Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Cat Report (W.1/29-14)

The arrival of two newcomers brings us up from just three cats to five, half a room full. Four out of the five get along fine, but the fifth more than makes up for it.

I'd stopped by on Friday to return clean blankets and found KABOODLES had decided I was okay in his book: he purred, rubbed up against my leg, and was quite casual about using my shoulder as a half-way point when leaping up between the cat-stands and the cagetops.

Wednesday morning it seemed like a real breakthrough to find Kaboodle was not hiding, instead sitting on top of his little stand, rather than hiding under the blankets as he had been doing. Nice to see him come out of his shell and reveal himself to be sociable, gentle, and a skilled leaper. He's also v. affectionate, reaching through the cage doors to paw my hat when I first arrived to let me know he wanted to come out and be agreeable.

SCRUFFS does not like walks, he informed me: by giving voice during my Friday morning attempt and by squirming when I offered again Wednesday. What he does like is crouching by the door, enjoying the breeze. And what he likes even better is a brown paper bag placed near the door that he can go inside of and claim as a paper cave all his own. He likes the laser pointer but wants it placed where he can swat at it without leaving his paper cave. He went back into his cage early to avoid Dori.

DORI hates everyone. She has a big impact for such a little, young cat. She refused to come out of her cage, so that I had to clean it around her. Later she did jump out, and made it her business to locate, and hiss and growl at, every other cat in the room. She found Kaboodles minding his own business in the basket-stand on the bench and attacked him, trapping him in there. Scruffs went back into his own cage early to get away from her. Sequoia hid, but Danali stood his ground and Dori kept her distance from him, just growling and hissing instead of attacking. 

I eventually had to scoop her up and put her back in her cage for a time out. Surprisingly, this seemed to be what she wanted: the growls soon subsided and she calmed down. Think it helped that I covered her cage-front with a blanket, giving her some privacy and it seems security as well. Something's wrong with her fight-or-flight response. I'd come in Friday to put a calming collar on her (one of the pheromone kind), but doesn't seem to have had much effect yet.

Next time I think I'll take Dori out first, put her up on the cage-tops, and play with her in hopes of tiring her out a little and getting some of that aggression out. I looked at her history and saw its reference to her brother and wondered if part of her problem isn't being separated from another cat she'd spent all her life with.

As for the newcomers, DANALI is a good fellow who's calmly getting to know the room and the other cats in it. He placed himself near Scruffs, and when there was no growling on either side moved on. Later he investigated Kaboodle's hiding place and again moved along without incident on either side. So the room's three boy cats are all willing to be on good terms with each other: doesn't look like any territorial battles there. 

While Dori was having her Time Out, both the new cats/bonded pair came out. SEQUOIA was interested in the cabinet, so I put her up among the blankets, which she loved. She's still shy but looks to be a cat who loves petting. Thanks to Sharon for posting their picture: Danali is the all-white one and Sequoia the dilute-calico point mostly white one.

--no walks, aside from quick out-and-back-ins.

--no one among our current cats likes wet food.

--no health issues I noticed. I bought a little thing of cat grass at the registers as I was coming in and let the room cats all have a go at smelling it. None nibbled on it, which rather surprised me.

Very sorry to hear the news about poor Milo. I hope all those who worked so hard to save him can take comfort in knowing they did all they could to find and rescue him.

--John R.

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