Saturday, December 22, 2018

Working on pulling Darcy out of her shell - socializing an undersocialized kitty



I am going to apologize for the quality of the photos ahead of time, they are all from my two-year-old cell phone; the reason being that I was fairly certain that the click of my camera would have startled her and ended any progress we were making.

I moved Darcy's cage out of the bathroom because I wanted to open up her world. When I watched her on the camera I noticed she was coming out and being in the room with Onyx but as soon as I opened the door to come down to the kitten room she would bolt back into the cage.

Since I knew she was getting comfortable in the room I continued to pull her out and hold her and release her after she started to calm a little. Earlier in the week you saw how she stopped and looked at me and then sniffed my shoes. The next day she did this....



She sat there grooming for almost a minute before heading back to the cage on the far side of the room. I didn't move, barely breathing as she sat there and licked her foot. I think we were both trying to be chill about the whole thing. I just love the relationship building between Onyx and Darcy.. (I still think Onyx's name is actually Lucy, but that's just what I've started calling her for some reason)

I decided to move the cage to the main part of the room so she could sit in her cage and I could force her to see me by lifting up the sheet. I pulled one of my old kitten tricks of bringing my dinner down to eat in front of them. I like to pretend that it shows them that I'm not the witch from Hansel and Gretel and I'm not trying to plump them up to eat them. It also gives them incentive to come to me (aka food). Onyx was all over me but Darcy wouldn't leave the cage. I could tell she was interested and she watched me the entire time instead of turning her back to me and sticking her head in the corner.



Since I had her interest, I thought I would try playing with her again. I started off playing with Onyx, but I kept tossing the toy into the cage and pulling it out to try to get her attention.


She loves to play and if I can get her distracted enough she forgets to be scared of me. I am using this opportunity to "impose" myself into her world. I'll move a leg and see if she runs. Or I'll talk to her while she is playing. Last night I was even able to stand up and get her to continue to play (but the moment I moved the play was OVER!. She is not a fan of my being this obnoxious to her. She still would prefer it that I stop insisting on talking to her and touching her, but I know that I'm making progress.


I am so glad they are liking each other this much. It is nice that Onyx models well-socialized cat behavior for Darcy and she can see that no harm comes to her when she splays herself all over my lap and gets her ears rubbed.

13 comments:

  1. So glad Darcy is slowly coming out of her shell and making some progress. I think it's great she gets along well with Onyx and she is a good role model for Darcy. It will be a challenge for her new owner but with time and patience, I think she will do just fine. Tiny is still afraid of strangers but he is such a loving and relaxed kitty with me. Darcy will probably be a one-purrson kitty and that is A-OK. Her owner will be very lucky.

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  2. It is lovely to see Darcy playing. You are working miracles with that little frightened girl.

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  3. That is exactly what I am doing with my feral cats. So far I haven't been able to touch them. But they are getting used to me being in their room. I drag the wand toy over their back so they get used to having something touch their backs.
    Sounds like you are making some great progress. Have a great day.

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  4. Wand toy for the win!! Good job Darcy!! Keep up the good work weird foster lady ;)

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  5. 'Onyx' has told you her true name, so I say that you use it! Lucy! Maybe rubbing some catnip on your hands or clothes may bring Darcy closer too? Needless to say, you are doing a great job!

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  6. The photos are great and you are doing a wonderful job, you are amazing

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  7. It is wonderful that these two cats are becoming friends . Darcy can take comfort from Onyx when you are around.

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  8. Good news all around.

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  9. Awesome progress! We love that Darcy and Onyx get along so well, and are excited that she is getting better with you around, too!

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  10. Amazing ! That's great, pawsome progress ! You're doing a great job ! Purrs

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  11. Wonderful progress. She is such a sweet girl!

    Eileen

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  12. Go Darcy!! And go Connie for helping Darcy relax. Yah!!

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  13. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We're glad to call you our friends.
    Our money's on Darcy ... she'll figure it out.

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