Monday, August 8, 2022

The Cat Report (8/5-22)

 With the adoptions of Meringue the mew-er and that majestic pair Melificence and Skreech, the cat-room seems positively roomy with four cats and four kittens: Miss Lucy, Joshua, Olive, Ella, and kittens Copperfield and Houdini and Sunny D and Tang. 

MISS LUCY got to come out first, as she considers right and proper. She had a nice walk of about thirty minutes, keeping her cool even though there were quite a few dogs out. She’s brave or perhaps optimistic in that when she saw a dog her reaction was to either saunter towards it or hold her ground, depending of the dog’s bevavior. As usual she was a great walker and did her goodwill tour duty. The only point on which we butted heads was her discovery of some short cat-stands with a hollow base near the cat-room door. She’d no sooner seen these than she had to go in one, and we disagreed over how long she shd stay there.

JOSHUA came next. I doubted I’d be able to walk him, but to my surprise while nervous he wasn’t panic-strickened. Most of the time (10 to 15 mintes) I carried him around the area outside the cat-room, but he did walk some on his own. Given his suspicions that Cat-eating Fiends might be about he did well. This marks the first time I’ve been able to give him a walk beyond a reluctant token gesture. 

OLIVE had her turn then, which was similar to her brother’s except she was more nervous.  I picked her up and held her where she could see into the cage room from outside and surprisingly this calmed her down; her heartbeat went from racing to normal. I’m hoping that going for short outings may convince this pair that walks aren’t that scary after all but a interesting break from the cat-room. We’ll see.

The rest of the time was devoted to ELLA and the KittensHOUDINICOPPERFIELDSUNNY and TANG. All came out, except one of the buff-color kittens, who slept through the call for playtime (though he was happy to play catch-up).  Though small the kittens and Ella were enough to fill the room and then some. I had to be careful not to step on anybody as they dashed about in pursuit of some escaping cat toy/prey.

The real revelation was Ella’s coming out of her shell. She played like a kitten, sometimes joining in games and sometimes enjoying toys on her own.  Playful and affectionate. I set up a catnip puzzle for her: a catnip sachet sealed in a little ziplock bag placed in a closed little box of thin cardboard. She managed to open it, sooner than I thought.

The kittens, for their part, lived up to their motto We’re Kittens and We’re Out. They played with each other, their mom, me, a variety of cat toys, and the room itself. They’re far more socialized than just a week ago, happy to be played with and tolerating being picked up, so long as it’s not for long.

—John R.

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