Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Two Maine Coon Cats
These two guys have lived with me for nearly 2 ½ years now. I could not have cats while I was married as my husband was allergic to them and outside cats up here become coyote food very quickly. Then, by June 2006, the husband was successfully re-homed and I could have a cat.
My sister was staying with me at the time and it was she who reminded me I could have a cat now. That was on a Sunday and I wanted to do it right away so I called the local animal shelter and verified that they were open on Sundays. We had lunch, went to Petco to get cat stuff and then off to the shelter. I had decided that I wanted a Maine Coon, not because I knew a lot about them but because I had read a mystery book years before in which the main character had a Maine Coon and it seemed a really cool cat. My sister, the family cat expert, felt that a Maine Coon would be a good choice for me as they are laid-back, easy going cats.
At the shelter, we went into the very full cat room and started to look. There were so many good cats there and lots of them were labeled as Maine Coons although certainly some were large domestic long-hairs. In the back of the room, where the light was not so good, there were two Maine Coons together in a cage. There were my cats, waiting for me. We just looked at each other and knew. I pulled their paperwork from the cage and we went back out front to wait in line for processing. While waiting, I read that these two were males, brothers, turned in because the owner was moving, had come in badly matted and overweight, and were 3 years old. The one with white was named Socks and the other was Tank. Tank was the smaller one and, for sure, those names were going to be changed. They had been in the shelter for two months, waiting for me to show up.
It turned out that the shelter was having a cat special month, in which adoptions were half price, so I got two for the cost of one. Finally, we were processed and headed home. At home, we opened the boxes and waited on them to emerge. And that is when we discovered that “Socks” was horribly matted, his rear covered with dingleberries, and that he was obese. “Tank” had some mats, but far less, and he also was way overweight.
They disappeared under the bed, standard procedure for cats in new places, but came out for dinner. The next morning, we called and found a groomer who got us in that day. She had to shave Socks, giving him a lion cut, but was able to groom out Tank. Both also had baths which did not go over well. Socks enjoyed his shave, purring loudly and looking happy.
The next morning I got up, discovered that one window had the screen knocked off and that I was missing a cat. I grabbed a can of tuna and headed out to find Tank heading up the hill back towards the house. Who knows how long he had been out and where he went. Later that night, I was in bed, when my sister came flying out of her room & tore outside to grab Tank, who had knocked a screen off another window and was heading out .She had heard the screen hitting the ground. The next morning, we pulled screens and took them to a window/screen place to get pet screens, which are heavier, and then called my handyman to come put them in place. Joe got our new screens put up with extra hardware to hold them in place better and there have been no further cat escapes.
So within the first week, the bargain cats had cost grooming fees, complete new screens for all the windows and Joe’s pay to put them up more securely. Sounds normal! Later, I had Joe and my other handyman, Mike, build a fully enclosed cat patio with a cat door in the window. That entailed pouring concrete, building a fence from ground to patio roof, and fixing up a cat door in the window. The cats and I all love the cat patio.
We had a visit to the vet for a general health check and to talk about a diet for Socks who was obese enough to go Insulin Resistant any day. He weighed in at 23 pounds and really needed to get down to around 16-18 lbs. Tank was about 18 lbs and needed to go down to 14 or so. Socks got Purina Diabetics Management canned food for about 9 months to get his weight down. The weight came off slowly, which was the preferred method, but surely. Tank’s weight also came down with careful feeding.
And within the first week, Socks became Summer Clouds and Tank became Sky Dancer. Summer and Sky have been wonderful companions for me and we have a great thing going which will be future stories.