*What’s Your Name:
Sandra Gilbert & Seumas McGrath
My Fiance and I have adopted two cats together, Sprinkles (grey) was the first cat but she favored me and he felt left out, so we adopted Smudge (tuxedo) who absolutely loves him.
*Years In Fort McMurray:
7 Sandra, 4 Seumas
*Interesting Facts about your animal(s):
They both think they are dogs and meet us at the door every day and cry when we leave, they are indoor cats. Smudge likes walking on a leash, but only in quiet areas. Both were strays so they are both a little sketched out by being outside. Smudge is a very strange, laid back cat. He enjoys playing with water and sits on the side of the bath testing the water and has fallen in on occasion. Smudge eats everything, and loves Spinach. Sprinkles is prissy and picky but the boss of the house. Smudge follows Sprinkles everywhere and sometimes sits on top of her. Sprinkles loves to cuddle and I can’t sit on the couch without her jumping on me, she has the softest fur like a rabbit and likes to crawl under the blankets with me when it gets cold out. Sprinkles was named Mumsy by the SPCA as she was a pregnant stray when they brought her in, unfortunately she was very young to be having kittens and with the stress of being outside and alone, only two survived birth, when they were born she didn’t take to the kittens and one died, the remaining kitten was given to another cat to take care of. We decided that Mumsy needed a fresh start and renamed her Sprinkles.
*Perspective on Adopting a Rescue:
Adopting a rescue animal is awesome, we adopted Smudge for Seumas as a Christmas present and he says it is the best present he has ever had. I don’t believe in getting pets as Christmas presents without the recipeint meeting the animal. Seumas came to the SPCA with me on a whim, we just went to visit the cat room to destress and Smudge was sitting quietly in his cage just taking everything in. It was Smudges’ first day in the cat room, he was still a kitten. Usually I try to adopt older animals as I know that they are less likely to get picked, but something about Smudges’ personality called to me. I said he was like Seumas, quietly sitting absorbing the world and I had to adopt him. We filled out the paperwork and were called the next day and immediately went to pick him up. The people at the SPCA said it was the quickest turn around they have ever had on an animal in the shelter. When we brought Smudge home we put him in a room by himself to slowly introduce him to Sprinkles. Smudge immediately hid, he was terrified. we let him hide under the couch for the first 24 hours and then pulled him out and built him a fort to hide in on the couch so we could get to know him. As we wouldn’t let him hide under the couch Smudge found his way into the drop ceiling to hide. It was quite upsetting how much Smudge hid for the first two weeks, we were afraid he wouldn’t adapt and Sprinkles was hissing at the door. Seumas slept on the couch a few times just so Smudge could get used to him, and we spent as much time as we could in the room with him even though he wouldn’t come out. We had read a lot about introducing a new cat into the house and knew it would take time, but the first two weeks were very stressful as we gradually brought him out into the rest of the house.
Finally one night we decided to go all out and we brought both cats into the bedroom with us and closed the door. They were tense, one of them hid under the bed, but by morning Smudge had decided to quit hiding. Today it is hard to believe that he is the same cat, Smudge and Sprinkles get along like brother and sister, they cuddle and clean each other and play together and occasionally they fight. Bringing Smudge home was more challenging than Sprinkles as it was hard to introduce a new animal into the house and he was so scared. There were times when we doubted our decision, we spent many hours queitly sitting in a room with him hoping he would come out of whatever corner he had lodged himself in, sometimes we couldn’t find him for hours. With both our cats we had to invest a lot of time at home making them comfortable and getting them adjusted to their environment, it isn’t just a matter of bringing them home and feeding them. With both cats we made sure someone was home with them all day for their first few days and for weeks after that I would come home on my lunch break to check in on them. It was a lot of work, but it paid off, they are some of the friendliest cats I have ever known.
” Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”. –Viktor E. Frankl
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