When Little Bit moved in to our house (much against her will), with the exception of her kittens, she didn’t have anything to do with any of the other cats. She’d hiss if they even looked her way. And as soon as she recovered from the spay operation and the mothering hormones had left her body, she didn’t have much to do with her litter, treating them the same as the other members of the cathouse clowder.
It’s been over a year and a half now and I see that she’s finally acclimating. Little steps for a little cat, yes. But it’s wonderful to see these baby steps. Like knowing when it’s time to come inside at night. When I call for “kitties in”, she rarely hesitates to run for the door. And when she’s not right in, all it takes is for me to call her by her name. Sure, sometimes it takes a few “Little Bit!“s from the doorway, but when she realizes I’m talking to her (as she peaks her head out of the cathouse under the plum tree and I say “yeah, you”), she comes bouncing in, taking her treat position next to the door on the kitty center in the living room. Where she patiently waits for the treats to be place in front of her. And when I put them in front of her, she doesn’t flinch or move away, she waits until my hand is gone and she eats.
And she’s started sleeping on one of the cat trees at night, not under the bed or hiding under anything, but right there in plain view of all. She doesn’t care if you walk by her, she doesn’t care if you stop and speak to her. She’ll lays there and watches you, cautiously. If she feels at all uncomfortable with your closeness, she’ll jump down.
She’s also not the first one out the door in the morning. We open the patio door between four and five in the morning so the cats can go outside in search of the early bird looking for the early worm. Then whoever got up and opened the door, goes back to bed. Well, I’ve been surprised to see her still on the cat tree when I get up for the day, still in the house. Where it’s warm and dry, not cool/cold and damp.
Baby steps. She’s finally settling in.
Last week, I was amazed to see Sagwa walk up to her and sniff her nose. At first, I wasn’t even sure it was her, because I’ve never seen one of the other cats that close. You know, close enough to get a paw across the nose for being inside of her bounderies. And this morning, I saw her on the cathouse, with Richie in front of her. Close. It obviously wasn’t just a Sagwa thing.
Little Bit, top left, Sagwa next to her, her boy Joey in the front
Little Bit by herself on the cathouse
Tired of the attention, she moves to a different house, the one by the pool, but still in the sun
The other kitty we have, the one who Brian said last year that he'd never seen, little Autumn White, is also finally making some progress in the socialization area. Brian actually petted her the other night while she was on the cat center in the living room. She loves to be petted, she’s just not too sure of humans. I’m glad to hear that she let him do this. She’s been here for years, caught as a kitten before the neighborhood jerks started trapping cats and the coyotes realized this area was a smorgasborg of yummy fat not so careful cats.
It’s nice to see the cats who’ve never seemed comfortable here, finally relaxing. We like happy cats. Happy cats are nice.