Sunday, June 19, 2011

around the hobby cattery

The slow introduction process for Buddy continues. I have been using Pam Johnson-Bennett's approach to kitty integration as spelled out in Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss. The process is a slow one, which tests my patience, but it is tried and true having been successfully used with Rose and Theo - each have integrated perfectly into the family. Hopefully, the same will be true for Buddy. For now though, he remains isolated from the other cats and dying to get on with exploring the entire house!

Buddy went to the get checked over by Dr. Zastrow on Friday. She said he overall looked good but was a little pale. At hearing these words my heart sank, the last time we heard them was when Max was diagnosed with CRF. Buddy's blood work revealed he has anemia but we do not know why. His kidneys were tested and appear to be working fine, so we have ruled out CRF - yahooo!! For now we are giving him some vitamins and are hoping for the best. He will be retested in three weeks when he goes in for a vaccine booster and a dental cleaning. His teeth are in rough shape, he definitely needs some dental work, but with his advanced age, 12, I am anxious about him being sedated, especially after The Very Best Cats lost KC back in January to the same procedure. 

Buddy is hanging out in isolation. Having him locked away in a room makes me feel like an evil step-parent who locks away their step-child. I look forward to once again having a fully integrated kitty house. Meanwhile, I visit him often and he loves to have his tummy rubbed and his cheeks and chin scratched. He also loves to be held. His way of snuggling is to have his face smashed against your face. Time will tell to see how that will play out in the sleeping hours!

In other news, Rose remains skittish of humans and yet she also highly desires loves. When she wants to be petted she squeaks at me just like she does when she wants to snuggle with Nahum. I interpret her squeak as an invitation. My current approach is to only pursue her when she squeaks at me. I also always try to end the time of loves before she gets uncomfortable. Sometimes I stop petting her and get up to leave and she squeaks to tell me she wasn't finished!

I am thinking this new approach will give her more of a sense of control as to when she is touched by the humans which hopefully will ease her fears. (If she asks for pets she gets it, if she doesn't ask she doesn't get it.)  

I am happy to report that I believe this approach is working! She has been asking for more loves and she wants them to go on longer and longer each time. Very slowly, we are gaining her trust, yahoo! Yesterday, she requested lots of loves and even rolled over so I could scratch her soft tummy several times through out the day. At the rate she is progressing she is gonna be a very lovey kitty in no time.

Rose is hanging out on the couch right next to me as I am writing this post. This marks a new milestone as she has never hung out on the couch with a human before!

Willow is certainly an extra lean ham!
Willow and Nahum had their annual check-ups and vaccines. All is well with them. I was a little disappointed that Dr. Zastrow didn't say that Willow was the cutest cat she had ever seen but she was probably just being polite - not wanting to hurt Nahum's feelings by saying it in front of him.

Theo is still Theo, he keeps me on my toes!

Nahum hunting the elusive string.
Theo and I watching the rain from the back porch.


  1. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who feels guilty about cat isolation! I'm fostering a couple of kitties who have to be kept isolated from the others, and I feel bad when they very clearly want to come out and interact with the rest of the family!

    And that's great to hear about Rose! It sounds like that is the right technique to use with her.

  2. I too feel like the meanest Mommy in the world when I have to isolate a kitty. Remember that it's all for the greater good...
    Hurrah for Rose, it sounds like she likes to make the moves, and she's making them!
    I'm going to look for the book you mentioned, thanks!

  3. We gots our paws crossed for Buddy - it isn't easy being old sometimes. And we are very glad Rose found you and that you understand her enough to give her the time and space she needs!!

  4. I hope Buddy gets strong very soon. I bet the vitamins will help him a lot. And I'm glad all the other cats are doing well. Your last photo of you and Theo watching the rain...that is one of Tiger and my favorite things to do.

  5. nahum nahum!!! rawr! muacksss!!!


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