Mary Jean Darrell thought her husband, Scott Calvert, would enjoy having a walking companion when he retired last year, so after a lifetime of cat ownership, the pair and their daughter, Emy Damberg, started looking for a dog. When they met Raven in January, they knew they'd found a match.
"Raven was rescued from a kill shelter by Pet Rescue of Maryland," says Darrell, who says she thinks the dog spent about two years in a foster home after that. Raven is about 5 years old now. When no one could confidently identify her breed, the family had DNA testing done and learned that Raven has about nine breeds in her bloodline, including Rottweiler and Lhasa apso.
"Some people thought she might have been part border collie, but that's the one breed she's not," says Darrell.
Raven spends her days walking with Calvert (who does, indeed, love the company) and chasing squirrels in her Mays Chapel backyard. She also has many neighborhood friends to visit, including a greyhound, a standard poodle, and a Lab.
"She has her own love seat with her blanket, pillow and toys," says Darrell. "She also has four black cats who love her, but she treats them with benign indifference."
She's not very interested in toys but loves food -- any and all types.
"Raven seems to show us a quiet appreciation for the life she has now," Darrell says. "She's finally safe in her little corner of the world, and that makes us happy." (Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun /November 22, 2013)
How can I get my cat to stop tearing and eating paper?
The ingestion of any nonfood item is not a normal activity for a cat and should be diagnosed by your veterinarian to assess whether this is a medical, behavioral or nutritional issue.
You can assist with this diagnosis by logging and sharing the frequency, timing and consequences of this event. Does it happen each time there is paper in sight; is your cat alone when this happens; does this interfere with normal eating and elimination patterns of your cat?
Shredding and chewing paper could be the way your cat relieves his boredom. He may also be amused by the sound of the crinkling paper. Provide environment enrichment for your cat by providing safe cat toys. Change the location of his toys daily for him to seek out. Set aside time to actively play with your cat. This will provide him with a mental and physical substitute for choosing unsafe materials.
Be sure you are feeding nutritionally sound food to your cat. Again your veterinarian will recommend what is best.
Soon your kitty will be going "paperless." This week's expert is Betty Cox, hospital administrator at Cat Hospital at Towson (catdoc.com). To submit a question for a local animal expert, email firstname.lastname@example.org.