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Old August 22nd, 2012, 08:56 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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newly adopted cat - bringing up big-time anxiety for me!

hi everyone,

so, for 3 years i lived with my partner, who has 3 cats. my partner and i moved apart (but we're still together) in june of this year. i was thrilled to not live with the cats anymore because i'm allergic and i just felt better living pet free - felt simpler.

HOWEVER - after a couple of weeks i noticed i was really missing the cats. one in particular, the girl cat, who i bonded with in a big way - and she with me. everytime i would visit my partner i would fawn over the cats, and they were always thrilled to see me, which felt so good. i started thinking about whether i should get a cat of my own... i gave it a lot of thought, did a lot of research (learned for example, that female cats tend to give off less of the allergy producing fd1, and light coloured cats as well - i also learned, when we visited a friend with a couple of long-haired cats that oddly enough i'm less allergic to medium to long-haired cats).

so, after lots of consideration, and lots of back and forth (i would long for a cat but then i'd ignore the longing to see if it would go away - it wouldn't). in fact, my longing seemed to be getting worse as i'd visit my partner and her cats and the cats would make me WEEPY/emotional, cuz i missed them so much! (esp, like i mentioned, the girl cat).

long story a bit shorter (;-)) i finally took the plunge on sunday and adopted a 6 year old girl from a cat hospital. she's a medium hair, light coloured beauty and i'm amazed at my lack of allergies thus far - which is awesome.

here's the thing that's come up for me that i didn't expect:

1) i keep getting waves of panic/anxiety when i think about the fact that i'm responsible for her life and that she's mine for LIFE. the commitment/responsibility feels scary and overwhelming.

2) i'm soooo worried all the time about her well-being... is she happy as an only cat? she lived in the hospital for a little over a year and apparently she likes dogs and other cats as well, with a preference for boys (i understand that's generally the case) so should i get her a companion??

apparently she was surrendered to the hospital/vet by a family with children because the children "tortured her." i'm hoping they didn't actually torture her but perhaps they were rough with her. she definitely acts like she has suffered some misuse. she doesn't like being picked up, she's definitely not a lap cat, she's terrified of ceiling fans and blinds - basically she's a pretty skittish girl - jumps at the slightest noise.

i guess my question is, how can i help quell her anxiety AND my own anxiety as well? i really wanted a chill, easy-going kinda cat and feel like she may not be that cat. i also wouldn't dream of returning her. i just want her to be happy! i realize she's only on day 3 with me so honestly, she could be hiding under the couch still at this point. the good thing is, she explores and come bed time (she seems to love bed time!!) she gets on my bed, rolls around on her back, very kitteny, grooms herself and purrs.

i sometimes get this horrible feeling in my stomach that i made the wrong decision in adopting her. and this just fuels my anxiety because i don't want to be one of those careless ppl who think they can just return a life at the drop of a hat... i also feel kind of "hemmed in" in my own place though... for example, i really need to vacuum but i've been putting it off because i know it'll scare the crap out of her. i find myself not behaving like myself in my own home and that kinda sucks.

argh! just stressed!! any tips, suggestions, advice is welcome - please!!!

signed,

stressed-out newbie pet owner... CH.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 09:30 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww, I bet she is going to be your bestest bud (besides your partner, of course ). It's going to take her time to realize she's not going to have a bunch of humans after her all day. If she is coming up on the bed & purring, she's going to start doing this while you are watching TV, reading, etc. Just give her some time to reprogram herself.

Cats are quite simple to take care of. Here are some things a cat needs:

1. Cats need to sharpen their claws, especially after they wake up or when they get all excited. Do you have a large, sturdy cat stand in front of a window (in a room that is most occupied by you). This will allow her to be able to watch the "activities" of outside and give her the scratching that satisfies her instincts.

2. The best thing you can do for her health is to feed her a quality canned food. I feed kibble only for treats. You won't find these in a grocery store, but a quality pet food store. Here is a list of my favs:

1. Nature's Variety Instinct, canned
2. Wellness, grain free
3. Weruva
4. Fromm's 4 star
5. Go!

3. Don't panic, she will feel your stress and also get stressed. Cats are quite independent so all will be fine.

I, personally would not get another cat for her unless the Vet hospital you got her from says she was very social with other cats. It sounds like she is quite timid, so I'm thinking being an only cat may be OK with her. The thing about cats is that you can never tell if they will get along until after you've adopted them. Are any of your partner's cats quite social? If so perhaps you can have that one come for a visit and you can see how your kitty reacts (safely separated, perhaps one of them in a carrier).

Good luck.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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hi there,

thanks for your response and advice, much appreciated! i know, if i get stressed she'll feel my stress... ergh. this stresses me out more, is the thing. kind of a catch 22 thing...

poor gal came without claws - looks like the previous owner/family had her declawed. which is perhaps another reason not to get a companion...? when i got her, the hospital said she was a bit depressed since her male friend was adopted (an orange fella) so that's why i was wondering if i should think about getting her a boy. my preference would definitely be just to have her though - esp. in light of my allergies as boy cats def do trigger more sneezes for me.

i do have really nice apartment with lots of windowsills for her though so i'm hoping she'll be okay for 5 days a week while i'm at work all day... i get lots of sun and am on the top floor of a 4 story building. she hasn't been out on the balcony yet. i guess my concern is that i need to get stuff done around the house - vacuuming, still have to clean out her carrier (she peed in it on her journey to my apartment) and i want her to feel safe/okay but i also need to get stuff done. should i shut her in the bedroom while i get tasks done? (i've no doubt the vacuum will scare the crap outta her... closing blinds makes her bolt and run for cover, sooo...).

thanks,
CH
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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I would not allow her out on the balcony unless it is totally closed it. She may get frightened and jump out of instinct.

Yes, I have a cat who is terrified of the vacuum cleaner and I lock him in the bedroom when I vacuum. He now knows to run in there when he sees me getting it out, so all I have to do is close the door.

Awww, it would have been nice to keep the two of them together. You just never know with cats whether they will take to another one. I think if you prefer to have just one, then that's probably best for her too (and you). I get the feeling in the way you are describing her that she may have difficulty bonding with another cat.

I hate declawing . Vets should stop doing this abuse to cats .
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  #5  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Bless you for rescuing this kitty and also for your sense of commitment that you do not want to return her. She will settle in time, give her space and she will reward your patience. L4H is giving you great advice. I haven't had cats for years now, but agree, put her in your bedroom and do your chores. Sounds to me like she'll be fine as a single kitty. Keep up the good work.
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  #6  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 10:31 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Thanks for adopting CH - you sound like a FAB new pet owner Welcome to the forum!

A couple of things come to mind:
1 - In your quieter, less stressful kid free apartment - the cat will feel safer.
She may eventually bond with you in the way you want.

2 - hate to say it - but it's too soon to throw a party allergy wise. If you just got the cat you'll need a few days to a week (after her dander has been airborne housewide) to really see how allergic you are.

Not sure where you are getting the info that girls are good for allergies...but it's false as far as I know. I would definitely not assume this to be true as a general rule. If you did want to get her a companion - spend time with that companion to make sure it does not trigger massive allergy attacks.

3 - If you have a neighbor or someone that can check in on your cat if you have to go away for a weekend (or perhaps occasionally during the day) - that will make your life easier. And if that cat can get to know this person, that too will make your life easier.

4- In a separate room while vacuuming - sounds like a good plan for a skittish cat!

Glad you are adopting for life
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  #7  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:03 AM
crazycatlover crazycatlover is offline
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Exclamation re:crispy hair

i felt the same way.... my cat hid under my bed and didn't pee for 2 days it scared me to death. i was like hes not right for me but i suck with him and now hes the smartest and best cat ever. so just keep on trucken and give this kitty a chance. and down the road when u and her are ready u can get her a partner but till then stay clam and dont rush it


from
someone whos been though it
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:07 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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hi everyone,

thanks for all the input!!! and duly noted, i will not let her out on the balcony for awhile. i don't think she'll go there herself anyway... i popped out onto the balcony last night and she bolted when i opened the door as if to say "what the heck is that...??!! another door...??!!"

so, i'll place her in the bedroom before i start vacuuming... i was feeling torn about that. i don't wanna over-coddle her so was thinking i should just go about my bizness like it ain't no thing but if you think it would be easier on her given her skittishness, i'll definitely do that.

and yes, i hear you re: the allergies. not time to party yet but in my experience, from living with my partners cats, if the allergies were going to be significant, they would've started up by now, esp. given that she's sleeping in my bed. i did read that app females give off less of the FELD1 protein, which is what triggers allergies, and indeed, it was my partner's brown tabby boy (who i loooooved) that made me the most sneezy. everyone's different though. i know that *most* people find longer haired cats to be more allergy producing but in my experience, it's less - for me, anyway. regardless, i don't have really bad cat allergies, at their worst it's just some sneezing fits and itchy eyes but they certainly weren't bad enough to stop me from adopting!

i got her a brush and she seems to tolerate brushing but doesn't seem to love it, as yet... she LOVES the laser pointer and she's pretty kitteny/playful; she definitely seems to enjoy playtime. was thinking to get her a "cave" bed as she seems to like to burrow under things. on her very first night, i went into my bedroom and there was a lump under the comforter - she'd burrowed in under the top sheet and comforter!

thanks, everyone. i find it's helpful just to talk these things out with people in the know... i don't want to tell my partner about all this anxiety and worry that's coming up for me... so thanks, all!

CH
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:09 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycatlover View Post
i felt the same way.... my cat hid under my bed and didn't pee for 2 days it scared me to death. i was like hes not right for me but i suck with him and now hes the smartest and best cat ever. so just keep on trucken and give this kitty a chance. and down the road when u and her are ready u can get her a partner but till then stay clam and dont rush it


from
someone whos been though it
THANK YOU crazycatlover. i will definitely stick with her!!

good to know i'm not alone...

CH
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:16 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post

Awww, it would have been nice to keep the two of them together. You just never know with cats whether they will take to another one. I think if you prefer to have just one, then that's probably best for her too (and you). I get the feeling in the way you are describing her that she may have difficulty bonding with another cat.

I hate declawing . Vets should stop doing this abuse to cats .
i know!! when i was adopting her and they told me that i told them that it was too bad i hadn't come earlier because i would've adopted them together. and i totally agree about the declawing thing. it should be banned!
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:43 AM
kittiesandbirds kittiesandbirds is offline
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I've never had a de-clawed cat, I assume they still like to jump up to high places to observe the world from. You could look for a cat tree mine really love to have a little space they call their own. My female claimed the highest spot, my shy Tom claimed a closed in box and Nike who is a bit fat likes the low spot to be close to the action. I find in general my cats warm up first to really calm laid back people. I guess I would let her take her time to go to you. You have done a good thing giving an older cat a second chance.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 01:36 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Originally Posted by crispyhair View Post
hi there,

thanks for your response and advice, much appreciated! i know, if i get stressed she'll feel my stress... ergh. this stresses me out more, is the thing. kind of a catch 22 thing...

poor gal came without claws - looks like the previous owner/family had her declawed. which is perhaps another reason not to get a companion...? when i got her, the hospital said she was a bit depressed since her male friend was adopted (an orange fella) so that's why i was wondering if i should think about getting her a boy. my preference would definitely be just to have her though - esp. in light of my allergies as boy cats def do trigger more sneezes for me.

i do have really nice apartment with lots of windowsills for her though so i'm hoping she'll be okay for 5 days a week while i'm at work all day... i get lots of sun and am on the top floor of a 4 story building. she hasn't been out on the balcony yet. i guess my concern is that i need to get stuff done around the house - vacuuming, still have to clean out her carrier (she peed in it on her journey to my apartment) and i want her to feel safe/okay but i also need to get stuff done. should i shut her in the bedroom while i get tasks done? (i've no doubt the vacuum will scare the crap outta her... closing blinds makes her bolt and run for cover, sooo...).

thanks,
CH
Then I would not get another cat as she will be be able to defend herself. I know when some cats are declawed it can hard be on them . I would not put your cat on the balcony by herself as she has no claws to hold onto anything if she try to jump up on the railing.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 08:22 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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hi everyone,

just wanted to post a progress report and to thank you all for the feedback and input - much appreciated.

she survived her first vacuuming session yesterday. she was pretty good about it actually! she also joined me on the couch last night AND rather than running in terror from the balcony door, she actually expressed interest in it last night. she's definitely settling in - as am i! ;-) both of us are relaxing around each other! my waves of anxiety and panic have pretty much stopped. YAY!

i was looking for a cat "cave" bed for her yesterday on my way home but couldn't find one anywhere (checked pet valu, pj's pets and global pets, to no avail...). anyone know where i could score one of those for her?

re: the balcony, i hear you... seeing that she's clawless i will definitely not let her out unsupervised and in fact, am not going to let her out on there for a bit... she wants to check it out but i think i should wait a bit longer. what do you think? re: getting her a companion, while she's clawless she apparently enjoyed the company of male cats and, more interestingly, DOGS! she's a brave gal for sure. :-)

thanks again fellow cat lovers!

CH
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 08:26 AM
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Marty11 Marty11 is offline
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Get a nice cardboard box, or a rubbermaid container cut a large hole and put a nice fuzzy blankie or pet bed, it doesn't have to be fancy. I used and old pillow and changed the pillow case to freshen it up.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 08:29 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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nice! awesome idea, thank you! i'll definitely do that tonight and save myself my $$.

thanks, marty!
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 08:33 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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hi crazycatlover,

just wanted to let you know that i got your message but seem to be unable to reply to it so thought i'd post here so you know i wasn't ignoring you!

thx,
CH
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyhair View Post
hi everyone,

just wanted to post a progress report and to thank you all for the feedback and input - much appreciated.

she survived her first vacuuming session yesterday. she was pretty good about it actually! she also joined me on the couch last night AND rather than running in terror from the balcony door, she actually expressed interest in it last night. she's definitely settling in - as am i! ;-) both of us are relaxing around each other! my waves of anxiety and panic have pretty much stopped. YAY!

i was looking for a cat "cave" bed for her yesterday on my way home but couldn't find one anywhere (checked pet valu, pj's pets and global pets, to no avail...). anyone know where i could score one of those for her?

re: the balcony, i hear you... seeing that she's clawless i will definitely not let her out unsupervised and in fact, am not going to let her out on there for a bit... she wants to check it out but i think i should wait a bit longer. what do you think? re: getting her a companion, while she's clawless she apparently enjoyed the company of male cats and, more interestingly, DOGS! she's a brave gal for sure. :-)

thanks again fellow cat lovers!

CH
Just because a cat liked one cat, does not mean that a cat would like any other cat. Some cats are extremely social to other cats, some do not like any other cat. Some like particular cats and hate others.

I, personally would try to bring over one of your partner's cats to see how she reacts. That way you will get some idea of her personality before actually adopting one.

I really, really do not like the idea of letting your cat out onto the balcony unless it is closed in. I think that is very risky as they don't reason like humans and don't have the fear of heights.

Glad to hear she is settling in
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 09:42 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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thanks, L4H! yes, don't get me wrong, it's not that i want to adopt another cat, i really was hoping just to stick to one it's just that i don't want her to be lonely and i'm away at work monday - friday from 9 - 5.

i think she's okay but that's my worry... i am out the door every morn at 7:40 and back at 6:15 each night so it's a bit of a stretch for her to be on her own... i suspect she sleeps the day away though and she has lots of sunny windowsills to choose from and toys...

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here are some pictures of her...
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 09:54 AM
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Oh, my, she is a beauty . And she is certainly looking very relaxed and happy

The last pic of her upside down, was she also kneading her paws? My Puddles does that.
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Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 10:10 AM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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thank you!!!

yes! it's the cutest thing. she kneads upsidedown, in the air... she'll roll around on her back, semi-grooming, semi-look-at-me-i'm-freakn-adorable... at first i thought she was inviting me to pet her belly but she's definitely not into that.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 11:41 AM
Edenca Edenca is offline
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Hi, thanks for rescuing that gorgeous cat. She's a beauty. I think it would be totally normal for her to take some time to adjust especially since she has been living at the Vet's for a year. Was she caged all that time? Just relax, maybe she can feel your anxiety. Just one thing, please don't let her out on the balcony. She will have no concept of the fact that there is nothing on the other side if she jumps. low flying birds, pidgeons, flying bugs, butterflys have the potential to distract her enough that she may attempt to catch them. I have seen the result of a "high flyer" and it was not pretty. Congrats again.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 11:46 AM
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She sure is a beauty, crispyhair!
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 12:08 PM
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She is a beauty, you did good rescuing this older kitty. She's going to repay that to you hundreds of times over. She doesn't look overly stressed to me. As for another cat, cats are very happy to be solitary pets. She's past the kitten freaky playfull all the time stage, so should be quite content to snooze during the day and have you home at night. On the balcony, I wouldn't let her out there either myself. That said, if you are bound and determined that she's going out there, consider harnessing her so she can't reach the railing and jump. Then you can sit out there with her on a leash, but still keep her from going over. It's true she could easily chase a bug and go over the edge. If you decide to go with a harness, let her get used to wearing it inside for a while, my cats many years ago were indoor cats and one took to the harness okay the other would not consider wearing one (and hence did not get to go outside to sniff the grass).

Thanks for sharing the pics. Again, she's gorgeous! Did I miss her name soemwhere along here??
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 01:03 PM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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thanks everyone!! i won't let her on the balcony, y'all have me freaked out now! ;-) i definitely don't want anything like that to happen to her.

her name is 'kici' - pronounced 'keechee.' apparently it means 'here kitty' in polish - or something to that effect anyway. i guess her original family were polish or eastern european?

funnily enough, 'keechie' is the name of a heroine in my all-time favourite film noir (old movie) from 1949, callled 'they live by night.' so, when i found out her name i of course felt like she and i were destined to be together! haha...

she decided i should get up this morn at 6 sharp (rather than 6:45, when my alarm was supposed to go off) so i'm tired today but she and i are definitely starting to relax with each other.

it was really helpful for me to be able to post here. thanks for all your support and encouragement everyone!

CH
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by crispyhair View Post
thanks everyone!! i won't let her on the balcony, y'all have me freaked out now! ;-) i definitely don't want anything like that to happen to her.

her name is 'kici' - pronounced 'keechee.' apparently it means 'here kitty' in polish - or something to that effect anyway. i guess her original family were polish or eastern european?

funnily enough, 'keechie' is the name of a heroine in my all-time favourite film noir (old movie) from 1949, callled 'they live by night.' so, when i found out her name i of course felt like she and i were destined to be together! haha...

she decided i should get up this morn at 6 sharp (rather than 6:45, when my alarm was supposed to go off) so i'm tired today but she and i are definitely starting to relax with each other.

it was really helpful for me to be able to post here. thanks for all your support and encouragement everyone!

CH
Ahhh, so she is learning the tricks of the trade in how to control their humans . Tomorrow morning it will 5:30
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  #26  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 02:25 PM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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Location: toronto
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she better not!!! lol. sleep is verrrrry important to me. if she does that i may be posting on here again re: my anxiety! that being said, i'm going to go to bed extra early tonight, just in case she gets any ideas...
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  #27  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 03:11 PM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Gee, I hope you don't only want to post when you have troubles! We'd love you to hang around and share Keechie stories good and bad. Don't feel bad about her waking you early, my dog woke me up early this morning too! 4:48 a.m. But that's okay, she needed to go out and I would never deny her that.

If she keeps waking you early try to just ignore her some (I know it's hard to ignore a cat sitting on your chest kneading you and purring - or chewing your toes ). If she gets rewarded with snuggles and attention and food she'll get into a habit of doing that. My dog Halo does not get a treat for doing her business outside at 4 in the morning, outside, back in the house and straight back to bed.
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  #28  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 03:17 PM
crispyhair crispyhair is offline
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cool! thanks for the tip. that's good to know. i did pretty much ignore her, no snuggles or food, snoozed until alarm went off.

and i'll definitely stick around here. you guys rock!
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  #29  
Old August 24th, 2012, 12:16 PM
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ownedbycats ownedbycats is offline
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She's gorgeous, I love calicos. Adult cats sleep anywhere from 16-18 hours a day (or at least are just watching without being active) so being left by herself while you're at work shouldn't bother her. Kici will just shift her schedule so she's awake when you are home, and sleeping when you're gone and nothing is happening.
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