Thursday, December 27, 2012

Month and a half - still Jekyll & Hyde

It's been 44 days in quarantine for Colleen.  She's still playing Jekyll & Hyde with me.  If I enter her room by myself, I get Mr (Ms) Hyde - all hiss & strike. 

If I bring another cat in with me, she's totally Dr Jekyll - purring, head bonks, almost got her doing the elevator-butt, except with only one back leg, she's not very good at it yet.

She really loves a back massage (who doesn't?).  Lots of purrs there.

This week, we're practicing getting picked up.  She's not crazy about it, but no scaredy-cat peeing, so I count that a success.

Lucky for me, Davey has figured out that it's his job to be Colleen's therapy cat.  When I get up in the morning, he runs straight for her door so we can check in & clean up, pick up the food bowls & such.  It's just part of his morning routine now.  We get a few minutes of 'cuddling' done first thing, then head down for breakfast.  I still think he's in it for the kitten chow (or to see if Colleen left any dinner behind).

Since I don't have a new Christmas pic this year, here's last year's ...

Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012 - One Month In - Head Butts

Head-butts.  Purrs.

Now, before you get excited, I know it's an anomoly.  Davey has started following me into Colleen's room in the morning to collect the food dishes.  Davey & Colleen have never been buddies, but Colleen does respond well to the presence of other cats.  Davey is just in it for the kitten chow in Colleen's dish and the chance to check out a new litter box.

This morning, she greeted me with the usual hisses (although, I think some of the 'steam' has gone out of her).  Hissing seems to be her go-to vocalization.  She no longer has the saucer eyes and hunched up body position.  She just looks up at me and hisses.  Today I put Davey down next to her and after some nose-to-nose hellos, I reached over & started scratching her neck.  Instant purrs.  WOW.  She let me pet her for several minutes and when I would stop - head butts.  That's never happened before.

Her overall demeanor was much more relaxed today (maybe due to the catnip mist I've been spraying around the room?).  If I had the same amount of time that I had for Cotton, she might even come around like he did.  Took him every bit of three months in solitary confinement, but he did come out of his 'angry' shell.  Unfortunately for Colleen (but fortunate in many other ways), she's about to lose her room with a view.  Circumstances have come together that will allow my sister Patti to move to California from North Carolina.  She's be staying here for a couple of weeks until we find her a new place to live, but that means Colleen gets displaced.  We'll find some way to work it out.

Happier than I've seen her in a while

My handsome boy - and a big helper

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 20 - Colleen's Joy Juice

Lest anyone think that I'm just sitting here with my fingers crossed, hoping that Colleen will turn a corner and calm down ... nay, nay, I've come in to this armed with many options.

And no, I'm not trying them all at one time, but serially, hoping one of them might just do the trick.

Since my company sells Bach's Rescue Remedy, and because it is a go-to favorite of mine, I tried that first.  Maybe because she was still under such stress from the initial capture-and-confinement or due to the giardia treatment, I saw no instant effects.

Moving on, we're trying several Black Wing Farms homeopathic remedies.  Love Meg & love her stuff, but again, not really noticing a vast improvement in Colleen's demenour so far.  Although, I wonder what she'd be like without using any of these remedies?  I spray the environment, her food, her water.  Am I using enough?

Feliway might help, but it makes me cough to be in the same room with it and Colleen is currently housed in a very small room, so I don't know how well that one will go over.

My company is also an outlet for Thundershirts, and while we don't carry the cat version yet, I picked one up at SuperZoo with the intent of trying it out on Colleen.  If I can ever wrestle her into it without losing too much blood, I'll let you know if it works.  It may be a little small for her, but I've got all of the dog sizes to choose from as well.
So far, the only thing to which Colleen responds favorably is a visit from her favorite friend - Lorenza.  I wish I could adequately describe the instantaneous change that comes over Colleen when she sees or hears Lorenza.  I was flabbergasted when I first saw her.  She practically melted.  The hissing stopped, her saucer-eyes became normal slits, her ears perked forward instead of laid back.  She ROLLED OVER and showed her BELLY!  She'll let me do practically ANYTHING as long as Lorenza is by her side.  I get to pet her, even pick her up.  It's amazing!  But I know it's only happening because she has no escape.
Unfortunately, it kind of freaks Lorenza out to be in this room.  So, I recorded Lorenza purring to see if it was just the sound that Colleen responded to or if it was the whole cat.  While the recording isn't the best, Colleen did seem curious (another unique response for her).  Then she hissed.  "What is this technological monster you've brought to me?  Where's my friend?"
So, Colleen's joy juice is Lorenza.  How do you bottle that?