Bringing Home Another Cat

Our Cat Clementine

My son found her in the woods after a violent windstorm ripped through our neighborhood. She must have been terrified, huddled all alone in the foliage trying to seek safety.

The next morning my son brought her in the kitchen and held her up for me to see. “Isn’t she cute? I found her in the woods by Kroger. Can we keep her?”
I stood back and gasped.

What in the world is he trying to do to me? My husband would kill me if I brought another cat into the house. Oh yes she was cute alright. With those huge green eyes and what-am-I-doing-here dazed look on her face, I was immediately taken with her.

She looked to be about 4 months old

Her fur was long and mangy and I was certain she had fleas or some other disease that she could pass onto our cat Sam. And Sam wouldn’t take too kindly to having to share anything with another cat. She was the queen of the house and wouldn’t put up with being dethroned by a stray kitten from who knows where.

“She’s adorable, but your dad will freak out if he sees her and Sam won’t be too happy either. Hide her in your room. Let me figure out the best way to handle this.”

I knew it was a long shot

I wanted to convince my husband that we should keep her. She survived that horrible storm to be found by my son. What are the odds of that? I felt she was meant to be with us.

The next morning my son and I cautiously presented the kitten to him in the kitchen. We were both so eager to have him like her. “Please dad. Can we keep her? She needs a home. She’s so cute.”

My husband looked at her and shook his head. He threw up his hands in resignation. “No. We don’t need another cat. One’s enough. Find her another home.”

I figured that would be his reaction. I didn’t argue. I knew that would do no good. I would bide my time and wait for him to change his mind.

“Okay. Fair enough. We’ll find her another home.” My son balked at us. He was not happy.

I put my hand on his shoulder and sneaked him a quick wink. He knew what that meant. Mom was going to make sure the kitten stayed with us.

It’s been 12 years since that morning in the kitchen

It didn’t take long for my husband to become attached to Clementine. My son named her Clementine and it fits her perfectly. We took her to her first vet visit and she did not have fleas or any other disease. It was determined that she most likely is a Maine Coon.

Sam managed to tolerate her, but made it clear from day one that she is the boss. Clementine humbly accepted her place in the household. They both managed to have a cordial friendship. I believe Sam loved Clementine more than she let on.

Sam passed in 2013 at 16 years old and is surely missed by Clementine. We all miss her. Today Clementine is the big sister to our 3 year old beagle-mix Cam and she lets him know she is the queen of the house. He respects that.

Every morning my husband sings a sweet little song to Clementine and gives her a treat. He tells her how pretty she is and she just eats up the attention. They have a beautiful bond. I know he does not regret allowing her to stay with us 12 years ago.

Contributed by R. Cristine

Pets? Work? Coronavirus?

The pandemic has created a lot of headaches since it arrived in full force back in March. Yet one of the major unintended benefits of us all spending more time at home is more quality time with our pets — music to our ears!

A recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Zoetis Petcare found that 70% of polled pet parents feel they know their animals better since the pandemic. On top of that, over 81% of respondents said the quarantine period made them feel closer to their pet than ever before.

The survey aimed to learn more about how new and seasoned pet owners are feeling and what their experiences have been like at home with their pets.

A little extra playtime

This doesn’t come as a major surprise given the current work/home climate. Humans and their pets will inevitably collide in some form or fashion during pandemic times. It’s good news it appears to be a mostly positive collision!

Pets are certainly loving their extra human time as this provides an extra opportunity to beg for a walk outside, game of tug of war, or snuggle on the couch. Can you blame them?

The cutest pesky friends

As someone who relies heavily on Zoom meetings these days, I can say it has added a bit of flare being able to meet my coworkers’ pets during our video calls.

It has also lead to more casual banter and allowed me to learn more about a person’s personality by how they interact with their pets. It’s interesting how soft a person can become swooning over their precious pet!

A recent example of how a pet can take over a Zoom meeting occurred in the UK between members of Parliament. The meeting inadvertently showcased one of the member’s cats as it waved its tail around in the video’s foreground. This brought about smiles and a few laughs to the rest of the members on the call.

Pets make our lives that much better

It is no secret that pets help us cope during stressful times. They bring a therapeutic sense to our homes and offer a great companionship to our lives. It’s one reason why pet adoptions are up dramatically and some pet shelters across the U.S. are even experiencing empty occupancy.

Working from home allows the ability for you and your new pet to gain rapport more quickly than if you are out of the home working in a more traditional manner. As studies have shown, the more time you spend with your pet the more he or she will trust you.

So, if nothing else, COVID-19 has allowed us the great opportunity to better understand our furry friends and to provide each other with comfort and love (and plenty of cuddles!) while we maneuver through these unprecedented times.

Contributed by Michael Thomssen


The First 3 Things To Do When Your Pet Goes Missing

It is an unfortunate reality that from time to time our beloved pets go missing. One of the worst things about owning a pet is that, despite our unwavering loyalty to our fur babies, from time to time they go missing. Whether your dog likes to roam, or your cat in heat wanders too far, the tips for bringing them home are mostly the same. Fret not; here are 3 important tips that will help you find your lost pet.

Tip 1: Ask your neighbors to check areas you don’t have access to.

More often than not, a pet is simply hanging out in an area not too far from home. Ask your neighbors if they have seen your pet in their yard or anywhere else nearby. If they have not, ask them if they will check other off-limit areas for you. This could include their garage, tool shed, under their porch or any other area on their property you do not have access to. This is especially important during cooler winter months as your pet may be seeking warmth. Imagine that; your pet hanging out in a nice cozy spot while you run around like a lost puppy trying to find them!  Be sure to contact local vets and animal shelters to see if anyone has turned your fur baby in. Leave your pet’s information and your contact information while you are there.

Tip 2:  Coax your pet back home with treats, food, or toys.

Many people underestimate the effectiveness of simply squeaking your pet’s favorite toy or treat pouch.  Dogs and cats can hear much better than humans and often follow sounds that are of interest to them. While tempting a dog or cat with the scent of their favorite food is a great way to get them back home, it is usually a longer process. If they do not respond to hearing familiar noises, place some food and treats in an easy to see spot. Be sure to keep an eye out so they don’t just eat the food and take off again!

Tip 3:  Make a digital flyer and start spreading it on social media. 

If one thing spreads like wildfire on social media it is posts involving pets.  No seriously, the engagement rate is through the roof.  Getting the news of your lost pet out on Facebook will help local neighbors become aware of the situation and increase the odds of bringing them home. Make a lost pet flyer and start posting to local lost and found pages in your area and sharing with friends and family. A little digital word of mouth goes a really long way in the 21st century.

Losing your pet may be a frightening experience but with a little patience and clear thinking, it is very likely you will get them home safe and sound. Hopefully these 3 tips will steer you towards your furry reunion!