Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cat Walking Wednesday (10/26-16)

After the weekend Kitten Event, we’re now at five cats in the Cat Room: bonded pair BABY KITTY and ELEANOR MANYTOES, wide-eyed VACA, and newcomers YUKI (kitten mom) and FUJI (kitten).

It was nice to make the latter two’s acquaintance. They definitely seem to be unbonded: Yuki hissed at little Fuji when I held him up to her, and he backed away as soon as he could. Mostly they ignored each other, and neither seemed to distinguish the other from all the other cats in the room.

It was a good day for walking: everyone but Yuki had an outing. Fiirst came little FUJI, who got carried all around the story, taking it all in with big eyes. He rode on my shoulder the whole time, not feeling safe when I occasionally put him down to see if he wanted to do any exploring on his own four feet (the answer each time was no). He was petted for a while by a man in a wheelchair over by the dog-grooming room, and while wary of dogs didn’t seem particularly afraid of them. Think he’ll be leading us on the leash all around the store in another week or two, if he’s not adopted by then.

The next walk was ELEANOR Manytoes, who also got carried around. She gave voice a time or two but on the whole think the change of pace was good for her. Mostly she likes to be atop the higher of the two cat-stands, happy to be petted and happy to be out of her cage for a while, snoozing in her favorite spot.

VACA is by far our best walker of all the cats we have right now. She knew where she wanted to go (towards the back of the store) but didn’t want to get too close to the dogs at Banfield. Showing that she’s pretty smart, she worked out a route around the dogs, then explored the center of the store. She was out a long time and I think thoroughly enjoyed it.

The last walk of the day was BABY KITTY, who clung to me the whole time she was out. I petted and reassured her while carrying her about, but she was still alert to the possibility that something might pounce if she didn’t keep a sharp look-out. Still think the being out and about did her good; she was alert and playful when back in the room. 

I thought about walking newcomer YUKI but didn’t think I’d gained her confidence enough yet to trust me if there were anything that suddenly startled or frightened her. Did pet her and found that while very shy she’s also in need of attention; she rubbed her head against my hand and cuddled up against my arm while being petted. I did lift her out of her cage so I could hold her and pet her, letting her look out the big window in the smaller room (the one with the bench and cat-stands). Two really big dogs came up and Yuki was wary of them but not frightened.

Games: little Fuji wanted to play every game there was, but Vaca also joined in on the action quite a lot. The two of them went wild over the laser pointer, but they thought the feathers and string game were well worth their while too. All the cats wanted petting, some while awake and some while asleep and some both.

The Cricket: at one point Fuji spotted a cricket that’d somehow escaped the fate of crickets and found its way into the cat room. He got very excited and slipped immediately into little predator mode. I helped the cricket get away, but had much to-do to keep him distracted from live prey.

Health concerns: Yuki’s eyes seemed fine but her ears needed some cleaning; we shd keep an eye on them. 

We had several visitors, some in or just outside the cat-room, some encountered around the store while walking. 

—John R.

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