Saturday, November 29, 2014
We wanted you to know that we are so happy to have Clint in our home! He is such a sweet boy and so full of love. I wanted to pass along a few pictures of his first couple of days with us. Please tell his foster mom that he is in a very happy place!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
I don't quite know where to begin. For the first three weeks, after bringing Toby home, he seemed very unhappy and that was making me pretty unhappy too. People can tell each other how they feel, but cats simply act out their feelings and sometimes it's not all that easy to understand. We want Toby to be healthy and happy and especially we want him to recognize us as two people who love him and will take good care of him. When I look at Tobey, I forget that in many ways that he's still a kitten inside. I began getting better acquainted with his behaviors through some good websites for cats, and decided to try some things that I had read about.I mentioned in my earlier email that I placed some "safe" boxes around the apartment that he could go to if he needed to hide. That worked very well. He stopped hiding under the furniture and used the safe boxes instead. That made it much easier to know where he was. I could see that day by day, he was making little breakthroughs in his adjustment to us and his new home. During those first three weeks, he wouldn't let us near him and he wouldn't come near us, so we let him be and just continued to be here for him. You'll laugh when I tell you this, but one day when Toby was hiding in a safe box in the living room, I sat close by and read him a book out loud so that he could get used to the sound of my voice. That was something I learned online. He stuck his head out of the box and just watched an listened. From one of the websites on cats, I learned a method to try that was aimed at petting a frightened cat without getting scratched. At that time, Toby was still aggressively scratching if we tried to pet him. Instead of bring my open hand down to him so he could sniff my hand and identify me, I only extended my pointer finger. He sniffed it, then shyly dropped his head down, permitting me to scratch around his neck. When he suddenly realized that he was making contact, he naturally tried to swipe me with his claws, but I quickly withdrew my hand, stood up and walked away. It was suggested that each time your cat did something negative like scratching you, you end the activity and walk away. I have no idea why that worked, but Toby was clearly puzzled by it enough that he'd come back to me and let me repeat the process again. A few days later, out of the blue, Toby just timidly walked up to me, rubbed by me, then stopped, looked up at me, and I knew that he wanted to be petted again. This was the first time he initiated it. That was the big turning point with Toby. He's been like a totally different cat ever since. You probably wouldn't recognize him today. He follows me around like a little puppy from room to room. When I am at my desk (like right now), Toby comes up to me so I can pet him, then he goes under my desk and curls up into a ball and snoozes. It took me awhile to get him to sit next to me while I watch TV, but now, I often find him sitting there waiting for me to join him. He not only sits with me on the love seat, but he's taken over the side that I always sit on. That's his now. He's become very playful, but being a kitten at heart, he still forgets that the other "cats" in the house don't have claws like his. And so, I pay close attention to his body language when he's playful and do my best to anticipate a body posture that signals to me that he's going to take a swipe at my hand. Every time he does try to scratch me, I tell him calmly, but firmly, Don't scratch! Then I will stop petting him for awhile to make the point. At this point, I actually think he's getting the message. Most of the time now, when he taps me with his paws, his claws are retracted. I think he is getting the message that it hurts when he scratches me. In his defense, I will say that as soon as he discovered the scratching post, he hasn't even tried to scratch the furniture at all. Toby has impressed me as a very intelligent cat in these past few weeks. When he walks or runs, his tail his held high, unlike during his first weeks with us. Then, he walked around with his tail curled downward. He is still investigating things around the apartment, but overall, I think he is so much more acclimated to life here today that when he first came home. My next goals with Toby are to encourage him to let me hold him and to be able to pick him up and hug him, without him feeling the need to use his claws. I think that will happen, but I know if may take more time. I think it will happen when he wants it to happen. Timothy and I are just so glad to see the transition Toby has made from his first days at home until now. It's clear to me that Toby is very happy to be here with us. We still have a great deal to learn about him as we go along and he also about us, but it does appear as though things are going very well. He seems to be confidently managing a good balance of independent activity with times of closer contact with each of us. One sure sign that he is comfortable living here is the fact that he isn't using the safe boxes much now. I've already removed one of them and replaced it with the cat carrier bag. The idea there is to get Toby to feel comfortable being in the carrier bag, so that when he has to go to the Vet, he won't be afraid of the carrier. I didn't think he would go into it, but he actually has been sleeping in it from time to time. As time goes on, I think we'll be able to remove the remaining two safe boxes and just leave the carrier out where Toby can find it.
The little ones are adjusting fine. I'm really glad that I brought the both of them home, being together has made the process a bit easier on them.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
I adopted "Linnie" from POA this past spring. I wanted to give you guys an update on how well she is doing. Now known as Belle, she is a true success story. Belle slept on my bed her first night home and has continued to blossom into a wonderful companion. Belle greets me at the door when I get home from school, sits with me on the couch while I study, and is usually purring next to me when I wake up. Belle's two favorite things are squirrel hunting through my deck door where I have placed a bird feeder and playing in her tunnel, both of which have provided us both with hours of entertainment. When I adopted Belle, she was quite skinny, still recovering from being a stray. She has since filled out is and is nearly unrecognizable from her adoption photo. Belle is a wonderful companion for me and I wanted to thank POA for rescuing her and getting her back on her paws so that we could find each other.
Wanted to let you know both kitties are doing great!! They have totally settled in and are very comfortable. They love each other and love to play together. Both love to snuggle with us too which we love. They both are perfect and we could not have picked any better. :-)
I can not stop taking pictures of Noisette. She runs the house and is so dam cute. She is such a nut. :-). I love her & Taffy so much.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Never having a cat before I didn't quite know what to expect. In just a short time she is adjusting very well. She has a "safe place" set up in my husband's office and I have just opened the door to the main living area for her today. Bedrooms remain closed. She does a discovery walk and then, of course, it's nap time. Lol
Well, she is the most affectionate little girl. I think she was just dropped down from heaven as she has the sweetest, most gentle disposition! If I don't pet her enough she head butts my head and rubs or licks my hand.
I thank you for doing what you do! Because of all your volunteers, who really care about these amazing creatures, I was able to meet and bring home my Gracie. Thank you!