Friday, October 8, 2010

A New Fourth

Devon no longer resides with me. That little sausage of a cat has been adopted by a very nice young couple and is now living with two older female cats in a house. He's a fortunate animal to have been adopted, and this time, he's moved into what will be his permanent home.

A few hours after Devon left, Tucker arrived. That's how pressing the need is for foster-homes for cats. The PAW Society received a call about a cat that was not using his litter-box for his waste-extraction processes: he was wetting on floors. When a cat does that, there is always an explanation; in this case, it may have been due to stress that accompanied the arrival of a new baby. Cats are sensitive, and new people, new noises, new smells, new commotions, all affect the animal. With some work and patience, the problem can be resolved. But Tucker's owners had much to deal with and couldn't help him. So he was evicted, and has come to live with me.
Tucker is a stocky fellow, black and white, with tabby stripes just visible on his sides, like ribs, and under his tail. He has big eyes and a 'short' face, in that it seems a little pushed in.

Like all new foster-cats at my apartment, he lives in the library, isolated during the day, until he becomes accustomed to things. The first couple of days that he was with me, he squeaked and cried and came over to me, pushing at my hand to indicate that he wanted some petting. Then the truth of his situation set in: he was in a new home, and not going back to the one he'd known since kittenhood. He was excited by the novelty at first, but then he probably became lonesome, then despondent. He spent several days in a hiding spot, not eating. He had to be fed by syringe, given a medicated food to keep up his supply of nutrients and water. He is now coming round, and has nibbled some of his regular food.
It's been several days since his arrival and Tucker is doing better. I am still feeding him by syringe, as he is still only pecking at his food and not getting enough. I've no idea if he is drinking enough - or any - water, so he must get some of that forced into him too. The strange thing is that, except for not eating, he appears to be getting used to his new surroundings. He is more alert and active than he had been, wanting to come out and explore. I keep him in the library during the day and arrange his food in a way that will tell me if he's eaten any. I can also monitor his use of the litter-box. He's been leaving deposits there, so I know that he's getting more water than his body needs - which is better than the opposite.

It's ironic that the one big problem that he doesn't have is the one due to which he was evicted.

But I know that he, like the other cats at my place, loves to be combed. On the weekend, before he became discouraged, he stretched out on the small table, purring with every stroke as I combed him, and when I stopped, he got up and tapped me once on the head to get me started again. So he does have a history of having his whims indulged, like every loved pet.
My three are unsure about Tucker. The first time I let him out of the library, he explored a bit, but the others were snoozing at the time. The next day, I opened the library door and Ren and Josie established themselves at the threshold to stare at the newcomer. Tucker hissed and growled a little, perhaps to show that he would not be intimidated. I'm not sure if he convinced the others, since he didn't leave the room. Ren even started going into the library; I think he was trying to make friends, for he arched his back - Ren does that as if rubbing up against someone, but he doesn't actually make contact; nonetheless, it's a sign of amiability. Tucker thought he'd better stay on the defensive, however, and hissed. Ren, who is not a fighter, backed away.

So for now, I and the PAW Society are guardedly optimistic about the new boy. He's doing better but not well enough for our liking. We want to see him gobbling food like Josie, my Chubs. Well, maybe not eating that much...


  1. Awww ~ sweet Tucker! What a cutie. Poor baby, getting evicted like that. I can't make it up the stairs to your place anymore, but I am going to send Tucker distance Reiki to help him get settled and eat. His story melts my heart.

  2. IT melts my heart too. I knew some of the cats later and reading how they got to be with you is such a treat.