Cats on the Wild Side
By Glenys Daniels
‘Sorry’, said my landlord, ‘no dogs allowed in the apartment’. I did of course explain that the small dog beside me was in fact just a foster and would only be with me for a very short time. However, when it became apparent that foster dog Soosha was to become ‘adopted dog’ Soosha, it was time to move on. A finca in the countryside would be ideal. And so I made the move. It was going to be bliss. Tranquil, peaceful and nothing to disturb us. It was in fact thus, for the first 24 hrs.
Little furry faces suddenly started to appear from every direction. At first they kept their distance and eyed me with suspicion, as I did them. Very soon it became apparent that my new home was their territory. A cacophony of meowing greeted me each morning and left me with no alternative but to make a dash to the nearest supermarket for a large bag of cat biscuits. Suddenly, my adopted family had extended to include six felines. Of these, three were (don’t even try to get close to me) ferals, plus three more friendlier types that were soon making themselves at home inside the house.
Nine years have passed since then. Sadly, during this time, three of the original six have crossed the rainbow bridge, but the remaining three, Puss, Tippy and Marble, all female and elderly, are still with me. As is Soosha, my terrier mix.
Then of course there are the newcomers!
I first spotted Leo as a tiny kitten, alone in the field next door, surrounded by several very inquisitive sheep. How he came to be there is a mystery, but it soon became evident that mum was nowhere to be seen. The grumpy, elderly ladies, were not impressed with this whipper snapper coming along and taking centre stage, but eventually he won them over, and life returned to normality once again. Until, that is, one morning about three weeks ago, when a black furry face (above) appeared over the fence, followed by several days of wailing and spraying of the terrace furniture! Time to dust off the cat trap and get this little intruder to the vet for neutering. My suspicions are that this young male is an offspring from one of several females living on a nearby property. Unfortunately, the TNR (trap neuter release) didn’t quite go according to plan. When I collected him from the vet and released him away from the house, but still within his territory, I assumed he wouldn’t want to return to the nasty lady who had put him through this trauma. I was wrong. He was back within the hour. I have named him Buddy. He has evidently been used to people and dogs. He is a very gentle and loving cat and is trying hard to make friends with the other cats and the dog. So far, they are not impressed with this interloper. I will do my best to find him a home with a young family, so that they can grow together. In the meantime he is safe here and does brighten the day with his antics and constant vocalisation, especially when it’s near to feeding time!
Do Rabbits Make Good Pets?
Nicole Eden from Eden Sanctuary recently rescued a beautiful rabbit who had obviously been a pet, was he dumped or did he escape? No one claimed him so now Johnny-Bunny is living the high life at the Sanctuary... Before you get a companion bunny for yourself or your family here are a few things Nicole would like you to consider:
- Rabbits should live for around 10 years
- As very sociable animals, they need company
- They bond in pairs for life
- When one dies, the partner goes through a grieving process
- They should be spayed and neutered, just as dogs and cats
- If allowed to breed, 1 pair of rabbits can produce almost 4 million rabbits in 4 years
- They need annual check ups and vaccinations
- They are active and need lots of space and stimulation
- Thousands are ababdoned each year. If you really feel you can give a pair of rabbits a good home ADOPT, DON’T SHOP
Should I Get Another Dog?
By Joachim Sommer
Dogs in general are quite happy to be alone for extended periods of time.
The new dog may be seen as competition, especially when they have an affection for the same toys or activities. They also have to share your attention.
Our dog may get along with others in the park or even accept visitors at home but may be equally as happy when these encounters end (as are we, even when our favourite aunt or uncle comes to visit)
Our dog may not like puppies or puppies turning into adolescents or adolescents turning into adults.
Undesired behaviours may be quite contagious. If we were under the impression our dog was bored and we get them an easily excitable “playmate” the result may be a destroyed sofa (or worse) because playing tug of war with it is a lot more fun between the two of them after all. If this develops we may end up separating the dogs so they don’t “get any ideas”.
We also have to think about additional costs for food, vet, grooming and education. Additional management and training effort will be necessary from our side as each dog should every so often receive our undivided attention and we should spend quality time exclusively with them.
So when we finally decide to get another dog, the new dog and our dog(s) should be very much part of the decision making.
If possible we should:
- Arrange a few trial visits. Start with short periods of time and extend gradually.
- Walk them together in a neutral environment for both dogs, not in their favourite trail or place. Initially with 2 handlers, then with one.
- Let them communicate with each other without you interfering.
- Watch how they interact with toys or food present.
Are both comfortable when “their” human attends, feeds or plays with the other dog?
- Watch them during supervised playtime.
- Ensure that they can relax in each others presence.
The more comfortable we and our dog feels in these situations the more likely the new dog will fit in nicely.
If you want to get a dog or add a second (or third…) one to your family we offer the service to help select a dog from a shelter or pound to fit the lifestyle and other circumstances of the new owners completely FREE OF CHARGE.
Feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com for further information.
If you have any questions you think Joachim could help with, please do let us know.