I can’t believe it’s been one month to the day since we first brought Stubby home. In case you missed that update, check out my other post What Happened to Spuds? Meet Stubby! It’s been a little over 6 weeks since I first became a foster mom and I have learned so much. In that time, I’ve fostered two adorable furballs with quite different personalities.
Today I will bring you up to speed as to how Stubby is adjusting and more insight into his personality. Here is how my first month as a foster mom with Stubby has evolved.
The Initial adjustment period
When we first brought Stubby home, we noticed right away that he was quite shy and reserved compared to Spuds’ vocal personality. Stubby is a male grey tabby cat with white paws and matching belly. He is about 6 or 7 years of age and a survivor of a hoarding situation. He, like Spuds, has been through a lot. With this in mind I already knew I’d have to have a lot of patience and give him reassurance along his fostering journey.
The first couple of days he was quite reserved with the exception at night time. My husband and I made the mistake of allowing Stubby to sleep in his crate with the door open. Yep! Big mistake. By the morning time not only had we discovered Stubby peed on the bathroom rug but he used our kitchen rug as his new scratching pad. (sigh) We learned that lesson. Don’t judge a book by its cover. We assumed because he was so quiet and shy, he wouldn’t act out in any way. Okay, I’m owning that mistake 100% my fault.
Other than that initial issue we made the necessary adjustments to make sure he was crated at night before bedtime. That worked out perfect until one day…
A hiccup but progress
One weekend while doing the laundry I had to remove the runner rug in our hallway. And that’s when I noticed evidence Stubby was there. He had peed again. Oh no! My initial thoughts were he’s acting out or perhaps he did this shortly after his first accident. I know cats can be very territorial and mark their surroundings. Was this an accident or a health issue?
My husband is not one to mess around and delay so he encouraged me to reach out to the foster manager about the situation. I messaged her and proposed, “Perhaps we should bring Stubby back and get his health checked out?” However, I already knew in advance Stubby had a health screening before we got him. Well as it turns out, after consulting with the manager at the rescue clinic, we followed her recommendation to add another litter pan and monitor his behavior. Additionally, keep his litter area very clean. (That I already knew from being a cat mom to Precious and Dusty for 20+ years)
Did it work? Yes, I guess. Honestly my conclusion is Stubby went through an adjustment period. Why do I say that? Because the second covered litter box that we installed is now Stubby’s club hangout. I check daily and it’s clean and the litter unused. That’s his secret hideout when he’s cold or just not in the mood to be bothered. Go figure!
Aside from his peeing issue I saw after a couple of weeks Stubby’s personality and playful side start to bloom. Finally, there was some real progress. Instead of hiding behind every nook and cranny his body could squeeze into, he was finally at a point of exploring.
Meet the real Stubby!
Meet Stubby now! If I could summarize his personality, I’d say he is a potential love bug. He’s still skittish almost half the time, however he has his moments where he’s very relaxed and chill. He’s adorable and a handsome boy as you can see. His personality is blossoming as he’s growing confidence. Now I get purrs and head butts when minding my business on the computer and I think I even caught a slow eye blink from him too! (For you dog people, that’s a cat’s way of showing you comfortability around you or love).
If there is one unique thing I would point out about Stubby, it would be his meow. What do I mean? All cats meow. Yes, I know however his meow has the high-pitched sound of a baby kitten meow. It’s adorable and to me quite ironic coming from this big boy. I think on only one or two occasions when he was hungry and itching to get out of his crate first thing in the morning, did I hear a little more “bass” in his meow. (I hope to catch him on video doing so one day to share.)
Stubby may be an adult cat approaching senior years but he’s still got the moves. He enjoys playtime with bottle caps and jingle balls as he likes to chase them when thrown around the house. I try to play with him twice a day for at least 5-10 minutes. His other form of entertainment is sitting on the couch looking out the window at “reality TV”. What cat doesn’t love a window pane? So, if he’s not playing or sightseeing, he’s napping, naturally.
My thoughts and what’s next?
Overall, Stubby is pretty low maintenance and not overly needy or vocal for affection like I started noticed in Spuds personality. I think Stubby would make for a great addition to a loving home. As far as I can tell he’d do great as a single or maybe with one other cat in the home. Due to his age, I think he may do well in a home with adults or older kids that already understand how to handle a pet with care and respect. The jury is still out, but so far, this foster journey with Stubby has been great!
As for things to work on, I have to continue to give him reassurance to keep building his confidence so he’s less uneasy. Also, I can pick Stubby up but only a few seconds at a time or he gets fidgety and uncomfortable. So, we’ve got to work on that too. I’d like to be able to cut his nails one day.
So that’s how my one month foster journey has evolved with Stubby. He’s teaching me a lot about having patience, understanding and fun again. It’s great having little paws in the house again. I couldn’t imagine life any other way quite honestly. I’ll be sure to update you all again soon. Hopefully he’ll find his forever home soon!
If you or anyone you know live in northern New Jersey and interested in adopting or fostering a pet visit People for Animals. Last but not least, if you want to adopt Stubby and give him the gift of a forever home, please contact People for Animals-Hillside here.
What do you think of Stubby? Have you fostered a pet before? How has fostering changed your life? Comment and share your thoughts below.