definitely doing things right with her.

Hehehehehe, that would have been funny!!!

Yes, that is good.

Stress can come from things like -

The puppies no longer being physically around especially since Ember seemed to have like them. One leaving may not have been bad both both could be stressful for her.

Also, she could have picked up on the humans maybe being a little sad that the puppies were gone. And any change like that can cause stress in a cat.

So it isn't really about confidence per se since the vet visit suggests she is really confident. But more of a "change" thing. If that makes sense.

Yeah, I don't think it is stress from the other cats or Stella.

That is great. Clingy is understandable. That is a big change and I am sure she is happy to be back home. Awwwwwwww, she wanted to let your mom know she loves her too. I don't see abandoned, I think she would choose to be in both places if possible. I don;t think Ember would ever abandon you!! :itslove:
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
Well, I'm pretty sure the Gabapentin had something to do with her being so social. She's a sweet cat naturally, but that med definitely took away all the anxiety and fear.

I know cats are sensitive and she definitely is, but I just don't see when this is even happening. Someone is here more often than not. She spends much of the day laying on the computer chair behind my mom's head while she works. But neither of us see her overgrooming/pulling fur out which is what everyone seems to think is happening. There haven't been any changes in her behavior to tell me she's been stressed and the fur loss started last February. I'm certainly not saying that it isn't stress or that stress doesn't play a part, but it just doesn't seem like things are fitting together.

I take things way too personal when it comes to animals. I'm well aware of that. I think it's largely because I tend to go by the rule that they pick who they "belong" too, so it means a lot when they choose me. I can't say they're mine if they don't. I like animals that bond with one person.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
1,695
Yeah, I can see that. But I think it is still a very good sign of how comfortable and trusting she is. I think you have done a better job with her than you may realize.

I hear you. I really wonder about the puppies leaving. She is sensitive and sometimes they are more sensitive then we think. Stress doesn't have to manifest itself in overgrooming etc. It is hard to know. Just make over her, give her extra love etc. Any stress relieving measures. It is just so hard to know with animals. :/

Oh I think we all do. Some of us are more aware than others. I never worry about your awareness, as always say, you are wise beyond your years and VERY self aware. It is really impressive. I agree with you, I think they do pick the person. And I always feel extra responsibility to them then. I deal with ferals so the tend to be more 1 person animals. But I try hard to open them up to bonding to others.For some it takes a lot of work and it also really depends on the human. It is very interesting.
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
She's definitely a good little cat. I wish I could take away all of her anxiety and stress.

I miss the puppies too! Yes, I'll definitely do what I can to relieve any stress and keep an eye on her. Hopefully we can keep this under control and she'll be fine, but it'll be difficult to keep her stress down when she's so sensitive.

It is good for some animals to be open to bonding to more than just one person and some take bonding to one person too far, but I definitely do better with animals that bond to just one. It's important for them to choose me. It's part of why I like German Shepherds so much. Not the only reason, but certainly part of it. I do think my mom moves less than me. I annoy myself sometimes.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
1,695
She seems really amazing. Really special. I think you do. It is impossible to take them all away but I think the love you have for her helps her tremendously. I know what you mean, we want things to be perfect, but perfect is hard. The best life is the most achievable.

:( I can imagine!! It definitely feels more empty when an animal has to leave. I think you will do a great job with her, reducing her stress. I am guessing she was getting attached to the puppies and them suddenly leaving may have caused her some stress. It happens all the time. :/ The good news is, love will solve it.

Yes agreed. You are so self aware, it is impressive. Hahaha, don't be annoyed with yourself, I think you are pretty awesome. I don't think being like that is anything to be annoyed with.
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
She really is an awesome cat. She doesn't deserve all the fears and insecurities that she has. I just have to keep reminding myself that she is better. We were in a bad place for a while, but we've gotten out of that and she's gained confidence.

It really, really does. I don't think this house ever felt as big as it did when Lamont left and we put all the stuff away. Well, most of it. The kennel is still sitting by my bed. But if the puppies did have something to do with it, would it be fair for me to bring more puppies in the house? I planned on fostering again, but I don't want to stress my animals out.

Haha. Well, thanks. I wish I was more open to letting them bond with other people. Obviously I can't exactly stop it, but it's hard for me.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
1,695
You have made her life so much better. It is wonderful. Maybe not perfect but nothing is. She is lucky to have you!!

Yep. I know the feeling. It really does make things look bigger. Well, the first time tends to be the most difficult. I know what you mean, is it fair? Tough question. I think I would err on the side of caution for now. Let's she how fast she responds and see if it was maybe the puppies leaving. And of course how much progress in building confidence with her. We'll just take in in stride and see where she is when you think about fostering again. Animals can respond to loss pretty hard especially cats. Cats don't like change. :/

It can really be heartwarming seeing a cat progress to bonding with others. It is not a negative but a sign of how much you have done to help them trust.
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
She deserves the best. She's a good cat. I hope I can continue making things better for her.

The shelter is apparently getting a bunch more puppies again. They said they might be getting a litter of 12! :eek3: That's a lot of puppies! I wish I could help, but I definitely don't want to be bringing a puppy into the house while we're still keeping an eye on Ember. It does look like her fur might be growing back in. Still too early to tell for sure, but it seems a bit denser. That's quicker than the last time she lost her fur. She lost it in the winter and didn't get any back until maybe mid-summer. It was very slow progress and she never got it all back before losing it again.

Yeah, I can understand that. It's still hard for me. I'm happy she's more confident and opening up, but I miss her when she's not with me! I don't miss her right now, though, as she's laying over my wrist.

I have been looking into service dogs again. I'd like to get one, but it's not going to be easy, if I even qualify. My plan for now is to talk to the doctor, get an official diagnosis, and see if he thinks I'd benefit from one. The next step is I would want to foster an adult dog from the shelter as sort of a trial run. I want to see how my animals handle it. Then maybe I could get on a wait list for a service dog.

I did get a dog out from the shelter Sunday. Her name was Ella. She was maybe 40lbs. Very sweet, but nervous too. I wonder if she was a farm dog out in the country. Everything seemed new to her. She was curious, but scared. Didn't know how to get in the car. We took her to my brother's and she stood half way through the doorway, unsure if she wanted to go in. She did well with the cats though and handled everything well. Stella did well with her, so it does seem like I have a chance of being able to have another dog.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
1,695
😍 I think with you and your mom she has the best!!! :purr:

WOW!!! Yeah, I think I would just explain that right now it is not the best time. It is great Ember is getting her hair back faster, I would just get her back more before fostering. The good news is, puppies go fast and they should be able to handle it. So I think your decision is the correct one.

That is really great news and a fantastic plan!!!

Awwwwwwwww. Yeah, it is scary and intimidating. But she will get over it with the right people and love. I think when the time comes you will be able to add another dog. I think it really has to do with the people and you have the skills and desire. Ember seemed to do really well with the puppies, Stella seems to do well now, Ash and Frost did fine. I am guessing Ember might be the most challenging but I wonder if it was the puppies that possibly caused some stress or if them leaving did (or of course something else). When the time comes I think you will be more prepared and I do think you will think it out and prepare well for the time.
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
We're sure trying. I'd like to give Ember a bigger house with her own space and no tight areas. I'm still trying to figure the hall out. I think that would help a lot.

Oh, yeah. I definitely had no plans of fostering. Not before I know everything is okay with Ember. I'd certainly like to, but I know better. The puppies do go fast. Sometimes I think they have trouble because a littler is "cuter" than another, so everyone wants those puppies. We were worried about that with Lamont because they just had another litter go up for adoption, so he was no longer the youngest. But the other puppies were huge! I think they were about two weeks younger than Lamont? And yet at least twice his size, if not more. Lamont still didn't get much attention, but just enough to get adopted.

I hope it works out. I have a feeling it's going to be hard to find anyone who will accept me, especially if I'm not going to one that charges full price (I'm not). If nothing else, I can train my own, but I figure it'll take just as long going that route since it'll be a while before I can even get a puppy, let alone train it.

She was a really lovely dog. It's too bad she couldn't be the one I fostered. She was a nice size, did well with Stella, did well with cats, and I could try to help her open up. But timing is bad and she'll almost certainly be adopted before I can think about it. She already had an application when we took her out Sunday. I just hope her owners are patient and understanding and help her come out of her shell. I honestly did not think Stella would let me have another dog. She still reacts rather badly when we come across dogs on our walks and didn't used to handle it very well when I had another dog, but she's been doing really well with it. I think Ember will have the most dramatic reaction, but she'll also probably be the first of the cats to get over it. It was like that with Stella. Ember took it horribly, but got over it sooner than Ash did.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
1,695
I think you are succeeding. Yes, bigger would be nice just to give some room but I am sure you can help her continue to make progress in the current space. Yes, those tight areas are always problematic. :/ Shelving tends to work if possible.

Yeah, that is true. But every puppy has a family, just have to match make and get a little lucky so they get together quicker. I love puppies. Big lanky puppies are cute and so are the little ones. Gotta love puppies and kittens (and dog sand cats). :)

I hope so too. Just use every resource possible. Don't be shy to ask for help as that is why it is there. It is important.

That is really cool. I would guess the family would hep her. Just stability and love can help a lot. Stella seems to be doing really well. She may just be protecting you on walks. Ember seems like she is pretty good as well. Making progress. I am surprised Ash didn't do better with Stella. He seems pretty confident.

How is Frost? I am guessing back to normal.
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
The hall is just so awkward. It's very narrow, short, and has four doors. There's only one empty area and my mom's bedroom door opens up there. That's not a huge deal, but a bit of an inconvenience. However, with how narrow it is we could walk into any shelving we put up unless we put it up over our heads, but that would be too high for them to easily jump onto. I thought maybe if it was a really narrow shelf it could work, but my cats are about as clumsy as cats can be and if they took off up onto the shelf to escape a fight then they might just fall right off. There is a pretty big space above the linen closet and I thought I could potentially give them access to that, but I can only give them one way up there, so I was afraid it would make things worse rather than better. I'd also probably need a ladder to be able to clean up there.

I love lanky puppies. :biggrin: I actually got an update on Leon/Rio today. He's getting so big. Apparently he can get on the couch by himself now! I can't even imagine how he must've grown to be able to do that.

Yep, I will. I just have to get a few other things out of the way first before I start figuring the rest out. Not sure if I'll be able to do it until I after I move. There's one place in the next state over that I would've liked to use, but they didn't give prices and I'll probably be moved somewhere else by the time I could get a dog from them. They won't bring the dog to you. You have to go there for two weeks so they can teach you about the dog and taking the dog everywhere. That's fine, but I'll be quite a ways a way at that point.

Ella, the dog I was talking about, is no longer there. Neither is another dog that I just met yesterday and wanted to introduce to Stella! They had one new dog today that was lovely and I met a dog that I had been meaning to meet for a while. I really liked him. There's also a poor older German shepherd that I feel terrible for. She's so antsy and anxious. She just paces and whines and trots around the play yard the whole time she's out there.

Honestly, Ash's overall reaction to Stella wasn't that bad. He mostly stayed out of the way and kept himself up on the cat trees. He didn't full out attack her like Ember did. It just took him longer to get over what issues he did have. Once Ember was over it, she pretty much didn't have an issue. It took about a year for the attacks to stop and closer to two for the cats to quit bullying her. They still give her to occasional slap and hiss, but mostly pretend she isn't there anymore.

Frost is fine. Always hungry. He takes his time licking his bowl clean.

We did have a fight last night. I don't know what happened. Just heard Ember mrowling all of a sudden. It was weird because usually there's some growling or something before she makes that noise. If she's startled then it's usually much louder. They got over it with some food and time though.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
1,695
Yeah, that sounds like a difficult area. I probably would just leave it be and play there and make positive associations so they just don't have any issues there since they feel like they all own it.

Me too. Awwwww, they do grow fast.

That sounds good. Yeah, with moving it is difficult. Just keep following up as it is really important.

Wow, a lot of adoptions. That is cool. Some older GSs are like that sadly. They are such sweet dogs. It is so sad. Let's hope she finds a great home soon.

Yes, that is common. I can understand Ember having an issue at that time in her life. I am guessing she would be better now. es, they will let the dog know sometimes. It happens, their way of communicating (even when the dog is innocent).

SO GREAT TO HEAR!!!!

Are you sure it was a fight? Sometimes it can be rough play. Mine love to get wild at night (9pm or so).
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
620
I had a bit of a scare the other day. Someone's dog got loose. I've seen the dog plenty of times before, but never loose. They keep him on a tie out in their yard because he jumps the fence. Long-haired GSD (lots of GSDs lately). He was in my brother's front yard. I got Stella in my brother's fenced-in backyard and made a noise. I guess I startled him because he came at me barking with his hackles up. Definitely warning me off. I took a few steps back and yelled "no" at him, which made him pause. Then he turned around and walked off and I got in the backyard and called my mom to come get me. The owners weren't home, but the next door neighbor (guy at the cat house, actually) was trying to catch him. Didn't do so as far as I'm aware. There was a car at the house today, but I didn't see the GSD in their yard and their other dog was out.

It is difficult. I can try playing with them in their, but I honestly think they'll just think I'm feeding them since I have to go down the hall to get their bowls.

They just got fourteen more dogs! Some really cute ones. They have one that looks a bit like a wolf! And there's a German shepherd puppy! It's torture. All these GSDs... I want one. There was a cute brindle pup and a couple of others as well as a litter of 6-day old puppies. I do hope the older GSD gets a home soon. Most of the older dogs do seem to get homes pretty quickly, but there is one that's around eight years, I think, and gray in the face. She's been there a little while.

Yeah, they're all alright now. Ash still makes Stella a bit nervous, but she's gotten used to them. Ember is a lot better. We have a little dog come around sometimes. Frost actually does worse than Ember. But they've never had a big dog around.

Yes, definitely a fight. It wouldn't surprise me if Ash was going a little crazy as he does, but usually I hear noises before a fight if that's the case. But the boys very rarely play with Ember at all anymore and Ember has never been vocal during play before. When I came out they were tense. Ember ran a few feet away and crouched down with her tail curled against her body. Ash growled a bit. I can always tell how bad of a fight it was by the size of Ember's tail though and it wasn't fluffed up at all. That means it wasn't a bad fight.
 
Top