Meet Our Clinic Kitties (Part 1 of 2) by Claire Pethick, Animal Care Assistant

Currently Coxwell Animal Clinic has 2 clinic kitties – Lana and Dakota! Both of them are elderly little ladies but they wouldn’t let you know it! Both of these sweet little girls are very itty bitty – only being about 5-6 pounds and are very picky with their foods. Everyone in the clinic has learned to love them, even on their grumpiest days and we all aim to make their lives at the clinic as happy as can be. Without further ado, here’s Lana’s story:


Meet Lana.

Lana celebrated her one year anniversary of being at Coxwell Animal Clinic on November 14 this year. In one short year, she has completely taken over the place! When Lana first arrived in the clinic, she was very shy and spent all of her time in her cage. It broke our hearts to see her so reclusive but thankfully that didn’t last long. Soon enough she got brave enough to explore our treatment room where her cage was. We gave her extra beds all over the room but her all time favourite was her kitty tunnel. Slowly she started making her way throughout the clinic. It started with our reception area. Once she got up there, she never wanted to leave! She almost always had a nice warm lap to sit on, and if not she would curl up behind the computer monitors, no doubt soaking up whatever amount of heat they could provide her. A year later and she has mastered the whole clinic – even the scary basement! She has little beds all over – her favourite being on our shelf of canned food, and her second favourite being on a tiny little blanket that lays on top of a computer tower. I always catch her curling up on the countless number of chairs we have and just the other day I caught her curled up on a giant dog bed I had just put aside to be donated (as you can tell, Lana is very sassy and doesn’t care to share) Even with all of these beds and comfy areas she will always steal your lap if you decide to sit in the basement – even if your lap is filled with files you need to write in, she doesn’t care! Recently Lana started having accidents throughout the clinic. She chose a corner of our cat exam room, our treatment room, and our washroom to do her business in – always without a box! Our solution? Put litter boxes everywhere! This solved her accidents and slowly we weaned her from 4 boxes down to 2! Finger’s crossed she doesn’t relapse. Even though times were getting pretty rough, we stuck it through and she rewarded us for it. The gift of no accidents is an amazing gift, I must say!


Meet Dakota.

Dakota is our other clinic kitty and just like Lana she  is a little old lady at the nice age of 15. She is a  complete sweetheart once she gets used to you – she’s a very shy girl. Everyone here at Coxwell Animal Clinic loves her to pieces and we all take turns giving her chin scratches and treats!

Dakota was surrendered to us just over 2 months ago and she is still learning to adjust to the clinic life. Similarly to Lana, Dakota was not into the idea of venturing outside of her cage until recently. One of our technicians and a few of our animal care assistants set to break Dakota out of her shyness with the use of chicken flavoured treats and a product called Feliway! We slowly started to adjust Dakota by slowly exposing her to the clinic over a few weeks. When she first arrived we hung a towel over her cage door to give her her privacy. We started with removing that towel, and then we started leaving her cage door open. We added some Feliway (a pheromone spray that is designed to calm cats down) to her bedding and it made a huge difference! She become much more comfortable and would stretch out in her bed as opposed to curling up in a tiny little ball in the corner. Once she adjusted to these small changes, we started leaving her a trail of treats from the safety of her bed to the clinic floor. Slowly – and only if there were no noises, or sudden movements – she would come out and eat all of the treats left for her! She is slowly getting used to things but during the busy days she tends to curl up underneath of the cages where no one can get her. Every once in a while she will make a break for it and run down the stairs to the basement. Unfortunately, our little Lana has not been welcoming and we have caught Lana trapping Dakota in corners and chasing her around. … I guess if there’s any positive to this, they’re at least getting some exercise! Dakota is getting friendlier by the day with the Coxwell staff and will now walk over to you if you sit on the floor and quietly coax her over. She isn’t always crazy about being touched and definitely doesn’t like being picked up but she’s learning that we mean her no harm. She lets you know her nervousness by sounding her adorable little alarm of “mew mew mew” which just makes your heart melt! On November 7, we celebrated the 2 month anniversary of having Dakota. Unfortunately she had a bit of a tummy ache so we couldn’t give her too many treats but we all took turns giving her chin scratches which are her favourite.

Dakota and Lana are learning to love their new homes and all of the people in it! Neither of them are crazy about dogs but they have mastered the art of hiding (in Dakota’s case) and swatting (in Lana’s case) if need be. Needless to say, we love them very very much and find joy in babying them and finding new little ways to make them extra happy! If you’re lucky, Lana will greet you in reception when you come in with your own fuzzy ones – and occasionally jump up on the counter to wait for a head scratch as you pay your bills or sign your papers! Hopefully one day we can get Dakota as comfortable as we’ve gotten Lana!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Meeting Our Clinic Kitties! Next up is Dakota’s story!