Purrs and Hisses
See more of our readers' letters.
Posted: September 16, 2006, 5 a.m. EST
Support for Feral Cats as Pets
In response to adopting the un-adoptable, I find my experience with my feral Siamese mix was different. Linus was 3 months old when I got him. He was so wild; he was actually terrified of my hands. I laughed at your article because I didn’t gradually earn his trust — I simply didn’t put him down for three days. Albeit he was the most hyper kitten I’ve ever met, he wasn’t scared of me anymore.
Linus is now 6 years old. He has mellowed a lot in his older years. He travels well, enjoys car rides, is a loveable cat and does tricks. He sits, begs, speaks and jumps. He is probably the most eager to please and attentive cat I’ve ever had. When I am sick, he perches on my shoulder and will not leave me. In April when I had to get my tonsils out, he — a non-lap cat — sat in my lap for hours. Until Linus, I've never had a cat who wouldn’t completely run for the hills whenever I had the stomach flu.
Linus is a testimony of love. As much love as I've poured into him, he has returned. When I’m sad, he tries to make me laugh or distracts me by being annoying. He is also a testimony of what a cat can be. Without the time to tame him, he would’ve died of disease or who knows what. I want to share my joy with the world and encourage others to try and save “a wild beast.” They are definitely worth the time.
An Imposter Cat
I have been sharing my home with four indoor cats; 9-year-olds Casey and Mickey, and 1-year-olds Bruno and Casper. On Memorial Day, 2006, Mickey disappeared. For the next two weeks I searched for him; driving and walking through the neighborhood, including the nearby woods. I posted signs with his picture, offering a reward for his return.
Mickey is a distinctive cat with thick, dark gray fur that changes shade according to light with a small white spot on his neck and on his belly. He is an extremely shy cat who hides whenever anyone comes into my house, so I figured it would be hard for anyone to catch him. Finally, with the help of some friends, I caught him.
When I got Mickey home, he hid for two days, which I thought normal considering his shy nature. When he came out of hiding, with a bit of initial spitting he fit right in with my other three cats. He spent a lot of time on my lap or sleeping in his favorite spot. Then I started to notice differences in his character. Normally a very finicky eater, he was eating anything I put down. He had lost weight, so I figured that he hadn’t eaten much during the two weeks he was gone. And while he could spend hours on my lap, he never liked to be hugged; now he loved to be hugged.
After seeing several other little differences, I began to doubt if this was really my Mickey. Then something happened that convinced me: Mickey came home! As I was leaving for work one morning, I heard a cat crying under my front porch. When I called to him, out came Mickey right into my arms.
I decided I would keep the imposter and share my home with five cats. I now have two identical cats. I had put a bright pink collar on one to tell them apart and named him Tony. Then one morning he went out and did not come back. A few days later, I received an anonymous letter thanking me for taking care of their cat that had just gotten out a few weeks before.
The best thing that came out of this is that Mickey, who merely tolerated the two younger cats, now gets along fine with them. Maybe some outside experiences proved how siblings could actually be good friends.
Adopt in the U.S. First
I am extremely disappointed that your magazine chose to publish the article, “Adopt Abroad in Four Easy Steps,” by Amy Dodgen, in your June 2006 issue. It is irresponsible to encourage adoption abroad when so many wonderful homeless cats are euthanized every day in our own overcrowded animal shelters. It would be a much greater service to publish an article encouraging people to visit their local animal shelter when looking for a new feline companion. Instead of providing information on how to adopt foreign animals, provide information about how to find and select a wonderful new pet from a shelter here in the United States.
More about Manx
Because I am owned by 3 Manx cats, and have rescued and fostered many more, I was excited to see the Manx featured in your September issue.
It was a good article, but I have on objection. Although there is nothing called “Manx Cat Syndrome,” to dismiss the Manx as a cat that is not prone to certain health problems is wrong. Completely tailless Manx (rumpies) can be unsound with problems such as a tendency toward bowel impaction, megacolon, chronic diarrhea, an inability to empty the bladder completely, which makes urine crystals more likely or in very severe cases, incontinence.
Because unsound kittens can occur even with careful breeding (although they are more common when badly bred), reputable breeders won’t allow kittens to go to new homes until they are 3 months old or older, by which time any that are unsound have been identified and euthanized. So selecting a good breeder is very important. Or better yet, adopt one of the hundreds of adult Manx or Manx-mix cats currently in shelters and needing new homes.
The article, “Top 5 Litterbox Problems Solved” (September 2006) mentions the use of over-the-counter odor solvers to add to the litter. The best one that I have found for sale is Arm & Hammer Cat Litter Deodorizer. Sprinkle it in the trash can if you don’t have a lid on it when you empty the box out too. It helps with the ammonia smell a lot.
Article Saves Carpet
Thank you for the “Top 5 Litterbox Problems Solved” article (September 2006). My kitten Kira had a problem of eliminating outside the litterbox. When I read the article, I realized the problem was that her litterbox was right next to her food and water dishes. I moved her litterbox to the other side of the room and the problem was solved. I didn’t really think about it until you mentioned that having a litterbox by your food would be like eating by a Porta-Potty.
Thank you for an eye-opening article that will save my new carpet.
La Porte, Ind.
First of all I have to say I love CAT FANCY. The articles are always so informative and the letters from the readers bring a smile to my face. I did want to point out an editing glitch that I came across in your Board Talk article. It says, “Lewis attacked several of his neighbors’ owners.” Shouldn’t that be “Lewis attacked several of his owner’s neighbors?”
Thank you so much Shay Williams. You are correct. In our Board Talk section in the CatChannel.com column for September 2006, it should have said, “Lewis attacked several of his owner’s neighbors.”
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Purrs and Hisses