This post is part of the Sasha and Nina series: nervous cats settling into our house. Nearly four weeks since our new feline companions came into this house for the first time.
Things have (thankfully) progressed since our last post: Sasha is finally able to be out and about from around 5 pm – it’s dark, accordingly, so he is still our darling vampire but at least our little vampire can just about confront us.
After the last post I tried to shut the cupboard, offering cardboard boxes instead, but this didn’t go down well: on the following morning of this ignominy, I found our poor Sasha had hidden in the coat rack all morning. This was too much for me and I quickly prepared a cupboard space, but this time a better cupboard (mine – I moved everything I could possibly need for weeks) away from our bed, and with a nice roomy cardboard box with a thin blanket at the bottom. A much nicer setup, hopefully suitable for weeks, if need be. And this was much needed.
Meanwhile I started a strict routine: we go to bed from around 8.30 pm (super early!!) so that they can stretch their legs for a good 8-9 hours, which they do, galloping up and down the stairs for quite a bit of the night – something that must calm their nerves. I also keep to a strict food schedule – something I’d never had to do with our old cat: 3 feeds: 8 am, 4 pm and just before going to bed. The first two feeds were ignored until the day I stopped putting more food out for them at night (to compensate for not eating during the day). Whole bowls went down the loo but I persevered.
I also moved the upstairs food on the two top stair steps so I could sit downstairs and allow them to see me – get them to see that I am not a monster. (The other half is downstairs near the fireplace).
And finally, something is happening: I am writing in my armchair downstairs facing the stairs that have two cats on it: one on the top step eating wet food and one of the step below eating dry while they both are keeping an eye on me. I look up from time to time then pretend to ignore them, tapping away on my iPad.
Sasha even climbed down the stairs and looked at me and then… no, went back up. Better be safe.
It’s so good to see them both in the flesh. Two days ago I downloaded an app that allows me to record them at night out of desperation! It’s so hard to hear your cats but not be allowed to see them! I now realise that a lot of pleasure is derived from just looking at your cats, something I’d not thought much about before.
We’ve needed tons of patience (a bit more to come, I think) but we both revel in their idiosyncratic personalities already: the mischievous Sasha, who does an awful lot of talking, and the more assertive Nina who doesn’t mind a good hiss (at us, at her brother) or a good swat. We’d better watch out.