Featured Pet: Asher, at the Bloomington City Animal Shelter!
Asher is a 2-year-old domestic short-haired cat with a large personality. Asher has been at the shelter for nearly a year, arriving at the shelter in December of 2021. Shelter life can be stressful for many animals, and this was true for Asher. For the past few months, he’s been in a nursing home because life in the shelter overly stimulates him.
Shelter staff believe Usher has a hypersensitive nervous condition, based on his behaviors and noticeable changes that come and go. Without obvious triggers, he will have “seizures” that occur at body level, but primarily on his left side. These cases can consist of twitching of the ears, twitching of multiple muscle areas of the body simultaneously, and unilateral flexion of the mustache. These spells can last more than 24 hours. It doesn’t hurt itself, but it gets very high during these times. It can become more isolating: hiding in the pantry, sleeping more, and when it interacts, it seems to cause more symptoms.
Asher’s care team is currently experimenting with strategies to help Asher — as well as medications, such as gabapentin, to manage symptoms. Asher is under veterinary care and needs a calm and patient family willing to continue the care Asher is currently receiving.
While it can take some time to adapt, Asher does well with people, children, and other dogs and cats. Asher is a sweet and funny cat! He’s doing well in his foster home, but he’s patiently waiting for his forever home. If you are interested in adopting Asher, please contact Bloomington Animal Shelter.
Asher – Image source: Bloomington City Animal Shelter
Featured Topic: Cat Society
“Community cats” is a term used to describe unowned cats that roam the outdoors. Community cats may be feral or friendly, changeable or immutable, healthy or sick. Several community cats may live in an area together, often called a cat colony, and they have a dedicated guard who helps them spay, fertilize and ensure they have what they need to live safely outdoors.
Many people of good will will surround the community cats and bring them to their local shelters. But, this can sometimes do more harm than good. Many community cats cannot be adopted and the shelter environment is not the best place for them.
The most widely accepted best practice for community cat care is TNRM, which stands for Trap-Neuter-Return-Monitor. This method begins with humanely trapping community cats, providing them with the vaccinations they need, spaying and fertilizing them and then returning them to where they were found.
One way you might know if a cat is a community cat is by having her ear tilted. This means that the upper quadrant of the left or right ear has been safely and surgically removed, which is often done when a community cat is spayed or neutered. An ear heart helps you know that the cat has been spayed or neutered and does not need to be hunted or brought to your local shelter; It is well in place.
Most communities have at least one or more groups working in TNRM. You can contact your local animal welfare groups to find out who does the work, and if you’d like to get involved more – consider becoming a cat herder or volunteer.
TNRM has been shown to be the most humane and effective way to stabilize community cat populations and – over time – reduce the overall cat population in the area. TNRM helps cats live longer, healthy lives.