July 23rd 2013 1:31 pm
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Since being given freedom of the house, Mika has only one really frustrating problem. Having lived as an indoor-outdoor cat, he is very determined to get outdoors. I've had many other cats who were former outdoor cats or indoor-outdoor cats, but never have I had one as determined and persistent at trying to get out as Mika is. As time passes, I keep hoping his determination to get outside will lessen and he will accept life as an indoor cat. (Forget about it Mika, outdoors is too dangerous and you should be glad to be safely indoors!)
Mika doesn't try to dart through doors but he makes up for that by his strenuous efforts to try to get a window open. The windows are locked and the bedroom and living room windows also have indoor shutter style blinds that close across the lower windowpanes and latch. Mika has taken some of these blinds apart in his attempts to find a window he can pry open. Luckily it's easy to slide the blinds back onto their hinges to put them back together again.
Mika will paw at the windows, trying his best to get them to slide up or down. If a window is opened even a little bit, he will use his nose or paws to attempt to slide it upward more. I like to have windows open during cooler weather but I don't trust the screens to hold up against Mika's vigorous attempts to get outside. I've thought about trying to come up with a way to attach chicken wire to the outsides of the windows so that if Mika does tear up a screen, he still cannot get outside.
Does anybody have any ideas about how to attach chicken wire to the outsides of the screens or any other idea about how to reinforce the screens so that I can open windows without having to worry about Mika tearing through them and escaping?
June 29th 2013 2:04 pm
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It was the evening of Wednesday, June 26. 2013 when I went to tend to Mika, refill his food, clean out his litterpan etc. and for the first time he willingly came to the front of his crate to be petted. Other cats, curious as usual, were nearby Mika's crate. Instead of hissing at them, Mika showed a curious attitude toward them. I just knew intuitively that the time has come.
Mika was ready to be given freedom of the house at last!
I opened Mika's crate door and propped it wide open after taking care of his food, water, and litterpan so that he might return to the security of his crate if he wanted to. Mika remained in his crate until I left the room. When I came back into the room, the crate was empty. Mika, having the feline gift of being able to disappear and remain unseen even in an empty room, was nowhere to be found.
Once again intuition told me that Mika was just fine, he was just cautiously exploring the house. Sure enough a couple of hours after I'd released Mika into the house, I came into my room to find Mika asleep on the coveted bedroom window shelf. Buttons was napping on a bookshelf near Mika while Farrah was napping on the shelf above the one Buttons was napping on.
Since then, Mika has been doing fine loose in the house. So far since he's been loose, he and the other cats are getting along just fine, no hissing at all! He's thoroughly enjoying freedom, even being brazen enough to let himself get caught snoozing on the kitchen countertop!
Now I hope Mika soon forgets he used to be an outdoor cat so that when the weather is nice enough for me to turn off the AC and open windows again, he won't be trying to get out through the screens. He tried once to ram through a screen in the exercise room. That's why I won't trust him around an open window until I'm sure he's accepted the fact that he's now living life safely securely as an indoor cat!
June 20th 2013 12:17 am
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Today for the first time, I had a bit of a breakthrough with Mika. He forgot to hiss at me when I took him to the exercise/play room. Also for the first time, Mika let me try grooming him without any tooth and claw protests. I happily found out that although Mika hates combs and brushes, he likes the shedding blade. At least he likes some kind of grooming tool. As a former outdoor cat, he had quite a bit of undercoat to shed out. Mika also for the first time, actually solicited neck scratching etc from me.
Mika still hisses at the other cats if they get too close to his crate. Mika is secure in his crate though, he knows in his crate he's safely out of the reach of other cats.
Mika's slower progress adjusting is actually normal compared to Kitty Ga-Ga and Carina who adjusted almost instantly. It's unusual for an adult cat to adjust so rapidly. Sadly, I've heard too many stories of people adopting cats from shelters, taking them home, expecting them to instantly get along with the humans/cats/dogs in the household and taking the cat back to the shelter even as early as the next day, never allowing the cat sufficient time to even begin adjusting. Such behavior on the part of the humans traumatizes the cat and also hurts the cat's chances of being adopted. Once a cat has been adopted and returned, other people assume there's something wrong with that cat when the only problem was that the cat was never given time to even begin to start adjusting.
I tell people to allow a minimum of two weeks to two months for a new adolescent or adult cat to adjust and not to be surprised if it takes longer than that for the cat to adjust. A feral, badly traumatized, or extremely timid cat might take up to a year to adjust & even then some cats only feel secure when kept in a crate or cage with at least one area of solid walls.