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New addition to our family

Gelly

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Yesterday was a big unexpected adventure, but because of the DR system we're working, we got through it just fine.

 

I will try to be brief, I know I tend to ramble. A relative of my co-worker was looking for someone to adopt her cat within 24hrs, due to a messy landlord/breakup/legal situation. Coworker asked if I wanted a cat, and because DH and I had been toying with the idea of a pet for so long, I asked him. We said yes, and coworker set me up with her cousin or something.. After our counseling appt, we drove about 1.5hrs away to this home where we were given the cat and all of his belongings. We did not know much of his details leading up to the 'meeting', such as what he looks like, medical history, what he'd come with. We stopped at a Petsmart on the way for a travel crate. Stopped at a grocery store on the way home for a disposable litter box and some food and flea shampoo. We're about $55 in with more expenses to come. We still need a proper litter box (grocery store's only option was one I didnt like hence me buying the disposable), litter, and the vet appointment is later this week which will be a base fee of $54. If anything comes up, and I do count on it (worms meds if he has worms, dietary restrictions, supplements, etc) that will cost extra. I am stopping at the vet on my way home for a flea pill and they quoted me $7 for that. He's not infested and I haven't seen any, but DH says he noticed a couple on his head.

 

For such a quick decision, he is a wonderful wonderful kitty. He's about 10 years old and very mellow. He's all-white, and his name is Casper. He promptly used the litter box and so far hasn't clawed at stuff (phew). His previous owners had not brought him in to a vet since 2013 so I know he needs some TLC for his remaining years - however long that might be. The home we picked him up from was pretty dirty. Not hoarders style nasty, but definitely not clean. Very small confined space too (a single-wide where the young owners had a space at the front end of it that was about an 8x8 room separate from the rest).

 

So here we go. I've been receiving my Wellness rewards VISA cards so they have been a Godsend as far as helping paying for new pet expenses. They won't all go to debt after all, but we are not backpedaling in our Babysteps due to this choice. DH has been over the moon about this cat since we drove home with him so that makes me very happy! I don't know why we took so long to make the plunge, likely it was due to me not really having pets growing up so I was in no rush to change that. Now that he's been home for less than a day, I am already liking cat-ownership! It puts a smile on my face :)

On our way home last night, cat aboard, an hour from home, I wasn't stressing about how we'd pay for gas and food and the vet and so on. It definitely felt peaceful and right.

 

In the meantime, any advice on cat stuff is appreciated. I was surprised at how much I had to look up and ask around last night about things!

 

Here he is:

 

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congratulations!  They probably gave you a Capstar pill - that is about the normal price.  It kills any fleas on (or that bite?) the cat for 24 hours.

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Aww, he's such a cutie!  I had cats all my life before marriage, but DH is extremely allergic, my only regret in husband choice :P

 

Sounds like you're getting and doing the right things.  Be aware that he will get into all sorts of places that you'd swear he wouldn't fit!  If you have any black clothes, keep them in a closed closet at all times!  Make sure you have some sort of scratching post, he will want to scratch.  I had the best luck with a post that was an actual log with bark still on it, my kitty loved that thing!  It was worth the extra sweeping for her to not claw the furniture.  Be careful though that you find a log without bugs...ask me how I know.

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huh! that's definitely a LOT cheaper than a scratching post. I wonder if an alder stump would do it? We have a crap ton of that around here. DH would have to affix the log to a base though, something like that, right?

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If it's wide enough, it will stand all on its own.  If it's too narrow, then yes you'll need to screw it to a base of plywood or something similar.

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What a handsome boy!

 

If you still need a litter box check out The Dollar Tree for a large plastic container with a low side so he can step over it easily. I found a nice one there for Dyson.

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He looks a lot like my youngest DD's kitty that we got for her on her 7th birthday, and she loved her until she died when DD was a freshman in college.  They were inseparable buddies.  Now we have a black kitty who I rescued from the Humane Society branch at our local Petsmart 6 years ago.  That baby girl still remembers what life on the streets was like, and she shows her appreciation every day.

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Casper looks like my first fur babies - Butchie and Bruno. Love the all white cats. Keep a lint roller around at all times for your clothes!!

 

My vet recommends blood work annually. I haven't been doing that for Molly (she'll be 2 in June) but I do that for Missy (she's 16). Other than that, and flea medication (M&M are indoor cats - but I let them out on the screened in porch), my expenses are limited to litter, food, treats and some toys. A few years ago, Missy developed a thyroid issue (very common in older cats) so I have medication expenses for that too.

 

Have fun and congratulations!!

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Very cute, sounds like a nice addition to your family.  Pets are an expense so you'll want to redo your budget with a line item for pet expenses.  It seems like an event that should trigger a family budget meeting where you figure out what it will cost and where it will come from - will another category be reduced or does it reduce the snowball, will food come out of the grocery budget or in a separate pet line item, will you have a sinking fund for vet/medical fees? - those kinds of decisions.

 

I'm a dog person, cats on countertops gross me out but I get the joy they bring to families.

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regarding a scratching post.....does Casper have his claws?  As my furbabies do not have claws, a scratching post has not be necessary. They "scratch" on things, but there is no destruction since there aren't any claws.

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If you don't want to share nail clippers with him (I don't like to share with my kitties because of the litter box), get a pair just for him. If he hasn't been trained to have his nails trimmed, start with just touching or holding his paws and reward him with lots of treats. Even if you did just one nail a day to start and involve lots of treats, that can cut down on any damage he could do. I used to have cats that had an awesome cat tree/scratching post but still preferred the furniture. Keeping the tips of their claws blunted by clipping them meant there wasn't any real harm done to my couch or chairs. 

 

When you are considering your scratching post options, try to pick one that will go in a place you will frequently spend time. From my own personal experience, kitties prefer to do their scratching in a "family" area, since the scratching is really more about scent-marking home turf and less about sharpening claws (which is why even declawed kitties will still perform the behavior). 

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I have used both the ones made specifically for cats (the ones that look like little scissors) and ones made for people on my cats. Everybody has their own experience, but I have had the most success using those made for people. It is much easier and quicker for me to turn them sideways and clip the claw rather than try to get the kitties' claws into the space in the cat-specific clippers. I first used "people clippers" when I had a cat with a double claw that actually would not fit into the kittie ones and I had to use mine on him. After that, I just found it was simpler. Plus, I found a set that had a guard of sorts that fit over the back of them to catch the clippings. I was sad when that pair got lost in our last move. 

 

You have to do what works best for you and your own pet(s), though.

 

Some advice from the Humane Society: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/trimming_cat_claws.html

 

I would second their suggestion of cornstarch to staunch bleeding in case you cut the quick. It works great and is a much more frugal option than styptic powder.

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I always used people clippers on my kitty as well, sideways like Jennifer said.  Cat claws are very thin near the tip so it works well, wouldn't work on dogs!

 

In addition to cornstarch, you can use flour or baking soda to stop the bleeding.  We have a dog with black claws and have a special container of flour we keep with his clippers, works great!  You shouldn't have that trouble with a white cat though, you can easily see the quick and will probably never trim too far.

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I've always wondered about cats and countertops. How do you keep them off, and how do you keep them sanitary if they do get on your countertops? (A pet less at the moment dog person.....)

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I've always wondered about cats and countertops. How do you keep them off, and how do you keep them sanitary if they do get on your countertops? (A pet less at the moment dog person.....)

 

I know that mine get on my countertops as I sometimes can tell - but if they do, it's not when I'm around.  Just showing them a water spray bottle keeps them from doing things that they shouldn't.  Keeping the countertops clean and uncluttered help also - if there isn't anything of interest to them, they don't go up there.  Last week, however, I had a pineapple on the countertop before I cut it up.  Missy likes to eat anything green -- and the green leaves of the pineapple appealed to her sense of curiosity.  I wash my countertops down with water/vinegar regularly and then a bleach mix is used every few days.

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Beautiful cat...that is something coming from a non-cat person.  I feel for you though as a I have a white dog and the hair is awful.  Hopefully, your cat won't shed as much as my dog does.  I could truly make a new dog with the hair I sweep up in a week (plus pull out of my vacuum). 

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Awww, cute! I am so thrilled for you both and think that is will be a joyful relationship all the way around. It sounds like he needed to find you guys and he will be a gift to you as well. 

 

I am in the same boat as zaga. I was a package deal when we met as my cat was 10 so he had no choice. He used medicine for 8 years but when we had to put her down, we agreed no more cats. :( Now we have a son with cat/horse/food allergies so it is absolutely not something I would do (an adult taking meds is one thing, but I wouldn't subject a child to it if I could avoid it - not that I would ever put DH through it again either). I loved having a cat!

 

Congrats on your addition! That is so exciting!!!

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So things have been going well! He's warming up to us, for sure. The vet checkup, with additions such as the feces testing, 2 immunizations since he has no record of any, ear cleaning drops, + a few cans of diabetes food, we dropped $138 last night, which was about what I expected. In his 2013 vet appointment data, they reported Casper's glucose level was 400 when normal is in the mid 100's(?). So until we can afford the full scale blood test ($135 or so additional, will do this within the next month), we are assuming he has diabetes and will feed him appropriately until proven otherwise. He appears quite healthy and doesn't show signs of sickness, and his litter box habits seem normal and not like excess peeing.. But we want to play safe. We also plan to invest in glucosamine stuff to add to his food, and once the diabetes thing is figured out we will focus on his dental hygeine, some of his chompers are sad looking.

BUT. He did so well at the appointment. He doesn't bite, claw or hiss. Everybody loved him! After taking his temperature and letting him walk around, he hopped right into my lap and curled up - something he hasn't done to either of us since we got him! Getting him into the crate to go home was EASY, he just walked right in LOL. Last night when I headed upstairs to get ready for bed, he followed me and sat guard at my bedroom door. Then at 3:30am today I was jolted awake by him hopping into my side of the bed (our bed is high up off the ground), he has not tried to get up there before yet either. He then curled up next to me again. It was too cute, he is so very loveable and I never saw myself enjoying having a cat so much :)

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