Pet Tips 'n' Tales

From Feral to Family

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Dick and Helene saved Lily from a life of certain death as a feral cat and gave her a family.


Helene explains how she saved Lily from a life of danger and, potentially, a predator's meal. "In 2006 my husband, Dick, and I traveled to visit our good friends, Al and Carol, in Idaho.  We hadn't been at their home for more than ten minutes when Carol, with a twinkle in her eye, led me to a room and said, 'Look what's in here!'

I peeked inside the room and saw a sleeping female calico kitten named Patches. Patches had just arrived home from her spay operation.  When Patches woke up, so did her full-blown playful purr-sonality.

Al and Carol's home is on the outskirts of town and has become, sadly, an inhumane dumping spot for unwanted cats, cats left to die slowly from starvation.  

Al and Carol are financially burdened with feeding the feral cats abandoned by their families.  To try to stem the problem, they have a business deal with their veterinarian. The veterinarian agreed to reduce the fee when Al and Carol catch stray cats and bring them in to be fixed.  Just like a frequent fliers plan, they get the frequent-altering-plan.  
During the neutering or spaying surgery, the cats have their left ear clipped so they are recognized at a distance as having been altered. When the cats recover from surgery, they are released back into the wild.  This prevents hundreds of feral kittens from being born in just a few short months.

They planned to keep Patches in the house for five days to make sure she healed properly before turning her back into the wild.
We spent several days with them, and each day I spent more and more time with Patches. I grew to love her. It wasn't a surprise to Al and Carol when I asked if I could have Patches. They, of course, were delighted that she would go to a good home.

My husband wasn't so sure it was a good idea.  We already had three cats and a dog named Patches at home, but being good-natured and a cat lover, Dick agreed.   

To make things less pet-complicated at home, we renamed Patches "Lily" after  my mother  who had passed away earlier that year.
That was over three years ago, and Lily is a full-fledged member of our family.   She is still  very playful and loving.
Currently, we are taking care of my son's cat for three months while he is in Mexico. This brings our cat family to five!  All the cats get along like cousins.  They add warmth, laughter, and love to our home.  Pets add so much joy to our families!"



Only a "pet parent" knows the unpleasant experience of pet-poop bombs exploding around their homes as a result of poor quality pet food or illness.  
Tips 'n' Tales reader Karen, in Ohio, writes, "I have a solution for pet diarrhea: Break open a capsule of slippery elm, mix with water to form a paste, and mix into each of your kitty's food. Or, you can draw it up into a plastic syringe and squirt it directly into their mouths. Either way, it is an effective treatment for curbing diarrhea! I have had very good results with my cats Romeo, Angelica, and Big Boy. They even LIKE the taste!"

Dr. Jean Hofve, Little Big Cat's veterinarian, , suggests:  Mix 1/4 teaspoon of Slippery Elm bark powder with cold water for every ten pounds of body weight.
For very small cats or dogs, it is fine to use the same 1/4 teaspoon dose. The bulk powder may be very fluffy, so pack it down as much as possible to measure it. Alternatively, mix the contents of half a capsule (per ten pounds) with water.
Slippery Elm powder will absorb many times its own weight in water, so be sure to add enough to make a moderately thick gruel. This gruel can be given before meals by syringe or eyedropper, or added to baby food, canned food, or a homemade diet. It has a slightly sweet taste and is usually well-tolerated by cats and dogs when mixed with food.
Give a dose five minutes before meals for a sore throat and before or with meals for digestive tract problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease, until symptoms resolve. Slippery Elm solution Information:
Angel Scribe's five cats ate some bad cat food and had explosive diarrhea.  They found relief after taking Chinese herbal Po Chai pills.
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Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen, Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist, with Miss Wings
AngelScribe AT msn DOT com
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