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2007-09-03 - 6:12 p.m.
Well, it turns out I blogged about our new kitty a little bit too soon. Bali the cat turned out to have an upper respiratory infection which can be extremely contagious to other cats. In addition, she was having trouble keeping food down. So we decided it was best to give her back to the shelter, rather than put our cat, Ember, at risk. It was a heartbreakingly tough decision, but I just wasn't ready to take on an unhealthy cat, not to mention the probability of expensive vet bills for both cats.

And I should have asked more questions about the shelter in the first place. On the first day, when I mentioned to the shelter woman that the cat had a sneeze, she told us not to worry, that *none* of her cats had URI. But later, when I questioned her on it again, she said, that out of her 40 cats, only a *few* of them had it, but she thought it was no big deal. Also, we were never allowed to visit the shelter. She brought the cat to us. She was very shifty about us not coming to her. Hmmm.

Anyway, during the few days that we had the kitty, I was emailing with Marn, who has had quite a bit of experience adopting from shelters. I asked her if she would let me excerpt some of her emails here because she had some good information, so here you go:

"The shelter we adopted from was very strict about insisting that we quarantine any adoptive cat from our other cats for at least two weeks just in case the cat brought in a respiratory infection. Quarantine also helps your existing cats get used to the idea that there is a stranger in the household, but that their own place in your home is secure.

That's kind of a crunch for you since you only have two weeks to make up your mind. The shelter I adopt from gives me a month. It takes a while for a cat's true personality to come through, as I'm sure you've found before.

Your shelter lady was right, stress can bring a respiratory infection on, but it's also very infectious and can race through your household very fast. Remember, your original cat is now stressed, too, by the appearance of a stranger. Keep an eye on your cat and start antibiotics on the adoptive kitty. We lost one adoptive kitten to an upper respiratory infection and the shelter had to put down one I tried to nurse back to health, but couldn't. Ask your vet what he/she feels about this situation. My vet worries mightily about respiratory infections, maybe yours doesn't.

Feed and water the new cat separately from your cat and make sure your cat can't get at the new cat's food or water.Even though the shelter I adopt from gets them neutered and gives them their preliminary shots before adoption, I always take the cat to the vet for a check-up before committing to adoption. A basic check-up tells you if the animal is healthy, has a problem with fleas or ticks or ear mites, if there's plaque on the teeth, if the heart is strong, etc. I don't get the final booster shots until I'm sure I'm going to keep the cat and it doesn't have something serious. Minor stuff comes with owning a pet."

So after all that, I'm not sure yet if I'm going to try to adopt again. I'm going to wait a while. The whole experience was too heart breaking. On the up side, though, our existing cat is as healthy as ever. She had a couple of sneezes while the new cat was here, which made us worry even more, but she seems fine now. So stay tuned....I will eventually get back to blogging about "The Cow." Really!

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2007-08-26 - 9:39 p.m.

Bali the cat is in the House!

She is almost identical to our cat, Ember. They could be twins, except that Bali has polydactyl paws. She not only has extra toes, it looks like she has two paws on each foot. Very cool.

For now we're just going to foster her. I'm not sure how she's going to get along with Ember....or with us. She's been really shy all day and wants to hide in the most obscure places. Ember just wants to growl and hiss whenever she finds her. So we'll see. We have 2 weeks to decide. So stay tuned, and buckle your seatbelts....this may be a bumpy ride. Wish us luck!

(The above photo is of Bali, stolen from the adoption website. The below photo is of Ember.

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2007-08-24 - 1:14 a.m.
Yes, again I have been lax in posting. Will I ever get to posting about that cow?! (I now know that it is called Moo~Donna, but more on that later.)

But just for a brief update:

My parents are in town, and amazingly they now allow drinking again. Tonight: 2 bottles of champagne and 3 glasses of wine between the 4 of us. We're going to Napa for more drinking on Saturday. Crazy parents!

Sunday, we may be adopting another cat. She is almost a twin of the cat we adopted in January. We're not committing to anything at this point, but we're going to take a look.

There's more, but for now, stay tuned.......

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