Saturday, 29 January 2011

Pens and Birdies

Ok, I think my silence has lasted long enough. I didn't write for a few days cuz I wanted to ensure that the poor baby sphynx kitten had as much coverage as possible, and I didn't want to detract from it, but after events this morning, I just had to write. You see, I've got a bit of a problem. I've also got some exciting news, so let's start with that first.

The good news is about pens; not the type peoples use to write with, but the kittening type. The human, of course, has one of these already, but it's not very big and it doesn't have the right kind of opening in the top. It's about three and a half feet long by two and a half wide, and that simply isn't enough room for a mummycat and her growing kittens, if you ask me. It'll be enough when they're tiny and aren't doing much other than cuddling me, but when they start wanting to play, it's gonna be a nightmare.

This pen that we have is designed so that the top comes apart in two halves. You can leave these both closed, both open, or fold one of them back. It's important for a mummycat to have an escape from the kittens. As lovely as they are, we do need time away from them too. But that poses a problem. With the current design, the kittens could potentially follow me out onto the carpet by crawling and climbing up the side of the wire and then falling over the top. If I leave the pen, it's cuz I want a breather from the kittens, and if they follow me, it only means more work for me picking them up and dropping them back inside. Ideally, a kittening pen has a small door in the middle of the top so that I, with my super strong mummycat legs, can jump up and out but the kittens are stuck even if they do manage to climb the wire.

My human was looking at pens on the internet, but they're so, sooooo expensive. The cheapest good one is £400! I just couldn't afford to let her pay that. She doesn't have the moneys, and even if she did, it would mean less foods for me. That wasn't an option. She put an ad up at her work hunt place, asking if anyone could make her up one for super cheap. She got replies back from two peoples who said they could help. One came this morning to look at the current pen, and he even scratched my chin! He smelled strange though, of chicken, but not dead, ready to eat chicken. They had still been alive. He keeps them for their eggs, he says. I wonder if he'd give me one for a pet? At least it'd be fresh meat!

Anyway, my human gave him the spec of what she wanted, and he says he'll go away and cost it up for her. She has the second people coming to look tomorrow. Unless it's very cheap, she won't be buying any pens, thanks to my humungus vet bills that she's still battling with, but if it's manageable, she says she really needs to get it. When we move to Oxford, things will be a whole lot more expensive, you see. They think they're posh up there, and charge accordingly, and as she's taking a pay cut in this new job, it'll be even more difficult. So we'll just have to wait and see the figures that they come back with.

Now to my naughty little problem. Friends, this is another one of those shame moments, I'm afraid. Let me tell you the story from the beginning.

Today was hoover day. The human usually does this on the weekends cuz she has more time to do it all. When I first started owning her, I was so scared of the roary hoover that I used to run and hide every time it came out. Now though, I just walk off out of its way until it's done eating the dirt off the carpet. Because it hoovered up Dogface hair for such a long time, it still stinks of Dogface when it's used, so the human likes to open all the windows and doors for a few minutes to air the place out. In our living room, we have two big French doors which open onto a pretend balcony. I say it's pretend cuz it's basically just a set of pretty railings in front of the doors to stop you walking off the edge. There's nowhere to stand out there or anything.

Anyway, when she opens these doors, I like to go and have a peep outside. She has a screen up so that I can't fall through the railings or escape, but she needn't worry. When I first came here, there was no screen, and even though she was careful, I never went anywhere near those doors. This morning I went for my usual look outside, but, as the human was right by them, I felt brave and actually stayed for a little bit. I was being careful though. I'd take a quick, sneaky look outside, then turn my head round quick as a flash so that all I could see was the living room. I always had the human there so that I could rub my face for reassurance, but every time I looked away, I had the horrible fear that she'd leave me. The breeze in my fur made me keep looking back though. It smelled so, well, interesting.

It was on one of those fertive glances that I spotted it. A bird! A big flappy thing in the sky that made lots of noise! Friends, a war started in me. on the one hand, it was fascinating, so much so in fact that I could hardly take my eyes off it. But on the other, it was a bird and it was flying and the only thing between me and it was this flimsy little screen. I tried to make a dash for it, but my human wasn't having any of it. She knows I take pleasure in sniffing the outside air, and she knows I like to watch the birdies when the doors are safely shut. But it's different then. I can't smell them. I can't really hear them. And there's glass between us. It's safe. It's familiar.

The human scooped me up, plonked me back on the sill in front of the open door, and talked and scritched me like nothing at all had happened. I was a bit confused. Why was she not showing fear? I always associate strokings with good things. Could the birdie be a good thing? I teatered, half poised for flight, half absorbed in what her hands were doing to my chin and yummy tummy. It felt so good, but the risk! And the birdies were so interesting. I had to keep looking back at them, cuz there was now more than one.

the next time I moved, I just stepped off the sill and crept behind the human for a bit, but she coaxed me out with wiggling fingers. Again, I couldn't resist. I know they mean more rubbing, and I really like that. Very, very slowly, I came out. My eyes flicked between the human and the birdies, but I just couldn't help it. She made me follow those fingers back to the sill.

She sat with me a long time there, but I was still a bit nervous. Then she got the idea of picking me up. She held me close to her, stood on the sill and gave me some loving, just as she does when the door is closed. Now I could watch the birdies and only occasionally have to look at her. She couldn't sneak off when she was holding me, after all. I snuggled down for a good watch. I was still feeling uneasy, but they were interesting to look at, and the human was right there for all the comfort I needed. A win win situation, if you ask me!

After a time, the human put me down again on the sill and moved away a bit, but that was too much for me to handle. I cried and cried and begged her to come back to the door with me, but she said that I needed to be brave now and do it on my own. She knew I could do it. She was going to do more hoovering, but I miaowed so pitifully that she relented. "All right, " she said in people talk noise, "I'll sit on the sofa so that you can still see me and watch them. But only for ten minutes!" As soon as she sat down, I ran to her, climbed up on her knee, but then moved right to the end of it and crouched. From here, I could still see the birdies you see.

And that's how we stayed until it was time to have the door closed again. as soon as it was, I was happy to go and sit by the door and watch. But that's my problem, friends. I don't know what to make of birdies when the door is open. I feel a bit ashamed because I'm a cat. Birdies shouldn't scare us. But they're just so unfamiliar. The human doesn't think I ever got to see them from an open window in my old home. It's unsettling now when I'm faced with it. Although I'm an outgoing kind of cat, I've attached deeply enough with this human that I like her to be there when I experience a new situation, and there's another problem. I shouldn't be dependent on such a feeble-minded thing as her. It's not healthy. And yet, I know that she offers safety, warmth, and a love that understands when I'm frightened and supports me through it. I don't know what to do about this. I want to be used to birdies, but without the human around, I don't know how to make myself face them. I want to be less dependent on the human, but again, I don't know how to be. It really does pain me to admit it. I used to chide mummycat for being ascared of everything. She did take it to huge levels, mind you, cuz you could only be scared of my human for about five seconds. That's all the time it takes to realise that she only wants to love you instead of hurting you, but Mummycat could never even master that side of her fear totally. Peoples were always an unknown. She never completely trusted them, even the ones who were nothing but nice to her. I can understand a little better now how hard it is to face a fear.

The human is going to use the old kittening pen to put me in the garden in the summer, to let me have some outside time but without the risk of me getting lost, so I'll need to learn that birdies aren't scary before I do go out. It's such a worry. I mean, whoever heard of a ladycat ascared of birds! It's ridiculous!

So, there you have it. I don't mind sharing my dirty little secrets with you all, cuz friends are sposed to understand your weaknesses too, right? At least, I hope they are!


Dexter said...

Whew.....that was a lot to read but very enjoyable! You know, I've only just discovered the, what an amazing place! My humanoid still only let's me out on supervised visits but I think that's cos I'm cute and little.....I don't's nice having my humanoid close by.

Thanks for the posting!

From a cute kitten x

Old Kitty said...

Awwwww the birdies are lovely and more scared of kitties!!! And so long as your human is there - you'll be fine!!! :-) Have a great Saturday!! Take care

Au and Target said...

Looks like new horizons - and catly property!

Great news! Au ate some roast chicken and some salmon treats. Crossing fingers he's turned the corner. Thanks for your purrs and support.

Katnip Lounge said...

Tia, some birds ARE scarey! But most of them are so much fun to watch, and catch and eat, if Mommy doesn't notice...
When Sylvester first came to live with us he didn't know about the Outside, but now he loves to spend time on the Catio and he spends all day out there. we think you'll like the outsie too.