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InMemoryOfRascal

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 #81 
Karen, I tried a post earlier but I had computer issues so will try again.

I just have a huge smile on face hearing of the progress of you, Ace & Sissy.  I know it seems slow but for a unsocialized cat (and for as long as they were alone...they were unsocialized again) you all are doing so great.

Not sure if you realize it, but the fact that both Ace & Sissy ran back to that room after their explorations is huge I think!  It means that room is their safe place, their sanctuary.  YEAH.

A thought I would have is to take one of the blankets from their safe room and put it somewhere in the main area at night when you go to bed.  (Block off any scary areas that you are concerned about first!) Then when you go to bed, shut the door but not tight.  If they want to explore they will open the door and do so - and with their scent in the other bigger "scarier" areas they will get accustomed.  AND they will return to their safe room to eat, drink, sleep.  You could even set down some food in a different area and then you would know if they ventured out while you were asleep.

Rest assured, when they are sprawled out and relaxed...that means they are feeling secure.  You are doing a good job. 

Also I am so happy that you are sharing this adventure here.  It is important to show another step in the journey of recovery after we have such a devastating loss.  I have no doubt that your Julian is helping all of you along. 

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
Nicole
AmandaWI

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 #82 
Wow, huge breakthrough with both the venturing out of the room (I guess you'll have to secure that kitty door:) and with Ace coming to you and allowing pets.  Thanks so much for the very detailed updates and their frequency, I can only live vicariously through others so I really look forward to your posts.  Let them know I am sending love from afar.

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
Lyronica

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 #83 
It's wonderful to hear that they're progressing so well. Ace coming to be petted is great news.
kamc22

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 #84 
Today is the 4 week anniversary of Ace and Sissy arriving here.  They are doing so much better, and there is still a ways for both of them to go.  I love these beautiful babies and think they are actually having moments of happiness now.

I reread the last page or so of this alarmingly lengthy thread.  My apologies if I double state or neglect to mention something.  This thread has had well over 1500 hits, it makes me smile to know Ace and Sissy have such a large following, way beyond "cult".  

Sissy has now left the room twice to explore.  The second time it happened, she sauntered back into the room while I was messing with the litter box, and she let me pet her- she wasn't so scared as to run under the bed like the first time she left the room.

After a week's hiatus, she and sometimes he are again sleeping on the bed against my legs at night.  I melt when they do that, it is sooooo adorable and darling.

These cats are so incredibly funny, as silly as the positions that they get into night after night, it's impossible that they don't realize what they are doing.

Night after night I see beautiful babies splashed across the cat tree, kitty parts hanging down in completely disorganized fashion, cats turning themselves into furry pretzels and looking cute, snoring softly as they make themselves look--downright ridiculous.  

As Nicole so gently pointed out, truly frightened cats wouldn't let themselves get into positions like this, but these two have done it night after night.  I would say that they have "sacrificed their dignity" or something like that, but they are purrfectly happy to make kitty fools of themselves.

They are still living in the guest room, I continue to sleep with them every night.  I don't know how long this will go on, but they are eating a remarkable amount every day, and every day both of them are getting more and more pets.  It hasn't been instant gratification, but things are getting better.

Thank you all for your concern.  This thread had had over 1500 hits tonight, so many of you are watching over Ace and Sissy, and that means a lot.

Love,
Karen who used to be a cat whisperer


brenrae

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 #85 
I am glad they are getting more comfortable. Soon they will both be running around the house with their tails up in the air showing how safe they feel in their new environment.
kamc22

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 #86 
brenrae, I do hope they will soon be happily running around the house with tails held high, a small herd of kitties galloping through the house would be wonderful.

I just wrote last night, but have some happy news to report:

FIRST PURRS!!!  This afternoon I was reading on our bed.  Three different times Sissy came up to me for pets-- and three different times she purred as I pet her.  Four weeks and one day after they arrived here, the little girl has begun to purr, so now I'm positive that she's happy at least some of the time.  It wasn't a loud purr, but she's probably out of practice, so anything audible at all is a very good thing.

Ace had to have heard her purring, so that was good for him, too.  He continues to do that Julian thing of wrapping himself in the bedspread on the floor, so is getting plenty of pets through the cloth.  
brenrae

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 #87 
I bet that was so thrilling. It seems Ace will take some extra time to open up, but I am sure that Sissy will help ease the way to his heart, It seems she is starting to feel secure around you.
InMemoryOfRascal

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 #88 
Karen, thank you for sharing your update!  It doesn't surprise me at all that you, Ace & Sissy have such a following.  I think everyone here knows that hope and joy of new love starting - and while we all miss our babies so much we also can see and feel the importance of that love and next step in our life journey.

You clearly are still a cat whisperer as your two babies are settling in so quickly.  A month may seem like a long time but really not so long at all.  You have those two happy and feeling safe in "their" room.  You have built the base and it will expand from there.  All they need is to feel the love and feel safe again - which they are with you.

SO cool that Sissy gave you purrs!  They don't have to be loud - you just have to hear it and feel it.

I think your Julian is helping Ace along and sharing some of his insights on how to feel secure - trick #1, wrap in blanket.  :)

Please keep us posted.  I really am so happy for you...and for Ace & Sissy who I know had to be scared, lonely and hurting without their other mom. 

maxsMandD

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 #89 
Keep up the ggod work, sounds like they are fitting in perfectly.   ((hugs))   maxsMandD
goofygirlinva

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 #90 
That is so wonderful to read! Cats are kind of funny with their purrs - when I first got Bud as a kitten, you could hear his purr so clearly from across the room. Two years later, he still purrs rather freely, but it is a silent purr and you have to touch his throat in order to feel it and know he is purring. The opposite held true for Little Red - when I first got him (also 2 years ago), he rarely, if ever, purred. But something seemed to click with him this past year and now when he purrs, it is loud and strong and frequent.

And my beloved Blackie purred so loudly the first couple days after I brought him home with me and then he had a silent purr up until the day before he passed away. The day before he passed away I heard him purr from across the room when I was on the phone making an appointment for him with his vet. To this day I think he knew he was about to pass away and his audible purr was his final gift for me because he knew how much I loved it when he purred...

Anyhow, sometimes I think they just need time to feel secure enough to start purring. And then once they start, they never seem to stop, LOL!

Can't wait to see more updates!
- Kelly
Blackie's mom
kamc22

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 #91 
Three days have gone by since my last update, and there is good news to report; the kids have now been here 4 weeks and 4 days.

brenrae, you called that one right!  Ace caught up with Sissy in the purring department last night, he's so adorable.

Nicole, the Ace and Sissy following here is amazing- and humbling.  I'm positive all the good thoughts and prayers from people on this board are helping them.  Julian must be coaching Ace re wrapping one's cat body in the end of the bedspread on the floor.  There have been kitties in this house for all but a few  lonely months of the 30 years I've been here, and nobody ever did that until Julian last winter, and now Ace is doing it too, four months after Julian did.  Both A&S are definitely feeling a lot more secure now, the change looks sudden... even though they have had literally weeks to adjust.

maxsMandD, thank you for your encouragement. Things are improving.

Kelly, I agree that cat purrs can be all over the map as far as volume and frequency.  When my Julian first arrived and I had him in my arms under the covers, it took him five minutes to start purring... the only thing that infallibly worked was when I said, "I love you, Julian."  I gradually evolved until, right up to his very last night in this world, he'd purr right away, and for 1 1/2 hours a day.  How bittersweet that your Blackie purred loudly again the day before he left this world; it left you with a wonderful memory.  I agree, and think he knew he was about to pass away.

Thank you all for your replies, and for an amazing 1708 hits as of this morning.  

Ace and Sissy spend a lot of time atop the cat tree at night.  I keep thinking somebody is going to fall off when they start roughhousing and find myself holding my breath while the whole tree quivers and cat parts hang down over the edge, but so far nobody's actually gone off.  (I should give them more credit than that, silly me.) Although Ace did slide through the hole last night onto the second platform from the top. Their appetites are wonderful.  Twice in the past week I've served them a 3 oz. can of food for lunch, and that disappears as well as their usual two canned meals a day and dry food that is always available.

They are fascinated watching the squirrels in the tree out back, and the birds that swoop through the yard, to the point of not even looking at me when I come into the room.  That is definitely progress, that they don't go always go under the bed any more when I come in.

Sissy has been sleeping on my legs every single night again, sometimes for an hour or several.  These are going to be wonderful bed kitties by the time cold weather arrives again.  She's much more likely to approach for pets during the day, but is still a bit confused- sometimes she spits at me, too.  Well, her brother didn't set a very good example the way he did that for weeks whenever I came into their room during the day, sigh.

Ace is... I'm searching for a kinder word than "ham" and nothing comes to mind yet.  Night before last there was so much cat hanging off the edge of the top platform of the cat tree that I figure he must have been holding on with a paw I couldn't see: all of one hind leg, all of his tail, and the part of his rump where leg and tail join to his body was hanging over the edge! That's a large portion of cat unsupported.  I lie there in bed and giggle silently. He knows exactly what he is doing, he's a cat, he has excellent awareness of his body-- and that's how he was sleeping.

SISSY WENT OUT!!  Yesterday was a lovely spring day, so all the doors except the front one were open.  I saw the door to their room was open, so mounted a kitty search.  Sissy had left the room, prowled down the hall, then out the living room sliding glass door onto the (fenced) patio.  I encountered her headed to the open sliding glass door of the master bedroom, which is adjacent to the living room.  She came back into the house, allowed herself to be petted, then half followed me/half led back to their room, for more pets.  She didn't go under the bed. 

That wasn't exactly my plan, since she's apparently not been outside before, but she was headed back to "her" room when I found her, she considers that her safe place.  Pretty brave of her to go through the house and outside on her own; Ace was under the bed, she was an intrepid little explorer.  I liked Nicole's idea of putting one of their blankets somewhere in the house to encourage them to explore, at the moment that doesn't look to be needed, at least not for my little girl cat.

ACE PURRED!!!  Last night, Ace twice put his forepaws on the bed to inspect the setup, and actually put the front half of himself into the kitty cathedral, which is the little tent under my bent knees.  He was literally only half ready to stay there.  A while later he was wedged into the bedside stand, so I reached in and pet him lightly.  He started purring!!  There's no clock in that room, but he purred nonstop for easily at least 15 minutes, and took that much constant  petting and touching.  It probably was longer than that, 15 minutes is a very conservative estimate.  That is the first time he's purred since they lost their original human mommy September 12.  And it's way more purring than Sissy has done so far.  That is so good for him to be happy enough to purr again, it's been way too long feeling hurt and lost and alone except for his sister.

This will be a quiet Memorial Day weekend, my plans are to stay home with the kids, nothing very splashy.




InMemoryOfRascal

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 #92 
Karen, who needs a splashy weekend when you have Ace & Sissy to keep you happy, occupied, and smiling!  I am so very happy that they are settling in and Ace gave you purrs!  There is no doubt that those two were waiting for you to bring them home - meant to be.

Keep sharing the stories of your two.  love reading the updates.

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
JenMarie

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Posts: 28
 #93 

Brining kittens into a new home will be a new adjustment for them but what they really need is your love and attention. They need to be able to feel comfortable in your home and maybe it will be difficult them at first to adjust to new surroundings, but once they feel they're part of the family they will adjust better.

kamc22

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 #94 
Thank you for being so encouraging, Nicole.  I'm sorry that Ace and Sissy had to spend such a long time alone before I found them, but they were moved to this house one week to the day after I saw them- and tomorrow will have been here 5 weeks.

JenMarie, oh yes, it has been a big adjustment for Ace and Sissy.  They are six years old so not quite as adaptable as younger cats.

And oh my goodness, they *are* settling in!  Yesterday afternoon for the first time Ace played a little bit with the cat pole toy.  The only thing that came out from under the bed was his paw, but he snagged the "bird" about six times, while Sissy chased it around on the floor, or fell over to roll back and forth as it crossed over her. 

Again last night Ace got into the bedside stand and purred for about 7 minutes when I gently pet him.  He stood up on his hind legs to look at the bed situation, all he did was look despite my inviting him up.  Then he spent the rest of the night atop the cat tree, in a series of enchanting cat positions, some of them downright silly. Sissy slept for several hours on my leg or against it.  Unfortunately that knee has had two surgeries, so its soreness after being in an unnormal position for so long woke me about 4 am.

Well before dawn I heard a tiny little meow and went looking.  Sissy was in the back yard; to my consternation I left the living room sliding door open for the first time in months.  Not good, I don't want varmints coming into the house.  She dashed back into their room. 

Later, I saw Sissy in the kitchen; she hurried back to their room.  A little while later I came across Ace returning from the master bedroom, and seconds later saw Sissy in the living room.  That is Ace's first time out of the bedroom that I know of for sure, and also the first time that both of them went exploring at the same time- even though they went in different directions.

All this before 6:30 am, they are early risers.

Of course I had to be spit at by both of them later on, sigh.  I think that part of why there is so much less spitting when I go to bed in their room is because I don't tower over them, in fact if they're on the cat tree or anything else in the room they are looking down on me.

Then this afternoon Sissy went out back again.  By the time I walked thru the house to open the back door- she was back in their room, atop the cat tree.

So Sissy has left their room four times today that I know of, and been outside two of those times, and Ace has begun playing and has left their room at least once.  
brenrae

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 #95 
Sounds like they are starting to settle in. Ace seems to be getting more secure in his surroundings, and enough that he is willing to let you pet him for a while. I bet he will be up on that bed and sleeping with you before long. I bet before cold weather rolls around, he will be there cuddled against you. And Sissy seems to be the more adventurous one. Ace seems to be a bit more cautious.
 
InMemoryOfRascal

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Posts: 2,422
 #96 
Karen, this is all great news.  I think the little spits you get from them now is more due to their insecurity as they venture out of the room.  they are on high alert and then when they get back into their "safe zone" they are probably still on alert and do their automatic hiss.  But that is nothing because it is after they are out exploring...AND returning immediately back to their room where clearly they feel safe.  That is huge. 

And I know just how awesome that is to have a kitty sleeping near you again..and hearing their purrs.  Especially when you have to work for them!  LOL

Thank you for the update.  So excited with the progress!

Take Care
InMemoryOfRascal
Nicole

AmandaWI

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 #97 
Wow, what great progress they are both making!  Clearly they are settling in and just needed time to test out their new situation and become more comfortable.  The fact that Ace let you pet him is worth celebration!  Tell them that I continue to send positive thoughts and encouragement!  Thinking of you all.

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #98 

Thank you all, brenrae, Nicole and Amanda.  Yesterday was their five week anniversary here-- and it was horrible, for me anyway.

Night before last they both ventured out of their room to explore, Sissy even caught and erk, ate, a tiny flying insect that I couldn't even see in the shadows. It was so cute to see a pair of little heads peeking around the corner to look at me reading in the living room.  After I went to bed both of them left the room and spent the night somewhere else, coming in only to finish all the food and use the litter box.

I put down their breakfast a little before 8 am... and half an hour later couldn't find them.  My ongoing terror was that they got outside, maybe the back screen door wasn't all the way latched.  I searched the house and garage at least three times, and felt like a total failure as a cat mother, wondering why it was so hard for me to have kitties in my life lately. Nobody touched their food, water, nor used the litter box all day.  

I put up a "Lost Cats" notice on nextdoor.com for my neighborhood and got several replies.  Called the Humane Society and sent them an email to be put into the lost cats binder.  

Set out dinner for them.  In the morning that hadn't been touched, either.  Then shortly after 7 am-- I saw Sissy in the garage!   I put food and water in the garage, and a few minutes later saw Ace with her.  It took another two hours for them to get back into their room.  I've pretty well left them there all day long to calm down.

They "discovered" the garage night before last and it's as if they suddenly reverted to hiding like they did for 7 months at their former house after their mommy died, not eating or drinking for nearly a day.  I really can't take too much of this and had thought they were settling in better than this past day has been.  I was literally shaking a little all afternoon, and forgot to eat lunch, not knowing where they were. Needless to say, the garage door is firmly shut and they won't be going into it for a while.

Main thing is, they are safe and sound, they didn't escape, last time I looked in their room, both were atop the cat tree grooming each other.  Ace jumped down, trotted across the room to me, then stopped and spit.  I let him sniff my finger- and he took a swing at me.  He does seem confused still, poor baby.  I felt like half a fool contacting the website and the Humane Society to report them found when they were here the whole time, but better to be thought a flakey fool than to leave something potentially helpful undone.






InMemoryOfRascal

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 #99 
Karen, I am so sorry that those two scared you like that.  I don't think they reverted back to their hiding away as much as when they got into the garage it scared them.  Probably didn't smell right and they weren't quite sure where to go - so they hid.

You know me....still have to focus on the positives!!!  When you got them back in the room and then went in and Ace started to trot over then stopped to swipe.  That is still great!  He was out!  He wasn't hiding under the bed!  He started towards you!  All of that is huge - especially after their little scare.

I would, if it was me, do perimeter checks often to ensure that any access doors to outside or garage are closed securely against your two Houdini's.  LOL

Your story reminded me of one told to me after my mom's mister & jolie went to their new home.  About a month after they were there jolie went missing.  New mom looked everywhere.  Calling out, searching, walked outside in case they got out...etc.  After all day went by "something" caught her eye and little miss was behind the piano as calm and comfortable as could be - watching Jan walk by calling for her and searching for her.  So know that that trait is because sometimes our furrbabies can do something they think is "fun" (this hide and seek game).  My mom's two had never been left alone or frightened, not typical for them to hide away...and yet they did the same thing as your two. 

And you are not a flake.  Few weeks ago when I was staying at my brothers house his dog got out.  It wasn't even 5 minutes before I called and reported him missing on the microchip company.  Darn dog came back 1/2 hr later.  It is right to be safe.
brenrae

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 #100 
I am glad they are found safe and sound. I think it is better to make the calls in case they are actually lost, because what if they had gotten outside. I guess in their exploration they found what they considered a good place to be, at least for them. It seems Ace is still giving you boundaries, but I know he will come round.
kamc22

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 #101 
Three different cyber-folks have now theorized that Ace and Sissy got scared for some reason or other when they went into the garage, so they hid.  I'd never have guessed that, thinking that if they felt scared they'd run back to their room and hide.  That isn't what happened, my goof.

Nicole, I am doing perimeter checks almost hourly now, looking downright compulsive to myself,  but I never want what I thought might have happened to actually occur- indoor cats with no experience to escape into the outdoors.  

And once, it must have been about 7 years ago.  Whitney vanished for two days.  I called and called for her, searched the house and yard, filed a lost cat report, taped a lost cat poster to the tree in the front yard.  Her brother Houston and Julian who had a huge crush on her were perfectly normal and calm.  After two days... I heard a sound, and opened the bookcase.  She'd been closed in for two days, no food nor water, never made a sound as I walked past that case in the living room dozens of times, calling her...  I don't know why she did that.

There was so much traffic in the house this morning, kitties here and there in every room.  Ace seemed to be channeling both Julian and Beau (who is still in this world)= he kept going into the bathtub and making a huge racket banging on the metal sides (like Julian), then would talk to himself as he went from room to room like Beau has done for months.

They didn't eat ravenously for breakfast, less than I'd expected.  And then I couldn't find Ace for three hours.  I *refused* to get upset, he couldn't have got out, but I kept looking and never found him.  He is much better at hiding than I am at finding.  But I knew he had to be inside, because Sissy was calmly sleeping atop the cat tree, she wasn't upset at all.

This afternoon, whatever room I was in, there were kitties.  Ace lay down lion-style in the hall just outside the computer room and looked so self-confident.  Like Murphy did when he came two months ago, so cute.  Sissy swooped around him to come for petting.  Then Ace got... almost annoying, certainly distracting.  He kept coming into the room and meowing and meowing.  I've been trained by previous kitties to get up and follow them, to open doors, give food, wherever they lead me.  He was talking nonstop, and so loud that for awhile I wondered if he had a hairball or something.

And then, such a wonderful thing to see and to realize:  Both of them were prancing around with tails held high!!  On May 22 Brenrae predicted that would happen soon, and today it did on the 30th.  Tails held high, and Ace's was in fact curled forward at the very tip, which I think means "extra happy" or even better than straight up.  

And in between those high points, there was Ace spitting at me, and he even took a swing at me while I was petting his sister.  I told him that wasn't a nice thing to do, and closed the door over to give them quiet time.

Not all adoptions go smoothly, but it so much surprises me to see how much more the kids are interacting with me and exploring in just one day.


InMemoryOfRascal

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 #102 
LOVE it.  Ace is making up for lost time and has a LOT to tell you about the past months!  When I would have to go out of town when I came back my Rascal would talk up a storm.  She would wake me up in the night sitting on my chest, calm as can be, looking down at my face and just chattering up a storm.  LOL 

Clearly your two are settling in quite nicely and have picked some favorite places out for their fun and sleep time.  Now they probably think it is time for you to take a deep breath and relax! 

Love your two and love that Julian is watching out for them - clearly, how many cats bang the tub?!  :)

Take care
Nicole
kamc22

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 #103 
Tomorrow the kids will have been here for 6 weeks, and this thread has had 2,011 hits.  Thank you all for your interest and concern for these two traumatized kitties.

Nicole, Ace is getting... demanding.  Especially in the morning, and whenever I'm at the computer, he comes in and meows nonstop pretty loudly.  Even in this house, cats will *not* get 24/7 nonstop attention, not even here, and I do think I'm entitled to my own interests... some of which do not involve kitties.  How funny that Rascal would wake you up in the middle of the night to talk to you like that; you certainly have never crushed any cat's spirit, lol. 

I honestly don't know how many cats bang around in the bathtub.  The Three would sometimes make a huge racket chasing each other through the bathroom and tub, but Julian was the first to do this silly pretend thing as if he were trapped and panicked in the tub and couldn't get out.  He'd do that well before dawn and the noise level was  unbelievable.   And now Ace is doing it too.  It's an enameled tub, basically nonporous, it's been washed several times since Julian left this world, so there can't be much of  his scent left there, but Ace is doing what Julian did.  I'd be interested to hear of other kitties whose humans read this how many kitties make a racket in a bathtub.  (I'm asking for input, please don't hesitate, whoever reads this.)

I was going to say that it was progress that now when Ace takes a swing at me, his claws aren't out.  I do prefer a swat to a blood drawing... when it's my blood.  And he still does take a swing at me a few times a day, sigh.  Kitties are so emotionally sensitive.

Ace has become so loving sometimes.  He's begun to lie on the bed next to me, stretched out along my side, purring, licking my hand, putting his head back to lick my face.  He'll stand next to me and knead and purr, tail held high.  He and Sissy spend more and more time outside their room, they collapse about anywhere on the floor, and I can see by the way their sides are heaving that they are purring, just lying there.  That is so nice to see.  

Today I picked Ace up for the first time.  Oh my, he is such a kitty of substance, a big boy like Julian was in his prime.  Ace didn't purr, but he didn't struggle either for a few seconds, and his "escape" landed him six inches from me with his tail held high.

Yesterday their Uncle Mike, the son of their original human mommy, came by to see if he could fix my computer speakers.  (He did, I now have sound again for the first time in several years, thank  you so much, Mike!)  That was the *only* time yesterday that they hid.  Today neither has gone under the bed at all, not even once.  

For a while today Ace was napping on the cat chair next to the computer chair, for the first time.  He dozed and purred, I'd pet him every minute or two.  He lies in a lionlike position on the floor of this room, or in the doorway, looking so regal and confident.  Then he does a quick fakey panic run towards their room when I get up to go to the kitchen.  Major panic, when he falls over on the floor before he even gets into their room.  Lol, that was written tongue-in-cheek.  His version of escaping isn't too convincing lately, not when he's purring and his tail is up.

They are finally acting normally almost half the time, it is so good to see this happen.

 
InMemoryOfRascal

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Posts: 2,422
 #104 
Karen it is very clear that you, Ace and Sissy have bonded and they are establishing trust with you.  It is funny that Rascal was never as "demanding" - although if I had been gone she definitely missed me and wanted to tell me all about it (all night long); but Rambo (her brother) is the opposite.  There are times I can't check emails because he will walk all over me, paw at my arm, etc...until I focus only on him.  LOL  And yes, I have been trained. 

Love your descriptions and visuals - I can picture each of them as you tell the story.

I am so very happy for all three of you - each of you needed each other.  That is what it's all about.

InMemoryOfRascal
Nicole
AmandaWI

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Posts: 1,415
 #105 
Oh what a wonderful update!  Silly Ace, I think he's trying to determine the best method to entice unlimited attention!  Better than the first days of fear for sure.  Glad to hear the great progress and I love your vivid descriptions--you could write a book.

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
brenrae

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Posts: 4,645
 #106 
I am glad to hear they are adjusting well. Perhaps Ace's "escape" is his way of playing with you. Harry and I would play a game where I would follow him and say, I'm going to get you, and he would go from place to place for a while, until he was through and get in his safe spot. Then the game was done.

Baby Kitty used to go in the bathroom and meow, we called it her singing, because that she would sit on the tub and do that. I guess the acoustics was good there.  And Jinx likes to get in the tub and play around, why I do not know. Jinx seems to be the talker here. She has to explain to me what she is doing if she is doing something she shouldn't. I guess she is telling me her reason for doing it. 

Sandy talks to me in the morning, as soon as the sun comes up. I guess he is letting me know it is time to wake up.

Gabby doesn't talk a lot, but she is the one that purrs the loudest, besides Jinx. I think they are having a contest. 
goofygirlinva

Registered:
Posts: 1,082
 #107 
It's so funny that cats seem to have an affinity for the tub. My cats love mine, and it is just your run of the mill tub - nothing jetted or soaking or anything like that. They like to bring their toys into the tub and bat them around and simply play in the tub. Maybe they like that because of the acoustics, because it is a cool (temp-wise) surface maybe because the toys slide around so easily in the tub? I have no idea, but the funny thing is they only seem to do it when I'm on the toilet (the toilet is right next to the tub). Maybe they are entertaining me while I do my business? I don't really care, it is just fun to see them play and have a good time, LOL!

I agree with others about Ace - he is trying to figure out the best way to get as much attention from you as possible, silly guy!

I am SO glad to hear you are becoming one big happy family. They have come so far in such a short amount of time, haven't they? And they are very lucky to have found you - you have given them all the time, space, patience and love they have needed and they seem to be flourishing in their new home! 

- Kelly
Blackie's mom
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #108 
Late Sunday morning, Ace and Sissy have now been here 6 1/2 weeks.

Nicole, Ace continues to be demanding- loud meows when he comes into the room, 7 times in 46 minutes once when I wrote down exact times.  I did speak sternly to him about it... that worked for maybe an hour.  It is so nice now to see kitty tails up nearly all the time, even when they are supposedly starved and neglected.   Possibly this has become chiefly a morning thing, the past few days they've taken long naps in the early afternoon.  Still, this is so much better than a tomb-silent house like it was for those months I was catless, I never want to be in that situation again.

Amanda, Ace is definitely experimenting to see just how much he can demand.  I did speak sternly to him once, but he believed me for only an hour or so.  The past few nights both of them have slept on the bed for hours at my hip level, within easy reach for midnight pets.  By day he is alternately demanding, then turns skittish, by night, their usual bed kitty tendencies are again coming out, just like with their original human mommy.  Just like I "need" again after losing my Julian who was such a wonderful bed kitty.

brenrae, so your kitties have a "bathtub fixation", too.  I've also wondered whether it's the acoustics that they like, or the coolness of the fixtures and the floor.  It's supposed to reach 92 here today, so maybe they'll spend extra time in there.  This morning both of them were "trapped" in the tub.  When I stood up to go see what was happening, they both dashed past the computer room door- tails held high.  Ace is definitely playing kind of a game with me when he practically yowls, and then runs away when I go to pet him.  If he were truly afraid of me, he sure wouldn't be doing it 6-8 times an hour.

Kelly, your kitties are even more enamored with the bathtub than any of mine have ever been= nobody ever left toys in the tub like yours.  Well, having written that, it may happen in the next few days to make me recant.  Speaking of bathrooms, tee hee, the first multiple kitties I adopted were "The Three", and all of them would follow me into the bathroom and sit in a half circle purring, to watch me while I was on the commode.  I always felt a bit self-conscious to have 6 big eyes regarding me, and never completely got over feeling somewhat like an exhibitionist.  At least you're not the main event, lol.

The settling in is proceding about like I expected.  Almost every day, one or both will duck under the bed, but for less than a minute, usually just to come right out the other side.  Ace is still taking swings at me, though once yesterday he raised his paw to pull my hand down to stroke under his chin instead of atop his head like I'd been doing.  (Pretty brave of me not to jerk my hand away, huh?)  Gosh, just now I was trying to remember-- I haven't been spit at for several days now and already can't say when the last time was.  I'm glad that stage is basically over, gad, I know they were scared and upset, but still didn't like being treated that way.

They are both sometimes sprawled asleep in the middle of the living room rug, and yesterday I found Ace asleep on the sofa for the first time!  They still have some kind of "secret life": they barely touch dinner, but by morning all the canned and dried food is usually gone.  I'd like to start edging the place mats that the food and water go on towards the kitchen, but maybe that will have to wait if they prefer the seclusion of night to do their major eating.  Ace has begun coming into the kitchen asking to be fed, when I'm dishing up their food- normal behavior, a good sign.

They are happily using two litter boxes for the first time in their lives (that I know of), and seem mostly to be using their original one for liquids and the one that was already here for solids.  Their choice, I have no idea how anyone could train cats to do that in any case.

A bit earlier than usual (it's now 11:45 am) they've begun their major midday nap.  They retreat to their room and take turns, one atop the cat tree, the other one below on the bed.  This week they've begun sleeping on the sheepskin throw that came from their original home; I never saw either of them on it until a few days ago.

I cannot keep the bathroom, entry hall, and hallway rugs in place any more, and have had to reposition all of them at least twice this morning.  Once I found Ace under the entry hall rug- in the exact middle of the doorway to the kitchen.  He made such a huge lump that at first I thought both of them were under it.  

Oh- almost forgot.  Ace is such a character.  I "trapped" him in the bathroom when I went in, a little while later he came out and his tail was *huge*- not "just" his usual impressive tail, but something that looked like it had been transplanted from a raccoon; it was almost as big around as his head.  But he "scared" himself, his tail wasn't like that when we were in the same room, he talked himself into it when he was alone.  

They are both spending time in the computer room chair, Ace more than Sissy. There's barely room there for both of them, but he doesn't want to share, and so far she's been there only briefly. He's now purring more than she does and getting more pets. A few times I've been able to kiss the top of his head, and he always starts purring and curling his paws in enjoyment. (Other times he jumps down and trots out of the room.) Until their original mommy died, he was the more assertive one, afterwards he was the more upset one.  Now the original pattern is re-emerging. For several weeks I was hoping that she'd set an example for him, when she was getting so much more petting, now I'm hoping he'll set an example for her.

They both seem like pretty happy kitties now, still skittish, but week by week less of that and for shorter times when it does happen.  

Purrs and hugs,

Us


AmandaWI

Registered:
Posts: 1,415
 #109 
Well it certainly sounds like their real personalities and tendencies are re-emerging, it is so interesting to follow their journey.  I don't know much about kitties but I am learning a lot!  Ace reminds me a lot of Kodiak, who was very demanding and could be downright rude after begging and begging for attention and then just turn his back on you or give you what I called a "silent jaw snap".  It was not a snap as if he were intending to bite you, more like his way of giving you "the finger"--sassy boy!  And he knew he was being sassy because his little stub tail would be going at full speed.  What a lover Ace has become!  I guess you have passed his most important tests.  Keep the updates coming and tell them I continue to admire them from afar.  If you can capture any pictures of their antics I'd love to see them.

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,422
 #110 
Karen, wow, they are doing so well.  Sleeping in the middle of the living room rug (that is huge).  With regards to him talking so much - Rambo still has days that he will yowl all night.  Sometimes drives me crazy!  LOL

For the food - since they eat more of their dinner after you go to sleep, what if you put down 1/2 of the food in the current place and 1/2 where you want it to be.  Since they are no longer afraid and out and about, perhaps that could get them to start looking there for food.

I think some cats are just more naturally "needy" than others.  Perhaps Sissy was and still is now her "normal" of attention needs.  Clearly she jumps up and sleeps with you so she feels comfortable around you.  Either way, she and Ace are obviously settling in and the three of you are making a great family.

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
Nicole
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #111 
Yesterday was the 7 week anniversary of Ace and Sissy arriving here.

Amanda, I've never owned a cell phone, but now half way wish I had one to use as a camera. Mike told me that there is now an app where your phone can upload pictures onto the internet, the technology continues to improve.  Sorry to not be able to provide recent pics of the kids.

Nicole, I like the idea of splitting their dinner to encourage them to eat in the kitchen during their midnight rambles.  Yesterday  when they followed me to the kitchen, I gave each of them treats (on separate dishes); that's the first time they've eaten out there and they weren't skittish about it.  I'd not thought of that, but  you could be right= Sissy may have stayed much closer to her "normal" in how much attention she wants, while Ace has swung from extremes.  

Ace is blossoming and seems so happy.  For the past three days now he'll lie on the cat chair next to me in the computer room and actually purr as he washes himself.  I'm not touching or talking to him, but he's purring on his own!  And when he jumps down from the chair and falls over onto the floor behind me, he's purring quietly then, too.  I don't think either of them purred since their original human mommy died September 12 until they arrived here, but Ace has definitely not forgotten how.

He's begun doing a "Houston thing", standing on his hind legs to tap me on the shoulder if I'm on the computer and not giving him as much attention as he wants.  He'll lick my hand or arm, butt against whatever he can reach, it is soooo cute.

He's upchucked about three times in the past month and I suspect fur balls, since he's definitely shedding.  Yesterday I used an elderly wire brush on him, petting him with my other hand, and he purred the whole time.  It wasn't a thorough brushing, but every hair that I get is one less for him to deal with.  It was a start, and he didn't try to get away.

Last night in bed I was able to pull him into my arms and he lay there half way on his back purring for a minute or so.  It is so nice to have a kitty in my arms again.

Sometimes when I'm in the living room quietly reading, both of them come into the room and fall over onto the rug, sometimes Sissy rolls back and forth, sometimes they'll both be really stretched out showing their bellies. It's especially cute when they play together, it's been about five years since I've actually seen kitties playing together here, and I'd forgotten just how entertaining and adorable that is.  

This doesn't have anything to do with them settling in, but Ace's toes are huge.  He's not polydactyl, but his front toes are each wider than my little fingernail, the middle two wider than my whole finger.  My Julian had, I now realize, very small paws, especially for such a big guy.  If he ever wanted to Ace could easily do a handstand on those front paws. 

Sissy lately favors the front of the house.  She napped for a few hours in the sun coming through the dining room skylight, later I found her asleep on the sofa for the first time.  The last few nights she's not spent much time on the bed, but when she's there she's right on my foot, so devotedly.  She really is a bashful little girl.

Nobody has spit at me for well over a week now, it's a relief that stage is over, because it did hurt my feelings when they did it, even knowing it was just because they were so scared.

As I type this, Ace is napping on the cat chair.  I reached over to pet him, and sure enough, both his front paws curled gently and he started a quiet little purr.  He has the entire house to choose from, and here he is a couple of feet away from me. :)  Sissy was curled up on the back of the sofa.   They're not spending much time in "their" room during the day, to the point that I don't even bother checking there first when I look for them.

So the kids are settling in nicely after all this time, thank you all for your continued interest and support.
goofygirlinva

Registered:
Posts: 1,082
 #112 
Aww, don't you just love it when their paws curl when they are happy? I also love your observation that Ace has the entire house to himself but he chooses to be right next to you. It is wonderful to read how happy they are and how you have developed such strong bonds with each other. 

It is so nice to come here and read a happy story. I'm definitely looking forward to reading many more tales for months, if not years, to come!

- Kelly
Blackie's mom

kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #113 
Kelly, Yes, curling paws of purring kitties are so cute.  That is two signs of contentment which I don't think any cat would or could ever fake in tandem, so  when I think of how Ace and Sissy very likely never purred at all after losing their original human mommy September 12 until a couple of weeks ago, it's very gratifying.  Ace curls his paws easily 20 times a day while being petted, Sissy is regularly doing it as she lies on the floor near her brother even when I'm not petting her.

Yesterday was the 8 week anniversary of the kids arriving here; it will be two months on June 23.  They are both spending hours on the bed at night, not always touching each other now like they did earlier for mutual support.   

The move to the kitchen to eat was a snap and didn't take days of gradually moving place mats and dishes from room to room.  I gave them both a big snack of Temptations when we were all in the kitchen, a few hours later when they were waiting for me to serve dinner it was easy to put the dishes down in front of them.  The three place mats  are against the wall.  Ace is perfectly fine eating there, but Sissy wants her dish several feet away from him- so that's what she gets.  (It's a cat thing- she had no objection to adjacent dishes for those weeks they lived in their bedroom, but things are different now, lol.)

I sent their "Uncle" Mike an update of how Ace is purring so much now, he didn't forget how.  He sent a lovely reply of how much it meant to him to know they are again in a place where they are physically and psychologically able to be happy.  What I described matches what his mother told him about their personalities: Ace has always been the "needier" one, Sissy shyer or more reserved.  That was reassuring to me, since she still seems skittish and often jumps out of reach when I try to pet her.  But I hope she relaxes soon and stops doing that, I'm not trying to startle or threaten her.

Other cats have done it, though I can't remember last time any of mine did: night before last Sissy brought two cat toys into the bedroom and put one on the bed while we were settling in for the night.  Cute little girl, that kitty mind is constantly working.

She's getting way less petting than Ace is, but seems quietly happy.  Her tail is held high when she's out and about, she stretches luxuriously on the rug and rolls over and purrs, initiates play sessions with Ace, I find her on about any piece of furniture anywhere in the house, and she sleeps on my foot at night.

Ace spends a lot of time in the computer room, more and more of it on the desk.  He'll lie there purring and curling his paws, spread his hind legs for me to lay a hand on his belly, stand up to get between me and the monitor, lie with rump and tail on the mouse pad, roll onto his back.  So far he's not fallen off the desk, but he gets so close to the edge that I put a hand at his shoulder.  He jumped on the counter three times to watch me do the dishes yesterday, follows me to the bathroom sink when I brush my teeth or comb my hair.  He lies on the floor a few feet away to supervise me scooping the litter box.  Such devotion.  Luckily I haven't stepped on him yet, but it's bound to happen eventually.

Yesterday Ace's tail knocked over the broom while they were having lunch.  It landed on the bare floor with a sudden clatter.  Both of them ran away--- but only to the entry hall where they both peeked around the corner.  I brought their dishes to them and they continued eating.  Neither ran to the bedroom which was their sanctuary for weeks.  The noise startled them, but didn't scare them- a major difference.

This is such a huge difference from the early weeks, I am so grateful that they are happy again.

 


kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #114 
I just wrote an update a few hours ago, but had to tell you Ace's latest.

He did something on the right side of the keyboard and suddenly everything was turned sideways.  Unfortunately turning off the computer didn't undo it.  Finally I was able to change the screen from portrait (his doing) back to landscape (normal).  Slow going with your head turned at a strange angle to read the screen.

Otherwise I'd have to wait until it was 10 am to go ask a neighbor what to do- or make a special trip to the library to ask one of the computer savvy people there.  I could see the morning unraveling.

How pitiful that this cat with no known computer training can do in a second what took me 20 minutes to undo. He's a plenty smart guy, but I don't need that kind of "help"!
Lyronica

Registered:
Posts: 23
 #115 
That's hilarious! My little Sasha once ran across the computer keyboard when I was working, and managed to add a footnote into the document I was writing.
AmandaWI

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Posts: 1,415
 #116 
Gosh I love your kitty stories, am so glad that they are so happy and content. 

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,422
 #117 
Karen, I so love your updates and getting to know your two new kids.  I am so glad that they are quite settled in - now YOU can take a deep breath and relax.  No need to walk around on tiptoes, Ace & Sissy are loved and happy with you.

I am so happy that you are keeping "Uncle Mike" posted.  I am sure that means a lot to him.  The perfect lady that is now 2nd mom to two of my mom's cats keeps me posted on them and it makes me happy.  They are doing well with her, someone home all day with them like my mom used to be - and what they were not going to be able to get with me working all day.  I know my mom helped me find Jan for them - and I know that Ace & Sissy's mom helped find YOU for them.

Love that Ace purrs all the time!  Shows that not only is he happy, he is relaxed!  And Sissy, maybe not getting "as many" pets but obviously she comes to you when she wants it...just like a cat!  Clearly she is able to make her wishes known - you figured it out with the water dish!  LOL

So happy for all three of you.  And can't even imagine the great feeling of having two kitties to watch and play again after so long!

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
Nicole
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #118 
Lyronica,  Ace's computer expertise was pretty funny- once I got it fixed.  So your little Sasha managed to put a footnote into a word document- I bet she did it far faster than you could.  Years ago a cyberfriend had some kind of computer problem that she spent literally hours trying to fix- and then one of her cats walked across the keyboard and everything was fine again.  Felines have special abilities that science has yet to even tap, lol.

Amanda, thank  you for the kuddos.  These are very nice cats, it took a while for them to calm down (how's that for an understatement?), and now they are again a version of how they were with their original human mommy.

Nicole, yes, I've finally pretty much stopped worrying about the kids.  This morning I in fact propped open the door to the garage.  A little while later Ace appeared with a huge spiderweb and leaf on his head, I know where he got it from. ;)

I agree that the kids' mom helped find me to be their new mommy, and also think that my Julian had a paw in it, too.  I almost called Ace Julian yesterday, between how he looks and the things that he does, it's not surprising.

A happy announcement to make:  The cat girl formerly called Sissy is now---- Arabella!  Thank you to Eddysmom, Linda, for the suggestion.  There are several definitions of the name, I like "Beautiful Lion."  After reading Linda's email, I asked Sissy if she'd like Arabella to be her new name-- and she immediately trotted towards me.  

My theory of cat names is to give pretty, unusual ones for them to grow into- and every cat has.  I'm hopeful that now with her new name she'll be less shy and am glad all those sss sounds are gone, that's too much like cat hissing for my taste.

As it turns out, Arabella is a rare name in every country, and is most used in the UK by the upper classes.  I've been looking at lists of British/Arthurian/Irish/Scottish names for Ace so am hopeful his will end up related to hers.  Until then, Ace and Arabella are alliterative, though a big guy like him needs a *lot* more name than he has now.

Thank you again, Linda, from Arabella and me!

Eddysmom1

Registered:
Posts: 2,528
 #119 
Hi Karen,

I am SO thrilled that you and Arabella like her new name!!!! It really is lovely.  I am excited to be a part of this great adoption 'tail'!  When I saw that name I thought it had such a pretty ring to it.  Very feminine and beautiful.  I will be busy looking for names for Ace, too.  Who knows, you may like one of the ones I send to you!  Whatever name you choose for Ace will be stately and dignified.  I do like your idea of Nathaniel.  You and I have similar taste in names for kitties.  So, that helps when I am looking!  I will be excited to see what Ace's new name is!

Your friend,
Lin
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #120 
Lin, Arabella definitely likes her new name.  She's basically stopped skittering away when I pet her, which is a nice improvement. It's possible that with all those sss sounds in her original name she half thought she was being spit at all the time.

The kids have now been here for 9 weeks and 2 days, their fan club here has hit this thread over 2500 times.

This afternoon is quiet, thank goodness- yesterday they never took a nap of any length, both were dinging me all day long to the point they got about 5 Temptations each every hour.  Arabella has begun the insistent meowing that her brother's done for several weeks, it was just a matter of time.  They lead me thru the house, tails high, ears slightly back to make sure I'm following- usually into the kitchen.

I was forced to buy a new vacuum cleaner and have vacuumed the living room rug several times to catch up.  Yesterday I had to sternly tell Ace No!- he was lying on his back gnawing on the cord!  It was unplugged, but I don't want him to do that with, say, a lamp cord.  He's old enough to know better, but is sometimes acting kittenish and doing foolish things.

Both are spending about half the night on the bed with me, though at the bottom out of petting reach.  They aren't the snugglers that Julian was, though I hope when winter comes that will change.  But they *are* on the bed, so cute.  I love to sleep with kitties.

Today they were intrepid explorers.  The breeze blew the front door open while I was doing yard stuff... and two striped kitties were suddenly standing on the sidewalk.  It's actually on the side of the house, not facing the street, and I was between them and the street anyway.  They gingerly explored about the first 12 feet from the door, even going under the evergreen shrub to play jungle kitty.  That must have been the first time in their lives, and they knew that if they were still they'd be virtually invisible with their tabby markings-- except they both have white bibs, tee hee.

I got them back into the house, an hour later left the patio sliding door open.  Much better, the yard is fenced.  Both came out quickly, and soon enough Ace bravely explored down to the gate on the street side and went into the back yard, Arabella stayed on the patio the whole time.  They've been looking at the back yard from their cat tree for months, and now he was in it.  But that made *me* nervous when I couldn't see both of them at once, so I kind of herded him back to the patio.  They touched noses, lay down on the pavement and looked up into the coastal oak that shades the patio.  I got Arabella back inside by shaking the Temptations bag, but Ace I had to literally pick up- he did *not* want to go back inside.  So now they've been introduced to the outside under close supervision.  

It's a six foot fence, so I don't think they are yet strong enough to get over it, having been relatively sedentary indoor cats.  But I do like the idea of them being able to go outside if they want to during the day.  Gradualism and supervision is best- for all of us.

They are both eating well, they're playing together, they lie on the rug purring just because we're all in the same room (and now the rug is clean, lol), they're practically ordering me around, they sleep with me at night, they're brave enough to explore even outside now.

When I remember that first month when Ace was so scared and spitting and growling at me all the time, how they both hid under the bed for weeks, it hardly seems like the same cats.  Now they are becoming the kind of cats that I thought they could be, that they used to be even though I'm not their original human mommy.  Neither has growled nor spit at me for several weeks (yay!).  Ace is sleeping on the cat chair next to mine, pretty well covering the seat (it's a captain's chair), Arabella's napping on the sofa.  Their explorations wore them out, now they're both sprawling and half showing their bellies; even in sleep they feel safe now.



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