I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks, I’ll admit that. The door doesn’t quite close all the way and I can see what goes on out there. All those black cats come by and look past me to my food, but I know just how to get the human to stop. Do you see above? “Are you comin in? Are we gonna play?” She can hardly resist, especially because I actually talk out loud.
The door opens…
I’ve learned to trust the human and gotten her to amuse me. She thinks I’m playing with her, and I am chasing the long strip of fabric on the pole, but I’m not playing with her in the way she thinks.
Here, I’m really excited while watching the fabric strip slide all around on my scratching cone. Do you see my big white mittens? I love to show off my big white mittens. The humans says she’s just done when she sees my big white mittens, they’re just too much. I figure that’s good. I’m very proud of them and keep them very clean, which is much easier here than where I used to live.
So she waves that thing around and I swat a little at it and she’s really excited and tells me how wonderful I am. And I swat again, and she goes on and on. That’s how I play with her. Get it? I may not have grown up with humans and lived as a feral cat for most of my life, but I’m still a cat and I have natural charms that work on humans. I can get her to swing that thing around all day.
Except when I forget and actually leap for it!
Then I scratch up and down my scratching cone and swat at the ribbons and the mousie and when I settle down she pets me. That’s how we do things. I really like to be petted just about any time, and I get petted as soon as she comes in the room and all the time she’s in there. I’ve also developed this strange habit of rubbing on her legs, I don’t know where it came from but I just do it because it feels good, and it makes her pet me more.
But when I’m playing I use all my assets on everything I touch. So when we play, she uses toys only and I’m ready!
And then I listen to how pretty I am.
Make no mistake about it, we cats understand everything you say, and just like you humans do with each other and with us, we only react to the things we like.
I’ve learned a lot about being a regular cat. I really didn’t like the way I lived before. Once I was in that trap somehow I understood this was a good thing. I didn’t want to go back. I didn’t know anything at all about talking to humans then, but somehow she understood that I was different from the others. I spent a long time with another person just getting used to being inside and watching other cats play with the human, and I learned a lot. It looked like fun, but I didn’t know how to do it. They gave me toys and catnip, and they gently picked me up now and then, but mostly I stayed in my cage. It was good, and I felt very safe and happy.
And then I came here and had a whole small room. At first that frightened me but this human helped me feel better and I understood the whole room was mine, and we would share it. Each day I’ve learned a little more about how to live with humans. And I look out the window, and I move things around, and I eat, and I inspect the tub. It’s all good.
Getting good photos of Mariposa over this hot month has been difficult. I keep the bathroom where she fosters fairly dim with the shade pulled down to where the window screen starts, making clear photos almost impossible. Then she’s in constant motion, which I don’t want to discourage. And she was just a little uncertain of my DSLR, so I’ll wait another week or two to use it.
It’s a very small room and heats up quickly, and in the most recent extreme heat, 95 degrees with a real feel of about 105, that tiny room was also in the 90s. With the help of a friend and benefactor I was able to get a portable air conditioner that worked perfectly, though it took up just enough of the floor space to make doing just about anything in there difficult. But Mariposa, with all that fur, could easily go into heat stroke, and when she didn’t settle in one spot or stay with the frozen bottle of water I put next to her, I knew we had to do something. She isn’t quite socialized enough to be packed up and sent off to another foster’s house. As a benefit the unit is also one that could cool my entire upstairs in the future, as well as act as an all-temperature dehumidifier so that I have an extra for the basement.
So we slowed down the play and some of the petting for the past week but picked right up over the weekend when the rains came and I actually had to close the windows.
She really does weave around my legs, something she just grew into in the past two weeks. It’s such a cat thing, and so exciting to see her do that. When I sit on the floor she walks all over my legs and my lap and even settles down on my lap for a few minutes at a time.
It’s not quite time to introduce her to the family yet. She needs some more time with a calming collar, I need a new baby gate to put across the bottom of the door, and I’ll need to get things organized up here before I let her loose upstairs. But we are well on our way.
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Many of my readers have often been generous in helping with the costs associated with rescues and other issues needing funding. Long ago I began a program I called “Donate For a Discount”. I will give you a gift certificate toward shopping on my website in thanks—for every $25.00 you donate in goods or cash I’ll give you a gift certificate for $5.00 off a minimum $25.00 purchase. You can read more about it on this page on Portraits of Animals.
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