Lucas

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Freeranger
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Re: Lucas

Post by Freeranger »

I think trusting your instincts has worked well for you - why stop now?!
It sounds as though Lucas has had some tough times, so he'll take a wee while to truly settle and to totally trust you. My OH wonders of he's looking at you thinking "she's very nice, but she's not quite like my other owners...." :-D
I think that you're both comparing a new catty relationship with a very well established one and so it may seem a little lacking for now, but I'm sure it'll soon be as though he was never not there.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

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Freeranger wrote:I think that you're both comparing a new catty relationship with a very well established one


to be fair, I haven't had that many cats (I'm more a dog person but circumstances make it difficult to have another) and Blackie was my first rescue cat so I can't help compare progress. Lucas being older and more timid has needed extra time and patience to reach a stage where I have been able to compare when I knew Blackie was ready to go outside and if it was the right time for Lucas and thereby use my instinct to make a decision.

On Friday I made an appointment at the local vets for his initial check up and flea/worm treatments but the earliest date is Thursday 5th March at 6.30 pm ... unfortunately the traffic on my way home from work has gone off the scale since a major bridge was partially closed in Nottingham so I cannot guarantee getting home in time but they have late evenings on Thursdays. It was strange making the appointment - I can understand the many questions as it was a new cat but she spoke down to me all the time (like most GP receptionists tend to do) and then announced I was already on their books and I had to explain I used to have a cat a long time ago but she barked at me it was for a dog which again, I explained was 7 years ago. I found it odd that my details were still on file after such a long time.

Meanwhile Lucas decided to be a lot more interactive this past couple of days since my last post - as if he knew that I had been questioning whether he was ready to be let out or not.

First, he now asks to be lifted up on to my lap (well, on to the pillow at the side of me on the settee) on an almost daily basis though he is also a bit of a teaser by shifting just out of reach several times before he finally moves into the right position to be lifted up. And then he quickly settles down not requiring as much stroking and reassurance as before, and before you know it, he is lying stetched out and pushing his back legs and paws against me to get into a more comfortable position. At one point last night, we were both asleep while watching tv {rofwl}

Secondly, the feeding time routine now involves rubbing himself against the furniture in anticipation - not quite round my legs but still a stage further than just running up to his feeding mat. I think I have also sussed out about his fussiness - he just likes something new and different. For example, I opened one brand of wet food for the first time and he enjoyed all the pouches which must have been a step up from eating nothing but just dry food. Then I introduced a different brand and he enjoyed that but when I gave him a pouch from the first brand he was half interested. I introduced a third brand and the same response. He didn't seem interested in any fish I'd offered him (except that bit of tinned tuna) until I unwittingly bought a selection box of cat food that had something fish in jelly ... oh okay, surprisingly he really seemed to enjoy that. So this weekend I bought a box of pouches of various fish in jelly and offered him the sardine one - well, he cleaned the bowl out and wanted more.

Thirdly, play - he readily tears round the house, knocks his little balls round the floor (the little cloth mouse still his favourite), loves his big cardboard box on its side (he spins round inside, repeatedly slams his paw against the flaps before taking off jumping on to the windowsill and flying off in another direction), savages the scratch posts, pounces on imaginary things (very strange to watch him "hunt" and there's nothing there, not even a spider) ... play seems to get noisier and noisier these days as though he is suddenly full of pent up energy. I looked at the wand toy that I had tried to engage him with before but had low response and I wondered - so I tried again yesterday and he was really into it this time. Amazing acrobatic jumps and speed, it was sometimes difficult to keep up with him!

Fourthly, though only tentative - my coming home from work has normally been a non-greet and totally ignoring me for a good hour - but on Friday he actually got up from his bed under the table as I walked in. Of course he was more interested in being fed but at least it was a step up from seeing me as if for the first time and running off in the opposite direction.

Still, I have finally decided on keeping him indoors 2 more weeks before letting Lucas out. By then he will be up to date with the flea/worm treatments, hopefully the foul weather will have finally moved on, and thirdly the evenings will be lighter for longer for his first day out and in the meantime I think his association with his new home can only get stronger.
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albertajune
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Re: Lucas

Post by albertajune »

I would say that Lucus is now feeling very much at home with you. He has settled in at his own pace which you have allowed him to do. By the end of another 2 weeks there will be even greater changes in him and you will have more peace of mind about him going out.
He is a lovely looking boy who will be a lovable pet.
I love your description of him playing and the rubbing himself against the furniture is marking his teritory which shows he is claiming his home. You are doing a great job with him.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

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Lucas continues to surprise me with his progress - if I didn't have his vet appointment booked, I would seriously think it was time for him to now start exploring the outdoors. For the sake of a few days however, he will be kept inside a little longer and then this Friday evening all being well, will be when he gets the chance to go outside for the first time. If he does go missing or do something silly, at least I don't have to go to work the next day.

All week he has ended up on my lap / pillow next to me and is rather persistent in getting my attention - it didn't always follow that he wanted to be picked up straight away but once on the pillow, he didn't need much encouragement to settle down. Lucas must have thought it was Christmas this weekend as I had a bit of a tv fest so the pillow barely got cold! Many a time he'd end up on his back exposing his belly and chest (so cute with his front paws resting on his chest) and his head laid back - sometimes I had nowhere to put my hand except to stroke his chest and belly and not once did he flinch or object ... now that was something I could never do with Blackie so Lucas may have his shortcomings when I've compared them but this one is a plus.

Another reason for letting him out soon .... he's wrecking my house! Every hole has to be prodded and scratched, he now knows there's a way out so my trips in and out of the back door with the poo bucket are always being scrutinised - he even broke off from his evening meal to come running into the kitchen when he heard the bolt on the door slide across. The big pieces of cardboard I use to stop him from running straight out are not working as well as they did before and he's sussed out how to navigate my mini walls. Carpets are definitely being tested for their durability, the litter tray has been knocked over twice in 2 consecutive days }hairout{ , and his play is definitely getting louder and louder.

Meanwhile, I found my battery charger for the camera so here's a couple of proper photos from the weekend:

Image

I think he's putting weight on because he looks a little fatter in this one below (and yes, the carpet is messy after yet another litter tray tip over) I very nearly didn't post the photo as my mobile phone number was clearly displayed on the tag but I was able to colour it out.

Image
Cheshire Chick
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Re: Lucas

Post by Cheshire Chick »

Lovely photo's LL. He looks so content and happy. So glad he has settled so well. )like(
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albertajune
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Re: Lucas

Post by albertajune »

He is a lovely boy LL.
It will be great when he can go out and explore. I would suggest letting him out between meals when the time comes as he knows now where his food is supplied and should come back when hungry. Most people feel nervous about letting a cat roam free for the first time but most have them for years so they do know where they are best off.
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albertajune
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Re: Lucas

Post by albertajune »

He is a lovely boy LL.
It will be great when he can go out and explore. I would suggest letting him out between meals when the time comes as he knows now where his food is supplied and should come back when hungry. Most people feel nervous about letting a cat roam free for the first time but most have them for years so they do know where they are best off.
You are doing so well with him and he obviously feels very comfortable with you.
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Freeranger
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Re: Lucas

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He's gorgeous, LL, and looking very contented.
I think once they're at the 'coming to you voluntarily for fuss' stage, they are pretty settled in and know where to come home to. It seems very sensible to wait for a weekend, but it sounds as though he'll want to keep up the friendship. We found one of ours was quite happy to hang around with us in the garden for a bit before venturing further. The other one would only come out side if we were there.
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Re: Lucas

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I am really pleased to hear about him settling in so well, LL.
He really is a gorgeous looking boy, bless him.
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sandy
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Re: Lucas

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What a stunner Lucas is )like(
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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

Post by lancashire lass »

{hug} thank you although ...

sandy wrote:What a stunner L

Gwenoakes wrote:gorgeous looking boy

albertajune wrote:lovely boy


doesn't describe the drama queen last night. He had an appointment to see the Vee Eee Tee and talk about giving me the runaround! As soon as I moved his carrier box (which he has happily been using as one of his play hiding places before and even since last night), he instantly knew something was up. He hid under the table - I walked round and he'd go to the other side. After playing this game for about 10 minutes, I made a mini wall to block an exit and had to resort to pushing a broom under the table to encourage him to move out (I didn't touch him and was gentle in case people think I hurt him!) Eventually he jumped on to the windowsill so I tried to be calm and talked to him but the moment I picked him up he was like a terrified wild animal and it went rapidly downhill after that - for one, the litter tray and contents went flying quite spectacularly in all directions. Finally he jumped on the window again and he looked so scared all bunched up with his head rammed tightly in the corner and ears flat {cry} I really expected to be scratched and bitten but luckily I had a towel nearby and was able to put it over him and managed to carry him to the carrier without too much trouble ... strangely, he then calmly went into the carrier without a fuss.

It was a 5 minute drive to the vets (we were already running 5 minutes late) After explaining that Lucas had been very uncooperative, it was decided to just pop the top of the carrier off .... was this a terrified cat about to escape? No it wasn't! He calmly let the vet check him over and even his teeth (to make sure everything was alright as he'd had a tooth removed at the animal shelter), he didn't move, his ears were pricked forward and was a totally different cat. He even stood calmly on the scales when being weighed (seriously? I was speechless) Alas, when compared to his shelter records, he has put quite a bit of weight on (it was noticeable when I lifted his carrier up) but he doesn't look fat and I can still feel his ribs if I gently rub my finger along them. I think once he starts going outside and the weather warms up, I'm sure his weight will stabilise but I'll just have to be careful not to overfeed him.

After getting the all clear and setting up his flea / worming treatment (a lot more expensive than the last time I took a pet to the vets yike* ) we came home. I put the carrier on the floor in the living room and opened the little door ... he strolled out and went into the dining room before tentatively coming back and slinking round the edge of the room to avoid me where he hid under the little table (I could just make out his eyes in the shadows staring at me) I got the cold shoulder treatment for about an hour but clearly my lap was begging so he came out and we made up. Not only did he settle down quickly on the pillow next to me as if nothing had happened, but was soon in his familiar prone position exposing his chest and belly and expecting to get the full forgiveness cuddle.

So - the big day looms! I think I'll leave it until tomorrow morning to let him go outside for the first time ...
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Mo
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Re: Lucas

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They are very quick to pick up any changes.
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Gwenoakes
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Re: Lucas

Post by Gwenoakes »

Aww bless him, he obviously went back to something that had upset him very badly in his past.
Like Mo says cats especially are very quick to pick up when something is different. When our Staffie was diagnosed with cancer Mollie would sleep with her, nuzzling and licking her.
She still does not like going into her basket although she often sleeps in it at home. When we get her in the car she is non stop meowing until we get to the vets then there is silence. When taken out of the basket for an exam she never, ever, takes her eyes off her basket and then once back in it going home she is silent.
Gwenoakes
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Re: Lucas

Post by Gwenoakes »

Has Lucas ventured outside yet, LL?
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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

Post by lancashire lass »

Gwenoakes wrote:Has Lucas ventured outside yet, LL?


alas not yet - it didn't go to plan last weekend. I had hoped to let him out on the Friday evening before feeding but I was late coming home from work (I had to make a detour to get my prescription filled out which took me down peak time traffic choked roads but was one less thing to do on Saturday) On the Saturday after my early morning big shop, I felt unwell (long story but work related rather than disease) and it knocked me off my feet all weekend. If I had let Lucas outside, it's not as though at this time of year/weather I could leave the back door open for him to come back inside whenever he was ready.

Keeping him indoors has not been traumatic and if anything, Lucas continues to feel much more at home and less timid ... he is however, reaching boredom stage though because nothing in my house is sacred anymore as every piece of furniture needs exploratory plucks with his claws and he jumps on all the furniture and totally ignores me (now he just looks at me as if to say, "na na nana naaa")... his fave spot at the moment is on top of the bookcase because he can look down at the world around him and in particular, a good eyeball view of whether I'm about to get up and feed him, again.

He did make me laugh on Sunday though. He had stood up on his back legs but the top of his head was only about level with the table top so he was craning his head back to see over. One front leg was stretched out flat on the table and whatever he was trying to get was just out of reach - he was determined to snag something though but he looked like something out of a cartoon. It was so funny to watch especially when his upright ramrod straight back started to buckle but he wouldn't give up.

Something I have noticed is that when I'm at home Lucas is bold and plays noisily, racing from room to room chasing imaginary things as well as his toys, crashing into furniture as well as jumping up on them, knocking things over and clawing his scratch posts with excitement but when I come home from work, he is always on the cushion (with his front paws tucked under him) under the table as if waiting there all day. I'm sure if I was able to set up a video link, he is probably a lot more active in my absence but somehow I don't think he is. It's very weird.

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow (Friday evening) all being well ...
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