Friday, February 19, 2016

The cat saga continues . . .


We are 3 weeks into the “move” and still being met with screams, growls and howls most of the time.  TBS hides behind or under the small end table and comes out with an attitude to let us know in no uncertain terms how much she dislikes her vacation accommodations.  There has been some improvement but also many days when it seems like we are slipping backwards instead of progressing forward.  

The space in back of and under this small table serves as the safe house

Because she was a foundling feral kitten, underweight and of indeterminate age but probably 8 weeks or so old, when we got her, she has peculiarities that most socialized, domesticated, tame cats do not have.  The move from the south to north houses has caused her to revert to feral behavior and it is like having to tame her all over again.  It takes a lot of patience to deal with a feral cat and there is a chance that we may not be successful.  But we continue to try.  After nine years of companionship I am very fond of her despite these lapses in civility.

Several days ago we moved a rocking chair into the room so that one of us could sit with her.  This activity was not met with enthusiasm on her part but was tolerated about as well as anything else.  Ears flattened, hissing, and some lunging forward with bared teeth ensued.  After I sat in the chair for about an hour she came over and rubbed against my feet then turned, hissed, and whacked me with her paws then ended with a toothy nip.  Since she no longer has front claws* and she didn’t bite hard this was just a showing of disgruntlement not a fierce attack, as I had first feared it would turn out to be.  She can be absolutely terrifying when in full attack mode.

What now?

She has to be confined to the one room since there are just too many places in the rest of the north house where she could hide and given her current nastiness it would prove difficult to impossible to manage.  Unfortunately there have been some unexpected delays in the south house construction so she will have to stay at the north house longer than originally hoped or anticipated.  In the late evenings she cries at the door to be let out but we dare not do it.  

Yesterday was a big day.  She quieted down and sat on the small rug by the rocking chair.  She even purred and played with toys that we had brought in.   After a little more than an hour she came over and sniffed my hand, licked my fingers, and let me pet her before she lashed out with paw strikes and hisses.  This is the first time in the three weeks that either of us has been able to get close enough to touch her at all.  This morning she is back to screaming at us but there is some hope on the horizon.


*Note:  Vets do not normally recommend nor approve of claw removal in cats.  As a result we didn't do it when she was a kitten.  About 4 years ago we had her claws removed because she is poly-dactyl and has 13 toes on her front feet.  She could not retract some of her many claws so they were continually poking into the pads of her feet.  She would not willingly let anyone touch her feet to cut the claws and she was in pain every time she took a step.  It took trapping her in the bathroom, a net to catch her, a sedated blanket to wrap her in and a very fast vet with a helper to clip her claws.  The claw removal in her case was recommended by a vet.  Now she hates all vets.

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