Two weeks ago, I met my dear friend Evelyn’s foster dog, Lakota, during our monthly Game Night. (Sorry – I meant to get this post up earlier but grad school got in the way!) I don’t have a ton of experience with German Shepherds but I think that Lakota is a rather handsome fellow. From what Evelyn told me, he was found in a sad, emaciated state but had been quickly gaining weight in her care. He has also been neutered.
During the course of Game Night, Lakota showed everyone that he was an exceptionally GOOD DOG and very much people-focused. He knows how to “sit” on command and apparently “shake”!
He didn’t bark at all but it was obvious he was happiest sitting beside someone. (Whenever he did, he was quite the gentleman.) Throughout the evening I was rather distracted because I wanted to pet this handsome boy all the time, especially since he kept giving me big sad “PLEASE PET ME” eyes!
Don’t worry – I petted him plenty, gave him chest and belly rubs (he appears to be a bit ticklish), and can confirm that he is indeed smoochable.
Lakota is available for adoption through Austin Pets Alive! You can find more information about him here.
I have news! Mau is no longer our foster cat. After three months of fostering, we found him a loving home!
Drum roll please!
After seriously considering the commitment of another cat, Mau’s needs and happiness (he really loves Aaron), how he fit our home, and that he ultimately got along with Garrus and Charlie after an adjustment period, we decided to adopt him! We are officially a three cat household with an established clowder – and three foster fails (or would that be wins?)!
Cats will find the most interesting ways to amuse themselves – and often end up making their humans chuckle too. Occasionally all three cats will have the zoomies, though it is rare for all three to have the zoomies at the same time. During a decent scamper session, there is usually quite a bit of jumping onto and sliding on top of the ottoman. Apparently Mau discovered another use for the crocheted blanket after his slide made it askew: it makes a hiding spot!
“You can’t see me! I’m hiding!” (No, not really. I could see your fluffy tail sticking out from beneath the blanket.)
“Where should I scamper to next?”
Do your cats ever get the zoomies? What happens? Do your other pets join in or is it a solo excursion? Share in the comments below!
After Mau had his surgery, we noticed he had loose stool. At first we thought it might have simply been from all the medications he was given from his surgery and/or as a side effect from the two rounds of antibiotics he had been on prior to his surgery. But it didn’t go away and progressed to diarrhea. It’s no fun for anyone to wake up at 5am every day to a cat having loud-squirting diarrhea. Then one or both of us would have to get up to make sure there wasn’t a mess to clean up. Losing sleep due to cat-related reasons is par for the course but still. Sometimes he vomited as well.
We suspected that the diarrhea was due to the antibiotics and perhaps compounded by Mau essentially transitioning himself from wet to dry food. We added Fortiflora probiotics into his food. That helped a wee bit but he continued to leave sad stools in the Cat Genie. Fortunately his appetite was undiminished and he acted normally, so there were no changes in his behavior or apparent weight loss. But we were concerned and notified APA. Last Friday, Aaron took him to the vet while I stayed at home and worked on homework. Apparently the techs were amazed that Mau hadn’t been adopted yet and fawned over our handsome boy.
Results: Mau gained 1 lb (yay!) and the vet suspected that he might have inflammatory bowel disease, the same thing Boudicca had. We’re treating him with steroids, to which he is responding. We’ll see if his diarrhea stops. If he really has IBD, his owner will need to know and formulate a plan of treatment with a vet so Mau’s quality of life remains consistent. I’m happy to learn that he gained a little weight – he know weighs slightly over 10 lbs. His hips are still bony so he needs to fill out more. When at a healthy weight and filled out, Mau will be a big boy! He’s taller than Garrus and has a generally bigger frame than either of our tabbies do, so with that splendid tail, he’ll be a sight to behold.
We’ve had Mau for almost three months now. About a dozen people have reached out to Austin Pets Alive expressing an interest in him, though several have not responded after an initial email. I’ve exchanged emails with a few and it was by mutual agreement that Mau was probably not a good fit for that particular person and home. (That’s OK. Not every pet fits every person.) Two people have met Mau in person but the main issue there is that he becomes Mr. Shy and hides under the bed whenever new people come to the house! It’s hard to convince someone that he is a lap cat when he’s nowhere to be seen and requires a lot of coaxing to come out.
After having Mau in our house for some time, we’ve been able to assess a few of his needs. If we were to draw up an ideal home for him, this is what we would want:
Only cat home. While Mau is not overtly aggressive and seems to like other cats, he doesn’t grasp the concept of territoriality and gets in other cats’ faces when trying to play. He also steals food and butts in when another cat is receiving affection because he wants to be the center of attention. Garrus, being passive, is rather tolerant of these faux pas while Charlie does not like another cat being more intense than he is. Other cats could construe Mau’s behavior as being dominant, which, coupled with his size and clumsy manners, could lead to conflict. Furthermore, we have no idea how Mau would react to a dog or how a dog would react to him.
Homebody. Mau would definitely do best with an owner that is home a good deal of the time. He craves human companionship and demands regular lap sessions and snuggles. Mau is the type of cat who will happily chill on the bed while you fold laundry just to be near you. He also enjoys toys and playing with the red dot, something that involves his human’s participation. Other cats are more independent and self-sufficient. Mau is not one of those cats; he’s a cuddle bug. While he is a color-point, he doesn’t demonstrate a lot of the traditional Siamese-y traits like being exceptionally vocal, extroverted, busy, precocious, and social. Instead Mau is low-key and selective but definitely a lap cat.
Quiet home. Our home is a pretty chill environment. The most exciting thing that may happen is when we get all three cats to chase the red dot in laps across the house for a sustained period of time. We are definitely not the life of the party and our cats like it that way. Mau falls in that camp as well. Mau is not a fan of new people streaming in and out and would not like being in a loud, high-traffic, bustling house. With that in mind, Mau would probably not like being around small children. While he might do better with teenagers if they are respectful, Mau still might not do well with lots of noise and activity that often accompanies a house full of people. Because he can be timid and skittish, I suspect he would spend a lot of time hiding and being unhappy.
Routine. This goes with #3. We have a predictable routine, something that works well for all three cats. They are most insistent about getting their meals at the same time every day and don’t care about weekends. I’m not kidding about Mau wanting regularly scheduled lap time and it is a common occurrence for Aaron to wake up with Mau sprawled on him. Mau is most persuasive with those huge Frank Sinatra blue eyes. You can’t say no to him. Then you can’t get up from the couch for a while because you have a sweet furball sprawled on your lap.
Experienced cat owner. This would be a definite plus. Mau, now toothless, has had a rough life and may develop health issues as he gets older. While Mau is certainly cuddly with certain people, he can be very shy at first, so those expecting instant gratification might be disappointed. While he is a genuinely sweet cat, he doesn’t fit every household.
Crazy cat man: extra brownie points. We’re not sure if Mau truly prefers men or if he’s simply enamored with Aaron. (He does look up at Aaron adoringly and wants to bro down with him early in the morning.) If the former is the case, Mau will be one happy kitty. In the same vein, Mau may be a one-person cat. He appears to be most selective.
It’s hard to believe that Mau has been with us for two months now. When we brought him home in late June, he was timid and certainly not feeling his best given the advanced state of her periodontal disease. In the Pflugerville Animal Shelter, prior to his transfer to Austin Pets Alive! and foster care, he was withdrawn, gaunt, not eating much, and spending most of his time in a plastic bin in his cat condo.
He just looked so sad, stressed out, and in need of serious TLC. Although volunteers regularly loved on him and brushed him, his coat was in a sorry state because he did not groom himself very well.
We breathed a huge sigh of relief when Mau started eating wet food and ate with relish! Because he was underweight, we gave him additional small meals. What does it say about our house that two out of three cats need to eat like Hobbits in order to get to a healthy weight?
When Aaron and I spent time with him, we were nevertheless struck by how sweet he was. With photos like this, it was quite apparent that we had a most handsome boy on our hands too.
One month later, he showed us how much he loved human company and that he was thoroughly down with snuggles. Lap time is an imperative!
After he had his long-awaited and much-needed dental surgery, he started to blossom. While sick, he demonstrated little interest in playing (understandable) but once he started feeling better, we caught him batting crinkle balls and springs around the house. He hopped into boxes and raced up the cat tree, unceremoniously unseating Charlie from his favorite platform.
Our evenings are MC’d by this lovey boy. Isn’t he cute? He greets us with an enthusiastic and demanding “MEH!” and purrs when he receives the attention he wants. And he’s charmingly fluffy too!
Mau is a pretty cute cat, though I might be biased. It’s now been about 10 days since his dental surgery and being toothless hasn’t negatively affected his quality of life.
“This bed is so cozy!”
Aaron and I have noticed that he has become more playful and bats both crinkle balls and plastic springs around the house. Mau’s favorite toy might be the laser pointer, however, as he chases after the red dot with more gusto and stamina than either Garrus or Charlie. It’s highly amusing and delightful to watch all three cats skitter about the house trying to pounce on the elusive red dot. If I can, I’ll record a video of a play session and share it here on Purry Home Companion!
“Mama, I found a box! It’s such a nice box.”
Look at these handsome boys! I couldn’t resist snapping a photo when I saw them lined up like this.
Garrus and Mau demonstrate their nightly ottoman sprawl. Mau recently adopted this habit of flaunting his fluffy belly like this. It’s not a trap. I repeat: it’s not a trap!
Last week was a rather hectic. I was out of town for several days, and during that time Austin Pets Alive! contacted me to schedule Mau’s dental surgery. Aaron dropped him off on Thursday evening and we picked him up the following day. All things considered, Mau’s surgery went well. Due to the severity of his dental disease and multiple abscesses, all of his teeth were extracted. Now we have a toothless cat!
When we brought Mau home, we gave him some peace and quiet by putting him in Aaron’s office for a few hours so that he could get his bearings. He walked a little unsteadily and seemed subdued, which was totally understandable, so we kept an eye on him. At the same time, he was not interested in having lap time or a snuggle.
Mau insisted on claiming the cat tree cubby as his R&R spot and being a hidey cat. Charlie seemed to be thrown off by Mau being so close to “his” spot on the platform above the cubby.
Mau seems to be recovering well after his surgery (or weird alien abduction, as it must have felt like to him). We’re continuing to give him wet food but no longer with antibiotics or other foul-tasting meds, which makes him a happy boy. We think that the antibiotics caused diarrhea, so we are giving him probiotics (Fortiflora) mixed into his food to counter that. Although he’s supposed to be on wet food for the immediate future, he still beelines toward kibbles and tries to eat them whenever possible. We separate Mau from Charlie and Garrus at feeding times or else everyone attempts to eat all other food except their own!
Mau appears to be feeling better and hides less in the cubby. Now we can all adore his handsome face!
On Wednesday morning, we received an unwelcome present: cat barf. Mau had puked overnight. Sometimes cats puke and they occasionally cough up hairballs as well. It’s gross and you have to clean it up. It’s the unpleasant part of cat ownership. If it’s a one-time or occasional thing (especially with hairballs with long-haired breeds), it’s not usually anything to worry about. But Mau puked up his breakfast, and vomited three more times after that over the course of the morning. Normally he has no trouble chowing down on the wet food we give him. His stool was also looser than usual, another indicator that his tummy was unhappy. We have no idea why we became sick, especially since he’s been sequestered from Garrus and Charlie.
I emailed the Austin Pets Alive clinic, described the symptoms, and asked if we should bring him in for an appointment. The answer was yes, although Mau was not happy about this decision. That afternoon we put him in the carrier without much trouble but once inside he started crying. He has a most pitiful mew. In the clinic lobby he wanted everyone to know his name most emphatically. In the exam room Mau received intravenous fluids, since he was dehydrated from vomiting, and an injection of Cerenia to him less nauseated and hopefully stop the vomiting. We were sent home with a regimen. We’ll keep a close eye on Mr. Mau to check his progress.
A few hours after we returned home, Mau appeared to have decompressed enough to come out and ask for cuddles. He climbed into Aaron’s ask and was positively delighted to be brushed. There was much showing off of his tail, licking, and air biscuits.