When cats at the shelter get adopted, it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s also often bittersweet, since most of the time we never see these animals again, except for the occasional photo posted on our Facebook page. So it’s always a nice surprise when we do.
This past weekend, I was cat-sitting for Benny & Finn, two awesome cats who were adopted in December. (They are essentially giant, fluffy versions of Smirnoff & Bacardi, which is partly why I loved them at the shelter.) Finn, unfortunately, has been having some unknown medical issues since his adoption, but has slowly been getting better. I was called in because the owner needed someone who could come over twice a day to medicate Finn and feed both cats while she was away, and I happen to live not too far from her.
These are not the first cats I’ve looked after, and Finn is certainly not the first cat I’ve had to medicate. I sometimes cat-sit for two wonderful felines, Henry & Sydney, for a couple who live downtown. Sydney is getting up in years and has renal failure, so she needs sub-cutaneous (sub-q) fluids every other day, plus a pill.
Giving sub-q and pilling cats can be extremely stressful and nerve-wracking for owners who have never done it before. In actual fact, neither activity is very hard to learn (although I much prefer giving sub-q to pilling). But Finn seemed to be totally fine with the procedure (after I had gotten him out from his initial hiding spot) and sat calmly on my lap, leaning into chin scratches while the drip was going. The pills he hated, but soon forgave if food was on its way.
Owners are often not as aware as they should be that their cats often act completely differently when a cat-sitter/stranger is stopping by to feed. (Most cat-sitters are considered “strangers” even if that person has done the job many times. It’s the stress of having their normal routine changed.)
Shyer cats tend to hide, and many cats will eat less or not at all (for the first visit or two).Thursday evening, Finn hardly ate at all. I sat with him for a long time. Friday morning, he ate just a bit, but not a ton. Then Friday evening more. Then Saturday morning, he decided he was starving and wolfed down a healthy portion. He also decided to become very flirtatious:
By the end of the weekend, Finn was eating canned cat food mixed in with his plain cooked chicken, so he was making progress! Hopefully he will make a speedy and full recovery.
It was great to see the boys again, and who knows—I might cat-sit for them again in the future. It’s also nice to know that they found an owner who cares for them through good time and bad. Because that’s when you know someone truly loves their pets 🙂