Dogs, Cats, Fish, Parrots, Horses, ALL Domestic Pets
Do you have a cat flap.
There is one into my porch, but in winter I keep the door from porch to kitchen closed most of the time as it makes a huge difference to the temperature in the kitchen.
Pat has learnt to knock on the front door. Not sure what he does, but I can hear the thump.
If I leave the kitchen door almost shut he can hook it open but he just doesn't remember to shut it after him.
well yes, but it is at the moment uni-directional only - Lucas can get out but won't be able to get back in. I replaced the cat flap a couple of years ago when I painted the back door and replaced the cover on the awning but it was more for aesthetics than practical use at the time (bear in mind the old cat flap had completely disintegrated and there was a big hole in the back door covered with plastic sheet stapled on to it) The problem is that despite replacing like for like, the previous owner had cut the door hole slightly out and I only found out that the bolt fittings never did fit properly once I started to take out the last of the old frame and it had been screwed into the door in places that weren't designed to do that just to stop the cat flap from falling off the door. I found myself doing the same but alas, ended up with the flap only opening one way
Not that it matters because Lucas threw a curve ball this weekend. On Saturday morning when I got back from the early morning shopping, it wasn't raining so I decided it would be a good time to let Lucas out as I went to empty the poo / soiled litter bucket parked outside the back door. I left the back door wide open and called Lucas before going down into the garden. I saw him slowly approach the door and then he sat down on the inside of the door step and watched me. As I went further away, I could see him try to make himself smaller by crouching down and trying to hide behind a nearby potted plant, watching me intently but didn't once move off the step until I started to come back when he just stood up, turned round with his tail upright with the little kink on top and sauntered back into the house Not what I was expecting at all. I tried again - this time with a few munchies on the step below but again he just sat and watched me. I left the back door open and walked inside but he insisted on following me, so I picked him up and carried him but as the door came into sight he started to squirm and panic so I just turned round and put him back down in the front living room. So it looks like we'll have to start from scratch and build his confidence. I tried again yesterday morning (Sunday) as I needed to retrieve the seed trays and inserts from the greenhouse (it's that time of year!) It took me a little longer because the inserts still had some old compost which I emptied into the garden - like Saturday, I left the back door wide open and .... (drum roll) ..... he did drop down on to the step below but by the time I got back (it was still raining so I wasn't lingering outside), he was back inside and doing the casual walk.
Which is a nuisance because Lucas needs to vent some of his energy outside instead of in my house. He has got a little "stroppy" too even though I've done nothing to encourage it but at the same time I should add, he doesn't mind being handled and being picked up and carried as much (compared to just a couple of weeks ago when he would try to get away if you held him for more than 3 seconds) so his confidence has really grown to the point when instead of running away, he thinks he owns the place. Such as making a beeline for my seat on the settee every time I get up - you could say for warmth but I think given his recent cocky attitude about the place that it is more to do with asserting himself and expecting me to find somewhere else to sit (you have to think like a cat except he probably thinks he is a lion or a tiger LOL) And he knows when he's gone too far because I put him on the carpet and give him the cold treatment and ignore him which he doesn't like. He'll go to his alternate bed and after a while of sitting in a huff, he'll come back and try to be all super luvvy duvvy and make a big effort to make it easier for me to pick him up and put him on the cushion next to me which is clearly his fave spot now when I'm at home.
He obviously sees the house as his territory, now how will you get him to realise you are not trying to lure him away from it.
It feels like the opposite problem to what you'd expect (i.e. that the cat won't find his way back in).
One of our cats (the sickinashoe one) spent a lot of his life as an indoor moggie and then had a couple of frightening things happen when he did venture out. He needed to build up his confidence a lot before he went out on his own, which we mostly achieved with food and rewards. He never did stay out much without us and was very happy being a lap cat, which he'd interrupt for the odd mad half hour's running around bouncing off the furniture.
Since my last post, it's all change now - after the 16th March entry, the government announced in their 1st daily tv coronavirus broadcast that those with underlying health issues should work from home and do social distancing. As an asthmatic with other health issues, that put me in that group. Of course it was so sudden, I didn't have anything planned and spent the first week at home trying unsuccessfully to use my personal laptop for work. While at home, I would pop in and out of the back door and sometimes just left the door ajar, but Lucas would just watch from the doorstep and then would come indoors and take his frustrations out on my furniture. Then on the Friday 20th March, something happened ... as I went to make myself a hot drink, I looked out of the back door to see Lucas slinking down the steps from the patio into the garden. He turned, saw me and came running back indoors.
The next day I decided to give the pond a little maintenance (it badly needed a top up of water and some blanketweed treatment started) and as I worked, Lucas decided to venture out. Of course, the first bit of grass growing between paving stones was of interest as he chewed on it. After sorting the pond out, I decided to give the bird bath at the bottom of the garden a clean and fill up of fresh water - Lucas followed me all the way and then he went rogue and disappeared. I called him as I walked back to the house but no sign of him. Two hours later (I wasn't worried ) he came back and he looked so excited and wanted to tell me all about his adventure.
The following week, everyone was told to stay at home and the weather seemed to get slightly warmer and sunnier. I had managed to acquire a laptop from work which was configured to give me network access once I logged on as I would if at work so I set up a desk in the living room. As I was "working from home" along with colleagues doing the same, I found I had to work office hours and be more interactive. With the back door open, Lucas would go out for an hour then come back to check on me before going out for another hour, again and again until evening when I would shut the door. He wasn't too happy about that. But at least he was a lot less destructive while indoors and all the fresh air tired him out.
However, this past few evenings, he has decided to stay out for much longer coming back quite late. I wasn't leaving the back door open but it meant that every half hour I would be getting up to check if he was outside, sometimes shining a torch down the garden and calling him. Last night it was getting close to 11 pm after disappearing at about 6 pm. And as I'm typing, he is obviously on another night out. So from going to being unsure of stepping outside, he has done the complete opposite and is now really getting his independence. Luckily I don't have to get up early to get ready for work the next day but I can't keep staying up later and later and one day he might find himself locked out for the night.
The need to get the cat flap in working order is becoming more and more urgent but at the same time, I remember when my other cat Blackie was allowed to come and go as he pleased. He too was a loving cat and eager for attention, but the moment I fitted a cat flap in the door, the change in behaviour was instantaneous and went from being a loving cat wanting your attention to treating the house as a hotel and just coming in for his food. I always blamed the cat flap and regretted fitting it. In some ways, Lucas is starting to show similar characteristics (except I do like it when he comes to check on me when I'm working) However, I don't think I need worry Lucas will run away ... despite being outside most of the time, he comes inside to use the litter tray Clearly doesn't like doing his business outdoors with the wind under his tail.
I should put the litter tray outside so that he knows what you let him out for
Perhaps the light levels around the clock change have confused things a little and he's staying out that bit longer. The dates sort of fit.
My cats very quickly got used to routine and ad a better idea of when it was 'time' to do things than I did, so I would imagine they are quite trainable around a routine. Maybe you could have some treats or a bit of fuss time, say 1/4 hour before your turning in time. If you gave him something positive for coming home 'on time' it could become a habit?
He is obviously assured that you are his and now he is testing the boundaries to see how far
he can go, bless him.
As for the coming in to use the litter tray, cats feel at their most vulnerable when going to the toilet, so poss that is why he wants to carry on indoors where he feels safer.
You could try emptying the litter tray in the garden just to give him a better idea about the safety aspect and where you are requesting he goes, it may work.
We are doing fine thank you - Lucas likes company and especially enjoys accompanying me round the garden. He has an incredible in-built clock as for when he expects his dinner to be served and lets me know. If I'm not paying attention (or if I've fallen asleep while watching tv LOL), he stretches one of his paws on to my leg or hand and ever so gently pats it (soft pad, no claws), you can't help but stop what you are doing to give him a cuddle (hard to believe he used to run away at any attempt of a stroke, never mind being picked up and be manhandled)
I know he has tested his outdoor boundaries as he'll be nowhere to be found after his evening meal and also goes out at night (I've fixed the cat flap - I remember getting very annoyed and frustrated when I put it in the door but was unable to get the flap to open in both directions ... it took me less than 2 minutes to fix the problem) This morning - no collar. Amazingly I received a phone call (my mobile number is on the tag that the RSPCA made) to say it was found near a park ... which is nearly a mile away and have to cross a busy (well, normally) road The woman and her children kindly dropped the collar off this afternoon but the bell doesn't work anymore (shame, I rather appreciated it and knew when he was coming and going)
Anyway, some piccies (taken off my FB page - I have noticed that although the photos remain on my page, the photos posted on DTL seem to get deleted after a few short weeks as if timed-out) The first photo is when Lucas was still getting his bearings and took a fancy to going on top of the chicken run roof to get a view of all around him. The others are when we have gone on a garden walkabout (I just find it strange that he comes outside with me and stays within a few feet of wherever I'm working in the garden) - in the second photo he had been doing a mad dash back and forth then did a roll on the patio floor before giving me a cheeky look.
I am so glad he is settling in so well. He has certainly landed on his paws finding you. He is ever so handsome, beautiful boy.
We used to have a cat called Harry and every time I picked up a bag he was at my feet as he knew I would walk round the barns and get some greenery for the rabbit we had. He used to run all around me with his tail straight up in the air. He even used to go for a walk when I took our Staffy out, but would never go further than approx. 500m before turning for home. On the way back he would all of a sudden jump out at us.
Pat comes around the garden with me, and so did my previous cat. Socks used to come to the post box at the end of the lane, he was grey with white feet so in the dark the feet were all you could see (Like the headless horseman).
He really is one beautiful cat
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Ingrid-Bergman,Madeleline,Norma-Jean,Dora,Janice,Jo,Robyn,Chrissy and Joyce
The Peds…Mork,Mindy,Bell,Saphire &
Vorky ,Blueped,Ginger,Ninger &Linky
Sunny Clucker was ere July 12-21 2012
Sunny Clucker was ere July 6 2016 to Sept 9th 2017
Sunny Clucker is here , rehomed Aug 18th 2018/
An update & some piccies.
Since my last update, Lucas continues to surprise me of just how much he has settled into home life with me. He definitely enjoys my company when in the garden and as soon as he sees me outside, he stops whatever he is doing and either comes rushing up to join me or sets up an ambush. One of his fave games is "creeping" up on me over the shed / chicken roof (but the plastic roof creeks so I hear him long before I see him) He particularly likes it if I pretend not to see him and will playfully peer over and then hang his front paw over the roof to pat me on the head. Other times he has a mad moment and shows off his running and jumping skills on the shed and chicken roofs and then leaps onto the neighbour's ash tree ... the first time I saw him in the tree he didn't look particularly confident of being there but I think he has mastered the skill since.
I'm not so sure the cover I erected between the 2 chicken runs is strong enough to hold his weight but he is certainly testing it:
This is where he likes to peer over the roof when I am attending to the seedlings in the glass greenhouse. He has given himself the task of guarding the cherry tree (most likely because more birds are becoming attracted to the cherries, especially the pigeons!)
And there's that playful look in his eyes as he watches me ... clearly plotting some sort of ambush ....
And here he is taking his guarding duties very seriously
Perhaps too seriously! Yesterday he decided to bring me a present - a live bird which he released into the house and it came flying into the living room with Lucas in hot pursuit I very much doubt the bird accidentally flew into the house (the gap in the opened window was only wide enough for Lucas to squeeze in and there's also a net curtain across) Lucas got quite excited when I suddenly jumped up from the settee and was eager for me to join in the hunt ... he seemed a bit put out when I picked him up (squirming around in my arms looking for the bird) and put him outside and closed the window. By the time I got back into the living room, there was no sign of the bird. After about an hour, it suddenly appeared from behind the book case and there was another chase - eventually it flew into the kitchen so I opened the back door but aren't birds thick ... it flew around in all directions landing on top of wall cupboards and the fridge freezer, and completely ignored the most obvious escape route. Finally after blocking access to the rest of the kitchen it eventually had no option and flew outside.
This was only a greenfinch but I have since been wondering if Lucas might decide to bring me a live rat one day.
Sadly Lucas still does not respond to his name despite making a point to say it repeatedly to attract his attention. However, he does respond to "TCH TCH" - last night he kept asking for his dinner even though I'd not long given him some so I ignored him and he decided to go outside. When it was time for his supper, he was nowhere to be seen and when I looked at his dish, he hadn't touch his dinner (first time he had refused food from me ... I had minced up a few prawns from a packet I had used for my lunch sandwich - it used to be my other cat Blackie's fave treat even though he never liked other fish treats so presumed Lucas would enjoy it) I felt bad so after replacing the food, I went to the back door and called for him. As I looked down the garden and still no sign, I decided to try the "TCH TCH" sound - well, I saw him fly over the neighbour's fence by the pear trees and he came running at full belt to the house with a lot of excitement. Now that is a moment to remember - thinking back to when I was worried about letting him out of the house for the first time and that it might be difficult to get him back in, here he was eager to come and see me when I called If ever I need a reminder of just how far he has come since the adoption, this is it.
Oh LL what a beautiful cat Lucas is and obviously a very happy boy. I remember my Misty hanging her arm down to pat me with it. I always thought her to be an exceptionally independent cat right from being a kitten but she never went far from home. It is so lovely seeing how well he has settled in with you and the joy you have from him. X
I am now a widow and live with my memories.
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