So I had my regular Sunday morning shift at the Volunteer Centre this past weekend. I was looking forward to an easy shift; according to our Google doc, there was only going to be two easy cats there. My only concern was how to kill enough time until the Pet Valu across the street was open (10am) and I could go visit The Newsroom kittens*.
The first indication that all might not go as planned came on Saturday. A new foster was supposed to pick up a cat (“Fuji”) but got caught in traffic and missed the pick up. Could I do the hand-off on Sunday? Sure. But in the meantime, some problems arose with Fuji. Potentially serious problems, not to be wished on a brand new, unsuspecting, foster. “Get them to take one of the other cats.” Ok.
The new foster and her partner arrived. I gave them the bad news that Fuji was not ready for foster and introduced them to the other two cats available. Delightfully outgoing and affectionate Domenic and sweet, quiet Chester. No go. She wanted Fuji and would wait; they left. So now, an hour late, I started cleaning and feeding (I wasn’t going to clean and feed a cat that was leaving, just to have to clear and disinfect their cage.) I got Domenic and Chester all cleaned and fed and cleaned a recently vacated cage that no one had had a chance to do.
Then I got word that they were trying to get Fuji out of there to another “way station” we have to try and get her in to a vet for evaluation. (Fuji had become impossible to handle and was attacking anyone who tried to open her cage.) Poor Fuji. Those of us who have met her are divided; she’s unpredictable and impossible to handle vs. she’s got a medical issue that needs to be sorted. Her background, as far as I know it, is that while she had kittens she went through two experienced foster homes. “Maternal aggression” was diagnosed which seemed to be confirmed when she first arrived at the Volunteer Centre without her kittens. She was sweet and affectionate; unrecognizable to those who’d seen her before. She’s seemed fine until a few days ago, after her spay surgery. Now it’s all crying, all fighting, all the time. 😦
It took two of us (another VERY-experienced-with-ferals volunteer was called in) to get her in a “feral box” for transportation. (Thanks Linda S.!!!!)
The other volunteer wanted to try a regular carrier until we opened the cage. Then she quickly changed her mind to the feral box.
Poor thing. Even though we were as gentle as we could be, it was still quite a fight involving protective gloves, two feral boxes, a cardboard shield, two broom handles (used as levers not weapons), and the pvc bed/hammock that’s in with all the cats! And let’s put it this way; I didn’t have to worry about her pooping or peeing in the car. 😦 Once she was in the box, though, she was pretty quiet. More quiet than she’d been in the cage. I drove her across the city and we’ll get her in to a vet asap. (At one point she started picking at the box. I was in terror of her getting loose in the car!)
So now I’ve crated my first feral. Not that I think Fuji is feral but she was certainly in full feral behaviour mode. I really, really hope there’s something medical going on. Otherwise we are at a loss to explain her behaviour and her future as a pampered domestic cat is not bright.
My “easy” shift at the VC turned into my longest yet. Typical. 😉
*I did stop for two minutes to see the kittens! Sloan wasn’t there yet, but the others looked great. Bigger already, after just three days. When I got home I got word that Will and Neal had been adopted — together!