An opinionated feline in Edmonton, Canada who lived with a retired cat behaviourist, Greyce provided behavioral advice to cats in need until her death in July 2014. Because her entries are useful even today, the blog remains posted.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bear-y Good News!

Dear Readers, From time to time a troubled cat who has contacted me, apprises me of his or her progress. You may remember, Bear, the stove-top pee-er who was having stand offs with his sister, Bailey (see blog entry, The Stove Top Pee-er, 2/25/20) ? His latest news is like a waft of aromatic vole on a spring breeze to me. Read on!

Dear Greyce, I thought I'd write and let you know how I am doing! Life is quite good, in fact, I'd say great! I no longer get up at night to yowl; instead I usually spend most of the night on the bed with Themselves and my feline companion, Bailey. And instead of parading on the stove top every night, I only walk around it on rare occasions.

As for my peeing "outside the box": Since the litter box was installed in the kitchen at your suggestion (thank you, Greyce) I haven't decorated the stove with my urine. Herself still keeps the stove top fully covered (as per your instructions), even though you said she could start moving items off it s-l-o-w-l-y. But she did move the kitchen litter box into the dining room. Yeah, I know you suggested moving in an inch a day but, the pathway out of the kitchen is too narrow for such maneuvers. Even though I haven't used this box for a bit, I made a point to use it in its new location last night to let everyone know I was okay with the move.

And when my folks returned from a long trip away, I did pee on an airplane eye mask that Herself accidentally dropped on the bedroom floor. And I felt the need to yowl to let them know that I didn't appreciate their absence. They got the message and spent lots of time soothing me and cuddling with me those first few days back - and I've been fine since.

Bailey still pounces on me occasionally, but not as often as she used to. That probably has something to do with the recommendations on play you gave to our folks. Herself has become a toy-buying addict and we are blessed with many new things with the consequence that we are now play addicts. We know exactly where our toys are hidden and we stake out the cupboards and let out a chorus of plaintive meows if our folks dare to walk by without opening up the play zone. Sure,the mice and balls are out all the time but the stringed items are out of reach due to 'saftey concerns' - what, pray tell, are those anyway? Once Herself brought home 'Da Bird' (that string and feather toy your recommended) all other toys ceased to interest us. Man-oh-man, Greyce, we are indebted to you for that.

So I just thought you'd like to know that all is very well in my world. Best wishes, Bear

Dear Bear, I am so delighted with the good news about your amazing progress that I simply had to root around a pile of catnip to celebrate! Good work, Bear!

Your folks have obviously realized that you are a new-age, sensitive guy who needs extra support for any changes you encounter. To help you handle change, you've let them know that you need extra time and cuddles. It also sounds as if you have trained your humans well on the importance of environmental stimulation for both Bailey and yourself. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on new and interesting toys which I will mention from time to time. Have you considered a purrsonal charge card at the pet supply store?

You asked me to explain safety concerns regarding string toys. Simply put: Any toy with a string or wire is very attractive to us felines because long, thin things look like some of the prey we so enjoy (worms, for instance). And we can get carried away. In the course of such interaction, strings and wires can twist around a paw (or a neck); and it's very difficult to get free without help. If the actual toy (like the feathers at the end of the string) gets bitten off, some of us are tempted to ingest the string (the way we might with a worm) and since we can't throw it up, it could twist around our intestines and that could mean a very large vet bill. So without a human to supervise our use of interactive toys (those that have strings and wires) we could be in more trouble than an encounter with a growler!

So there is a reason your folks keep those toys locked away when they can't play with you. Besides, doesn't it make it more fun to have something that is used at special times rather than just hanging about? And don't you just love bugging your folks?

I find it very gratifying myself. Every time my folks head for the front door I run ahead and meow, in expectation of going out for a leash walk. And every time my folks head toward the bedroom, I leap on the bed in expectation of the feather wand game we play on the duvet. It has really trained them to be judicious in their use of space!

Bear, I am so proud of you. Keep up the good work!