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SpoonfulOSugar posted a blog entry in Adventures with a Ladybird Herd - and other tales from the NorthI adore my cats. (I know this is news.) All four of the current overlords were adopted as adults from shelters, which means they each came with foibles. When I lost my Lacey (who predated Mr. Spoon and was 17) in 2013, we *immediately* set about adopting a new princess. (At the time, we also had the long-haired overlord and Prince Canine.) I was looking on petfinder (dot com) and I found a most striking calico about four hours away. Distance being no object, I insisted I wanted *that* cat. We went to the shelter. She was actually bonded with another kitty. No problem. I wanted them both - I would never separate a bonded pair, and my heart was set. So we came home with the two girls, Savannah (the calico) and Darryl (who looks tabby mostly but is a dilute calico.) I knew that the shelter had described them as shyhearts, but I didn't realize they were essentially feral. They had never lived in a home - they had lived their entire lives in the shelter - and they were not really socialized to humans. For about the first month, they stayed in only one room, and I would go and sit with them and just let them get accustomed to us. One of the funniest things that happened is the closet in that room had sliding doors. I would close them. Then I would go back in and find the door ajar and the cats in the closet. DH and I peeked in and found the two of them tag-teaming to get the door open just enough to sneak in. Mister Spoon correctly observed that they had a future as cat burglars! A closed door is definitely just a challenge to be overcome for Darryl. The first veterinary visit was traumatic for all of us. Just getting them into the carrier was an absolute circus. Then, the vet said he thought they were both older than we had been told. (We thought they were four - he estimated maybe double that.) They needed dental care. A few weeks later when we took Savannah back for her dental procedure - we got the worst news of all. Her blood levels were seriously elevated and she had kidney disease. Nine months after we adopted her, we lost Savannah. I was heartbroken - not just for myself, but for Darryl. They were so closely bonded - they slept together, snuggled together . . . I was afraid Darryl would die of a broken heart. We adopted two more kitties (the Hunter and the elusive Fourth.) Part of my reasoning was that other cats acclimated to each other might be more accepting of a cat accustomed to cat life, not family life. And we loved on Darryl (on her terms, of course.) I'm pretty good at kitty headbutts - her favorite greeting. She is pretty tolerant of pets now, and likes to sit and snuggle alongside, but she is still relatively unwilling to be held. In fact, we have used heavy duty gloves (like the gloves for raptor handling) to catch her several times. Orally medicating her is pretty much out of the question. She hasn't really bonded with any of the other kitties the way she did Savannah. But a couple times I've seen her backing into a spot so that she is near or against a sister. And I think she's decided I am a big, hopeless, hairless cat. She's been losing weight this year. She's seen the vet a number of times. She *does* have trouble getting food into her mouth, but I'm not sure that's the only problem. So in the morning, she will go have dental work done. And, even though we did labs on her a couple months ago, my anxiety is sky high. This is the second time she's had teeth removed - most of them came out last time - but I want a good outcome for her. So here I sit - worrying and fretting - wanting her to be healthy and content, but recognizing I don't get to control that. *sighs* Sometimes, things are hard.