Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Kitty Tatt - Pet Project

Photo by Mr. "Angel Scribe"
Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe" gives valuable tips on how to train and ready a homeless stray to become a loving, adoptable pet.


If you are looking for a warm fuzzy pet tale with a happy ending, this is not it!  The reality is that life is difficult for many cats and dogs!

Last summer when a neighbor's cat was in heat she attracted several male cats who never left the neighborhood thereby leaving two of these cats homeless and starving.

Homeless pets become afraid of everything!  Their survival depends on alertness. Starvation is painful and they suffer.

One cat was so huge that he deserved a first and a last name --he became Kittyy Tatt.

Kitty's black fur coat had turned a malnourished reddish-brown.  We fed him but could not keep him. Knowing that a calm, healthy, handsome cat has a better chance of being adopted than a skittish, malnourished stray we began stacking the deck in his favor.

We fed frightened Kitty Pet Calm, Rescue Remedy, Arnica, Hypericum Perfoliatum (to relieve pain from multiple cat-fight injuries), cooked chicken, flax seed oil, canned tuna (and its water), Luyties #304 for anxiety and depression, and healthy wet and dry cat food. His dull fur transformed into a luxurious jet-black color.

Kitty lived in a box on our front porch. He never acted aggressively to our inside cats. Our cats, however, weren't as polite!

Since eighty percent of pets' recognition of each other is through each pet's individual scent, the best way to "introduce" the cats was to add two drops of their shampoo onto a wet microfiber cloth, then give Kitty a rubdown with it.  The microfiber acted like a cat's tongue; it washed the "road dirt" and sticky tree pitch out of his fur and he smelled like he belonged!

Kitty was given one of our cats' blankets to sleep on to absorb their scent. After Kitty's scent-i-ti-zation, our cats completely ignored him. We left the screen door open for him to become accustomed to house noises and to watch our cats meander back and forth in the hopes that this would help him to stay calm during a future brief stay in a shelter environment of free-roving cats.

Kitty was starving, but he NEVER ate without first thanking me!  At feeding time, he bumped my hand to pat him or rubbed against my legs in appreciation before turning to eat.  He did this for every meal as if affection was really the food he craved the most!

To teach him to trust human touch again, I gently combed his face and neck.  Each day, I combed a little further down his body until he trusted me with his tail. Initially, he was afraid of being touched but now, he lives for being combed and petted.

Soon, he began "talking" to us by meowing his "Thanks!" and his "Hello."  When we'd walk to the neighbors he'd follow us like a curious puppy.

Kitty is leery of shoes and open hands that he perceives are going to strike him. He's obviously been abused.

We realized that Kitty was not accustomed to being held so we began lifting him up gently and quickly lowering him onto a bench.  He was skittish, so we practiced for several days! We'd picked him up, briefly hold him, and immediately put him down. On the third day, I picked him up, and held him. He began kneading his paws...ALL FOUR OF THEM at once!  Being held was what he was waiting for!

One day, I sat down and he climbed into my lap to be combed. He loves the small plastic black comb, the type men carry in their pockets. I combed him, then got up to go and moved him to the side, but he pushed himself back onto my lap! Who says animals don't communicate? So, I combed him some more!

Our efforts have made Kitty ready for his new home and whoever adopts him from the shelter will have a very loving cat. He is a package of love wrapped in fur. Sometimes his pink tongue sticks out with his best, "I'm so cute!" look. And he is!

Kitty was accepted into the shelter and the staff loved him.  When the vet arrived to check Kitty he was shocked!  Because of long-standing starvation Kitty's teeth had rotted, poisoning his entire system. Imagine the pain he was in! How had he presented such a sweet and gentle spirit with that pain level? 

The reality of a cat's life is that this is kitten season!  The shelter is receiving the products of unneutered cats.  Kitty's health was fragile, he needed an expensive full mouth extraction, they did not have the funds for it, and they felt he would not survive the surgery.  So, the home that Kitty went to is Heaven.  If only his original owners had taken the time to neuter him, he would have lived the life we and he had  dreamed of for him.

Last week a neighbor reported that a homeless female cat delivered four kittens, three look just like Kitty Tatt!  It's going to take human and vet intervention to stop the cycle of unwanted pets!


If your pet is ill, take a look at their teeth. Bad teeth=bad health.

When your neighbor has a litter of kittens or puppies, help them find homes for them.  Take them a discount coupon for neutering and spaying their pets. Of if you can afford it, pay for a financially-strapped family's pet to be altered.  If a neighbor moves and abandons a pet, get the pet into a shelter. 

Animal Shelters appreciate your donations.  It costs money to take in strays, house them and feed them until they are rehomed.
Adopt An Appreciative Pet Like Kitty Tatt!
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Mary Ellen, Pet Tips 'n' Tales Columnist, and her swimming cats!
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