Happy National Cat Day! (Oct. 29)
Yes, this is dog blog, but my 12-year-old terrier-cross Victor is dealing with a new presence in his life: Sally, a one-year-old black foster kitten rescued from a hoarding situation by the Welland, Ontario Humane Society and handed over to my Vet.
The clinic I go to runs a non-profit animal rescue organization aimed at rehabilitating and homing dire need dogs – and sometimes cats.
Sally was in dire need.
She was about six months old living with 12 other cats in a house that later got condemned, leaving all cats behind.
Here’s the kicker: she has a severe food allergy causing her to groom and scratch her fur off. She was found nearly bald and covered with human hand lotion – yes, lotion. The only ‘treatment’ the original owner could afford.
Sally lived at the Vet clinic (during renovations nonetheless) for six months, needing antibiotics, steroids (which she’s still on) and much effort to determine what she can – and cannot – eat. A lot of her fur grew back, but she’s still got hot spots and reoccurring balding and reactions.
Now she’s at my home. Technically, I’m fostering as we try and solve her allergy issues, coping with a few set backs including one bald tummy. For now, her medicine is covered.
Earlier this year, I lost my precious cat Kaitlynn of 17 years. I knew I couldn’t live life as a crazy cat (and dog) lady without getting another cat. I just didn’t know when.
And I didn’t think she’d have special needs.
What does Victor think? He’s not thrilled, but he’s learning to tolerate her. He claimed the bed (my bed) as his, though Sally is cautiously venturing up and purring closer and closer to her adopted big brother. He’s not receptive, though fortunately he seems to have stopped snapping – at least while I’m around.
Sally’s been with us about three weeks. She’s awfully sweet.
Here’s the big question: Should I keep Sally?
What do you think?
If anyone has a post about how to introduce a new cat to an old dog, please place a link in the comments below. Also … cat food allergies. If you have any sage advice, please add that too.
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I think you’re smitten with that kitten! Hopefully Victor will feel the same way.
I just adopted my senior foster chihuahua after months of battling a skin disease (deep bacterial infection and what the vet thought was allergies). Turns out she probably has an autoimmune disease of the skin that was triggered by an allergic reaction to a flea/tick topical no longer on the market. 🙁 Anyway, managing her localized bumps with ointment and oral antihistamines is a breeze now. I cannot imagine giving her up (so I made her mine). She isn’t in love with my other pets, but they get along. Can’t tell you what to do about your kitty, except to say that sometimes the heart knows best.
Thank you for taking her in and caring for her! She’s beautiful.
No experience with cats, sorry. Is your dog used to cats?
He is now. There was one here named Kaitlynn when he moved in five years ago.
[…] People dress up as her for Halloween. If you haven’t done so yet, please vote in our ‘Should I keep Sally‘ poll […]
Sally is adorable. I’ve fostered a dog with allergies before and he was in pretty bad shape when the rescue got him but easier to pinpoint (he had a flea allergy). And he was fine as long as he got his flea medication regularly. I think food allergies might be trickier though.
If that’s what she’s got … very tricky.
I am hopeful it works out for all of you! It seems like you are leaning towards yes!
Yes, I think that was true the moment I brought her home.
Yes! I think the two of you were led to each other for a reason. We are introducing a kitten to 6 y/o and 1 1/2 y/o dogs. It is slow going, but we’re hoping with time and patience they will all adjust.
That’s how I feel about all my pets. They find me.
Echo is from a hoarding situation as well. I think you should keep her. She needs someone who understands her needs and background. I also recently took in two kittens. Luckily they did not have any serious health issues other than being under fed and dehydrated.
I’m surprised at how many hoarding situations are out there … I thought it was rare. Apparently not so much.
Yeah, I agree. I know with Echo’s situation they took measures to keep it out of the media since the guy was sick and getting medical help.
Apologize if this comes through twice as the comment I made didn’t seem to appear – I voted yes! I think it takes time and patience for sure. When we brought home our puppy our older dog was NOT pleased and there were teeth shown and growls but they eventually figured it out and now the puppy now five loves Bruiser…. but I know this is a cat/dog intro…
Well I voted yes! I think it takes time to make this transition and since they tolerate each other I think with time they will be able to live together seamlessly. When we brought in a puppy our older dog was NOT please and after some “serious growly” behavior they completely understood how the dynamic would work out. I think it’s takes time for sure — and since you’re seeing progress I would keep her!
Yes, it’s seems to be working out. It’s a little less tense now, but poor Sally seems allergic to everything. Back to the Vet tomorrow.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Sally looks like a truly wonderful little girl. It sounds like she is doing very well in your care and I’m sure she is very grateful. My Cinco had the bald belly thing going on once and he recovered completely once the allergen was removed from my home (it was related to a rug we had gotten from a garage sale). I have a feeling that Sally will fully recover too. 🙂 There will definitely be a special bond there because of the healing she is going through.
The Vet is pretty certain this is a food allergy. I’m going to try and find some holistic advice too. (A rug at a garage sale? wow).
I voted Maybe but if you can handle the special needs I say keep her. They’ll probably work it out on their own as long as they’re not hurting each other. I’d try to teach Sally some boundaries though. Eating out of his bowl isn’t a good idea!
Love & biscuits
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
Oh, I nipped that in the bud. She can’t eat his food because of her allergies, and he’s food aggressive. I’m really surprised he just stood there.
Sally is so beautiful & has clearly had a rough life. She’d be so lucky to stay with you. I voted maybe because I don’t know your entire situation. If you are able to provide the care for her special needs I think you should keep her. They’ll ultimately get used to each other & co-exist peacefully if not become friends. They’ll work it out on their own as long as they don’t hurt each other which it doesn’t sound like is the case. I had to really teach the Leave It command to my puppy to get her to stop chasing our senior cat. Took awhile but worked out fine. Good luck!
Love & biscuits
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
No injury between the two, just a lot of annoyances. And yes, realistically I do (for now, anyway) have the means to pay for her needs. My last cat cost me a fortune and I thought I’d have a bit of a reprieve from that, but doesn’t look like it. It is a concern for me that few other people would be dedicated to her care so finding another home for her is unlikely.
I said Maybe because you need to make sure everyone adjusts well. I’m hoping Victor warms up to the kitten and Sally can have a great forever home with someone who will love her and take care of her.
So far, Victor is coming around. They are now sleeping on the bed at the same time though part of me thinks that’s because he doesn’t know she’s there.
Sally looks like she has already claimed you. Black cats are beautiful!!
I think that’s the truth.
I definitely think you should keep Sally – but I love black kitties and her story is so sad. Our black cat, Rosie, also had some hair loss from allergies and skin sensitivities when we first adopted her.
Did they go away or get better?
YES, Sally is a sweetheart and is lucky that you have welcomed her into your home. I think she may have found her new mom!
My first rescue dog had allergies and not great skin. We did a lot w/ probiotics, kelp, acupuncture, raw diet. It really helped. I loved this book. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health in Dogs and Cats.
I hadn’t thought of probiotics, but I have considered looking into acupuncture.
Keeping our paws crossed that Victor warms up to the kitty, it may just take time and patience. Good luck!
He’s getting better. She ate out of his dish and he didn’t immediately attack her. I intervened first – this is progress for him.