Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Charlie the Cat stories

Well, I never thought that I'd end up an old lady with a cat - but there you are, and here I am with Charlie. This week Charlie has new toys to keep him occupied while I am at work .... The toys are pretty good value because Charlie invents all sorts of ways of maintaining interest in them, such as burying them under the beautiful rug in my lounge room. This requires much clawing at the rug to get it to lift so that he can access the toy underneath it .... and hiding it under the curtains so that he can attack the curtains with true tabby cat ferocity and regain his rightful possessions.
This weekend Charlie discovered how to jump onto the table which is parked at the end of the sideway and to go from there, up onto the fence and out into the front garden (read ROAD). This caused a re-think in my `Living with a CAT Strategic Plan'. First Action item was to catch Charlie in the middle of tearing up the sideway passage, before he gets to the table and BLAST him with a jet stream of water from the hose. Worked beautifully twice, but an absolute failure the third time when he got a head start on me and made it to the table before I turned the hose on. The jetstream of water only caused him to jump higher & faster off the table and over the fence. The first time he escaped, he startled himself - he found that he was in unfamiliar territory and went to ground. I called and made smooching noises, but couldn't hear his bell anywhere. I decided the best plan of action was to stay out in the garden, pottering in and out from back yard to front and making little noises that a scared cat might be listening for. Sure enough, after half an hour, on my second trip out through the driveway gate - here's Charlie - trying to look as though nothing unusual was occurring, standing in the middle of the carport drive and VERY happy to follow me back through the gates to the safety of the back yard. When he got over the fence the second time, in the evening, I just went straight through the house to the front door, and there he was in the carport drive - very happy to come straight back in the house.
Next step in the `Living with a CAT Strategic Plan', now came into play. LEAD TRAINING.
I've got a new job and now I'm out of the house from 6.50 am until 6.30 pm. Poor Charlie - no outdoor playtime. So Charlie is learning to walk on a lead with me. and on Monday and Tuesday evenings has come out for a walk down the street. On Monday night he was the biggest Scaredy Cat you've ever seen. I ended up carrying him most of the way. Tonight he was much braver, and at the end of the walk, threw a tantrum about having to come inside again becase he's just found THE tree that all the birds live in. Until all three of the neighbours kids rushed up wanting to see him and pat him - then he went under the car so fast he nearly dragged my arm off.
It is nice to come home to someone who is desperately waiting for me to turn up! I wonder if I can con him into riding on the bike with me?

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