Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Ruth B
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:46 pm

Whatever she is, she is a beauty, but I have to agree, certainly not full Ragdoll if any.

It's odd what variation of kittens can occur. Stroppy's family was another of those oddities, she was, as you've seen a short haired red tabby, her mother allegedly was a long haired grey (I believe) tabby, her sister Tufty was a long haired ginger and white cat with out any tabby markings and the other sister (which I never saw) was a short haired grey tabby. Tufty was said to be 'Maine Coon', 'Norwegian Forest' or 'Long Haired Abyssinian', by various 'experts' that saw in the vet's waiting room. It makes you wonder just what fathers were involved.

While not a cat, I do know someone that had a beautiful part bred Arab Horse that they had trained to Western Style riding. At one competition they had one American come up and complement them on their wonderful Quarter Horse, they explained he wasn't one, but until they actually produced the papers to show the guy he wouldn't believe them. The thing is when you looked at what that horse's pedigree included it was pretty much what went into making a Quarter Horse originally.

It makes me think something similar occurs in other animals, we carefully breed for specific traits, then chance sometimes comes along and throws that same selection of genes together just to leave us guessing.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:01 am

Yes, I do find genetics really fascinating, some of the litters I've seen have been quite amazing. One of the most unusual was a heavily pregnant dark tortie we picked up, she had 4 kittens, 2 were really pale ginger tabbies, two were colourpoint. Not sure what kind they were, and unfortunately didn't stay in contact, but they were still colourpoint when they were homed at 9 weeks.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Lilith » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:04 am

Aww! And just look at Mama! Siamese tortitude written all over her. I once had one just the same - she was a little devil! Looks like this one mated with another Siamese x or Siamese to produce those pointed kitties. I bet there was no lack of demand for those.

In one of those feral litters I was involved with, their mother, Tess, was a dark tortie tux. One of her little D'Urbervilles was the image of the ginger tom, Finn, who later moved in with me, one was ginger tux like my Emily (Tess was Emily's aunt), one was a semi longhaired black boy of oriental type like my Mouse (Tess was Mouse's mother but I think the oriental strain came from Finn though he looked thickset until you noticed his cheekbones and tail.) And one ... longhaired dilute, almost blue-cream tortie, the colours so mixed that she was a smoky ball of fluff, with one blonde streak down her nose, and huge dramatic eyes. I doubt if she stayed long in the shelter either.

As for Emily's litter, I have an old cat care book that states, 'ginger females are always sterile.' Oh yeah? Try telling Emmy that, as she nursed her five ... all gingers! :lol:

It's a dreadful pity there are so many moggies needing homes and worse still to see them breeding indiscriminately, but what a fascinating gene pool the moggie breed is! (I have a fellow-feeling; I too am a 'bitser' - bitser this and bitser that ... :lol: )

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:10 am

I never twigged Siamese in her (I didn't foster those, so only met her a couple of times). We had such a long waiting list at that point that all 4 kittens were homed without being advertised.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:25 pm

Was naughty today, and tried to stroke Chanel as she'd got in a corner to get away from me cleaning, she immediately went to mum for some reassurance, so had a popping Coco when I tried to give Chanel a treat for scaring her! Left them for a bit, and have just come in, they were both in the enclosure, Chanel was on the floor, so I kneeled down so I was eye level with her, and they both seemed curious enough to come and sniff, was the closest I've got to Coco, they seemed surprised by the window, but obviously there was safety for Coco as I couldn't get to her. Am glad they didn't hold a grudge after the earlier incident.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:03 pm

I have heard of people breeding Tortie Point Ragdolls, and I would really like to get hold of one just to see a Ragdoll with tortitude, my mind can't quite get around the possibility.

One of the cat cams I watch recently had a couple of feral Mums in, one black, one ginger and white. The blacks kittens were a mix of black and tabby, and the gingers were ginger, tortie and tortie and white, but they decided to co parent so at any time you could tune in and see either Mum looking after all the kittens, it certainly got a few questions asked in the chat as normally a black mum can't have ginger kittens and a ginger mum couldn't have black kittens. It was beautiful to see the way they worked together. They slowly parted as the kittens grew up and the ginger mum went for rehoming as she accepted human socialisation, the black mum was spayed and returned to the colony they came from.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:08 pm

I showed the vet the pic of the catio last night, she said that they should have been TNR’d last year, so I showed her the pic of Coco looking relaxed, and said ‘maybe, however she doesn’t look like a stressed semi-feral and if you asked them now, they’d not want to give up 3 meals a day, numerous beds and a radiator’, which she had to agree with, then asked if I had accepted they weren’t going anywhere yet, so I said they are still long term fosters, just in case. Although if I’m honest, the longer they are here, the less fair it would be to them to be moved. Had a nightmare getting them in last night, I walked out a couple of times, went back in once and Coco had just come in, so took one look at me and went back out, but the weather was getting bad, so I tried to force the issue, she was a bit wary of me when I went in at bedtime, but did eventually accept taking treats off me.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Lilith » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:01 pm

Ha ha. I remember when Mouse, that scared little adolescent, was getting used to visiting back in 2002 - a Mouse in the House! Rescuers interested in the colony advised me (and very wisely of course) - don't ever try to pick that kitten up, she could do you a lot of damage. However, Mouse and I knew each other and when the time was right I picked her up. She was lovely to hold, sleek and plushy ... and she purred.

Ferals adapt. They're cats. They succumb in the end to affection and regular grub. Or most of them do. In truth my naughty Molly, who's never been feral, is still more 'feral' than my wild-born Mouse, though even Moll, missing her Aunt Emily, is allowing ear and face-strokes these days - wow, after 7 years! :o :D

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:42 pm

I once thought TNR was the kindest thing you could do to all ferals, however time, education and cat cams on the internet have taught me differently, some do prefer the outdoor life in a well looked after colony, some accept living indoors and some take to it like a duck to water (I'm sure someone will now come up with the duck that couldn't swim), the most important thing is to learn and never get so set in your ways that you can't accept that you might have been wrong.

I do remember when the sandwich van across from where i worked got a feral kitten take up home under it. They arrange for it to go to a vets to be neutered via one of the charities, they had a box ready to take it in, but no one could get near it. So I had a bit of a look at it and while it did look scared it wasn't acting too aggressive, so I just reached under and I easily got it by the scruff and pulled it out, much to everyone's surprise and a few quiet cheers, I then saw the box they had ready for it. A normal calm cat would have been out of it in 10 seconds flat, a scared little feral kitten even quicker, I also knew if I put it down the chances of getting a second time would be remote. I carried it across back to where I worked and fortunately one of the lads there got a nice strong cardboard box that we used to dispatch parts in, cut a couple of small holes and i could finally put it somewhere safe. It was taped shut as there was no other way of fastening it, but some one from the cafe was taking over to the vets as soon as the lunch rush was over. I never heard much more except it was handed over to the charity, it was a beautiful little grey thing and assuming it accepted human contact finding a home for it wouldn't have been difficult, my main concern was to get it to the vets for neutering before, assuming she was female, she could have a litter of her own.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:38 pm

Some valid points, I think that I am a bit stuck in the rescue point of view that the point is to rehabilitate and rehome, and the ones we have turned away, sometimes we have to tNR for the cats sake, we all know homes for 'easy' cats is hard, never mind the awkward ones, and the effect that has on them - I'm sure some of Lucy's issues are from 18 months in rescue, but like these, she was lucky and was in a rescue that uses rooms with outdoor space rather than a pen. If these hadn't had the opportunity of a foster home, TNR would have been better. They are also lucky I've been able to do as much to enrich their environment

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:49 pm

Well, I must be coming round to the idea of them staying, I was thinking the other day that Lucy could do with a new heated bed, so thought I'd get her one for Christmas, then it dawned on me I should buy something for the girls for Christmas too! Going to get them a new bed, the igloo bed they don't use is new, the 3 they do use have been bought for previous cats, so it would be nice for them to have something of their own, and going to get Chanel a kickeroo. Mind you, they are going to get a new toy from my holiday too, the local hedgehog society do hand knitted catnip hedgehogs that they sell in a local pet shop, although they aren't that fussed with catnip. I just can't shake off that niggle, don't know if it is the thought of keeping them confined, or needing to adjust to the fact that I can't foster anymore.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:19 pm

I’ve been thinking about the girls while I’ve been away, as I’ve had them a year now, I was 95% sure about keeping them because I wasn’t sure they would adjust to new surroundings/people, just torn that I had promised Lucy that she would always be an only cat, but got home and my neighbour said she hadn’t been hissed at every day while I was away, yet I do, which has made me wonder if mine really is the best home for them – surely if she gets hissed at less than me, then Coco does have an issue with me, and she might settle better with someone else? She thinks I’m wrong, and said they are much more relaxed than when she looked after them overnight in June, but I’ve been hissed and growled at since getting back, although Chanel has just been her normal curious self.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Lilith » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:34 pm

Umm, I see your point, but I'm not sure. I've known belligerent cats belonging to friends and neighbours who haven't been as belligerent with me (I've known me called in to administer pills) and I feel sure it's unfamiliarity - a bit like a cat behaving itself when it goes to the vet, and, as they don't know the Worst, the vet and nurse don't get bitten.

The only exception was a Bengal cross (or should that be a cross Bengal) who once lived round the corner. Visiting, I petted Shakti as she lay on her cat tree. Her owners said that they always got bitten if they tried to pet her on her tree. Then I house-sat Shakti while they were away. It took her couple of days to decide I was stand-in slave ... and after that ... I got bitten :lol:

You've given Coco and Chanel a marvellous home all this while - wherever would they have been without you? They're incredibly lucky to have found someone with such patience and understanding :)

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Lilith » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:32 pm

Oh yes, and I read this to Molly this morning -

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/earthy-anecdotes

(And the Firecat brrrrissstled in the way.)

She hit me. Been sleeping on my bed for 7 years and she hit me. Typical :lol: :roll:

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:55 am

Yes, cat’s can be different with other people, but last time I was away, they were a lot worse with my neighbour, although it was only one night, so she probably didn’t interact with them much. Honestly, without me, they definitely would have been split up (they weren’t together at the rescue), Coco would definitely have been released as a feral, not sure what Chanel’s future would have been. Yesterday everytime she saw me she flew out into the catio, even at bedtime.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:37 pm

This might sound crazy, but could it be that Coco is more confident with you and so is more willing to stand up to you, hence the hissing, with a stranger should could be going into the hiding and being silent defense mode the same way an injured cat will go very placid and even purr as way of getting everyone to leave it alone. I only have to look at Freyja at the vets and the fear of being caged and among strangers just sends her quietly cowering, she has never lashed out at the vet or even at me when I switched her from one box to the other so the vet could work out her weight, try and pick her up any other time and I get lacerated.

I still think they are as well off with you as anywhere and as Coco isn't tearing the place apart, she is better off there than back on the streets, she seems to have accepted being inside even if she hasn't yet accepted human contact. Even separated Chanel would need a special home and one that could see past her appearance.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:26 am

Yes Ruth, she certainly has accepted living indoors, whether she will ever accept humans is an entirely different matter. I wish Lucy could be like that at the vets, unless I am there, there is very little they can do with her!

Had a chat with my neighbour on Sat, and her view is that yes, there is a chance she might relax more around someone else, but how are we going to find that better home? She thinks that mine is the only option for them, even if it isn’t the best, and that they are happy with restricted space due to their temperament. I had a good day with them yesterday, on Sat evening I told Coco it would be amazing if we could have one day without being hissed at – we nearly managed it, I only got hissed at one of the 6 times I went in, although she was a bit aggressive when taking treats off my hand. Had an interesting moment though, a friend came round who has seen them before, and is used to temperamental cats, she went toward them (they were both together) and Chanel hissed at her three times – I was so shocked, it takes a lot to make Chanel hiss, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard her hiss 3 times in as many minutes – and not little half hearted ones. Coco was a bit playful last night, but then Chanel kept rubbing her, so she walked away.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:37 pm

Chanel has been very purry this week, find it odd that she just lies on her own purring. She has been more playful since I got back too. I’ve attached a cute pic of her from the other day. Coco has been much better this week, still hissing, but engaging more, and she has been interested in toys, but Chanel pushes in and stops her. She does keep eyeing the door up though, which is a worry.
Patiently waiting r.jpg

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:49 pm

Had an interesting conversation with a neighbour who likes animals but not really a cat person, and she said something last night about the girls that I’m not sure I’ve considered before, I was saying about how I have always refused for them to be split up because of the bond they have, and she said that as Coco doesn’t like being touched, having Chanel around is her only way of having affection and being touched.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Lilith » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:58 pm

Yes, true enough!

Conversely I was once told by a fellow breeder that kittens could be so focused on their mothers that they didn't come into their own personalities until separated ... I did have a pair who were mutually absorbed like this, but the kitten was a casualty of a caesarean birth and too fragile, psychologically, to separate from her mother, a robust, placid girl. And I wanted to keep her anyway. I couldn't guarantee she'd settle in a new home and was afraid that her appearance might influence buyers, like Chanel. I like to think she was happier with us.

They're all different of course, but when you feel they're needy, you feel you have to give them what they need ...

Lovely pic of Chanel :)

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:48 pm

Well, I've had a very good week with the girls - Coco may be less hissy with my neighbour, but she has now started playing twice a day and if I sit down doing something, I do get stared at until I pick up her favourite toy, it's nice she's asking for playtime. One evening I nearly got a stroke of her tail, shame I was a bit too cautious, but she didn't seem too bothered. Another night I tried getting her to eat off my hand, she was more interested in the bowl, so I gently brushed against her cheek - 3 times! She hissed everytime, but didn't attack me and didn't stop what she was doing and run, so the trust is building. I think I still agree with my friend that this is their only option but not to stop looking in case something does come up for them.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Kay » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:57 pm

sounds like my two outdoor cats, Tonka and Titch - I have got to the stage of being able to put food down, and remove empty bowls, without either retreating from my hand, and I have tried the odd stroke when they are eating - they would rather I didn't, but are no longer afraid of me, just cautious

if Coco and Chanel have all they want any progress, or lack of, is not vital - I suppose the important thing is to be able to get them into a carrier if you have to

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:01 pm

Funnily enough I was thinking about if they needed vet treatment last night Kay, would need a trap at the moment, and not sure what a vet could do with them! In the beginning progress was vital for making them 'homeable', but now I'm not too fussed, they seem happy with what they have got, I've had a few sneaky strokes from Chanel too, especially the other day when I was trying to stop her pinching Coco's toy, touching her is a great way to make her move!

Playful Coco
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:41 pm

I have to admit my biggest problem with Freyja is getting her into a carrier for her boosters. It took a long time but she will now let me fuss her behind the ears and on the back of her neck as long as she is relaxed on the bed (if she wants fuss she can be very demanding, at other times one wrong look and she will take off), so from there I can normally scruff her and pick her up and put her in the carrier (thank goodness for top opening ones), get it wrong and it is a month or more before i can try again. Fortunately the vets are happy to see her in the carrier and give her a basic check over and her boosters with out having to take her out, she just freezes fortunately.

The hardest part is of course making sure that I'm relaxed when i go to get her, i normally have to spend at least 15 minutes doing calming exercises otherwise my body language will give the game away and she will take one look at me and run.

I've still got the scars from earlier this year when it didn't go to plan, two small round scars about an inch apart on my forearm, just one of the prices we pay.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:41 pm

Hmm, have had a text from one of our trustees asking to discuss the girls at the committee meeting on Tue - I need to let them know if I want to continue fostering them, in which case they will be advertised, or agree to adopt, in which case they want me to complete paperwork. I don't know if the manager forgot the conversation about them not being homeable and keeping them as long term foster cats, or if the trustees don't want that. I suppose I'll have to go for adopting, even with my reservations about that.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mayday21 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:24 pm

Hi Desley uuumm with the long-term fostering are you given any practical support? I’m fostering Pebbles but I have to provide food, flea/worm treatments. The only requisite is if she needs to see a vet I have to contact the president & if she says yes I go to the charity’s approved vet. LPs also has a Seniors Program where senior citizens have companion cats & the charity sees to flea/worming & vets but not food. Is this an avenue you could moot in order for Coco & Chanel can stay with you? I really think due to their life experiences, which we’re not familiar with, they need to stay with you & if deemed they be advertised, it needs to be a dual adoption to a very special person ... like you. In other words the status quo to remain. If it doesn’t need fixing leave it. Perhaps you could table CC posts of support. Keep us posted on outcome. Fusses to Coco Chanel from Vivian & The Famous Five from Oz

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:57 pm

Well, in theory, short term they provide everything, long term they just provide support if you need it vet wise, but I’ve not claimed for any litter since April, and apart from some food that has been donated at a time we had no other cats, I’ve never claimed for food for them. Vet wise I actually use the same vet as the charity, that’s how I knew about them. I’m just hoping the manager forgot the agreement we had for them being long term fosters due to their lack of suitability for homing and that I can persuade the trustee to maintain status quo. If I was forced, I would have to go with adopting to ensure they didn’t end up anywhere unsuitable, even though I do the majority of the home visits. Looking at this picture taken last night, I’m so glad I stuck to my guns about separating them, and they really do enjoy their home comforts.
Girls chilling.jpg

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Lilith » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:20 pm

Ha, been there done that, landed ... but aren't you glad, really? :)

Beautiful girls :D

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:35 pm

Those eyes are just saying ' Please don't send us back to be ferals, we really like the Great White Radiatior and Comfy Bed'.

The more i see the more convinced i am that they should be kept together either at yours or in that special home should one turn up.

No one could claim they are suffering from being kept in their room with you.

I've had Freyja over 3 and a half years and while she is rarely aggressive unless cornered she is still very wary. However if i am sat on the bed reading and Tiggy is on my knee she will come and be a real fusspot, lately when i've been sat on the sofa downstairs and Tiggy has come to sit on my lap Freyja has just started to come onto the Coffee table to have a fuss there, but one wrong move and she is off like she has been shouted at. Gaining their confidence isn't something that happens in weeks or months, it can take years, but each step is one closer, even if at some times it seems like one step forward two steps back, you just have to keep going with them and know that what you are doing is right.

In the end Coco and Chanel, like Freyja, are happy with their lot in life and that is what matters most. Give what fusses or treats you can to them from me.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mayday21 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:36 pm

Ahh that pic says it all as Ruth’s words do too!! They look so contented & they’re certainly beauties. Fusses to them Vivian

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