Sunday, August 28, 2011
Hello Irene (was supposed to post yesterday)
So apparently Minerva knew the hurricane was comming. She has been acting a little off, sitting by the food bowl (as far into the room as possible) and away from her kittens. I was concerned the first time she did it but she perked right up when I went into the room so I dismissed it the first time, the second I thought it odd, the third, I figured it was the storm.
The kits got out of the nest last night. Hedwig was out of the box when I walked in the door and Crookshanks came out shortly after I sat down. Fawkes - the kitten with the perpetual worried look on his face - just sat there and meowed pitifully so I took him out myself. They are at that stage where they start to soil the box because mom doesn't empty their bladders fast enough, so I decided to bring out the kitten litter box and bought a small bag of clay litter. I put them in it and they had no idea what was going on. Heck they didn't even try to eat it like most kittens. I even tried stimulating them to pee and putting them in there - nothing. *shrug* no big deal.
Hedwig was out and about. She apparently has no fear. She tried climbing the wall, she investigated the couch, and even made it to the food. Rarely do kittens venture out so soon Usually they hang very close to the nest. Crookshanks ventured a little bit. Fawkes would not leave the comfort of the corner. Crookshanks figured out how to hiss and would not stop doing it to his brother. No idea why. I don't know if they got upset at each other or if it was just fun to do.
Minerva is a little co-dependent I think. She is completely OK with my being there, with my giving her attention, with training and play time. She hates it when I pack up - even if she was done playing - and she REALLY hates it when I leave. I had to leave the room for a bit this afternoon as my husband was on his way down to drop off some supplies. I warned him she was a little wound up, and apparently she swatted at him hard enough to leave scratch marks with her recently clipped claws (I took her to the shelter to have it done because I do not trust her to let me do it) He also told me that Hedwig went right up to him and tried to play with his ankles. What is it about him that all the girls love :)
I went back in and did some more training with her. I got an actual clicker and I was working on that. Then we had some fun play time.. that cat can JUMP!! I wore her out and she was laying on the floor with her kittens about her so I decided to try to leave. She once again went after me as she has several times since the kittens have gotten a little older. Fortunately I had brought down an oven mitt to protect me to see what she would do when she would "go after" me. I wouldn't let her get near enough to me to do any damage prior to this, but I was curious if she would bite me or if she would just use her paws. I wouldn't dare let her try anything with out protection. I had spent a great deal of time patting her gently with the mitt. I fed her with it and she was not afraid of it, and only had positive associations with it. But as I was leaving she went to swat at my leg and I put my hand in the mitt between us and she grabbed it and went to bite it... Since I wanted to know if she would bite I didn't pull away and she bit me (the mitt). So I made all the appropriate noises to let her know that was not acceptable and she did turn and leave and went under the couch. So I turned to leave again, and she came out after me again and bit me (the mitt) again. More "No!"s and once again she left and went under the couch. I finally was able to leave because her kittens had come and wanted a snack. I'm thinking I'll break out the Rescue Remedy in case this is separation anxiety... and if this is just 'storm is coming' behavior it should help her stay calm.
Speaking of the storm, I am on call for the local shelter. The Animal Shelter is working with the Emergency Management and are helping out. Not sure exactly what they are doing, but if they need help they'll call.