Saturday, December 1, 2012
And then there were purrs
I have been so discouraged with Lady Frida Floofface and Evelyn lately. Every time I walk in they hunker down and pretty much say "GO AWAY GO AWAY GO AWAY!!!" I felt bad that I sent Ella and Jackson back to the shelter, because sometimes having those outgoing kittens help show those timid kittens there is nothing to be afraid of.
it also hasn't helped that a bunch of other little things have gone horribly wrong lately, so I'm all feeling like I can't do anything right.
I was on facebook yesterday and someone posted that the easiest way to tame feral kittens is to give them a bath, dry them off then feed them something yummy. I could not see how on earth this would work with older kittens, so I asked if it would. The woman said it would help, so I thought what the heck, it couldn't hurt.
So tonight I brought down a bucket of water. I started with Evelyn, and I gave her a good dose of "Safe Space" and "Feral Cat Rehab" and sat with her, talking to her softly, asking her to relax and patting her. After a few moments she started to relax her ears, and when I took my hands off her for a second she didn't start to bolt, so I just kept at it, and after a few more minutes she actually started to PURR!! Not all that loud, nor all that consistent, but it was a purr and I was over the moon. After a bit longer the purring became a bit louder and a bit stronger. That girl has a motor on her! But then she stopped, and I decided to just go for it. The 'bath' went pretty well. I put her in belly up and slowly into the water. I ran my hand over her to get her wet, and then pulled her out, and wrapped her in a towel and handed her off to my husband for 'drying'/cuddling. She took it, she seemed relaxed and after a few minutes she started purring again too!
So now it was LFF's turn, I had put a blanket over the cage so she couldn't see what was going on to Evelyn. I gave her the same dose as Evelyn, and sat and waited for her to relax. It took her much longer than E, but eventually she started "rolling the marble" you know that slight possible barely a purr noise.. after a bit more patting and purring showed up. When it stopped I gave her the bath treatment too. I got her purring and actually eating out of my hand afterwards. I was totally amazed!
LFF was still very interested in what Evelyn was doing at this point, (grooming her self and purring in my husband's arms) that I let her go see and she walked straight toward my husband then up and on and over his lap! He tried to pat her and freaked her out which was a little sad, but Jackson still freaked out when hands went straight at him so *shrug*
DH wondered if he should let Evelyn go and I was against that because I can bribe LFF with food but not E. Eventually we got LFF back in the cage and she started crying to come out!!!
So we have made some progress, but I am anxious to see if it holds through the night. I put more Spirit Essences in their water so they can self dose all night long. Paws crossed that they don't regress again. It really does seem every step they have taken forward they take another one right back..