Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Cat Report (W.1/8-14)

With the adoption of little miss Zippy Zoe (hurray!), we were down to just three cats, all of them relative newcomers: SCRUFFY, SHORTY, and MONDO MAX. Now that's doubled to six with the arrivals of GEORGE YODA (a friendly and talkative yellow tom, almost brown towards his head), SOPHIE DORIE (a youngish white and gray cat, full of zip and zim), and shy KABOODLE (a long sleek shy black cat with a very long face who's very good at hiding). It's nice to have a little more room so the cats don't crowd each other so much as they try to sort out who's who and what's what in the cat room, establishing their routines and finding their own favorite spots.

We started with walks for George and Dorie. Sophie Dorie liked the idea of having a walk but was wary when she discovered that it's awfully big out there. Still, it's a start. George did much better; although he requires frequent reassurance. He got all the way over to the birds, who fascinated him. Clearly a predator, given the opportunity. The one thing to watch for when walking him is how much he likes to climb up on the shelves and sit atop those big bags of catfood ("mine, all mine"). Being clawless he can't hurt them, but still I want to encourage him to do a little more walking when he's on a walk. 

After we came in George claimed the spot by the door (think he likes the incoming breeze). Turns out he really loves his catnip, melting into total bliss. 
Dorie y contrast was around and about, restlessly exploring. She even wound up among the towels in the cabinet at one point. She loves the automated cat-toy, especially when it's covered with a sheet of crinkly paper she could pounce on. In fact, she joined in just about every game we had, but she and Mr. Scruffs seemed to like the automated toy and the string game best. She's not very friendly with other cats, and did a fair amount of hissing when they came too close.

By contrast, little Kaboodle is very shy. When I arrived she was burrowed under her blankets so successfully that you cdn't tell, by sight, that there was even a cat in there. When she came out, she hid in the basket on the bench. Later, she Dorie had been startled to discover her there and hissed at her, Kaboodle retreated to beneath the bottom rung on the cat-stand by the cabinet. She's still playful, though; when I was playing the string game a little black paw shot out each time the string came close to where she was hiding. She's very gentle and I hope will gain some confidence after being in the cat-room for a while.

Shorty is also shy, but came out on her own and seemed to enjoy it, even though she shied away from being petted and went back into her cage (again, on her own initiative) early. She seems to be doing better, though she'll never be outgoing, esp. with strangers.

Mr. Scruffs was well-behaved, joining in games but getting along well with the other cats. He enjoys one-on-one attention and all kinds of games. His favorite I think was a big paper bag with some catnip in it placed on the cage-tops. He got inside and was one happy cat, until Mondo Max also decided it was a fine game and proceeded to sit on the bag, squashing Scruffs in the process. Scruffs stayed longer than I wd have expected but eventually abandoned the bag (and the cage-tops) to Max.

Speaking of Mondo Max, he had no sooner jumped up to the cage-tops than he squatted down and peed on the foam cat-mattresses up there -- I caught him in the act, but too late to prevent it. I bagged up the foam and cleaned up the mess, but don't know it those pieces can be cleaned thoroughly enough to get the odor out or not. Aside from that he was good as gold; relaxed in a cat-bed up there, joined in a string game, and in general just enjoyed being King of the Mountain.

And that's pretty much it for the morning. About half the cats went in peaceably, the other half (Sophie, Yoda) with lamentations.

--John R.

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