Mia - a new chapter begins

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ThorpeDave
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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:32 pm

I have a degree of understanding for the blanket ban but also concern that cats are individuals with individual needs. There is of course, the potential owners who are prepared to go the extra mile to keep their cats safe.

Sadly, there are no shortage of cats that need rescuing and could easily have a dozen if I wanted to :(

We went to see Jasper this afternoon and he sat on my knee which made my day! We did not want to leave and din't until he finally got off!

We took a blanket for him so that he will have a "connection" when he comes to us. Hendrix and Mia's scent was also on it and he showed considerable interest.

A date of May 11th has been fixed so he will be 2 days shy of 9 weeks old when he comes to us. He now weighs exactly 1kg but will not be neutered, chipped or even had his first vaccinations. Hopefully I will get an appoint for the same day and get the first one done but it will mean that we have to isolate him for a short time.

I don't like caging animals but sometimes it is necessary for their own protection.

Jasper will sleep in a dog crate certainly for a few days until we see how he is with Mia and particularly Hendrix who probably does not know his own strength!

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by booktigger » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:41 pm

I'm shocked a rescue would home without at least the first vacc, will he have seen a vet?

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Lilith » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:42 pm

Aww, congratulations - and roll on Happy Jasper-Day :D

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:44 am

booktigger wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:41 pm
I'm shocked a rescue would home without at least the first vacc, will he have seen a vet?
It certainly would have been my preference for Jasper to have had his first vaccinations . We will be seeing what we can do between now and then ;)

Regards

Dave

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:35 am

To confirm - Jasper WILL be having his first vaccinations and WILL also be seeing our vet the day we pick him up ;)

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by booktigger » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:38 am

Am glad he is having his first vacc, but seeing your vet on the day you adopt him might be too much stress for him, I'd let him settle for a few days first

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Wed May 01, 2019 1:55 pm

This will be the final post in this chapter of Mia's life (except for responses of course)

As I write this final post, Mia is curled up in the bedroom doorway and Hendrix is sprawled out 2 feet behind her. For me, that is a great success.

It is without doubt, that Mia and Hendrix have had very difficult starts in their respective lives and we have shed tears of sadness and happiness as they have evolved to become contented and loving pets.

Mia is now almost 5 years old, was rescued at 12 weeks old born to a feral mum. She was never picked up or fussed and sadly strayed at one year old due to being bullied by another cat in the house.

After living rough for 18 months, she appeared in our garden and we started to feed her and after a few short weeks, Mia walked into our house and settled down. On the same day, a long time stray, we called Stealth, moved into our outdoor cat shelter. Mia was smitten by Stealth and they had a deep bond. It is possible that Stealth was Mia's father but we have no way of telling.

Stealth was neutered a few weeks later and also moved in full time. Sadly, he never recovered from being Neutered and passed away suffering from Kidney failure in July 2018.

We were all totally devastated and Mia was totally lost without him.

In the early hours of the morning, a couple of weeks after Stealth had passed away, we were woken by Mia crying. I called her name and she came into the bedroom. My wife instinctively put her hand down and Mia enjoyed the first fuss of her life.

We can only assume that she needed re-assuring and comforting and we were happy to oblige. On the hour, every hour she returned for another fuss and this went on for several weeks. Mia, however would only be fussed with my wife lying on the bed and ONLY on her terms.

When Hendrix arrived in August of the same year - more in a minute - my wife ensured that Mia was fussed everyday whenever she wanted it. At this time, no one else was to be awarded the same privilege.

Hendrix's arrival initially was welcomed by Mia. she had spent the first year of her life with her Mum and brothers and sisters but was always shy and timid.

After a few weeks, Mia was happy to play with Hendrix and teach him how to behave, groom himself - and even cleaned him up a few times too. Unfortunately this did not last as Hendrix was growing rapidly, manic and his hormones kicked it. Mia started to back of and Hendrix became more and more frustrated that she was ignoring him.

Neutering Hendrix had no affect on his behavior but we finally discovered what his problem was and he started to calm down.

We had always played with Hendrix but was advised to try new things with him, especially when he was stalking and pouncing on Mia. Hendrix did not respond to this BUT, expectantly, Mia did. Mia's confidence has grown considerably and she is coping with Hendrix for the most part and is play openly by herself and with is. Her fussing has become more enjoyable and she now has granted permission for all the family to fuss and stroke her.

Mia is now a fully fledged family pet but, we expect, her development will continue in the weeks and months to come.

It has taken nearly 2 years for Mia to change from a timid frightened cat who had had no experience with human affection to where she is today. It has been difficult and at times heartbreaking but we have never given up on her and we love her even more each day.

HENDRIX

Hendrix was born in June 2018 and was the weakest and smallest of the litter. His mum had been producing kittens at a high rate of knots with her owner doing nothing to prevent her from getting pregnant.

At 3 weeks old, Hendrix was rejected by his mum and he was briefly fed on cows milk and wheat-a-bix by his owner. Finally his owner decided to "get rid" which is when someone stepped in and took Hendrix and one of his brothers away.

Hendrix spent a couple of weeks with one of my wife's colleagues who managed to clean him up and get him onto kitten food. Their cat, however took great exception to him and they decided to re home him.

After visiting the vets for his first vaccinations, he was brought to us to see if we were interested - and stayed!

We had thought about getting a kitten after we had lost Stealth as Mia was terribly lost without him. We thought that a kitten would be our best option and while Hendrix was exploring our house we suddenly realized Mia was sitting in the corner absolutely mesmerized by him - so he stayed.

Hendrix settled quickly and bonded with me instantly. It only took a couple more days before Hendrix and Mia tentatively making contact.

Mia has always been a quiet reserved young lady but Hendrix was a nut case! within a week he had jumped off a 7ft high cat tree and hurt himself requiring the attention of a vet and a couple of days later he leapt the full flight of the stairs in what was to become a "trademark" approach to Mia - she id not like it!

Hendrix was a frequent visitor to the vets for worming and vaccinations and every time we saw a vet we raised a concern about his behavior. Cats are well known for their mad 10 minutes, but Hendrix was a mad 10 hours and often collapsed panting with exhaustion.

The vets always checked him over and said he was health and declared "he is a kitten - kittens have a lot of energy - he will grow out of it"

We were not convinced.

when Hendrix arrived he was screaming when he got in his tray and was clearly having problems "going". We changed him from his main brand wet kitten food to grain freed 100% natural. Within a matter of days the screams from the litter tray declined and poo changed from hard rabbit dropping to er, poo! He continued however to snack on main brand dry kitten food.

As he started to grow (rapidly) his behavior got worse and worse and at 16 weeks we thought his hormones were kicking in as Mia was getting less and less happy with him and stopped playing.

The vet confirmed that he was ready to be neutered but I could not get him in for several weeks despite my pleads. We finally changed vets and he was neutered at 20 weeks.

When collecting him we were told the usual - keep him calm he is likely to be sore and a bit groggy.

when we got him home we left him in his carrier until he started to scream and he tore through the house for the following 3 hours. Crazy cat.

His follow-up 2 days later showed that he had a haematoma and was treated and checked weekly - at no charge (impressed) Again we raised a concern that he was on the go for hours and hours but still no difference with the response.

by now, Mia had backed off completely and we were getting very concerned for her. As she had been bullied out of her previous home we naturally thought that this may be happening again and she would once again stray.

However we saw no "aggression" in either cats general approach to each other and Mia continued to greet Hendrix in a very positive way - only to get a paw round her neck for her consideration.

When Hendrix was next due to be seen for his now quarterly worming I asked if the vet new a behaviorist they could recommend. As it happens there was a one qualified at the practice so he was booked in to see her.

Hendrix was wormed and thoroughly checked over by the vet who despaired he was very healthy, no problems. Moving onto his behavior, the vet recommended changing the way in which we play with him particularly when he started to show unwanted attention towards Mia.

finally she asked what we were feeding him on and we told her grain free wet food and some dry kitten food for snacking. She immediate suggested changing the dry to something "more natural"

What a difference. Within a week of changing Hendrix's dry food to a 100% "natural" grain free he started to calm down. His mad 10 hours had turned into a mad 30 minutes although still VERY mad he was finally changing. Not only is he a lot calmer his growth accelerated and in particular, his muscle development.

at 10 months he saw the same vet again who declared that he was in immaculate condition with a full set of adult teeth and very prominent muscle development - but yes, he is a very large kitten!

There is one very sad aside to this. Hendrix was the runt of the litter, the smallest and weakest and rejected by his mum. We have heard in the last few days that all Hendrix's brothers and sisters are no longer with us with them all losing their lives to digestive system disorders. Hendrix's mum also lost her life - pregnant again - after being involved in an RTA. We did not know the owner at all but wish more could have been done for Hendrix's mum and his siblings.

While Mia and Hendrix are now getting closer and closer, Hendrix still has his moments and still wants to rough and tumble with Mia - she will not have this however and we feel that Hendrix simply did not have a childhood. We are going to rectify this and Hendrix will shortly have a playmate in the form of Jasper who was born in a rescue center but has developed very well and is very playful while at the same time loves his mum. Jasper is also a big boy!

Jasper, unlike Mia and Hendrix, has had a "normal" upbringing. We are hoping that he will unite Mia and Hendrix by providing a playmate for Hendrix while loving cuddles with Aunt Mia.

But, then again, they are cats, so who knows!

Thanks again to all those who have offered advise and support over the past 8 months. At time it has been difficult and we greatly appreciate your advise and comments.

Regards

Dave

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by bobbys girl » Sat May 04, 2019 8:23 am

Thanks for bringing us up to date. It is good to hear they are both doing so well. Please don't stop updating, perhaps just start a new thread? :)

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Ruth B » Sat May 04, 2019 9:32 am

Thanks for the update and like Bobby's Girl, I'm looking forward to hearing (and seeing) what Chapter 3 brings.

What you say about his siblings does make me wonder if there was a genetic disorder in the family which lead to all the problems, Hendrix was so lucky to find you and thank you for working so hard to get to the bottom of the problem (no pun intended) and give him the life he deserves.

I do wish people would get their cats spayed and neutered, if his Mum had already produced one litter with problems there was a chance that the next litter would have similar issues. No cat, even one kept by a registered breeder, should be expected to have litter after litter of kittens. Sorry to have gone off on a bit of a rant, but it is something I feel strongly about and it isn't aimed at you, but so much suffering could have been prevented if Hendrix Mum had been spayed.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Sat May 04, 2019 5:07 pm

bobbys girl wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:23 am
Thanks for bringing us up to date. It is good to hear they are both doing so well. Please don't stop updating, perhaps just start a new thread? :)
Yes a new thread will be started next week.

Like the first 2 chapter, it will focus on Mia as she was the first with many problems particularly associated with bullying cats and the fact that she was very uncomfortable with humans.

The latter point has changed and her socialization has been a major challenge and brilliant progress has been made.

this last week has seen more changes in her.

1. at breakfast time, she waits for me to sit on the floor before she will eat. she has her back to me so must trust me ?? I also think that I am - in some way - providing her with protection

2. I have finally groomed Mia! Hendrix loves being groomed and always DEMANDS it when I go and get dressed in the morning and when we go to bed at night. Mia would often come upstairs and watch but ran when I offered to groom her. A couple of days ago I was stroking her and just picked up the palm bristle brush and she really liked it - until she realised what I was doing ;) But she was back 10 minutes later for more and now gets groomed every day - and her coat is much better for it.

3. fussing Mia is with us sitting on the floor but she will now put her front paws on our lap to be fussed. Will we see her lying on our lap one day?

We live in hope

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Sat May 04, 2019 7:03 pm

Ruth B wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 9:32 am

What you say about his siblings does make me wonder if there was a genetic disorder in the family which lead to all the problems, Hendrix was so lucky to find you and thank you for working so hard to get to the bottom of the problem (no pun intended) and give him the life he deserves.
Impossible to tell really

What we do no for sure is that there was absolutely nothing right and it is quite remarkable that he has survived and turned into a very athletic large healthy kitten.

1. Hendrix's owner was in a very bad place themselves and was simply not in a position to care for the cats that lived with him. Alcohol dependent he could not look after himself properly - let alone ensure that his cats were being adequately carded for.

2. Although not proved, one of the kittens from the previously litter was probably Hendrix's father so there was probably a degree of inbreeding

3. Hendrix's mum was constantly getting pregnant and - coupled with a poor level of care - was most likely weak and simply could not produce healthy kittens

4. Hendrix was the smallest an most feeble of the litter and was rejected by his mum to give the stronger ones a better chance - simply maternal instinct I guess

5. from 3 weeks old Hendrix was fed on wheetabix and cows milk - absolutely noting right that whatsoever.

6. Hendrix was put on solids at a very early age and denied the best food for him - mother's milk or formula

7. Was he premature - we siply do not have a clue as his mum never saw a vet - well until she was picked up off the road and wrapped in a towel :(

It was only when the owner treated to drown him that someone thankfully stepped in and got him cleaned up and brought him to us 2 weeks later.

He was tiny and clearly having difficulty with his digestive system. He had only been with a matter of minutes when he went into the litter tray and simply screamed. He was clearly finding it painful and what he was producing was very hard and tiny pellets.

In many respects it was him that told us what he needed as he would instantly go to Mia's grain free food rather than a main brand kitten food.

His health certainly improved very quick when we was moved onto grain free wet kitten food but we continued with the main brand dry food which he loved and snacked on at night - that turned out to be a mistake and has had a significant impact on Mia too.

Within 2 weeks of arriving with us we were raising concerns about his manic behavior. It wasn't until he was 7 months old that a different vet suggested changing his dry food. We have not looked back. He is so much calmer now and his physical development has gone from strength to strength.

While Hendrix has grown to the peak of physical fitness we are still convinced that he has not matured as a cat and missed the social development as a direct result of being separated from his Mum and siblings at such an early age. This is one of the reasons why Jasper is coming to live with us and having watched Jasper's development from the day he was born we are even more convinced now that Hendrix's has a lot more to learn.

When Jasper was 5 weeks old, he was washing himself and cleaning his bum! Hendrix was 12 weeks old before he even started washing himself and that was down to Mia.
54354348_633104797102709_7329328537771442176_n.jpg

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Sun May 05, 2019 3:44 pm

Ooops - that was the wrong photo!
DSCI0066.jpg

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Ruth B » Sun May 05, 2019 4:31 pm

Two photos to admire instead of one, that is the type of mistake I can appreciate, and he is just as gorgeous in both.

My musing over genetics and his problems are just that, musings, rhetoric mainly for my own sake. In the end it doesn't matter, he is neutered and even if there is a problem at genetic level it can't be passed on. With you looking after him I'm sure he will live a long a, happy and healthy life.

Looking forward to seeing chapter three.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Sun May 05, 2019 4:46 pm

Ruth B wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 4:31 pm

My musing over genetics and his problems are just that, musings, rhetoric mainly for my own sake. In the end it doesn't matter, he is neutered and even if there is a problem at genetic level it can't be passed on. With you looking after him I'm sure he will live a long a, happy and healthy life.
It was a very good question and made me think as we obviously do not what the future will bring.

Having written it all down, I have come to the conclusion that it was probably poor development due to over breeding, poor nutrition and poor health care.

Getting Hendrix onto quality cat food solved his physical problems out very quickly but his dibbling were still being fed rubbish with mothers milk probably very poor.

they were all covered in fleas and full of worms so infections and god knows what will have all contributed to a lack of proper development.

We and the vets are more than happy with his development and general health now but we all recognize that his social and emotional development still need some work - enter Jasper!

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