Sunday, December 28, 2008

Introducing Ziggy!

Ziggy's Story:

Ziggy came to live at the animal hospital where I work 2 years ago. A good samaritan picked him up off the side of the road when he was about 8 weeks old. She brought him to the hospital because he was cold and lifeless and presumed he had been hit by a car. She left him with us to be euthanized so he would not suffer.

When the doctor examined him she could find no broken bones or signs of trauma. He was cold, hungry, and dehydrated. We warmed him up, fed him, administered fluids and he was on his way to recovery. Since we had lost our resident hospital cat the year before, it was decided he would become the new hospital kitty.

Ziggy loved being at the hospital. He greeted all the clients when they arrived. He wrestled and played with the new puppies. He climbed up on the shelves and knocked things down as all young cats do. He was happy living inside the confines of the hospital until two months ago.

In October for some unknown reason, Ziggy decided he wanted to explore the great outdoors. No longer satisfied with his responsibilities as resident greeter, he would wait patiently at the door for a client to arrive only to dart out the door the moment it opened. Our hospital is located on a busy highway just adjacent to a busy shopping center. One of the staff members would have to go outside to round him up and bring him back inside. His escapes became more frequent and he began to run from us when we would go outside. We tried spraying him with a water bottle when he went to the door but discovered that he has no fear of water and in fact likes it. The situation was not good and we began to fear that Ziggy would meet his maker in the road or the parking lot. Ziggy had to be confined to his kennel.

We began trying to find a new home for Ziggy. One of the assistants really liked Ziggy and said he would take him home to live with him since he didn't have a cat. Within hours of Ziggy's arrival at his new home, the assistant's wife started having an allergic reaction. She was allergic to cats and Ziggy was returned to the hospital the next day.

One of the receptionists said she would love to take Ziggy home to live with her and her other cats and dogs. Ziggy didn't like the other cats at his new home. He would constantly pick fights with them and soon the resident cats started urinating in inappropriate places to show their dislike of this intruder. After two weeks and no improvement in his behavior nor that of the resident cats, Ziggy bounced back to the hospital again.

I began talking to everyone who came in the hospital to see if I could find a home for Ziggy. He would have to go to a home with no other cats or live outside in the country. It is very difficult to find a cat lover in an animal hospital who doesn't have cats. Ziggy had been confined to his kennel for 2 weeks now with no prospects of a new home on the horizon. It broke my heart to see him shut up in a kennel 24/7 but I knew I couldn't risk bringing him home with me to have him fight with my 15 year old cat. Or....could I?

I spoke with the owner/doctor at our hospital to ask if he thought I could make Ziggy an outdoor cat. We have a bit of land with no other houses on the land near us so he would have some room to roam. The doctor said he would buy a doghouse for Ziggy if I would give it a try.

As they say...the rest is history. Ziggy has a new home with us. He loves being outdoors, although he does try to sneak inside at times. He loves playing with the foster puppy but doesn't get anywhere near Lola. Hopefully, Ziggy will like living here and won't run away or get into any trouble outside. He has been with us for two weeks now and hasn't wandered too far away from the house (and the food).


pollyanna said...

Ziggy is a free spirit with a touch of wonderlust. He will do well at your house! He wants the love and affection of humans--want to be the kingpin--but wants to be that independent outdoor cat. Good luck on your newest family member! Aren't you glad you have your new house?

PunkiePie said...

What a wonderful story and what a big heart you have for all our furry friends! Good luck. I hope Ziggy likes his new digs. Sounds like he already does!

Jen :)

Debi said...

Congrats on your new family member. I love cats too, but with 3 beagles, I doubt a cat would be too happy here.

Jan said...

What a great story about Ziggy--I'm so glad he found a safe home with you! You are very kind to take him in!