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06 March 2009 @ 06:11 pm
 
My flist is full of excellent advice! Thanks for your ideas, hugs and encouragement regarding Handsome Tom. Please know that I do not want to get rid of him. He chose us, and we accepted that charge, and I feel as if we must do all we can to honor it. And, of course, he's a very cool cat and I love him to bits. I just can't accept making my other cats miserable for his sake.

Since so many of you responded, and many of you had similar suggestions, I thought I'd answer in a general post rather than responding individually.

Getting another animal isn’t an option. We have four cats already. Though Esme is close to Tom’s age, she’s not keen on playing with him. He chases her, she freaks the hell out and runs away screaming. I’m fairly sure it’s that he’s such a big boy. He’s nigh on sixteen pounds; she’s about eight. Still, since the whole Tom-flinging-Jilly incident, Esme has been approaching HT several times a day, just to sniff noses, before bouncing away. That’s encouraging.

Human interaction is already in play. I play with Tom every day (plain white string is his favorite) in the hopes it will work of some of his boundless energy.

I’ve tried the pheromone diffusers. They did nothing. I’m considering giving the herbal drops a go, so thanks to all who pointed me in that direction!

For those who mentioned the claw-caps: do you put them on yourself, or does it require a vet visit? Not that I’d hesitate should it be the latter. I’m just curious. Also, how long do they last?

A cat pen sounds like a good idea, but there’s no feasible point to install one. Letting him out on his own isn’t going to happen. We live by a reasonably busy road whereon very few drivers obey the speed limit. I’ve seen far too many animals - wild and domestic - meet their fate on this road. HT himself nearly ran in front of my car once. In addition, I was taking him to vet, or stopping in on his behalf, nearly every month when he was living outdoors. Worming, flea and tick meds, bites and scratches, an abcess, follow up visits... not to mention the cost of antibiotics. Still... I wonder if HT would let me put a kitty harness on him? I could take him for walks/runs around the yard. Hmmm.

Meds are an extreme measure, declawing even more so. Now, I grew up with declawed kitties, none of whom ever experienced any personality changes after the surgery. Even so, I would not consider doing that to Tom - nor to any kitties that come into this house - unless there were absolutely no other options. At this point, there are, and I’m going to explore all of them. I’m going to drop by the vet’s office sometime next week and see whether I can just chat with him or if I need to set up an appointment.

In other kitty news, Jilly and Isabeau have spent most of the day in hiding and have refused to use the litter boxes downstairs. I’ve had to bring one into the living room, but that can only be a temporary measure. They did come out to eat, which is good, but then ran back to their respective hidey-holes.

Shortly thereafter, Tom tried to go after Jilly and would not be tempted away with playtime. He did, however, sleep curled up at my side last night - all night. When I woke up, he stretched, looked at me, and began purring. Oh, and when I grabbed a quick nap yesterday, Esme slept on my hip and didn’t leave - though she did growl - when HT pushed his way under the covers. Again: encouraging.

*sigh* look at that face!

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Sleepy Tom is even sweeter.

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Just because she's so ridiculously adorable:

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I feel: hopefulhopeful
 
 
 
pheylanpheylan on March 6th, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
You can buy claw caps at any of the big pet stores or you can order them online. The brand we use is called Soft Claws. You may have to trim his claws first depending on how long they are, then you put a spot of glue in the cap (glue comes with the package) and press it onto the claw. It will last as long as the outer sheath of his claw does, so expect to be replacing them at odd intervals. We use them on two of our cats and - although they don't like the indignity of being held still for the sheathing process - we have never noticed them having any problems because of it. You may want to enlist Don's help so one of you holds the boy while the other gives him the new press on nails. BJ and I work as a team and can get them capped pretty quickly.