Celeste the Space Ship Kitty

Today’s guest, Jacqueline, unintentionally adopted a cat when she found an abandoned cat in the iconic hot pink spaceship bubble backpack. Read on to learn more about how they found Celeste, and how this doggy family has adapted to life with a cat! (@myspoiledpups on instagram)

Can you tell us a little more about how you found Celeste? 

We were passing by through a laneway behind our home towards the end of our walk and noticed a hot pink “spaceship” cat backpack. In DT Toronto, if you see a random bag on the floor, it’s probably best not to touch them but Polar was VERY interested in the bag and our hearts sank. We cautiously opened up the backpack and inside was some kibble and a black kitty. Thank goodness Polar was so persistent!

Where did the name Spaceship Kitty come from, and how did you decide on Celeste later on?

The name just came from the fact that we found her in a spaceship shaped backpack and didn’t know what to call her at the moment. I put up a post on IG asking for suggestions for names and the top two were Luna (Sailor Moon reference) and Celeste. My husband has never watched Sailor Moon so we went with Celeste. We did find out info from her microchip that her original name was Cleopatra but she never responded to it.

What were the steps you took to try and find her previous family?

When we got home, we immediately shared photos of her to our local Facebook group. It’s a very active group and our post was shared a few hundred times to other groups but no luck locating her owners. There was a lead that we think may be probable – numerous people said they saw a very elderly lady walking around the neighborhood with this very distinctive hot pink backpack. A few people speculated that the owner may have passed away and the family did not want to keep her so left her for someone to find. It makes sense as there was food left in the backpack and it was near a church. I called numerous vet clinics in the area based on leads from the FB group. Shelters were contacted as well to let them know if anyone called in a missing pet report. A veterinary clinic that scanned her chip tried to contact the number on the chip multiple times but no luck unfortunately.

Did the decision to adopt her come easily or did you consider finding her another family?

The decision to adopt Celeste did not come easy. We decided a couple days into finding her to get her examined by a vet – she was in our home with our pets so we did not want to risk their health in case there was something that could be passed on plus we want to make sure that she’s in good health! During the examination, the vet noticed she had an irregular heart and suggested we do further tests. There were a few friends and even random people online who had expressed interest initially when we found her but that was prior to the vet appointment which indicated that she may have cardiac issues – I don’t blame them as it’s a lot to take on a pet that may have life long medical needs. The test alone to check her heart was quite expensive.

I’ve always loved animals and at the time that we found her, we had 2 dogs, 2 rats, a hedgehog and a leopard gecko – as you can tell, we love ALL animals. One of the main reasons that we never got a cat was because of my severe cat allergies. I knew what I wanted but didn’t know if it was feasible. I’m undergoing some medical treatments so I did not want to risk my health since my allergies were so severe but thankfully my medical team gave me the go ahead to keep her if we wanted to. I’m glad we decided to adopt her as my body adjusted to the allergies in about 1.5 weeks and she’s been fantastic for my mental health.

How is Celeste with Polar and Marlowe?

Polar was hyper curious about her as he is with all animals whereas Marlowe was very reserved and kept his distance when she first arrived. Polar wanted to be with her 24/7 when she first arrived but now has become less obsessed with her – I guess the novelty wore off. Celeste now knows that she’s the queen of the house. Marlowe is always very respectful with all our small animals and gives her space and whereas Polar is a busy body and wants to befriend everyone. When she gets the zoomies, Polar gets very excited and likes to chase her – she’ll tells him off then he stops. When Celeste jumps on the counter, Polar will bark and tattle on her. I know Polar wishes that Celeste would engage with him more and play but she’s just a very chill cat that’s indifferent to the dogs. The dogs let her take their prime spots by the window too. Everyone pretty much lives in harmony thankfully and does their own thing. There are times where she’s a brat and will purposely pop out of her tunnel to scare Marlowe tho LOL

What are some things you have learnt about cats that you didn’t know before?

They’re just so so different from dogs. They both pretty much sleep all day long and both fight for our attention when pets are being doled out. Cats can be so independent the majority of time but when they want something… they want it now! The leash walking thing is definitely a huge difference too. A cat does what it wants to do.

Is there anything Celeste does that surprises you or that you still don’t understand?

I find it amusing how she hates when doors are closed. There’s been times where we are ready to leave the house for a walk with the dogs and she runs away so I assumed she doesn’t want to come so we don’t force her to, then after we shut the door, she’s acting like “Wait for me! I wanted to come!” and tries to dart out the door when we arrive home but then instantly wants to go back inside– maybe this is just a weird Celeste thing.

If her previous family were to contact you asking for her back, what would you do?

Rob and I have contemplated that. I think it would depend on the circumstances. If she really did belong to an elderly lady and she is able to provide proper care for her – 100% we would return her. It is devastating to lose a pet. Though speaking with shelters and vet clinics, the circumstance of how we found her indicates she was left there on purpose. A few neighbors had passed by that backpack prior to us opening it and she was there for at least 6-8 hours based on the numerous accounts.

Celeste comes along on the dog walks, but usually she is in her backpack. Is this because she can’t keep up with the two dogs?

Celeste loves to watch the world go by in the safety of her backpack. She sleeps in it daily when she has so many other comfy options at home. We’ve tried to let her walk on leash in quiet safe areas but it’s obvious she wants to get back in the backpack and feels nervous. She does not like strangers, in particular men and will actively try to escape if strangers approach us so we’re very mindful of respecting her boundaries. Even in the safety of our yard, she always makes a beeline for the door and meows for us to let her in. She is a homebody but still enjoys the safety of exploring the world in her backpack so we do our best to give her variety and stimulation while respecting her boundaries.

Are you working towards anything with Celeste, maybe teaching her tricks or teaching her to walk with the dogs?

We haven’t been working on much with her other than loosely a bit of recall. We’ve just been patient to let her adjust to our home since she seems naturally timid. For the first while, she just hid in the basement and now for the most part, while I’m working from home, she sleeps in her backpack beside me which is huge for us. In the future we would love for her to be more outgoing and shoulder cat or simply be comfortable enough to hang outside the backpack outdoors. Our “goals” are very basic but she gets spooked quite easily so we haven’t really pushed her too much and just want her to be comfortable.

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