Cindy Arrived in Cambridge!

Cindy endured the 4.5 hour ride on various highways down to Cambridge. I forgot how busy the Whole Foods in the mall used to get–and still does. It was gridlock in that parking lot. I had to pass this and the PetSmart location of Broken Tail to get to the new foster home. Cindy didn’t die of a heart attack or anything, but she did “spit” at me at the rest area when I was looking into the airholes in her carrier and talking baby talk to her trying to see her eyes and make sure she was ok. She was ok! Just upset and she expressed that clearly.

She was resting and adjusting in the carrier when I left her new place. She will have one friendly cat friend. He is a male and black-and-white (like Wave) but he is REALLY good with the fosters, becomes friendly, and helps all the shy ones along. If she can get over her association of fear with a full-grown B&W cat I think she will do very well.

The carrier ended up being NOT the one I called “Cindy’s Carrier” for most of the time she was with me. This morning, she preferred to catnap in the large plastic top-loading carrier. It had two clean, comfy new cat blankets in it and was covered almost completely. I just added a towel on top and closed the door. I’ve now donated that carrier so it can be with her.

I’m grateful to Broken Tail Rescue for coordinating Cindy’s transfer to a new foster home and for Broken Tail’s foster network. As her new foster mom said, “they always get adopted.” And they do!

Cindy is Going to Her New Foster Home Tomorrow

Cindy, my sweet little all-gray hoarding house foster cat, is moving back to Cambridge, Massachusetts tomorrow. I am so excited for her and her future. I love her, but she can’t thrive here where there is a brooding large Wave-cat to chase her back into her carrier-cave all the time. This is one of the few times where I’ve been most excited to see a foster move on.

Cindy and her brother came to me on May 6, 2018. Cindy and her brother Roscoe (formerly Zinfandel and Rose–pronounced like the wine) were in a tiny carrier, huddled together in the carrier in their cage in the isolation room at the Cambridge PetSmart. I started blogging on them on my first blog, Digital (Word) Diaries, to keep a record of when they arrived and how they made progress. Roscoe became friendly first and we did separate them. Here I am six months and ten days after Cindy and Roscoe came to me. It’s a milestone.

Cindy is friendlier, but not all the way there yet. I’m hoping her new place is where she can blossom. Her brother was found by his new adopters to have cataracts at a young age and I am hoping she gets friendly enough to be examined for this as well.

Her foster-to-be from my former rescue group, Broken Tail Rescue, has one cat and a husband. Fewer cats and more people! Way to go for socialization! Also, if Cindy needs more vetting she won’t be up here in Maine any more, far away from the services BTR uses.

I’ll post an update on the trip and drop-off tomorrow.

Cindy Comes Out in the Evening

Cindy, my shy foster cat and the inspiration for this blog’s name, has been spending more time out like a non-shy cat and I love it. I mean, she still has her ruffled fur like she’s thinking about this and not sure if she likes it, but she makes it out into the living room and its accoutrements.

Last night I don’t know why I was so beat, but I treated myself to a browse of Instagram for as long as I wanted. This was on my bed-setup in the living room: a long story for another time. I was scrolling, scrolling, and I saw Cindy come out of her carrier-cave and walk about a bit. I petted her but had not a lot of energy for play. She ended up sitting in what I call the “turkey position” on the rug:

cindy ruffled fur sitting

cindy sitting living room resized

Tonight, she came out and played like crazy for a random three minutes. My young kitty Pearl, just a little older than Cindy, made it difficult when she pounced on her because seeing Cindy attacking the Cat Charmer was so exciting. (It’s pretty harmless, they’re almost friends, but Pearl still has a distinct advantage because she has no fear.)

All the cats calmed down then. I got some petting in and Cindy ended up on top of the latest carrier setup:

cindy on carrier

This is a cheap carrier from Broken Tail Rescue, my Massachusetts rescue and one I worked with for about a year and a half (Cindy is the remaining attachment). I put a big, folded, white towel in it and I thought it would be too cushy for Cindy. She’s indicated before that extra-cushy things feel odd to her and she doesn’t trust them. It is also covered with a thin white towel. She likes it! I think she likes the covering and privacy, so she has gotten used to the inner cushiness, which is great.

Seeing Cindy on TOP of the carrier dozing off, instead of INSIDE it as a carrier-cave was very sweet and warmed my heart.

Don’t get me wrong, she still hides most of the time and most of her day, and I still have to get up at 4am and say “no” to Wave who has decided this is the time to investigate her latest carrier-cave. But these last two days there has been this little ray of sunshine. This is good because she’s moving to a new foster home about 4.5 hours away on Saturday. She will need all the non-shy-cat behavior training she can get in order to adapt more quickly rather than slowly.

Cindy Continues Progress…and a Funny Video

Playtime! I’ve been away for a weekend but Cindy seems emboldened even more just as long as Wave isn’t too close. My neighbor, Kitty-Kitter’s former caretaker, was my cat sitter and she did a wonderful job. I can always tell by the cats’ attitudes when I return.

Here is a video featuring Pearl, my small black one-year-old female, Noodle, the bigger black-and-white girl who is only seen once, and Cindy, in gorgeous gray. You can see Cindy isn’t as involved as Pearl, but is stretching and is interested. Play is so important for cats to stretch their mental and physical muscles. I gotta say I don’t always feel like doing it but often they enjoy interrupting any home yoga sessions. I give in and it turns into playing with the cats.

Away from Home

I’m down in Massachusetts for two–count ’em, two!–whole days with my boyfriend and of course, his cats.

Back at home in Maine, Cindy the shy cat is in the general population of 5 in the kitchen-living room combo, and Kitty-Kitter the former stray is in the bedroom-bathroom combo. My sitter is the wonderful lady who was the caretaker for Kitty-Kitter for over a year while she was outdoors. Still, I’m afraid for Cindy at 4am when big Wave gets antsy and wants to chase her and might get his claws into her. But I put her in the playpen with all her stuff and she complained–made it quite clear that she wanted out. I worry and I will worry but unlike previously when I actually lived in the same state as my dear significant other, I insist on sleeping over every now and then here, and traveling.

I can’t get over this shot of him with feline friends Loki and Chaplin:

20181102_2148341

Sigh!

Why do Cindy and Wave, her nemesis, have the ability to eat next to each other, but then it’s cat attack central all night long?

Wave and Cindy

Left: Cindy. Right: Wave. To explain a couple things in this picture…yes, there is a tissue on their cat mat. Apologies. Thankfully they are eating food instead of playing with the tissue and eating that instead, which I have seen start to happen in the past. I swear I’m cleaning it up right now! This is mat #2, which is in the living room. I have some files and computer equipment near it. The toothbrush head showing to the left is another failed Shy Cindy experiment….toothbrush taped to a back scratcher to pet her. This was from way back when she wouldn’t allow herself to be touched. Now it just sort of drifts around the living room floor and I can pet her on my own. Progress, in a way! I should probably dismantle it.

Broken Tail Rescue has asked another foster person today if she can take Cindy. I will be heading to Massachusetts on Friday and could take her. I haven’t heard, but will wait and see.

Cindy’s Progress

Cindy has been very sweet since being taken out of the playpen. She allowed a big cheek scratching again tonight–me reaching from behind and to the side of her and rubbing that extra-thick fur on her cheeks and massaging some of that scruff skin. With both hands! This got purrs.

She was out tonight a few more times than usual and a good portion of that, Wave was sleeping in the cat tower so she could act all squirmy and play a little and he didn’t pounce.

Kitty-Kitter yowls at all the other cats lately, so she is in the bedroom. It is either one thing or another lately.

Playpen Fail! – Again

Cindy was so alone in that playpen. Some playpen! She wasn’t even playing. I mean, luckily she was not getting chased and beat up by my resident cats, but she was being examined from the outside in an annoying way, and she just stayed in that good ol’ carrier.

I didn’t know how to reach in and pet her. I’m too big to go fold myself in there and try to play with her. So I took her out, in her carrier. The thinking is, I can put her back in if I like. But I think tonight I will sleep next to her carrier as usual, in the living room.

Taking her out was rewarding. She came out of her carrier after a little while and she played and did some washing and looked comfortable. Even though I wasn’t able to pet her yesterday due to the playpen issue–cats like her are afraid of hands coming in to them and I didn’t want to do that–she remembered pets today and I got in tons! I got to scratch her cheek fur and use both hands, and at one point I had one hand on her belly and the other on her back. Belly touching is the preliminary to picking up!

She also played a whole bunch. I keep trying to get a video of this, but all I got was washing: Cindy Washing Intensely

(Note, there are speaker wires next to her, but the speakers are entirely unplugged. The green thing is a cat tunnel.)

Of course, I don’t want to be too positive. I am pretty angry at every other cat in the apartment. Even Kitty-Kitter, the stray I took in from down the road, ran at her and even when she was already in her carrier, swatted her. What is it about this small, shy cat that makes everyone want to bully her?

She came with her brother. Because she was with one partner cat for her entire early life, is that why other cats reject her? Or, as I have been thinking, does she just throw off fearful pheromones? I found the Pet Remedy to in the short run, not be incredibly helpful, and now I’ve misplaced it. Yes, perhaps I am not even organized enough to be a cat parent!

Tonight I had a vision of how friendly I could get Cindy to be. I could even get her used to being moved in her carrier, if I just move it into the playpen and back. But there are so many obstacles–five of them exact. Do the math. Five cats. Two rooms: four if you count kitchen and bath, but only one door between them.

Aside: what should I call the playpen now? The corral?

Cindy’s Playpen

I now have the Zampa playpen up and running for shy Cindy. Today was the first day. I zipped her carrier–a soft dog crate type–up and moved her into the playpen by opening the mesh top. It seems to be working well. She has her carrier to retreat to if other cats try to smack the outside of the playpen. She seems confident in it, meaning she used her litter box, drank water, and ate without cringing. She just had her scoop of dry food for the day (a little less than 1/4 cup) and she did lift her head and look around every few minutes. Constant vigilence! But really, overall, she seems to like the playpen setup.

Nonetheless, I need to figure out how to play or pet her while she’s in there. I was hoping I could crawl inside. Realistically, I’d have to remove her box and then squeeze in, terrifying her I’m sure, and she’d bolt out the screen door. If she bolted while I was squeezing in, which is entirely possible, I’d likely get some scratches.

The funniest thing is that it took closing up the playpen and vaccuuming the whole living room for me to be inspired to take the playpen back out of the closet and really set it up for its intended purpose.

Here’s the setup. Not too exciting as you can’t really see her beautiful slate-gray fur through all the mesh:

Here’s an incident that happened tonight. The only one so far. Pearl REALLY wanted to get in. Pearl Messes with Cindy’s Playpen Setup

Cat Playpen and Kitty-Kitter Update

I’m a failure because I’m such a mush. I don’t want to force Cindy into the cat playpen, so she hasn’t set foot in it today as far as I know. I tried to sort of tilt her carrier to make her run into the playpen, but with a foot or so of space between them, so she of course ran to the side of the playpen, then I felt bad for scaring her. I opened up both doors so that the cats can run through, if they want. Maybe that will make them feel more comfortable with it in the end.

Kitty-Kitter had my wonderful vet, Tori Weston, come to visit today. It was just to draw blood for her Felv/FIV test and give her a dewormer and exam. She appears to be around 8 years old. She is spayed, but is not microchipped. The vet and her tech both loved Kitty-Kitter. We get results in a few days because Dr. Weston sends the test out to IDEXX.

Wave has really been ramping up his meeping thing. What I mean by his meeping thing is that when he knows there is another cat in the house and he can’t get to her he goes meeep meeeeeeeep mmeeeeeeeeeeeep mmmeeeeeow!!!! near the location of the other cat. Sleep was at a minimum last night.