In trouble again, Willow provided today’s post.
“In trouble again?” She asked, “what am I supposed to have done now?”
See, I knew this was going to happen and it’s not her fault.
It’s all to do with Sophia’s “coming out.”
Dear, sweet Sophia.
Sophia is one of Grant’s “intake”. She was a kitten running around in the parking lot of his condo in Washington.
She was a typical, playful kitten/cat. Then suddenly she was terrified, of everything. Grant has no idea why.
Perhaps one of his other cats traumatized her, though none of them were at all fierce.
In any event, when she came to live in my foster suite, Sophia stayed in the safety of her box, coming out only to use the litter and eventually Grant could pet her.
After some 18 months, I was able to place Sophia’s food bowl in her box without her growling and with persistence, I was in time allowed to move my hand from her food bowl to stroke her neck.
Once you had your hand on her, Sophia melted into it. She adores being petted. Then after a few more months, she came out of her box and took up residence on a shelf Grant had erected, high up.
Grant put together an elaborate set of cat-oriented shelves, including a tunnel that joined two of the rooms and could be opened or closed as needed.
In the beginning, it looked quite respectable!
After a while, Grant added a couple of “pizza slice” shelves in corners by windows. Sophia’s box was moved up so she could enjoy the view from her veranda.
We made great progress and it was a joy to see the change in this poor traumatized creature.
Then I ruined it all by moving coast-to-coast.
Back to square one.
Patches was another of Grant’s “Scary” cats. She and Sophia were usually huddled up together and on arrival in their new home, they dived under the nearest sofa.
As I unpacked, the boxes were turned into cat cubbies and after a few days Sophia and Patches had claimed one in front of the fire.
Within months, Patches had ventured out and joined the motley gang, but Sophia could not be coaxed out, not even by Grant.
After a year, Sophia seemed “tentative”. We got our hopes up but I had to have a new fireplace installed and that was that.
Until very recently.
Suddenly, she emerged and like a prisoner released from a cell, she seemed not to know quite what to do with her freedom, wandering about, mostly in circles around the living room.
Then I caught sight of her on the kitchen shelf, gazing out at the bird feeders.
And one night, I noticed a new little face exploring my office-come bedroom. Back and forth, back and forth.
At the same time, Patches suddenly began hopping on my bed in the morning for pets, which make her dissolve in a puddle of “fur and purr!”
Which has all been delightful.
Not to Willow.
It was going to cause problems. This I knew. How it would manifest, I could only guess.
First the ruffle of my bedspread was targeted.
No surprise there. The bedspread is designed to deal with temperamental cats and their “issues”. It was washed and put back with the ruffle tucked in.
Willow misinterpreted the message:
“I must pee elsewhere.”
In fairness, I should emphasize that she only pees outside the box when she is trying to make a point.
We won’t disclose how many points Willow has had to make in recent times.
How does a cat choose where to pee to mark a point?
Suddenly Grant’s chair in the living room became the target. He was not pleased. But like all our furniture, it was covered with throws that could be washed.
And since we knew this was the new target, we reinforced the barrier with plastic and I put back the newly laundered throws.
Meanwhile, I ordered a cat-proof cover which arrived within another laundry-load of Willow’s “points”.
At first Grant made a face and said “send it back. She’ll only pee on it.” Yes, well, that’s why it’s pee-proof. I ignored him and draped it over the chair where it remained dry until Grant sat in a puddle last night.
Did I laugh? I’ll let you guess.
He leapt up as if he’d sat in battery acid.
Now why after three years, would Willow decide to pee on that chair? She knows it’s Grant’s chair because he’s the only one who sits there.
Is she mad at Grant?
Oh no. Not at all. Even though he sometimes says rude things about her behavior. I must say he was very controlled last night, merely moaning “Oh Willow!”
Most likely it’s about Sophia’s coming-out.
Grant’s chair is beneath the shelf where Sophia sat watching the birds and to Willow, it was a taunt.
Just as Patches being on my bed is.
You wouldn’t think it to see her play, but Willow is quite insecure. Other than Blackie, who Willow ignores, Willow is the most junior member of the household and while we don’t apply it in any way, seniority counts for quite a bit.
At least, that’s what I think.
We’ll get into that another time.