Mystic got out once after his first vet appointment and he got very anxious to go out Wednesday morning, and sprayed a small burst at the headboard. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was there, so I cleaned it up, Clorox Wipes. Tonight, after feeding and a rest and wanting attention, which I gave extra, he went to the door and asked expressively to go out. So I let him. I hope he’ll be back soon, and I’ll check in the morning and during the day. Last time, he was back in around 24 hours or 36. So he is not yet used to being a full-time inside cat, if he ever was. I have hopes. But I can also understand he wants a break and feels pressured by Peppercorn and Goober. At least he got good attention before going, so he should know he’s welcome and loved. He was grateful last night and this afternoon for the love.
He is a longhair with very fine hair, and it gets matted easily. Plus I suspect he has lingering depression and anxiety from having been outside so long before I found me. So when a cat is feeling down or is ill, they may not always groom adequately or in their usual more careful habits. I tried a warm washcloth before, and a new cat brush, but he didn’t care fror either and got anxious both times. I will keep trying. He needs occasional spot-care help. But I found I wasn’t sure how best to deal with his fur. I don’t want to create mats or pull too hard, and I know that snipping out any tangles with scissors is a tricky thing, because cats have loose, thin skin, like an old person’s, so you can’t cut too close to the skin and risk cutting them. I believe that experimenting with combing / washing from the top down to the tips of the hair, or from the underside, again out to the tips, should give the desired results, clean and separated fur to dry nicely neat. I’ve heard some cats love being brushed. I’ve never done this much, but the only two longhair cats I’ve had were once, an outside cat when I was a young teen, and my mom’s favorite, a sweet stray longhair who stayed happily an indoor kitty thereafter. So cat grooming tips would be welcome. I know one friend online has a similar problem with her longhair cat, and so combs her regularly.
After Mystic went out, I heard a meowing call a while later and thought it was he, but no, it was Curry. Luckily, just in case, I’d closed the door inside and had brought out a food bowl. So Curry got fed, but Mystic is still out.
Behavior Notes – Why, Kitty?
In my preivious post, I talked about how Mystic got scared and his reactions, after Peppercorn and Goober(!) fussed at him over the food bowls. I think he is still depressed and anxious after being so long outside. I think he had a loving home at one time and lost it, was outside so long that he became fearful and sad, and now is still not used to the idea that he could have a real home and real love again, the abiding kind. I think he may have had some trauma regarding being shut in somewhere, , and I wonder if his previous owner got sick or passed away, due to another clue.
Wednesday morning, pre-dawn, he wanted out or wanted attention and he sprayed the headboard as I’d said. I cleaned that up and didn’t do more than tell him no, firmly. But when I got up, prepared to let him out, and I gave him attention, he sat on the bed and calmed and went to his spot, problem solved. He wanted attention and reassurance more than he wanted out. Before he’d sprayed, I thought he was just wanting out, and I was in bed and had been asleep, so I was ignoring it to let him get used to being in. At one point, he lay down a minute with me and with Goober curled up with me. But then he resumed it and then sprayed. I got the odd feeling he thought something was wrong, as if maybe he thought I wasn’t responding because I was sick or worse. I wasn’t. It made me wonder if he had something like that happen before, and was anxious, scared, because of it. The attention seemed to help that time..
Overnight tonight, he liked the attention, I held him, let him be in my lap, which he likes. He wanted out a bit after. So I let him out. While he was at the windows, before I got up and let him out, he went from my bed, jumped to try to get in (or out) of the window by my bed, and the blinds and his jump and the lack of much window sill stopped him. Thankfully, he didn’t break the window, but his jump or lunge was strong and he’s a decent-sized, strong young cat. So I wondered if this was another clue to what he’s been through. He got the attention after that, it helped, but he still wanted out, and then asked nicely but expressively.
Peppercorn — She gets hissy/growly if Goober or Mystic get too close to her kittens. She will give me a warning low, but light, growl when she first sees me, but calms down when she recognizes it’s just me, the friendly human who feeds her and let her and her babies. in. So she is still wary and partly feral, but getting better. She may be getting more tolerant of Goober and Mystic, I’m nt sure. She still would chase Curry off, but she hasn’t had contact with him since I took her in the other day.
However, Peppercorn (and Mystic) both use Goober’s litterbox in the bathroom. Peppercorn has also used the guest litterbox in the living room (the only other place except carpeted bedrooms it could go). So I wonder what this says about who is dominant or about cooperation or making do with what’s available. So far, she has not had an accident; she’s only used the boxes. She seems the alpha in all else, but in this, she holds it in and gets along. I wonder what it says about them all.
Goober was very relieved. He thought he was going to be punished or taken to the vet, earlier, when I took him to the bathroom to feed him. Then when I intervened another time, so he and Peppercorn didn’t clash, after I fed him, I took him to the bedroom and we went to bed. He hadn’t been to bed with me earlier with Peppercorn and the kittens and Mystic all here. So he was very, very glad he was still welcome with me and loved.I wonder what thee things say about how cats act and why, or about human nature by comparison and contrast.
It has occurred to me, I am not sure if Peppercorn knows her name yet. But cats do learn their names. That means they learn there is a word, a sound sequence, that means them as a specific cat. So doesn’t the ability to recognize a name, and to have a sense of self-awareness, indicate a higher degree of intelligence than we humans admit? Or how intelligent must a creature be to know it is an individual, and to know it has a name, a symbol to represent oneself? Both concepts seem fairly high up there, to me, on the level f a human baby or small child. I am not sure of the answers or implications, but the question sure is interesting.
Those were my bits of philosophy or scientific inquiry this night. How do these compare with how we humans act? I wonder if a human mother or kid would be any different, deep down, than how the cats act, roughly speaking. How much are we the same, and how much are we different?
The kittens got a rolled-up sock without a mate, elastic top rolled inward so it can’t hurt them or be swallowed. They got a paper towel tube cut into thirds for a toy, and I had put out a cat ball for them earlier. I still intend to get them a string toy or make one, something like a fishing pole or a chase-me-while-I-drag-it-for-you toy.
I switched out the folding chair with a gaudy stuffed ottoman, which is too “busy” visually for my tastes. (I may opt for the other one, due to tassels on this one). But the kittens all decided that was a great place to nap or to play king-of-the-mountain and climb. Haha, they’re very cute about it. At one point, all five were there. So this was a winner, but now I have to look before I sit! Tiny black balls of fluff and life, I really don’t want to step on them or wind up booting into one with my foot by accident, and I don’t want to sit on one either. The ottoman is a real crowd pleaser.
Funny thing, Peppercorn mostly seems to trust me about her kittens.
I have gone through the guest litterbox and the main one two or three times now. Maybe four.
Peppercorn really will need de-worming or medicine for a material thing. She has a very loose stool, something similar to what Curry had. I do hope I don’t have to give her oral meds. Mystic is in the middle of treatment, no oral med yet, and I think Goober needs to be rechecked for this and ear mites, last done in October. Once Peppercorn has that resolved, it should make a big difference. All her food energy can then go to fueling herself and to milk production for her kittens. Naturally, when she’s tested and treated, the kittens will get what the vet recommends, so everybody can be well again. (Yes, I wash their food and water bowls, and check their letterboxes daily.) I am likely to empty their letterboxes and scrub them and let them dry, after Peppercorn and the kittens get back from the vet. (No, before they go.) Oh, do I have a second spare litterbox? No, I don’t think so. Oops. Gotta get one.
So all is well, but Mystic is out for a bit. We are all adjusting to each other. And I need to do another round of housecleaning, organizing, and getting rid of excess stuff, minimizing.
Vet appt. is set for Friday afternoon, if we can get a cab there. Otherwise, I will have to postpone again, and my friend is too busy right now.