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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Snow, my new furbaby

Some background I suppose about how Snow came to be mine..

I've had cats in my family my entire life, everyone in my family has cats. My spouse has never been a cat lover, and as I had lost my boy Art several years prior to meeting my spouse and had other pets, I never considered a cat until recently. His dislike of cats I think is just mostly his manly ego - he likes this cat even if he doesn't often admit it.

Anyway... Back in September, I began noticing a cat wandering around my home and my neighbours home. He would sit back, meowing quietly at us, but never let us near him. We figured he must be an indoor/outdoor cat and have a home. As the weeks stretched on, I noticed he continued to hang around and began noticing him sleeping in the bushes. He was there during the day and there at night. So I began hanging outside to try and gain his trust - he was very skittish with strangers. I nicknamed him Boo, as I didn't want to give him a real name until I knew about whether or not he had a home. As I began slowly gaining his trust(if I would raise my hand to pet him, he would bolt, but if I stayed still he would gently rub against me), I took photos of him and posted some found ads online. I had a few hits, but mostly people wanting more pictures to see for sure if it was their own missing furbabies and nobody ended up claiming him. Still, I kept the ads up. On a Sunday night, I knew the weather would be turning cold overnight and that snow would be falling the next day. Our city was calling for a September blizzard, and as I had seen the cat sleeping in the flower beds, I made a decision.

I looked at my spouse and said, "He can't stay out here during the blizzard!" and so came the day we took him into our home. My spouse ran out to get litter and cat food, and I set him up in a spare bedroom in my home where he wouldn't be disturbed by my dogs(cat friendly of course). I kept updating my ads, still nothing... it was pushing three weeks. A friend came over and scanned him for a microchip - he had one! But the information was not up to date... The previous owner contacted me instantly, panicking because the cat she had rehomed this past Spring, was suddenly not in that home anymore. She attempted to call the number she had for them - they claimed to have never adopted any cats from her. She said the last she had heard, he had not been 'settling in' well at all. Her immediate thought was that they had tossed him out..

I decided to keep the ads up in case of a best case scenario and didn't want to doubt total strangers. But nobody claimed him. The previous owner, whose name he was still under, gave me permission to keep him. We transferred his name, and he became mine.

We began deciding on a name, and decided that because he looks distinctly like a Snowshoe, and because we had brought him in due to a September blizzard, to name him Snow. We began introducing him into our home one section at a time. First in the bedroom, with occasional time out of it to smell the scent the dogs would leave around the house, and to explore, and eventually with gates so he could smell AND see the dogs without being bothered by their snuffling curious noses.

We had to move, and as it was to a much larger house, we made the entire upstairs his space, getting a massive cat tree to put up there and gating the dogs off onto the main floor. He slowly began to learn that my dogs didn't care that he was here and had no interest in him... He became my shadow, following me everywhere. He's my little shadow, my velcro kitty. He began wandering the rest of the house, cautiously at first... then slowly with much more confidence.

Now, the house is ruled by this little adorable fluffbutt and we couldn't be happier to have him as a part of our family.

Oh - and according to his previous mom, his litter originally came out of a local cat rescue here as well. So he's had quite the journey all the way over to my crazy zoo.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 11:42 PM
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Wow, he is really pretty. Imagine letting a cat like that get away.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 12:43 AM
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What a stunning cat! I am glad he is with you, safe and loved.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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I'm really happy with him. I adore him. As I type, he's cuddled up sleeping next to me on the couch. I couldn't imagine my life without him from here on out, that's for sure.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 03:24 AM
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I am so glad he finally found you. He is gorgeous and deserved to find a loving home.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 07:01 AM
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What a beautiful cat and he is so lucky to have found you and hubby!, and what a great story! Just a few questions because you make this seem like a super easy transition for him but I'm sure it wasn't:
How long have you had him now since you first found him outside?
How long did it take to get him inside that first night and how did you do that?
How long did it take for him to get fully comfortable with the dogs?
How long did it take for him to get fully comfortable with the entire house and you?

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 07:44 AM
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What a great story! Thank you for sharing.
Snow is positively stunning! ..and I love the last picture, where you can see a beautiful, happy kitty cat smile!


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 08:57 AM
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He is gorgeous! So glad he found your home!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcia View Post
What a beautiful cat and he is so lucky to have found you and hubby!, and what a great story! Just a few questions because you make this seem like a super easy transition for him but I'm sure it wasn't:
How long have you had him now since you first found him outside?
How long did it take to get him inside that first night and how did you do that?
How long did it take for him to get fully comfortable with the dogs?
How long did it take for him to get fully comfortable with the entire house and you?

We took him into our home on September 7th after approximately two weeks of watching him wander, and one week of trying to gain his trust(so three weeks of him being a 'stray'). So we've now had him for just short of four months.

Honestly, the entire week of building trust while he was outside was what lead up to me being able to take him inside. I made sure my dogs were put away(they were actually in my backyard at the time), and I was sitting on my front steps. He came wandering over for some pets, and by that point, I was finally able to pet him, so I gently and quickly scooped him up. It took me, probably three tries to get a good handle on him(but it helped that I had soft food haha), and I got him into my house and straight to the bedroom as quickly as possible. My neighbour was going to lend me her humane trap if I was unsuccessful as he was crazy hungry for food, and loved the canned food we got him.

He bonded with me almost immediately after I gained his trust. But it was a lot of me just sitting and reading in the same room as him, doing my own thing quietly and him seeking attention. It also helped that I was the bringer of all yummy food. He was still shy with my family and close friends up until recently, and still hides if there's a lot of company and can be extremely shy with total strangers. But he's slowly learning nobody is out to hurt him.

It was mid September when we moved, and we gave him the entire upstairs with a baby gate used to keep the dogs on the main floor. He was given the big cat tree in one of my above photos, and fed up there, and we left my bedroom door open(the one space he was used to) with his litterbox and food in my room until he began curiously wandering the rest of the upstairs. He eventually began sitting on the stairs, although a few times he did run back up to hide if the dogs got frisky playing with each other. It probably took him until early-mid October to get comfortably exploring my main floor cautiously, with my dogs in a simple "down-stay". Prior, he had explored on the rare occasion only if the dogs were outside or locked in my mud room. I'm lucky they're so good with cats! I attached a photo(please don't mind the mess my toddler left all over with toys, haha!) - this photo is the very first time he came down to the main floor to explore with the dogs loose.

He takes comfort in my touch, so if I gently rub his cheeks or chin, he instantly relaxes. I did lots of sessions of petting him while petting my dogs in their "down-stay" to show him it was okay and lots of rewarding the dogs for leaving him alone as well.

He's still wary of them if they start rough housing, but otherwise, is now 100% fine with my dogs and rules the roost.

It probably took him from September 7th, to early November to get fully comfortable with our household as a whole. Up to that point, he was still a bit cautious or wary of my troublesome toddler, or the dogs on occasion if they got excited. So.. one and a half, to two months tops.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Here's some more photos of him now settled into my home.

And thanks everyone! I got lucky! It wasn't necessarily an 'easy' transition, but he handled it extremely well and my house has lots of high vertical spaces for him to safely get to when he feels nervous.
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