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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Just rescued loose/stray cat

Hi everyone,

While getting out of the car this evening after picking up a pizza, I heard the most terrible crying coming from the parking lot of our apartment complex. I knew it was a cat, so I started calling "Here, kitty kitty..." and the meowing just intensified. Turns out there was a young female cat crying and rolling around on the ground right near the street. It took me an hour to catch her, but I finally did. She was quite calm about it and seems affectionate, but I also think she is probably in heat (excessive meowing and rolling around, extra-cuddly).

I'm keeping her isolated from my other cat (my dear Shady ), and taking her in for a vet exam tomorrow. She was wearing a rubber pink collar when I found her, but it was all cracked and weathered as though she had been loose for a long time. Also, she's very thin and her eyes are constantly watering. You wouldn't believe how fast she gobbled up the can of Wellness I fed her, though!

I guess my main question is... how do I go about posting Found signs in my apartment complex? I want to make sure that I find her true owners (if they are even looking for her - she is so thin that I would think she was a stray, but the collar says otherwise...). Should I withhold some of the information (i.e., collar color, claws/declawed status, spayed status, etc.) on the sign so that I can "weed out" the real owners? I've heard horror stories before of people responding to Found signs when it isn't even their pet!

Also, how long do I have to search for the owners before I can legally (and ethically) keep the cat? If her real owners don't turn up, I will most likely keep the poor girl... can't imagine sending her to a shelter.

BTW, for now, I've been calling her "Gray Ghost of Riverside" because she was so incredibly elusive when I was trying to catch her earlier. Riverside Dr. is the road I live on.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 04:01 AM
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Glad you tok her in!
There are a few things I would do.
1. Post the entire area including local stores, pet stores and vet.
2. Contact the local shelters to see if anyone's been looking and ask if you can post there.
3. Put an add in the paper's lost and found section.
4. Check around town and the local papers to see if someone has posted for a lost kitty.
Yes, I would withhold some info. so if someone does call they can prove it's their cat.
It's good you're keeping them separated for now. If her eyes are runny she may have an upper resperitory infection.
How long is ethically right to wait? Hm. I would say a week. But, honestly, if she has no id tag, there aren't any signs up, and noone has called the shelter she's probably a dump, too far from home, or, in my opinion, the people who had her don't deserve to have a pet.
Good luck!

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 09:26 AM
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I echo that.

You can even put on the flyer that they must provide details describing the cat.

And if you keep her, you should keep the name but call her 'River'!
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 09:33 AM
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Bless you, Bless you for taking her in and getting
her help.
Im sure the vet will scan for a micro chip. She
sounds like a very sweet cat. Keep us updated
on River.

If you dont hear in a couple weeks I would
assume she is a product of irresponsible
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the comments and encouragements! I'm getting ready to make the Found signs right now. I also called the local animal control to see if there were any reports of a missing gray cat, but the warden said no one had reported anything. I also searched online listings, but no luck so far.

The vet exam went very well! She did not have a microchip. She was tested for FIV and leukemia, but we won't know the results until tomorrow morning. Other than that, the vet said her ears and heart looked good, she is most definitely in heat, and she seems in general good standing. The vet seemed to indicate that my chances of finding the owners are very slim, though... she seemed to think that she was abandoned judging by her weight and the condition of her pads, claws, and collar.

If I don't hear from the owners within a week or so, I'm going to take her back to the vet's office for vaccinnations and deworming. I guess at that point, the little gal will pretty much be staying with us, or being adopted out privately to a prescreened family. That is, if she is FIV and leukemia negative.. if she's positive, then that's a whole 'nother story.

I think we're going to be calling her Ghost because my husband seems quite taken with that name. But River sounds so beautiful and elegant, it really seems to suit her... hmmm... decisions decisions!
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mitts & Tess
If you dont hear in a couple weeks I would
assume she is a product of irresponsible
Not necessarily... I wouldn't automatically jump to that conclusion. You are probably right, but the cat could have gotten out - a loose screen, scooted out an open door, etc....
I mean, you even read a fair amount of stories on here where someone's cat gets loose.

But anyways, good for you for rescuing!! It feels good doesn't it?!! I rescued 4 kittens last year - all at different times! I kept the first and got the others adopted.

I like Ghost and River..... you could have the full name River Ghost and then you know how cat names are.... you ended up calling them variations so she could be Ghost, River, River Ghost, RG, etc....
Good luck and post pics!!!
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 01:51 PM
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Did the vet check for pregnancy? You could have a 2 (or 5) for one deal with this cat.

If she is in heat and has been outside, there is a very good chance she could be pregnant. But you should also take her back to the vet in a few weeks to check again for pregnancy. In the early stages, many vets can miss a pregnancy if all they do is a manual exam.

I took in a very skinny stray who was probably in heat when she first started hanging around my apartment. It turned out she was an unwed teenage mother. The first vet I took her to missed it. But the second vet found it.

That's how I got Squirrel (the mother) and Schnitz (her son). It was worth the extra money and effort in the long run but it did make for an interesting summer.

Strays make the best companions. I think they are forever grateful to you for rescuing them from a very hard and short life.

P.S. I waited 3 weeks of looking for Squirrels owner before I considered her mine.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the advice... yes, pregnancy has been something on my mind, as well! However, I had been running errands all week long, and this was the first time I heard her crying, so I hope that her heat had just started and I got her in time. The vet checked manually, but you're right, it may be too early yet. If she is still in my care in three weeks (which she probably will be!), I'll take her in for a pregnancy test. But wouldn't the pregnancy show up in the bloodwork?

If she is pregnant, can anyone point me to resources on caring for a pregnant cat?

Also, for those of you who pray, please be praying that this little girl comes back FIV and FeLV negative! I do have another cat, and if River Ghost (like that name!) comes back positive, I'm not sure if I will be able to keep her... and it would also become very difficult to adopt her out, wouldn't it?

She didn't have any open sores or wounds (or scars or bare patches) when I found her. How often are strays infected with FIV and FeLV? I just hope the tests turn out OK... my stomach is in a knot over this.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 07:30 PM
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Caring for a pregnant cat is easy. Just feed her as much kitten food as she wants. Other than that, everything is just the same.

All Squirrel had when I took her in was earmites. All stray cats to not necessarily have lots of diseases. Be patient. No need to worry until the tests come back. My vet was able to diagnose the pregnancy manually so I don't know about bloodtests.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Well, good news today! She came back negative for FIV and FeLV!! So the little girl appears to be fit as a fiddle.

I'm posting the Found signs today... if no one claims her, I am definitely keeping her. And if someone does claim her... boy, are they going to get a talking to about letting their cat out while it's in heat
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