Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The Hand-Me-Down Cat Settles In . . . Sort of
The newest member of our household is starting to settle in. It hasn't been an easy transition for him. Ebony's a bit of a grouchy old man and moving in with the ever playful and active Quint and Hedge is sometimes a bit too much for the old guy. He'll occasionally hiss and growl when one of the youngsters gets too enthusiastic about encouraging him to participate in the day's activities, but, for the most part, he's doing okay, and is slowly starting to establish himself in the group.
Part of the reason he's a bit growly is probably due to his hyperthyroidism and his bad teeth. I'm working on getting his thyroid under control with medication, but I got a bit too enthusiastic at the onset and started feeding him pills before he got over the stress of moving into his new surroundings. I think he was a bit overwhelmed for the first couple of weeks. At this point, though, he's explored the house, found a few good napping spots, a hiding place or two, and is pretty sure about what time breakfast and dinner are usually served. Now that he's feeling a bit more secure, I started him back on his thyroid meds. I'm doing it gradually with just one pill a day for a few days. After we see how that works, then we'll try getting him up to the two per day he's supposed to be taking.
I tried brushing his teeth during his first few days with us, but his gums are quite sensitive and bleed very easily so I'm going to have to approach his dental problems a bit more gently at first. In the next week or two, I'm going to take him back to the vet and see if we can get his teeth cleaned. Once we get that done, I'll be able start rubbing his teeth and gums with a bit of gauze to handle the plaque and apply a bit of antibiotic gel to help with the gum problems. He's not very difficult to handle and doesn't try to bite me when I open his mouth, so with a little practice we should be able to establish a daily tooth cleaning routine just like I have with Quint.
I noticed today that Ebony is starting to mimic some of Quint's behaviors. He's begun hanging out in some of Quint's favorite places, and was even playing with Quint's favorite purple toy mouse this morning. I think Ebony has made excellent progress in settling into his new home and I have every hope that in the near future he'll be a healthier and happier cat. If he isn't, it won't be because we didn't all try to make him feel at home.