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Thread: Hissfest 2020 - Mittens update.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

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    Hissfest 2020 - Mittens update.

    2020... What a year it has been.
    First came Covid...
    Then the riots...
    The Iowa derecho...
    A double hurricane in the gulf...

    And in the midst of it all, in the Baker house, HISSFEST 2020...

    Mittens has recovered extremely well from her injuries. She is running through the house and loves TV time in the evening laying on either me or my wife Beth. We've learned all of the nooks and crannies that need to be covered up to keep her from getting into inaccessible, to humans at least, hiding spots.
    She has had some accidents involving not finding the litter box though, hence the need to have all furniture in the living room covered with heavy plastic. Last night was accident free, or so we hope. It was not unexpected.
    Our girls, Libby and LillyBug, who are sisters have been unaffected by world events to this point, but the introduction of Mittens has thrown their world into a tailspin. The introductions were done slowly allowing them all to learn the scent of the other house cats. The girls were locked in the office for an afternoon while Mittens learned the lay of the land. What I had underestimated was the persistence of Lilly Bug to find a way through the barrier. I came back into the house from outside to find the barrier down with Lilly Bug checking out the living room with Mittens following closely behind. Darn, I wish that I had a video of that. Lilly Bug would walk a few feet and Mittens would follow. All the while Lilly Bug was oblivious. When they got into the kitchen, I called Lilly Bug who then turned and saw Mittens. Hiss, growl, run off, stop, turn, hiss again, run off, repeat...
    Mittens is oblivious to their antics but still gives them space.
    Mittens is still skittish and runs from most people but we are using food to warm her up to visitors. A slightly hungry cat is a friendly cat.
    This morning, Mittens has been running through each room and discovering new things with us all home for the morning.
    The girls, Libby and Lilly Bug, hiss and growl, but each time, we let them be for a few minutes before petting them and giving them loving. Their ears perk up and tails go up telling us that they're not mad at us but don't like that change that has been foisted upon them.
    LOL... As I type this, I hear a hiss in the kitchen. Lilly Bug must have seen Mittens again because Libby is on my computer bench. So I put Lilly Bug in one of here favorite windows and gave her some cheek rubs while talking smoothly which settles her down. Al the while, out mischievous little 3 legged kitten is running around well in view.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    contender1's Avatar
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    As I read this,, I have this motion picture running in my head. I can see the feline hissfest, and all it's "attitudes!" Mittens appears to be gaining ground in accepting her new world, and it's daily interests.
    Love, time, and treats will be the things that make all of it comfortable to her. She sounds like a wonderful addition to your life,, and while there are going to be "challenges" you will look back & smile at how much she has enriched your life one day.

    Miss Penny & I always seem to enjoy discussing the differences in our cats,, and how they have grown, changed, and in general, enriched our lives. Our "terrorist" one,, the youngest,, is actually just a very outgoing & curious cat, that loves to get UP high on anything she can. Yet,, we are noticing that while she's always been loving,, she's getting more & more affectionate in general. She recently turned 8, and Seems to always bring smiles.
    And as I sit here,,, I have 2 of the others curled up around me. One, to the left of my keyboard,, and the other one, on the desk to my right. I have to move her feet to use my mouse.

    I enjoy hearing how Mittens is progressing. Keep us posted.

  3. #3
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    Ienjoy the humor, "Hissfest" LOL Sounds like many cats I've known. Definitely sounds like they're getting used to each other, expect many more hisses tho, since Mittens is "The pesky kid sister who won't leave us alone, ever!" Typical critters

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy

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    This morning found both of the girls in our room upstairs waiting for us to go downstairs. Normally it is a mad dash between our legs to get to the feeding dish. Not today. They sat on the stairs observing the "creature from the dark living room" and waited for it to stop meowing and start feeding at it's special food bowl before they would even attempt to venture through the dining room. Oh the humanity of it all. LOL...

    The girls are starting to adjust. They hiss a lot but I distract them and they come over for petting and loving.

    Mittens hasn't had any "Accidents" lately which is a great thing. All furniture is covered with 2 mil drop cloths now for protection reasons. We got her new large and small litter boxes as my wife feels that she might be confused by any residual scents on the old one. The small one goes near the furniture where she's had the accidents.

    Life is getting back to normal... Now if only primers would come back into stock.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Contender, how do you get them to settle next to the computer?? Ours always walked over the keyboard - with sometimes surprising results.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I see the girls are "adjusting" to Mittens a bit. Time will see more changes.


    Wayne,, well, it's like this. I have a desk,, and my computer (a laptop) has an external keyboard. My laptop is on a stand, and the keyboard is propped up over the space below the keys of the laptop. I have a 3"-4" wide space of the desk to allow for my forearms,, AND to allow a walkway for the cats. My laptop sits to one side of the desk. The cats have a laying spot next to things. And to my right,, is another desk,, placed sideways, (my wife calls it a credenza) where I do have my mouse & such. But I also do a lot of my writing on that one,,, well,, except when a second cat decides to lay RIGHT where I want to work. My printer is forward of my desk, and sits under a shelf I built. There is a cat basket on the shelf. So,,, I OFTEN have 3 cats at once "working" with me. One left, one right, & one above!
    Of course,, when writing,, one likes to play with my pen. And often, on my left,, when they curl, stretch or move around,, they push my keyboard & desk lamp. Ahhh,,, life with cats!

  7. #7
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    Sounds like your house is maintained for the care and feeding of cats. I say that as wife s 13 lb rag doll is sitting next to me in a chair. Thinks my working on things is time for her to play.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacher Jim View Post
    Thinks my working on things is time for her to play.
    Ragdolls think ALL times is the time to play! Ragdoll cats are about the most playful of all breeds, laid-back and extremely docile they make wonderful pets and are gorgeous to say the least!

    It's been over 20 years now since we lost our beautiful 24 lb "Gentle giant" Ragdoll Tomcat (Merlin) to feline leukemia, that dreaded and deadly feline virus was rampant in the Ragdoll linage at the time and a huge percentage of them died from it despite vaccination. Thank goodness this disease has been bred out of the breed and as long as they don't get exposed to it they are now safe from it.
    Statistics show that criminals commit fewer crimes after they have been shot

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    need a emoji for "this thread is useless with out photos"
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy

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    When I first read it, I thought ragdoll was a general term for cats like our Libby. She's a run of the mill tabby that bellies up to the food bowl all too often. Her favorite pose is flopped on her side with a big belly exposed for all to pet and adore.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks for the updates, please keep us posted on occasion!

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    If things get dire ...Call The Cat Man ... Jackson Galaxy ... He can make your cat life Heavenly !
    Or at least get you on his TV show .
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  13. #13
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    Cat folks have a term for when kitty's right there next to you, watching all you do.

    "Snoopervising."

    My two snoopervise a lot too, sounds like yours have you well trained

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like Mittens and company are slowly adjusting.Just you wait.Pretty soon you are going to need some GI kevlar and shoulder pads when they start to play and chase throughout the house.
    Sure do miss the fun and games since my Morris passed away last Oct 10th.Snowball is really missing him too.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
    When I first read it, I thought ragdoll was a general term for cats like our Libby.
    Ragdolls are very unique with a disposition like no other breed!

    When picked up these extremely docile and lovable cats tend to go limp and that along with their long cotton soft fur coat got them the name of "Ragdoll". They are considered indoor only cats for a couple of reasons one being that due to genetics they are VERY susceptible to the dreaded feline leukemia virus mentioned earlier, so much so that a lot of vets recommend they don't get vaccinated due to the possibility that some vaccines could actually cause the disease. Another reason is the fact that almost all of them think EVERYTHING is either for them to eat or play with so they have developed the reputation of not fearing anything, not as in "tough guy" no fear but more like "don't have a lick of sense" kind of no fear! Dogs, other cats or even the cattle Merlin had absolutely no fear of any of them, before we knew better than to let him outside during the day he would ride with me on the mower and had more than once tried to jump onto the tractor while I was working. Same thing for the shop machinery and no matter how noisy or fast it was moving he didn't see any danger at all. Unfortunately we didn't know about the feline leukemia susceptibility problem until he was jumped by a feral tomcat and we took him to the vet. They had us bring him back in 3 months to test again for the virus and sure enough it was bad news, our beloved gentle giant died less than 6 months later. He was so unique and had become such a close family member that even after all this time I guess I still get a bit emotional whenever I mention him, probably not a good idea to get so attached to an animal but, well it is what it is I guess.
    Statistics show that criminals commit fewer crimes after they have been shot

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    It sounds like Mittens is getting more comfortable. My Kitty is 15 years old and absolutely hates it when we keep the Boys dogs or the SIL's Cat. Missy got her bluff in on the dogs early on in their lives but the SIL's Cat is young enough that He thinks its a game. She stays mad for several days after they are gone. Makes for some interesting dynamics!

    Thanks for the update on Mittens.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    My mother could speak cat. They would talk. My Dad had a camper with an intercom. Mom and Trip would talk. Mom taught me the slow blink, and the deep purr-up, humm, zzyia, nyah, and body language. Cats read our body language and learn our words. I taught my daughter to speak cat. How to rescue pound cats, socialize them, then find them a home like a dating service. I was left with a black fixed feral female Stinker nobody would take. I could handle Stinker, pet her, she would ride on my shoulder. She slept on the foot of my bed. She hissed at a moose, growled with her back up, moose was impressed, moved along. Stinker would sink in her teeth if provoked. Bite Daddy, get your nose snapped. Stinker learned. She never bit Mommy, professional courtesy. She tore up the neighbors dog. They sent me the bill. ? . She played with her claws out. Clipped her nails, they came back thicker. Just let claws shed. Got a cedar fence post and a fence rail in the back yard for a scratching post, Stinker would claw pieces of cedar off. Tore apart any carpet scratching post. Left the furniture alone, tore up toilet paper. Kinda like a wife, don't provoke her. Rode with that cat Hanover to Scottsdale to North Pole where she died at 16. Totally Black Cat. I miss her. I think she liked me. She came a long way from feral, but was not a cat for children, or anybody else that didn't speak cat. Nobody wants a feral cat. Lately I have had two dogs die, and maybe I need another Stinker.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy

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    Mittens discovered the girls food bowls... She sits and eats as they watch from a distance.
    Lilly bug has gotten pretty good at tolerating Mittens. She'll hiss now and again but is easily distracted and will come for a petting.
    Libby, not so much. She is grumbly but still finds her way next to my pillow nightly.

    Interesting about cat communication. I'd never put thought into body language. I know that when in the mood, Libby and I will have conversations where she makes all kinds of different sounds. Of all of the cats that we've ever had, she has the largest vocabulary of any by far. She even has a low gruff uuuuhhhhh sound that she makes when defending the house from the UPS truck that she hates or fears. She also is afraid of storms and we can tell when weather is near as she starts hunkering down and getting under things. Usually she gets held and comforted when there is a lot of thunder.

    ETA... Libby love nibbles. When laying on my lap or in bed, she'll reach up and lightly grab a bit of skin in her teeth and hold it as an indication of "PET the cat now."

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    contender1's Avatar
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    It's fun when cats are vocal. But body language is also important. We have learned a bit of communication skills over the years. And by understanding them,, it's often easy to meet & greet other cats.
    Yesterday, on my job, there was a yellow tabby male cat that showed up,, to check out my skunk removal skills.
    Well, he was obviously a bit shy about strangers,, yet,, he was also curious. It took me all of about 3-4 minutes,, and he & I were buddies,, as I was petting & rubbing him. A young teen girl came out,, and when she saw that,, she said; "Wow,, he must really like you,, he's usually very shy!" I sat with him for several minutes,, just scratching, rubbing, and petting him. And when I stood up,,, he followed me to a few of my traps.
    You just gotta understand them, and communicate with them on their level.

    Mittens,, well, Lilly bug & Libby are becoming adjusted to her being a part of the family. And as long as they see they are not being ignored, or replaced,, they will accept her over time. How much,, will depend upon each one's personality.

    For treats,, we give the Temptations treats. Our furry friends REALLY like the soft chewy ones the best.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy

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    Skunk removal... LOL...
    I raise chickens and have racoon problems in the past. Night vision on a dedicated .22lr AR is a dream. Not the insert into a 1:8 twist barrel but a full blown 1:12 twist .22LR chambered upper.
    When I have had to trap raccoons I have to deal with them first thing in the morning. One particular morning, it was in the fall, cold and rainy. I went out to the trap and counted stripes... Black, white, black, white, black. #$%#@#!!! a skunk. It was the first one that I had trapped, was pretty docile and they never harm my birds so I went in and got an old sheet. Held it up as I approached and draped it over the trap. With a bungee to hold the door open, I stepped away and mister skunk came out and ambled away with no ill feelings. I've done it several times since.

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