(From Sunday) Sienna thinks we should just curl up with a good cat book on this cold and cloudy Sunday.
Maybe Sienna would like to cuddle up with you! She’s a snuggler, a lap cat, a supurrvisor, wildly playful, very affectionate. She can be found all over the house, including the basement, but her favorite spot is the bedroom, in her spot on the bed. She joins me at both of my desks, in my studio, in the bathroom and even the kitchen, and she eats with everyone at every meal. In fact, if I don’t feed her near the beginning she will steal food from others! Basil is always fed first because he will too, but Sienna is fed second now, then everyone else. She feels safe eating on the floor with the rest, and eats whatever I feed her.
She is still somewhat timid and doesn’t come down to greet visitors yet, but she is no longer under the bed when I go upstairs when they are here. Sometimes she is frightened by other things, like when I pick up a dishtowel and it may look like a flying predator or like I’m going to grab her with it. I try not to walk around while they are eating but sometimes I need to grab the phone, or add the half n half to my coffee, and some days she will still run when I start moving, even if I’m not moving toward her, often all the way up to her sanctuary in the bedroom.
I have always felt bad for kitties who were frightened in this way, especially when they couldn’t seem to work their way past it. I’ve been using flower essences with her and that’s probably what brought her so far so quickly, but once she hit a plateau I decided to give her a break for a while and let her adjust on her own. She is slowly improving, but the little momentary reactions are often the most difficult to resolve; once they start into that reaction they can’t turn themselves around except by finding one of their safe places and hiding for a bit.
I’ve seen wonderful results with calming collars on fearful kitties so I decided on Sunday to use a collar on Sienna. I was surprised how easy it was to put on her when she has resisted being handled or petted excessively around her head. I looped the collar through the catch so it would be big enough to get it over her head, rather than putting it around her and trying to buckle it because that’s the moment when many cats, even relaxed ones, really freak out. I had gotten the scent all over my hands, then petted her with the collar and had some love time, and finally slipped it over her head, petted her some more, then adjusted it to fit, and she didn’t even seem to notice. Later I trimmed the end.
Already her reactions to my unexpected movements have eased and she responds to my voice when I tell her it’s okay. Initially, she had growled when she saw two neighbor men across the street, now she doesn’t respond any differently from anyone else. I always go easily on petting but she could still be overstimulated, but that hasn’t been an issue in the past few days. I’ve found with collars that it often takes two or three months to really make a difference, and we are in it for the full effect here. If she is adopted in the meantime, the collars can go with her.
I use Sentry calming collars, and haven’t yet tried another brand, but I may soon do that. I’ve found Hamlet at the same sort of plateau, but he recoiled at the scent of the collar, and it does smell strongly of lavender. I like it, but that’s not a cat thing, so for Hamlet I’m reviewing other brands that don’t have any commercial scent.
You can follow Sienna’s progress from her rescue last December.
Also from the weekend…
Sienna’s true purrsonality emerges. She suffers from the morning crazies and craves belly rubs. To see the “full” story, check the second photo.
If you’d like to add this snuggly, playful tortie to your household, please let me know! She is for adoption through me, and I will still do a veterinarian check and a housing check. She is spayed and is up to date on her vaccines. She is about two years old and what’s cool about that is that she is likely to remain as snuggly and playful as she is now. It’s a great thing to adopt an adult cat!
Donations welcome, or purchase something from my website, below
All of Sienna’s expenses are out of my pocket, along with the food I buy for caretakers who can’t afford to feed 12 cats, and low-cost spays and neuters for feral cats, and other day-to-day expenses of rescuing and helping others with rescue. You can donate for a discount, or just buy something from my website. All of it goes right back into supporting my rescues and my feline family.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book
Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.
Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.
The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun! —