Ebony and Sneakers have been with us now for 2 years. We adopted them on November 21, 2009. It was a Saturday just before Thanksgiving when we stopped by the Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue, Washington.
We had to adopt them both as a pair because they were bonded and they were 10 years old. It is believed that after 8 years a cat doesn’t learn as easily. I think they have done well for two older cats. They were raised as indoor cats which has presented challenges for me. I was very use to cats that were street smart, played a lot, were adventuresome in and out doors.
It is my belief that maybe the cat parents of Ebony and Sneakers didn’t know the streets? It is also my belief that Ebony and Sneakers behavior was restricted severly. Inspite of that they are doing well and healthy and that is what matters most.
Ebony had Giardia when we first brought him home and it took awhile for him to recover. Eventually his fur became soft not oily. Apparently 4 months at the Humane Society had taken their toll on him and it took awhile for us to get him back to better health and that slowed down the process of his learning to trust us. When he doesn’t feel well he hides out and won’t let us get near.
Ebony is getting braver and braver but still has problems with us walking around the house. He thinks he has to run and hide. His behavior is bolder in the mornings but in the evenings he is less so. He sleeps in the bedroom or on the Futon most of the day and is not as active as I would like. I had hoped that going outside might reach his “inner kitten,” but he has not taken to it and prefers to stay in the house. I actually did lock him out once not realizing he was outside. Fortunately I figured it out quickly so he was only out in the backyard a few minutes.
I learned that Ebony can’t eat fish and it seems to be in almost all cat food. If he does he has bathroom issues. I had been feeding it to him and when I took fish away from him he started to respond. I was also giving him probiotics which I do periodically now.
Ebony doesn’t do change well and I was on several very long and short trips this last year and we had been cuddling on the futon but after those two trips he isn’t doing that anymore. He comes up to me by the Futon but then I move and he panics. Late night he cuddled with me for about 10 minutes on the futon so there is hope. We do have cuddle fests on the living room floor and that keeps the bond going.
He is responding to catnip and asks for it now. At first he wasn’t interested. I think he was depressed. He eats it now which gives him some greens since he will not chew the wheat grass I bring home.
Because he doesn’t like the idea of being trapped in the kitchen I feed him in the living room. Lately he has been coming into the kitchen and walks behind me while I prepare his food and may even go into the utility room where the kitty litter is. This is a big thing! I do have to move carefully in the kitchen while he is there so as not to scare him. Once the food is prepared we walk together me slightly behind him to his feeding spot in the living room from the kitchen. He asks me for food by sitting in the living room or whacking me at my office chair by reaching up and touching me. It does scare me sometimes. Or he sits by the chair and waits!
As I write this I realize he has come a long way from the cat I brought home. He is communicating his wants to me and my hubby by meowing or whacking us.
I was concerned in the beginning and thought that he couldn’t hear because he wasn’t responding to us but I think he can. My hubby and I think his spirit was broken by his former owners, which makes me more determined to encourage him in anyway to be more bold. He is a very powerful cat so more physical behavior would help a great deal.
There is hope however, I caught Ebony playing with a twisty tie that was on the floor the other day. He was jumping around, whacking it and just having a few minutes of great fun all by himself. This is a very big milestone! Now if I look and watch him he stops and goes away. So we are learning to ignore him yet try to notice out of the corner of our eye what he is doing.
I have noticed that Sneakers and Ebony are playing a little more with each other. Sneakers will take a whack at Ebony and was playing with his tail the other day? These two cats don’t play with each other or seem to play by themselves very rarely. So any form of play is encouraged.
Is Ebony happy? Hard to say. My hubby is putting in more time with Ebony and he is responding. Ebony goes into his office and meows for attention. I am trying to get Ebony use to me from different heights by sitting in my office chair and petting him while he is on the floor. I try hugging him on the floor to get him use to being held.
At the moment he is on the floor at my right shoulder waiting patiently for me to play with him. I think I best take that opportunity. He wanted some catnip!
Returning to this post after spending time with Ebony and Sneakers…
Observations of Sneakers:
Sneakers was great right from the beginning and took to us. He had to learn trust as well but he is so amiable and he just loved my petting and giving him smoogles (hugs). I occasionally pick him up in the bathroom and hold him on my lap. He wants down like any cat but once down he comes back for more!!!! We do a lot of bonding in the bathroom. HA!
Experimenting with grass!
He ended up having surgery on a lump on his back about six months after we had adopted him. I posted about the surgery on this blog. He has recovered very well. So far the lump has not returned.
Sneakers is one of the sweetest cats I have ever known. He will come up to me on the Futon and gently reach with his paw. He wants to get closer. Or he will line up his paws perfectly a little ways away from me and lay down. I pat my lap to let him know he can come closer. He does. My other cats would just take possession of my lap, not Sneakers. It is like he is asking for permission? Sigh!
He has taken to going outside into our backyard and he is doing very well. He will never be an outdoor cat like my other cats for he is too naive. I check on him regularly to make sure he is okay. So far no close encounters with raccoons or other neighborhood cats. He actually comes when I call him. He is very curious about the front door and front yard. I do not think it is wise to teach him that. It is too dangerous for him we do not have a fence in the front yard and that is where the scarry things are like cars and people and dogs. It is probably time to check the backyard for escape routes just to be safe!
Sneakers loves to cuddle between us in the bed in the mornings. Sometimes he likes to go under the covers by my legs. He wants to know what is I am cooking and then see what we are eating. He isn’t like Minx who would knock the food out of my hand. Sneakers waits patiently for us to share. He seems to like pork which is a little odd, not fish or other foods but pork. He really like some sausage we had which I thought might be too spicy for him? He cuddles with me on the Futon at night while I watch TV. He likes to hit his fuzzy ball around the living room on occasion. Made my hubby laugh the other day. He has taken to running around the house when he wants me to open the backdoor, HA! He gets into his wheat grass and really likes it tossing the whole carton around.
He likes my hubby who gives great chin rubs. He will sit on his lap on occasion and even let him lift him up onto the rocking chair with him. He is letting my hubby cut his fur mats which shows that he is learning to trust us. He lets us know when it we pull to hard. He has very fine hair and we have to be diligent with the brushing.
He is getting better with me at my full height reaching down and petting him and not shying away in the kitchen. I have to knell on the floor to reassure him but now he is getting better. My hubby is working on it as well.
Sneakers walks around with his tail up 99% of the time. He is a happy cat.
Now that the first two years have come and gone I am looking forward to more wonderful adventures with my two Gentlemen Cats!