Author Topic: Herd your cats here  (Read 89739 times)

evil_physics_witchcraft

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #435 on: July 15, 2020, 08:49:09 AM »

sprout

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #436 on: July 15, 2020, 10:48:32 AM »
The Illumicati

Yup.

This needs to be a comic.  First scene: that visual EPW described.

POV character: The hapless young pup in the house, who has just stumbled onto a secret no canine (or human) should know.

evil_physics_witchcraft

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #437 on: July 16, 2020, 11:16:05 AM »

evil_physics_witchcraft

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #438 on: July 16, 2020, 11:18:20 AM »
Double post.

Elder Evil cat is sitting/standing on my legs. His feet were cold, but they're not now. He had his chin resting on my arm a minute ago. Ten minutes before this, he was yowling his head off while carrying around a stuffed crab. I've starting hiding it in high out-of-the-way places and the bastard has managed to still get it!

smallcleanrat

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #439 on: July 17, 2020, 11:12:13 PM »
Further updates on the Maestro:

1) He continues to grow at an astonishing rate. We weigh him once per week, and last two weeks he has increased his mass by 14-15% each week! He often mews for food even though he's getting three meals a day. I was worried his meals weren't large enough and we were underfeeding him. SO says, given Maestro's ever increasing bulk, he's nowhere near underfed, just melodramatic.

On his first vet visit, at 5 weeks old, the vet mentioned that his tail was quite a bit smaller than average in proportion to his body size. Well, that stubby, little tail has lengthened (along with the rest of him) and is now about the length of his entire body (we measured it at about 7-8 inches). At times, he glimpses it on the ground twitching next to him, startles and attacks.

2) He mastered the piano trick in only two lessons (Maestro indeed!). I tested him by positioning myself behind him, holding his treats. He faced me, with his back to the keyboard, to see what command I would give, and promptly spun around (away from the treats!) and confidently sounded an F when I said, "Maestro, piano!" At times he gets creative and brings both front paws down, each paw pressing multiple notes. Maybe with a few more lessons he'll be ready to record his first album.

3) Maestro's love affair with his plush fish continues. When I bought it, it was bigger than he was and he was intimidated. When he grew to be just slightly bigger than the fish, it became his best friend, even though he could move it only with great difficulty. Now Maestro is long and lanky enough to easily tote the fish, running and leaping anywhere he pleases. He brings the fish into his pet bed and naps with a protective paw around it. SO says there was a time I went to the store, and SO heard Maestro crying about my absence and found the kitty clinging to his fish like it was a security blanket.

4) Hissing continues to serve as an effective nipping deterrent. He's invented an adorable way to stalk and "attack" me while still staying within the rules: he'll crouch, do the classic butt wiggle, and then rush forward, rear back on his hind legs and bop me with his front paws (claws retracted). Sometimes he just crouches, wiggles, and lunges, stopping abruptly right before making contact, peering at me with his innocent kitten eyes. It's as if he's saying, "Haha, fooled you! You thought I would attack, but I didn't."

He mostly seems to understand not to bite during playtime; but he will bite out of annoyance if he is not getting his way. He especially seems to be in some sort of battle for dominance with SO. While I now rarely get kitty-inflicted injuries, SO's hands and arms are a mess. He won't try the hissing trick. Instead I hear him yelling and swearing at the kitten as if Maestro had just cut him off on the freeway. I found it a little disturbing. He's only a little kitten.

Maestro seems far more defiant than he is scared of SO, so perhaps he is not being as traumatized as I feared he would be. But I still don't think this is an appropriate way to chastise a misbehaving kitten. SO still favors the "time out" approach (which often involves simply tossing him into my room, where he usually settles down and takes a nap). The bites and scratches SO receives are usually from the times he manhandles Maestro to put him in time out. Maestro is never injured, but he does get pretty angry.

Any advice on this?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 11:17:08 PM by smallcleanrat »

AmLitHist

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #440 on: July 18, 2020, 06:19:50 AM »
You could tell the SO to knock it off and that if it comes down to him or the cat, he might not like your choice.  (Just kidding, though I've told ALHS this many times.) 

But seriously--the SO isn't a child; he can treat the kitten well.  That's the line for me:  anybody who treats an animal badly isn't someone I'll tolerate, even if it's "only" yelling at a critter.  YMMV.

statsgeek

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #441 on: July 23, 2020, 08:23:02 AM »
One of our little boys is working on his nurse-kitty certificate.  I went to bed early last night with a headache and it only took a few minutes (and one pounce on the feet) before he curled up next to me. 

Parasaurolophus

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #442 on: July 23, 2020, 09:03:13 AM »
The biting and scratching are part of kitten play, when they're testing their limits and figuring out what hurts and what doesn't. When it happens, SO should just stop whatever they're doing with the kitten, disengage, and redirect to a toy. To extricate one's hand from a cat's death grip, move it towards the cat, not away from it. It's just like dealing with thorns: work with the thorn, not against it.

For my part, the littlest cat (who's the eldest, but 3/4 sized) had her teeth cleaned at the vet yesterday, and a resorbed (resorped?) tooth extracted, the poor love. She's better today, but still a bit wobbly and tired.
I know it's a genus.

statsgeek

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #443 on: July 24, 2020, 05:36:21 AM »
Does anyone believe in feline reincarnation?  Last night our Foster Fail girl (I'll call her FF for fora purposes from here out) stole a corn cob from the sink and was happily munching away on it when StatSpouse found her.  The boys (we'll call them Yin and Yang) were curious but not really interested in eating it.  The only other cat I've ever seen like corn cobs was our LittleGirl.  It was quite an emotional moment. 

Larimar

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #444 on: July 28, 2020, 03:39:08 AM »
The Larimar household started off this morning with a really rousing game of Laser Light! Twerp and OrangeGuy worked in tandem. Calico, who has the thickest fur and been pretty languid in the heat, surprised me with how much energy she expended. Even HerMajesty participated in some royal recreation. Now they're all flopped on the floor and I need some coffee.

OneMoreYear

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #445 on: July 28, 2020, 09:34:27 AM »
The Larimar household started off this morning with a really rousing game of Laser Light! Twerp and OrangeGuy worked in tandem. Calico, who has the thickest fur and been pretty languid in the heat, surprised me with how much energy she expended. Even HerMajesty participated in some royal recreation. Now they're all flopped on the floor and I need some coffee.

That sounds like an excellent way to start the morning!

In the last few days, Ricochet (the Squirrelly TortieTM) has been doing her best impression of a domesticated cat.  She sat on my lap for a good 15 minutes in a position that was only 50% awkward.  She slept at the foot of the bed and let me pet her when I woke up rather than immediately bolting off the bed.  She did not automatically assume that a treat was poison and actually licked it (she didn't eat it, but you can't have everything).  And she let me brush her without attempting to amputate my fingers and even requested more brushing!  I have no idea what brought this on, but it's so flippin' cute.

smallcleanrat

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #446 on: July 28, 2020, 10:42:51 AM »
Lately I've noticed a curious behavior from Maestro. It's a variation on a behavior he's had since we first got him.

From day 1, Maestro enjoyed soft, fuzzy blankets. He would "nurse" from the blanket for about 5 minutes at a time: biscuit paws, suckling noises, fervent purring. I read this is fairly common behavior for kittens, especially when separated from mother too soon.

As he's matured, he's been nursing on blankets less often, and I've noticed a new quirk: as soon as SO enters the room, Maestro begins nursing and purring furiously. He will stop as soon as SO exits; we've tested this several times. Maestro does not do this with me. He and I can be lounging together on the bed peacefully, Maestro leaning against my side. Then SO pops in for a chat, Maestro leaps to his feet and attacks the blanket, making suckling noises and forcefully kneading the cloth.

Now I've read some opinions that cats nurse on objects as a form of comfort during stress. I've read others that say cats nurse as a form of comfort. Period. Cats do it because it feels nice, not necessarily because they are stressed.

Is Maestro just excited to see SO? He will often jump in SO's lap or follow him out of the room, so I'd like to think he is not seeing SO as a source of stress.

What does the forum think?

I've heard similarly divided reasons for purring. 1) Cats purr as an expression of pleasure and contentment. 2) Cats purr when experiencing stress or pain as a form of self-soothing. Maestro purrs loudly when I pick up his bowl to fill it and sometimes when he is eating. I assume these are purrs of pleasure. He will also purr sometimes if I simply move to be physically closer to him. No petting, just proximity, and he rumbles away like a motorcycle engine. I want to believe this just means he is happy to be hanging out with me.

How can I make sure he is not purring because he is stressed about me invading his space?

Puget

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #447 on: July 28, 2020, 11:13:55 AM »
Lately I've noticed a curious behavior from Maestro. It's a variation on a behavior he's had since we first got him.

From day 1, Maestro enjoyed soft, fuzzy blankets. He would "nurse" from the blanket for about 5 minutes at a time: biscuit paws, suckling noises, fervent purring. I read this is fairly common behavior for kittens, especially when separated from mother too soon.

As he's matured, he's been nursing on blankets less often, and I've noticed a new quirk: as soon as SO enters the room, Maestro begins nursing and purring furiously. He will stop as soon as SO exits; we've tested this several times. Maestro does not do this with me. He and I can be lounging together on the bed peacefully, Maestro leaning against my side. Then SO pops in for a chat, Maestro leaps to his feet and attacks the blanket, making suckling noises and forcefully kneading the cloth.

Now I've read some opinions that cats nurse on objects as a form of comfort during stress. I've read others that say cats nurse as a form of comfort. Period. Cats do it because it feels nice, not necessarily because they are stressed.

Is Maestro just excited to see SO? He will often jump in SO's lap or follow him out of the room, so I'd like to think he is not seeing SO as a source of stress.

What does the forum think?

I've heard similarly divided reasons for purring. 1) Cats purr as an expression of pleasure and contentment. 2) Cats purr when experiencing stress or pain as a form of self-soothing. Maestro purrs loudly when I pick up his bowl to fill it and sometimes when he is eating. I assume these are purrs of pleasure. He will also purr sometimes if I simply move to be physically closer to him. No petting, just proximity, and he rumbles away like a motorcycle engine. I want to believe this just means he is happy to be hanging out with me.

How can I make sure he is not purring because he is stressed about me invading his space?
I don't think there's anything wrong -- try to just relax and enjoy him-- he seems like he's really enjoying both of you.

My understanding is that these behaviors indicate a desire for affiliation. Kittens purr, kneed and suck around their mother to elicit care and cement their bond, and cats have transferred some of these behaviors to us. So they do it when they're happy to be with us, and when greeting us (probably what he's doing when SO enters the room), and when they're stressed and want our reassurance and care.

My two sibs purr when I'm petting them and also when they are grooming each other, which I think amounts to basically the same things for cats. They are also highly attuned to each other's purrs even when too far away for me to hear them-- If I'm petting panther boy, little calico will come running from wherever she is to get in on the action.

He seems to have outgrown it now, but when panther boy was younger he'd try to nurse on little calico, sucking on random parts of her fur. She mostly tolerated it but sometimes got annoyed and stalked off.


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Parasaurolophus

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #448 on: July 28, 2020, 11:26:20 AM »
Yeah, I think the other behavioural cues all seem fine. As long as he's not avoiding contact when he purrs, or putting himself away in a dark corner, it should be fine and perfectly happy purring.
I know it's a genus.

mamselle

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Re: Herd your cats here
« Reply #449 on: July 28, 2020, 11:44:31 AM »
He just thinks the two of you are funny-shaped, two-legged mother cats.

Sort of like my 5-year-old music student who likes to bang on coffee cans for drums, which we do, answering each other and playing rhythm games, for quite awhile sometimes.

I think he thinks I'm just a very large 5-year-old playmate.

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