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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Metamorphosis – Feral to Comfy Indoor Beasties

Skitter on Jen's lap!
Thelma waits for treats, as uzh.

Skitter, (you remember Skitter, right?) didn’t live on her own, in the great big scary outdoors, for long. First her mother, Trixie, brought her to live on our porch and then Jen brought her inside to live. This sweet, freakazoid kitten couldn’t have been more than six months old at that point. What I’m saying here is that our girl, who’s six years old now, has lived most of her life indoors. You’d never know it. though. She won’t go near Oni (!!!), The Amazing Bob or me – ME, the original Cat Doormat, the Treat Lady!

Only Jen is safe-ish. Only Jen is allowed to come close. Only Jen can pat her. Thelma’s safe too but she would be – being a fellow feline and all. In fact, despite Thelma’s advanced years (she’s 20!) the two of them run around the house, playing Catch Me If You Can, like kittens. It’s just us skeevy humans who Skitter’s wicked wary of. I guess I can understand that. We humans have a nasty track record vis-à-vis our fellow mammals.

How is Skitter now exhibiting signs of Comfy Indoor Beastieness? As of a few days ago, in the morning while Jen’s icing her knees after a walk or run, our beautiful, distant girl will climb into Jen’s lap. UNHEARD of! SUCH daring! So yeah, what’s next? Will she let me pat her? Hell’s will she let Oni, who she lives with, pat her? Who knows?!

And then there’s Rocco’s recent cozy indoor kitten behavior. Do recall that our fierce formal feral has, quite possibly, never been a playful, joy filled thing. Ever. For as long as I’ve known him, he’s been been absolutely serious, reserved, cautious and grumpy too. He’s always been a watcher – he sits observing the world around him. He doesn't engage. Didn't.

Also a former feral, Coco made the adjustment
to indoor Queen-dom long ago.
After moving inside and then, eventually, into our bedroom closet he’s occasionally made Wake the Food and Pat Source (moi!) attempts. Our boy would climb up onto my side of the bed and sit by my face. He’d just be there, making no overt efforts to wake me. If I didn’t get up, he’d climb back down and go sit by his food bowls and wait.

What’s our FFF doing now? I think he’s playing!  Instead of creakily ambling over to my side of the bed, he takes three giant panther-esque leaps from his bunk, up and over TAB, then me, landing right by or on my face! He then puts one of his soft big kitten paws on my cheek, gently (NO claws!) nudging me. While I groggily sit up, take my pills and put in my ear (such as it is), Rocco gets in TAB’s face. You may pat me now, human. Naturally TAB accommodates our royal boy.

Remember, it’s not even three full years since he let me come anywhere near him. Now, he’s rockin’ the indoor cat behavior – big time.

Oh and when I’m reading in bed at night, he (Rocco not TAB) seems to be imagining that he’s an Olympic hurdler. He springs up onto the bed, vaults over me to TAB’s side of the bed and then jumps back – repeatedly. Our boy's shakin' some joie de vivre action! How awesome is that?! (VERY!)

He and our sweet baby girl, Coco, aren't BFFs yet but maybe one day. A Cat Doormat can hope and dream – right?

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