Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Cat Report (W. 4/3-13)

Five cats in five cages, same as last week: JANELEMURAMAUIOLIVER BOB, and TATTOO.

I was late in arriving, but fortunately having only five cats meant there was still plenty of time to do a lot of socializing. 

I. Walks
I started, after filling the water pitcher, with letting Oliver Bob out first to see if he'd like a walk. He was shy and did his usual going limp when picked up, but didn't protest when I put on the leash. I carried him outside and around the store (particularly the quieter areas). He cried when put down, worried but not panicked. Hope that after a few times of this he'll feel safer and come to enjoy it. 

Next up was Tattoo, who did surprisingly well. We did a combination of being carried and walking, with her getting more comfortable walking the longer we did it. 

After that Maui had his turn, and did great. Being sociable, he went into the pet hotel area and also Banfield (maybe he was just checking out the exits). Even rounding a corner and seeing a Big Dog (part German Shepherd and part something much bigger) didn't make him panic, though he did puff his tail out and make a prudent retreat. The only thing that really rattled him were the fish-tanks: he thought the fish were going to get him. The more walks he gets, the more good it's likely to do him.

Finally Jane was up at the front of her cage when Maui came back in, ready to be let out. She let me pet her, both in the cage and on the short cat-stand, so deciding to risk it I put the leash on, and still she seemed fine. So I opened the door and off we went. She much prefers being carried to walking on her own, but doesn't mind the occasional walking bits. Must feel good to get out of that room after all these months. And the outing clearly did her good: she was still well-disposed to the world when we came back in.

Lemura shd have gotten a fifth and final walk, but Jane made it clear that if I put her back in that cage her sunny mood wd be gone like that, so instead decided to postpone Lemura's walk and let everybody out.

Once everybody was out and about, it was time for catnip. Everyone enjoyed it, but once again Maui went for it in a big way. He particularly enjoyed climbing into the box I'd brought my stuff in and excavating through the paper towels and cat-toys and such to find the main stash. Among the things he had to chew on, he decided my notebook in which I take all the notes for these cat reports was the best. I might bring him a sheet or two of crinkly paper next time to see how he likes that.

The rest distributed themselves about as they saw fit. Jane went into the short stand on the bench, with its opening facing towards the cabinet. Oliver I put atop the cat-stand by the cabinet. Lemura hung around the bottom of the (taller) cat-stand by the door, with Maui on top. Tattoo was the most adventurous, going up atop the cages, where she gloried in the little pink beds (dividing her time between the two of them, one at either end).

III. Play and Pets
Jane played a little with the bug-on-a-string, but mostly she was ready for napping once she was back in. Maui loved the laser pointer from up high. Tattoo played a little as well, and Lemura had a little bit of string game. I still haven't seen Oliver trying to play with Lemura -- he had seemed on good terms with Tattoo, but didn't see that last week or this. I guess different people bring out different sides of him. At least he seemed calmer this time, though still painfully shy.

I did break out the wet catfood fairly early on, rather than at the v. end. It really got their attention. First Jane got some, then Oliver, then Tattoo, then Maui, then Lemura. Think the princess treatment pleased Jane no end. 

Two incidents of note, both involving Maui (he being the most active cat in the room right now). First was his excitement when a small kid came by the room. He passed by and was quickly gone, but Maui ran to the door and watched him as long as he was in sight, crying. Maybe he has good memories of a child in a previous home? Something to watch for.
The other was Maui's unfortunate decision to jump to the top of the second cat-stand, I think with the idea of going to the cabinet-top. When he arrived, he found the top level fully occupied by Oliver, who he'd not been able to see from the ground. Oliver froze, but Maui was so startled that he dropped down a level -- which put him in the mouth of Jane's burrow. Much hissing and growling and no doubt swatting ensued before he cd get away. He seemed fine afterwards, just disconcerted by how badly a simple plan had turned out. 

Finally, a little before noon I put everybody else back (with a second spoonful of wet) and Lemura finally got her walk. She still loves to rub everything in sight, but this time she ignored all the people we came across in favor of exploring. Good to see she's gotten much better with the walks -- think she'll eventually have the whole store marked as her territory.

Health concerns: there was dried throw-up in Jane's cube, a mix of fur and (digested) food. Perhaps a bit of a hairball forming? The area above Lemura's eye looked fine. No other problems spotted.

Have to say, it was great to see the picture of Lemura in a bag, and also the two photos of poor Ashwyn. Many thanks for posting them.

--John R.

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