Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Spooky update

Today it's been exactly two weeks that I picked up Spooky, my new and very very black cat and possible assistant in the making. I introduced him here where I told you he was a pretty spooked Spook. The first few days I did not even really get to see him, which is a pity, because he's such a handsome fellow.

Now he's been here for two weeks and things are definitely improving. It's obvious he needs his time and that he's as careful around me as I am around him, but in comparison with two weeks ago we have moved mountains. When he feels the need to retreat I simply ignore him and when he comes out or seeks me out he always gets a treat and positive attention. He is easily seduced by food and snacks. In fact I managed to get him to dare to go upstairs simply by going up and down with him and some kitty snacks a few times. After a few days he followed me up on his own. Seduction seems to be right way to broaden his horizon.

Spooky is also beginning to show real cat behaviour:

Making sure I behave myself. (I have my eyes on you human!)

Sitting in boxes.

Sleeping next to me on the couch every night.

Stealing my seat the minute I get up.

I can tell he's still not fully at home with me and this house he has moved into. This cat simply needs more time for that. I kind of like that his friendship is not easily given. It makes me feel all the more privileged when he does show affection or seeks me out. But for himself it would be so much easier if he were a bit more easygoing and relaxed. Still, he sits with me every day, meows for food and attention and seems pretty comfortable walking around the house, even if he is still skittish.

On the other hand the fact that he is feeling more at home also brings out some traits I'm not so happy with. It seems the previous owners never played with him really, at least not with toys. I've tried several different things and he simply looks bored and has no idea what to do with them. Even wand toys (which were a hit with my previous cats who were actually quite lazy and unplayful in nature) have no appeal to him so far.

Unfortunately he does from time to time consider my hand a lovely moving toy, which can be pretty painful (although so far I must admit I have no scratches on me, he's not vicious). It makes me wonder if the previous owners were the kind that found it cool to use their hands as a plaything (yes, people like that exist, the fools). He's not mean or anything, just playful in the wrong way. Often he will try to grab or bite my hand and immediately follow it up with a head butt, purring all the way as if to say 'aren't we having fun?'. No no no, we aren't! Luckily he seems to understand the word 'NO!' very well so if I pay attention I can stop him before he goes too far. I think with patience and time he will learn new ways to play from me. If you have any ideas for toys or ways to play for a stubborn no play cat, I'm all ears.

Also after a few more weeks he will be allowed outside, which I think will be good for him. He was an outdoorsy cat, so he must really miss exploring the garden and neighbourhood. Apart from being new to my household he is not yet neutered, vaccinated or chipped and I want all those things done before I let him out. I think that is simply the responsible thing to do. Having an outdoor cat comes with enough risks (even in a quiet cat friendly place like this) without taking extra precautions. I think however he is pretty bored inside for now and since he does not fully trust me yet and does not understand play with toys yet it's hard to alleviate this boredom. I feel bad for him for that, after all he's still quite young (three years old).

Daring to wash himself while lying on his back, a sign of trust, but always keeping his eyes on me, haha.

All in all I think we still have a long way to go and in no way is he anything like my previous assistants. He's not my assistant yet. He's not even really my cat yet. He really is my Spook!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day.