Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow?

GREAT!  The city property that I was allowed to plant a garden on last summer is going to be absolutely beautiful this spring.  The bulbs planted last fall took well to the soil, and the little greens are popping through.  I can't wait to see the colors and varieties of flowers that were so generously donated to help me.  I am still waiting on my permit for this year (fingers crossed!).

It was a quiet morning.  Yesterday we had wind and rain, but this morning, easy peasy.  I went to the ortho doc yesterday and this girl has some bad knees.  I am not taking too well to aging.  The amount of walking I do each day you would think I would be rail thin, but instead, I have bad knees.  So I got a shot of cortisone (and nearly screamed like an infant), and off I go.  Today I am still hobbling a bit, hoping the shot kicks in and allows the pain I've been experiencing in my right leg to subside.   

Marbles on Central
Marbles ran to my car this morning, standing up on his (or her) hind legs, as he does every single morning to greet me.  What a nice cat.  I must get him rescued.  The tabby boy on Parsells has not been seen in two mornings now.  He had a very bad URI I was treating him for (I switched to Doxy, as someone suggested) but he is nowhere to be found.  He was going to be my next rescue also.

Got this cute little video clip of Hermie yesterday.  Waiting for his new home.  Anyone?  I think if you copy and paste the link below into address block.


Cammy went to the vet last week, his foster mother picked him up at his new home to find out why he was coughing.  Asthma.  Boy, these cats can get anything.  Parsley was brought to his foster home Sunday and will be meeting with his new canine foster brother - prayers that goes well!  These cats from the streets, they all need to learn to interact with other cats and dogs if they want to find homes.  And it CAN be done!

From Pet Sit International:

Starting from "Scratch" (so to speak)

There are some definite "DOs and DON'Ts" to keep in mind when introducing dogs and cats for the first time. Dr. Landsberg cautions that the most important aspect is matching personalities of the pets, if possible. For example, a playful dog or puppy will be better matched with a playful cat - or a more tolerant one. 

"Any new kitten or puppy, if not too fearful, will want to play with the other animal," he said. "The question is whether the existing animal will enjoy or tolerate the presence of the other pet or the play with the other pet. Another important aspect is that just because a dog has been socialized or friendly with another cat (or vice versa) - it does not necessarily mean that the dog or cat will tolerate, understand or communicate well with a different dog or cat." 

Palika advised that when bringing in a new cat or kitten into the home, it should be confined to a separate room for awhile. "That way, everyone can get used to the smells," she said. "Household smells, new cat/dog smells, all the smells. New and the existing pets need this to adjust." 

Dr. Landsberg agreed, saying, "Give the cat a separate room with toys, food, bedding, litter, etc. - all the necessities of life. When it's time for face-to-face introductions, perhaps consider a leash and harness for cat control and a leash or leash and head halter for dog control. Only begin to let the cat out if it is calm, non-fearful or inquistive and seems to want to leave the room - - - even when it has heard the dog on the other side of the door. Begin introductions with the dog on a leash and giving the cat some freedom to wander and explore. Give food and play to encourage the cat leaving its room and approaching the dogs." 

"Make sure the cat is socialized to dogs and not too fearful," Dr. Landsberg said. "Ensure the cat has sufficient perching and climbing places where it rests and naps that are out of the dog's reach. If not, consider training this behavior by giving toys and treats on the perches or counters." 

Dr. Landsberg continued, "Bring the dog into the room under control with a leash or leash and head halter. Keep the dog occupied and monitor the cat's response to the dog, and the dog's response to the cat. It may be possible to use food rewards and toys to encourage the pets to approach each other, but you need to monitor and 'read' the pets to determine how fast you can go. Keep the dog in a kennel (crate) or separate room when you cannot supervise the two together." 

The moral... 

Slow and controlled introductions and be sure to watch for potential problems so you can avoid or minimize them. 

How long?

While there are some parings that work out in days, in some rare cases, it never works out. Liz Palika noted that, in her experience, the "get acquainted" process usually takes two to three weeks. 

Dr. Landsberg noted that sometimes it's not easy to tell by their interactions if a dog and cat are getting along or not. "It is sometimes difficult to tell playful and predatory actions apart," he said, "since play and chase could have a predatory outcome or could lead to inadvertent but serious injury if the dog is too physical with the cat or the cat is too fearful with the dog. Therefore any intense focusing on the other pet, threats or aggression, stalking or chase attempts should be cause for more supervision, training and concern. 

"Some cats take weeks to adapt to the dogs," Landsberg added, "and similarly it can take weeks for the owners to teach the dog how to behave around the cat. Even if improvement is made and the cat and dog tolerate or enjoy each other, in some circumstances, separation when not supervised is the best long-term option." 

And When it Works...

When it works, there is nothing sweeter than seeing how a little kitty cat can wrap a big old dog around her dainty little paw - Or how a tough, battle-scarred veteran cat will melt at a puppy's charms. 

Dr. Landsberg has observed that same behavior at his clinic. "The most common thing that you will see is that the cat and dog learn how to communicate (the dog as a dog and the cat as a cat)," he said. "Our clinic cat (15 lbs) plays with my dog (8 lbs). The dog plays like a dog, nipping and biting and pulling the cat, and the cat plays like a cat, pouncing on the dog and instigating her to chase and bite. However, when things get out of hand, the cat knows to jump in the bathroom sink (because the dog is too short to reach her!") 

So, all's well that ends well...

"What lies behind us and
what lies before us are
tiny matters compared to
what lies within us."

1 comment:

  1. Janine,

    Hope the Cortisone shot eases your pain. Had quite a few injections of it into my knee over the years. You are absolutely correct it is quite painful as that long needle enters, especially if they miss the region and have to probe within. Good luck and keep up the Excellent work (Cat Angel)

    Walt Simoni