Here is Ann Margaret's story.
I was contacted by the animal rescue at the end of January to be notified that there was a cat in the city that was recently picked up. She was assumed abandoned, and was living in someone's backyard for months. They were feeding her, and created a makeshift cardboard box house. A volunteer picked her up, took her to the vets and she received some shots and a clean bill of health. The vet shaved her belly and saw a scar there, and assumed she was already spayed. She was purring so hard that the vet couldn't hear her heartbeat.
When we got her home, we kept her in the cat carrier for a while, to let the other cats and dogs smell her, and so she felt safe. It probably took a few weeks for the dogs to get used to her smell (especially Willow) and stop cornering her, excitedly wanting to lick her and do god know's what. I was surprised by our cat's reactions. Savannah, who we claim is the nicest cat on the planet decided she really was put out by Margie's presence. And then Bodhi decided to act as a creeper cat, and get really close and just stare at her.
(This is the bed Margie has claimed as hers)
And then the spraying started, that potent awful cat smell we all hate. Not long after that began, the yowling accompanied it. Margie went into heat! The scar that the vet saw must have been from an injury she had. These were some stressful times, because as much as we loved little Margie, our house smelled terrible. Yes, I did worry as I went to work, 'Do I smell like cat spray?' There was a lot of incense burning throughout this part. She was also spraying on things I loved-like my bangolele case and my new white Christmas tree that I spent hours hunting down after boxing day. This meant we had to keep her separated for a few days in a room so she wouldn't ruin anything else. This made me feel like a bad person, but she was out of control! Margie had other behaviours during this time as well, which included unbearable wailing at all hours, and throwing herself in front of the other animals in shameless displays. So after touching base with the animal rescue, we made arrangements for her to go into the clinic. Margie was spayed, and all the headaches of being a cat in heat stopped immediately. Thank goodness!
It was after this that we made up out minds that Margie should stay. Since the behaviour was strictly related to her hormones, and nothing to do with living here, we wanted her to stay.
So here's some things about Ann Margaret.
Nicknames: Margie, The Margster, Imper, Shrimper, The Shrimp, Rasper, Rasputin
Age: Est. around 2 years old
Likes: Chasing Savannah around the house, going ape-shit on the cat tree(she's quite the climber, and loves using her back claws to beat the tree), being picked up and coddled, pets, hiding on top of the fridge, slashing the treat bags open to steal midnight snacks, trying to escape to the backyard, sprinting around the house at full speed, wrestling with anything she can get her mouth on (pens, toys).
I love Ann Margaret! She always purrs when I pick her up (which is constantly). Whenever I have a shower, I always find her sitting on my pjs in the bathroom waiting for me. She's also the first cat waiting for me at the bedroom door in the morning to greet me. I'm so happy that she adjusted well in the house, and that their has been some mutual warmth between her and the other animals. She's a small little lady, but has quite the personality.
Here's a plea for all those who live in the GTA or City of Hamilton-if you are at all interested in helping abandoned cats, please check out this rescue organization. They need you! All you have to do is welcome a homeless cat into your house and care for them! If you weren't aware, Animal Control takes in strays from the city. However, there is no rescue program there. Only offical rescue organizations can enter the building and pull homeless cats to try to adopt them. The other cats sit there waiting for their owner to claim them. During the busy times, they may only have 72 hours before they are euthanized! Kitten season is coming up-and the shelter will be crowded. Sadly, the SPCA shares the same building as Animal Control, and I believe they take some of the cats, kittens most likely, ones who are deemed 'more adoptable.' My heart especially goes out to the ones who are older, and of course the black cats, who like black dogs, seem to be the last ones sitting in their cages.
Cat Rescue Blog (excellent reading that really gives you the behind the scenes view of someone who gives their entire heart to cat rescue in the GTA/Hamilton area).
High Volume Shelter (these animals are on death row in the city, unless they are claimed by their owners, or a rescue is able to help them out)