Lucas

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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

Post by lancashire lass »

Gwenoakes wrote:Have you thought about the amount of biscuits he is having? You may inadvertently been giving more than he had in the rescue centre, hence an upset tummy


when we were going through the paper work in the adoption process, I was told he was fed 3 oz cat biscuits in the morning and 3 oz in the evening and to keep him on that for the next couple of weeks or so before attempting to change his diet. As I'm keen to keep his routine the same, I have stuck to it and he doesn't get that many treats (they are just a little something to help him overcome any worries of something new and only happened twice) The few biscuits I've put in his dish after both main meals have come out of his rations so to speak. As I said, his poos are just soft rather than wet ... thinking about it, he didn't poo much on Saturday so he might have been "saving it" for Sunday which made them seem bigger (and smellier) {rofwl}
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Re: Lucas

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{rofwl} That's cats for you, always trying their best. {rofwl}
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KarenE
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Re: Lucas

Post by KarenE »

How lovely to hear Lucas is settling in. It's very early days for the both of you, but it's sounding very positive. I reckon he'll feel more at ease now he's 'scented' his territory (massive poos will help). He's already sounding much better than Marley was when we rehomed her - it's been nearly 2 years and she still startles easily.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

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I'm very pleased with how quickly Lucas is settling in - yesterday evening once again he initiated attention and like before, wanted to be stroked and did a lot of purring and rubbing himself. However, I'd just had my dinner so leaning forward to stroke him made me uncomfortable so I attempted to lift him up on to my lap ... as expected, he wasn't too keen and wanted to escape. Okay, too soon so I let him jump down but that didn't put him off coming back for more strokes. And he was quite persistent too. I tried to engage him into playing thinking a bit of exercise might be good but he wasn't in the least bit interested in the toys. To be fair I was also tired after being back at work (quite a bit of catching up to do) so I wasn't feeling particularly enthusiastic either. I'll try the wand again next time as it did intrigue him last time.

I appear to have a new alarm clock - just wish Lucas appreciated that 4.30 am is too early. First I awoke to the sound of his bell as he shook his head. I looked at him and said good morning, saw the time and as I was still sleepy, dropped off back to sleep. Next minute I felt a weight on my legs and instinctively shifted them and Lucas quickly jumped off the bed and as I opened my eyes, he was once again looking at me. Okay, looks like you want me to get up .... it was nearly time anyway so I obliged but first I had to put the kettle on then I gave him some biscuits which he pounced on.

Last night I had a look at the pack from the RSPCA which contained the documents from the adoption as well as information about his vaccinations and flea / worm control. A little booklet dropped out which I didn't recall seeing before so started to read. It was about cat behaviour and "training" techniques - it was an interesting read especially about the socializing bit. There's only a short window in a kitten's life when the ability to socialize are set and if missed, adult cats are less likely to be sociable but it is possible to retrain them if done patiently. A lot of it is doing something small like picking them up and putting them down again before they struggle or run away so that they don't associate their action as being the way to get out of a situation otherwise they will repeat it. In other words the trainer is in control not the cat. As it is early days yet and Lucas is still trying to settle in, I'll wait until he is more confident about his surroundings but it would be nice if I could get Lucas off the floor level which I find uncomfortable.
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Re: Lucas

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That is a very early alarm call, LL. LOL
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Mo
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Re: Lucas

Post by Mo »

4.30 is much too early {rofwl}
Have you got a comfy cushion so that you can sit on the floor when he wants to be stroked?
Maybe pick him up and put him on the sofa beside you, without holding.

Basically though, I think you are doing it right and it sounds like he is settling.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

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Mo wrote:Have you got a comfy cushion so that you can sit on the floor when he wants to be stroked?


if I sat on the floor, I don't think I'd be able to get back up LOL

However, we passed what should have been a major hurdle last night .... I actually managed to get Lucas on my lap! And he not only stayed but was enjoying it too much.

As before, Lucas wanted to be stroked and he approached and I bent forward and was uncomfortable (I can't help feel when reading the first part of the sentence that Lucas is actually training me to respond to him LOL) So I decided to try the pick up and put down thing - his feet barely left the floor when I put him down and released and he just looked more puzzled than worried. More stroking and I did it again but a little higher, and got the same response. Third time I lifted him onto my lap, told him he was a good boy while stroking just under the jaw line (his fave spot) and about to put him back when he decided to relax and started to purr while at the same "knead" with his front paws. Only instead of kneading, his claws came out in a rhythmic pattern ... it was only just about tolerable but the more content he got, the deeper went the claws ... okay that's enough and I put him on the floor.

Next to me I keep an old pillow which I put on my lap when using my lap top so I put it on my lap and then picked up Lucas - well, first the look of alarm of being put onto something alien but with lots more assurances from me, he relaxed a little when he realised this was actually much better and more comfortable. And then a little bit more to the point his bottom slid down a little between the pillow and my thigh and he was on his side burrowing his head in the pillow while I was in the perfect stroking position. And it was completed with deep purring. After about an hour, I stopped stroking him and he gave me that "I didn't tell you to stop" look. He would have stayed there all night if he could but soon it was bedtime and I finally had to lift him off and onto the floor - he wasn't too happy about being turfed off.

This morning no early alarm clock but Lucas was waiting under a little table where I last saw him the night before. I can't believe he'd been there all night but it did make me wonder if I should set up a little bed for him - the reason the igloo bed was furthest away was so that he had his bolt hole, but if he is now at a point of wanting to be with company, maybe I need to set up another one nearer. Even this morning as I was leaving for work, he was under the table watching me instead of hiding in the other room. Now I feel a little guilty but at the same time, expect he'd be sleeping all day while I was at home anyway! I'm sure once he gets used to it and knows that I do come home, it'll be fine - especially when he is finally allowed to go outside and come and go as he pleases.
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Mo
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Re: Lucas

Post by Mo »

You're getting each other well trained :-D
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albertajune
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Re: Lucas

Post by albertajune »

Well done LL. Considering the short time he has been with you he is settling in wonderfully well. As you say he has get used to your routine but he seems to be feeling a lot more at home now. Your patience and love for him is all it takes for your lovely boy to feel happy.
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Re: Lucas

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How lovely.
What a lovely post
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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

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A quick update and a couple of piccies (sorry, my phone camera doesn't seem to take good photos in poor light with or without flash)

That moment when I was able to lift Lucas up on to my lap just hasn't happened again. I'm not sure why as I thought it had been positive at the time (Lucas certainly enjoyed lying comfortably while I stroked him) but he has since gone back into that "I want to go now" so I'll leave it a little while and give it another try later on with the pick up put down first.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Lucas decided it would be fun to tease out a piece of crumpled tissue that I had dropped and had been accidentally pushed under the armchair - once he'd hooked it out, he played with it with one paw (claws out) while arching his back and standing tippy toed with the others doing the contorted walk back while trying to swipe the bit of tissue with his paw at the same time. This was followed by a mad dash into the dining room and back into the living room and then pretending to have had nothing to do with whatever had just happened. So I tried to engage him with his soft toys but as before, he couldn't understand the point. Out came the magic potion ... I rubbed a pinch of catnip into one of them and as anticipated, the reaction went from sniff to intrigue, followed by catch and hold on then kill LOL

I gave the wand another go but as before, he watched the stick rather than the feather and seemed uninterested except for when the feather landed near him and I was able to flick it horizontally away but all that achieved was a half-hearted bat with his paw. So I used a toilet roll cardboard insert and put a few treats inside and rolled it across the carpet - he didn't quite figure out what he was supposed to do such as try and get the treats from inside, but he enjoyed the ones that had fallen out.

As for his progress, he is undoubtedly becoming much more confident - before he used to run under the table or out of the room when I walked around or entered but now he more or less doesn't take much notice (he still likes to go under the table to watch what is going on rather than to hide - before he'd be crouched low and head down with his eyes wide looking at you whereas now his front legs are tucked under his chest, head up and looks at you as if thinking "I'd better just keep myself out of the way until she has sat down, then she'll be at my mercy when I pester her for my stroke") Last night when I got home from work, as I entered I switched the light on at the bottom of the stairs before opening the door to the living room (I keep the door shut to stop cold air dropping down the stairs into the living room, and now of course, to stop Lucas from going upstairs. Before Lucas, I would normally then walk in the dark to the light switch in the living room) ... just as I opened the living room door, who should be sitting on the carpet facing the door as if to say "and where have you been all this time? " {rofwl}

Anyway, some (not so good) piccies (first 2 taken with flash):

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Lucas

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I am glad to hear everything is going well, it is still early days and you have achieved so much. Well done to you both. )like(
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Re: Lucas

Post by albertajune »

Love the saga of Lucas LL. You have a lovely boy there who is coming along so well. You are obviously doing the right thing by him and he is looking so relaxed in your pics.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Lucas

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Lucas is quickly finding his curiosity - nothing is sacred in my house now as he climbs on to furniture and tries to open doors. Sometimes I'll be sitting in the living room wondering what he is up to in the other room as I hear loud crashing noises and bangs ... sometimes I think he is using his scratch post (which I've seen him do so I'm glad he is using it )t' ) but other times something doesn't sound right and I have to get up and investigate. He quickly learned how to push open the door to the under stairs cupboard, and then managed to pull the stairs door open (which would give him access to the bedrooms) and the middle door gets banged wide open (I usually keep it closed to keep the heat in the living room and with Lucas's arrival, had it partially opened) I've since wedged the under stairs door closed and the middle door has a piece of elastic tied to the handle so that if he bangs it open, it'll stretch but then also pull the door shut.

He is also a lot more bold and forward when approaching me - his tail casually up as he walks around, and definitely more confident but it doesn't take much for him to run away and hide so I have to be careful with how I move and the tone of my voice. He does know the word "no" which surprised me as I didn't raise my voice when he thought it might be an idea to claw the curtain - he instantly got back on all 4 paws and sheepishly walked away but I suspect would be back when I wasn't looking.

Meanwhile, I have not been happy with his poop - he doesn't have diarrhea and he is fit & well, but his poos have been too wet to look normal. I'm not happy with just the dried food feed so have now attempted to gradually change it. The shelter told me not once but twice that Lucas only ever ate dried food, and as recommended I kept him on the same food (& brand) that he had been eating to help settle him down quickly in his new home. At first I wondered if it was a change in water but I'm not so sure. I bought a different brand of dried food which he seemed to enjoy more than the first brand (maybe it was a change in flavour) then one day last week I made myself a stir fry rice and gave him some (tinned) tuna which he thoroughly enjoyed. I tried a bit of cod and haddock but he wouldn't touch that. On Saturday I bought a cooked chicken (for my own use!) and offered some to him but he turned his nose up. I had also bought some cat food in pouches - as the fish didn't go down well, the only meat options were in gravy. I opened a pouch of chicken flavour and smothered the pieces of chicken I had given to him earlier while also offering him a bowl of biscuits in case he turned his nose up - later when I went to have a look, the bowl of biscuits was untouched but the gravy & chicken bowl was licked clean and half way across the room. Hmmm, only eats biscuits? At the moment I'm alternating his menu so that it isn't a big shift from one food type to the other and although too early to say, I think it has made a difference (he isn't drinking as much water as he did before and the poop is less watery)
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Re: Lucas

Post by Gwenoakes »

Sounds like he is coming out of his shell, so watch out servant. {rofwl}
Cats do not drink a lot and get most of their moisture from the food they eat, so he would have drunk more with the dried biscuits and less with the packet/tuna as they are moist.
Hopefully with changing over his diet slowly he will be OK.
Cats are really funny creatures, our Molly has never, ever eat pouches or tins with gravy on, just the jelly ones, or she did do before she had her water work troubles and we had to change her diet. Try as we may she will not eat raw meat, not at any price and no matter how hungry she is.
She still will not eat chicken, unless it has been from a roast in the oven but does now eat Tuna in spring water as the others have too much salt in them.
I really like reading your story, LL. )like(
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