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.

The Cat Playpen

I got my cat playpen today. Or dog playpen–pet playpen. This is one item in a string of items I’ve ordered to male multi-cat life more bearable here. The favored solution, owning my own house, is going to take a little more money and work.

I plan to use this for Cindy, but I don’t want to force her into it. She’s the most shy, so she didn’t go into it first–the most friendly did, in order of friendliness. Friendly is almost completely sinonymous with fearless.

Then I was disappointed that Cindy wasn’t in it already. Thus, I was the victim of a logical fallacy. I wanted her in one place at one time but wanted the cat to agree with me!

I put a carrier with the door open right in the middle of the playpen. Carriers are Cindy’s refuges and if she got an attack on the side wall of the playpen, she could retreat into the carrier. Well, Pearl went in and checked it out, then Noodle went in, and thinking it was the center of the universe and of course meant for her, settled down on the towel I had inside of the carrier and stayed there for quite some time.

Sorry for the clutter. Here’s Noodle in the carrier, barely visible:

Next, Iris, who can be pretty shy, entered the Center of The Universe and relaxed in there.

Wave, true to type, has not yet ventured into the playpen or the carrier.

Cindy just recently stepped in–I put a bowl with food in there. I still was reluctant to close the zipper on the door and scare her, so she came back out. So curious if she will want to go in overnight!

Kitty-Kitter update: she likes to play and wants to come out of the bathroom. She gets a vet visit tomorrow.

Cindy’s Good Day

I still don’t know what may have happened during the daytime. I refused to close Wave in the small bedroom even though he goes on the cat tower in there.

Nonetheless, I got to come home at lunchtime today, and Cindy was out. I always feel that thrill of excitement when I see her doing normal cat things, like jumping up on the big ornate footstool I keep by the front window for the cats. I took a picture, but it’s not as exciting to look at as what I was feeling.

Cindy at Lunch small

This evening, I came home and Wave was still mostly sleeping. I started doing yoga–oh, my aching left shoulder from my non-ergonomic work desk setup–and the friendly cats love yoga. So does Cindy! She came out of her carrier three separate times and I was able to pet her. She rolled over and started rubbing her back on the rug, like a nut. I always try to film this but it doesn’t quite ever look as dramatic. The action of grabbing for the phone to film puts her on alert. So here’s a close-up still photo anyway.

Cindy with Mat

She wears a concerned expression most of the time. If I was her, I would be concerned too! Not Wave, but my fun, lithe, affectionate little black shorthair Pearl was scaring her today. What is up with this?! I got a great comment from a writer at Katzenworld about using Pet Remedy to help with introductions and I eagerly await a bottle I ordered in the mail.

Cindy’s getting harassed by a small cat, not a big cat. And not only that small cat, but her big nemesis, Wave, forgot about her enough today that she did come out to play. She has an indomitable spirit!

A Good Night – Little Successes with Cindy

Tonight, Cindy looked at my hand and didn’t run away. Oh, sure, she ran away from it plenty of other times tonight, but there was that one time I showed her the hand and she maybe, just maybe equated it with petting and did not run away. I petted her twice on her back after that, and she walked away a little bit, but she did not bolt, and the whole reaction–from both of us–was very mellow. That’s just what I wanted! Petting is normal–that’s what I want her to learn. Normal in a good, kind, home and house sort of way.

Cindy moved to the kitchen about a couple weeks ago, give or take a week–this timing is not clear since I was taking a short blogging break. I was pretty unhappy with it because I used to lie down next to her every night in the spare room, formerly the bedroom. She would be in her green soft carrier and I’d be pretty close and could deflect a bully like Wave almost every time, unless it was a real sneak attack. Due to the bullying, she ran and just switched like that! to a carrier under the side table in the kitchen.

Ugh, I thought, I don’t want to lay down next to a carrier in the kitchen. I spent several nights sleeping on the bed feeling luxurious but missing Cindy. Then I realized how much time was passing. I put a small meditation cushion on the kitchen floor–something I’ve never really used for its intended purpose–and sat on it to play with Cindy. I noticed, as in my last post, that she was gaining courage in the kitchen, going to the window and also waiting out in the kitchen for her food when I got home. Then I noticed she was frolicky in the morning and I had a play session with her today on a yoga mat, in the kitchen. And I came home at lunch and had another short play session with the Cat Charmer. Tonight I started play sessions with the Cat Charmer and with the Cat Dancer and was somewhat aggressive in my pursuit of getting some pets on her back.

It worked! In the space of about twenty minutes she went from running from the hand to purring when she got sneak pets without visuals, to waiting for a few play motions and then for pets (still without seeing the hand). She made a couple swats at my hand when I tried to show it at first, but stood still. Finally, that moment. A gentle sniff of the hand and then I got my two pets in.

One day she will be able to be picked up. I gotta believe this!

The Cowardly Bullies

I feel sad. Cindy comes out, explores, looks around timidly, perhaps plays for a minute or two, and I get so excited to see her exploring. Then, Wave or Iris walks into the room and Cindy freezes. Sometimes I see that look on Wave’s or Iris’s face where they are just locked on to Cindy and about to attack. Sometimes I can prevent it, sometimes not.

Iris is my big fluffy white cat with a gray tabby back, top head, and tail. One reason I kept her after her foster period is that she became immediate best friends with Wave. I would find them crammed in the dish of the cat tower sleeping cuddled together. No explanation, no reason, just instant besties. I hashtag them #besties on Instagram whenever I “catch” them sleeping together now–usually when they do it now I am at work so it’s fun to play a game where I get a surprise by finding them in what may be an allegedly compromising position! (Anyone who wants to follow my catstagram, it’s @ fourkittysmom.)

However, because Iris is Wave’s best friend, and Wave–long black and white male–runs after poor little gray Cindy and starts a fight, Iris started doing it. I noticed last week. I’m still flabbergasted–could they be any more like humans? Is this for real? Wave and Iris were both terrified of humans when I first got them, and I socialized them as I have been trying to with Cindy. I hope I do a better job with Cindy because Wave and Iris are acting like cowardly bullies.

Right now Broken Tail Rescue in Massachusetts, the group I used to always work with and that I got Cindy from, is very busy with summer fosters and I don’t think Cindy could get a better place. She likes to be with the other cats (to a certain extent–as in, she likes to be able to see them) and will meow if I give her her own room. So for now I let them all share rooms, keep an eye on them and scold/say no/stop chases at night, and Cindy enjoys the window seat and cat trees when the others sleep during the day. She sleeps as well, more peacefully during the day, although she may sleep fitfully while hiding at night.

I will tell Broken Tail Cindy may need to go somewhere else as soon as I finish posting this. It’s too sad. I wrote this post because night is coming on, Cindy was coming out, and Iris chased her. Although I stopped it and Iris never made it all the way to her target, the ruckus scared everyone and now Cindy is hiding under the bureau. Jackson Galaxy would say she is “caving” rather than “dwelling” and being her catself. I actually miss her presence. I am sad.

Photos: 1. Iris & Wave, 2. Iris & Wave, 3. Cindy