September/October Upcoming Events. Pets Unlimited Pet Valu Cats and kittens are available in the Pet Stores as they are ready.

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1 September/October 2013 Upcoming Events The Lunenburg SPCA AGM will be held on November 27th, at 7:00pm. Elizabeth Murphy. The new NS SPCA CEO will be our speaker The meeting location is the Community Room in Sobeys store, Bridgewater Mall. All are welcome Members and Non- Members Potluck refreshments will be served Pets Unlimited Pet Valu Cats and kittens are available in the Pet Stores as they are ready Past Events Garage Sale: Made $3800, thanks to the efforts of all those who helped to gather, sort, price and work on the days of the event Manuela Mueller helping one of the prize winners in a dog game select a prize See More on Bark in the Park Pages 6 & 7 IN THIS ISSUE PAGE # Upcoming and Past Events Page 1 New Lunenburg Branch Secretary, NS SPCA a new CEO Feature: Why Does My Cat Go From Nice? Page 2 Pages 3, 4, & 5 Bark in the Park Pages 6 & 7 Happy Tales Pages 8, Celebrating Black Cats 9, & 10 For Adoption Page 11 In Our Care Page 12 Adopted Page 13 Foster Homes Poster Page 14

2 Announcements The Lunenburg branch SPCA has a new secretary Welcome Tracey Sayer! The NS SPCA Has a New CEO NS SPCA press release The Provincial Board of the Nova Scotia SPCA is pleased to announce the arrival of new CEO Elizabeth Murphy. Ms. Murphy comes with a wealth of experience in the non-profit sector, most recently as the Director of Development with Easter Seals of Nova Scotia. We are all very excited about the appointment of Elizabeth Murphy as the new CEO. She brings tremendous experience and passion to the job, and we anticipate great things for the organization under her leadership, said Kylene Mellor, Nova Scotia SPCA Board Chairperson. Elizabeth is a proven leader serving as the Director of Development at the PEI Humane Society, Executive Director with Bulkley Valley HIV/AIDS Society and Revenue Development Director at the PEI Heart and Stroke Foundation. In addition to her management, fund development and communication skills, Elizabeth has a love for animals and is committed to growing the success of the Nova Scotia SPCA. I am looking forward to building on the solid foundation of the NS SPCA and honored to be given the opportunity to work in support of animals across the province of Nova Scotia alongside such a great team of volunteers and staff. said Elizabeth Murphy, CEO of the Nova Scotia SPCA. 2

3 Why Does My Cat Go from Nice to Nasty? By Janice Kenefick I was petting him, when suddenly he turned around and nailed me with his claws! He s never done that before! This isn t an uncommon complaint. Similar stories are posted on the Internet, can be overheard in veterinarians offices and are a hot topic among volunteers and the staff of animal welfare organizations, rescues and shelters everywhere. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), cites cat aggression as the second most common feline behavior problem seen by animal behaviorists (the first being litter box problems). Fortunately, the triggers that make our cats behave aggressively are becoming more understood. There are specific reasons a cat suddenly goes from nice to nasty, and there are also specific solutions. Cat aggression can be defined as a threatening or harmful behaviour directed against an individual (person, cat, household pet such as a dog). Aggression helps cats protect themselves from threats, guard territory and defend offspring. Our modern neutered male pet cats don t have to battle over females and territory, and our spayed females cats don t have offspring to guard. However, the aggressive nature that has evolved in cats over thousands of years remains, even in a modern environment. Cats have a subtle body language that can include postures, facial expressions, widening or narrowing of the eyes and the particular position and carriage of the ears, tail and even whiskers. It shows as an offensive or defensive stance. A defensively aggressive cat tries to protect himself and takes on a self-protective posture to make himself look smaller. A defensive aggressive stance can include any of the following: Turning himself sideways to you, rather than head on, to have all four sets of claws ready for defence against whatever has triggered his fear Striking out quickly at the threat with his front paws Putting his hackles up Curling his tail around his body or tucking it under his stomach Tucking his head in Open mouthed hissing and spitting, even after he s moved away from the threat Widening his eyes, with the pupils partially or fully dilated Flattening his ears sideways or backward on his head Retracting the whiskers or, in a timid cat, panning the whiskers out and forward to assess the distance between himself and the threat 3

4 An offensively aggressive cat tries to make himself look bigger and more intimidating. An offensive aggressive stance can include the following: Growling, shrieking, howling or yowling Swatting, scratching or lashing out with his claws Standing upright with straight legs Raising the rear end, back sloped downward toward the head, back legs are straight Stiffening the tail and lowering or holding it straight down to the ground Putting his hackles up Moving forward in readiness to attack what the cat perceives as the threat Staring directly at the threat with constricted pupils Holding the ears upright or pointing forward Biting, even to the point of trying to bring the threat to his mouth to bite If your cat is being aggressive, avoid touching him until he has calmed down. Punishment can make him feel more threatened. Reassuring him can seem like rewarding the behaviour and confuse him. While he is calming down, grab a pen and write down the details of what happened leading up to and during the aggressive episode. Who or what was he acting aggressively toward? What was he doing immediately before it happened? Where and when did this occur? Has it happened before? Does it look defensive or offensive? Then take your cat to your veterinarian, particularly if this is a new problem. There may be a medical reason. Bring along the information you wrote down. Left: A defensive cat will lay back its ears.right: an aggressive cat's ears point forward. (Photos From Understanding Cats NATURE on PBS) Like any animal, a cat in pain may react aggressively. For example, a cat with arthritis of the spine or limbs may growl and hiss when handled. A cat with a painful ear infection may swat if he has an ear infection. However, compared to we humans, cats can be very stoic about their pain. They can hide it for a long time before reacting to it. The first sign of a broken back tooth, for example, could be your cat turning his head away when you try to pet him. Eventually the pain will worsen until he may suddenly lash out. This can happen even if you haven t touched him. That s because your approach may signal to him that you are about to pick him up and he anticipates more pain. 4

5 Other painful medical conditions include urinary tract infections, abscesses, dental disease and distress from mites or fleas. Even after fleas have left a cat, problems such as skin infections or worms can continue and make your cat feel miserable. Some cats develop neurological conditions, particularly near the spine and tail. These can cause sudden intense pain. Any human who has had gone through neurologic pain brought on by shingles can sympathize with what the cat could be going through! Other medical causes of aggression include epilepsy. A geriatric cat might be suffering from confusion and insecurity, which can lead to aggression. There are many other possibilities, hence the importance of visiting your veterinarian. Obviously trying to put an aggressive cat in a carrier to take him to the vet will be difficult. Before your appointment avoid doing anything that can provoke aggression (if you have an idea of what the problem is). If you see signs of aggression, give the cat time to calm. Since anything sudden or loud might reactivate your cat s aggression, talk to him lovingly and move slowly. Try luring him into the carrier by putting a piece of tuna or a treat at the back of it and shutting the door behind him. Alternately you may have to wrap your cat in a towel to place him inside the carrier. Some veterinarians suggest the Mommy hold, which is the way mother cat carries her kittens. To a cat, you are his mother. Gripping the back or scruff of the neck, like a mother cat does with her kittens, makes most cats passive by instinct. However, don t try to pick him up. The weight must be supported. The better you know your cat, the more successful the mommy hold can be. It s absolutely vital to never hit back or yell at your cat as it could worsen the cat s aggression and make him fearful of you. If you get scratched, take care of yourself. Cat bites and scratches are painful and they may become infected. They can even lead to cat scratch fever, which may result in flu-like symptoms. If you discover that your cat is Kittens practicing for aggressive behaviours during a play healthy and there isn t a medical fight Of the two kittens playing, the one on left has the defensive stance in contrast to the one on the right time to look at other behavioural cause for your cat s aggression, it s PD Pics Photo causes and recommended solutions. We ll focus on these in future newsletter issues. 5

6 A Big Thank You to All that Helped with Bark in the Park Photos by Angela Robar 6

7 7

8 Happy Tales Celebrating Black Cats Each Autumn we come across the silly Halloween superstition that black cats are bad luck We know better! Here are some of their stories: Simon s Happy Tale Photo and Story by Simon and Judy Beaton My name is Simon and I was the cat no one wanted. Everyone at the Lunenburg SPCA knew me yet despite their best effort I was in their care, again. I was emotionally bankrupt, depressed and numb. I didn't self-groom, my immune system was shot and I had a respiratory infection that wouldn't quit. Over time the distance between what I had and what I needed grew apart and at night I prayed that someone would see past my age and size, physical and emotional condition, and understand that I could be whole again. But my adoption prospects didn t look good and as time passed my dignity slipped away.. Unbeknown to me however, Judy read my story on the Lunenburg SPCA s website. She didn t say anything to Ron for they were still grieving the loss of Pele the black Burmese they d adopted at six months and lived with for 21 years. Yet at night as I prayed for rescue, she dreamt of me and after two weeks realized they needed me as much as I needed them. I was adopted on May 28, 2010 and the first thing they did was to cut off a fur matt from my tail; it was a good sign. They spoke softly and stroked my head yet I was afraid to let even a sliver to hope enter my soul that this was the home I had prayed for. Here I am relaxing on one of my wicker chairs. For the first few days I sat in silence and while watching learned they had taken vacation to focus on my adjustment, imagine! They laid out a variety of wet and dry food, plus water and milk, and said it would take time to understand what I liked and was able to eat. You see, I have just two teeth, one up and down on opposite corners, and am limited in my ability to tear into anything so they dice my food into bite size pieces that I can swallow easily. They put me in a harness and let me outside on a protective deck unsure whether I d run away or if the limited vision in my left eye, scarred from a fight with a cat who s will to kill was greater than mine,and would have resulted in my death if not for a kind vet in Chester Basin who stitched me back together, would be a handicap for me. 8

9 I also have scars across my face, my left ear is mangled and a piece of it is missing. They were told I was eight years-old but I m actually 12 with grey throughout my fur and cannot move as agilely as I use to from arthritis in my hips. They cared for me but didn t love me in the beginning. But I understood; Pele had been the love of their life but I grew in size from fourteen to twenty pounds and into their hearts. They were attentive to my needs and introduced me to things I d never known. I have for example, my own towel for drying my fur when I come inside on wet days. My cage door is open and I can go in and out as I please, even decompressing in there sometimes, because I have a fluffy towel to lie on. I can sleep anywhere I want and each bed has an old sweater to curl up in. The back bedroom is where I catch the afternoon sun and each door has a mat for me to rest on and watch the birds, squirrels and chipmunks they feed year-round. My fur is brushed several times a week and they perform Reiki on my hips to ease the pain. Outside I have a patio set of 4 wicker chairs with thick cushions for snoozing and an automatic awning to protect me from the elements. I have all the food I could possibly eat, wet and dry, milk and water. I did not know cats could have such wealth and I show them how smart I am by opening the screen doors and letting myself in and out. They only ask that I also learn how to close them too. I found my voice, literally, after years of not having anything to say and learned to play again when they tied old skate laces on the back of chairs at eye level; it was the beginning of many hours of a game we call Lace. Best of all, I ve realized my life can be rich, full, and I am finally safe. *Simon had a very hard life, including a raccoon attack and attacks by other cats, before he came into the SPCA s care. He went briefly to two foster homes and an adopter s home. After he was returned he was then fortunate enough to meet Judy and Ron Beaton. 9

10 More Happy Tales Photo and from Helena Maclean Helena and Kent MacLean report that Salsa (formerly Marigold (photo right side) settled in quickly and is getting used to her new family, which includes Helena and Kent s other pets Tango (top left) and Ernie their dog. Tango and Salsa have been running around the house together and the photo was a rare moment in their fun., Helena wrote. She also said that Salsa has a wonderful purr and is happy. from Judy Beaton I want to reassure anyone thinking about adopting an older cat that it is well worth your consideration. You skip all the challenges associated with the teen years and begin with a cat with real life experience. It has been very easy for us to support Simon s transformation and he is more kind, loving and expressive that we ever expected. He is also well adjusted, healthy, and given back us to a hundred fold. We re so thankful to the Lunenburg SPCA for not giving up on him and Simon supports them by donating some of his allowance a couple of times a year and donating gently used items to the annual Garage Sale in August. Photo and from Alice Fillmore I wanted to share a few pictures of our new baby, and express how much joy she has brought us. Puddy (photo right) has continued to come out of her shell and embrace her new family. She sleeps with one of us at night, and always gets up with the first person in the morning. She and her new big brother, Luca (photo left) are fast becoming best friends and playmates. Sammy Girl, our beagle, has also done her best to welcome the new addition, giving her tentative licks and sniffs. Puddy is just a little ray of sunshine when we come home after work, always coming to say Hello. She is affectionate, loving and playful...everything we were hoping for. Her little motor purrs constantly when you show her attention and she has a lot of fun with all her toys, including Luca J. We are very grateful for Puddy and look forward to watching her grow up. Thank you for the part you played in bringing Puddy into our lives. 10

11 For Adoption Smoki is a beautiful girl, playful and friendly. She was declawed before coming into the SPCA';s care. She is timid around children and other cats, but would make a lovely companion for older people in a quiet home.. Just in, a new kitty. Watch for her on Petfinder or call Leroy (right) is about eight weeks old and a cute bundle of fun. He loves to cuddle and be with people. He needs a lot of attention. He likes being with other cats and is very close to Buttercup (left) who has become his constant companion. Buttercup (left) is a 12 week old kitten with white fur and calico markings. She is very timid. It will take time and a gentle approach for her to get to know you. She is used to other cats and kittens and has grown attached to Leroy, although she ll play with other cats in her foster home. If possible Leroy and Buttercup should adopted together. Shy Buttercup has become dependent on Leroy and he gives people enough love for two cats or more! 11

12 In Our Care Myrtle, a sweet elderly Siamese cat Enjoys a cuddle with her care giver Keefer, whose foster is helping him with behavioural problems Simone, a pretty calico We also have Sable and her four A Torte in bad shape A kitten Sammi Millie Waiting List We have a list of cats and a dog who are waiting for room to become available at our fosters before they can be taken into SPCA care. All our animals are vaccinated, spayed or neutered before being adopted. We keep them for ten days to ensure they are over their operations. We urgently need more foster homes, especially for those 10 days, so we can take in more animals. Starr 12

13 Adopted Chloe Emma Copper Puddy Marigold Daisy Brownie Cheddar Wilma and her two kittens Pebbles and Bam Bam Yeteh 13

14 Adopted Courtesy Listing Belle Smudge Courtesy Listing Eddy Kittens Oreo, Ebony, Domino Marble Tigger Jyn Little John 14

15 Cats & Kittens We knead you!! Help a kitty out Share some meow I m having sweet dreams thanks to my foster pur- Feline Foster Homes Needed!! Do you love cats? Would you like to have a cat on a short-term basis?? Or perhaps a batch of adorable little kittens. The Nova Scotia SPCA, Lunenburg Branch urgently needs volunteers to provide short-term inhome care for cats and kittens waiting to be adopted. Food and litter are provided and all medical expenses are covered by the SPCA. For more information: Phone: (902) or (902) Or visit our Website at 15

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