Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Life with Goldfish

**a post by the mom

When I agreed (ok - admitted) that Goldfish was staying and becoming a permanent member of the house, I knew it would be a challenge.
but look at that face!!

That girl had some serious trust issues. And honestly, I didn't want another situation like we have with Junior - where he lives here and is fine with the other cats but runs from me even if I just walk within four feet of him.

I was willing to accept her limitations if that is what it came down to, but I was hoping for more. I did get lucky in a couple of circumstances - she was younger than Junior when they both came here, and I know more about cats and ferals and behavior now than I did then. 

Crash and her minion

Without realizing it at the time, I got lucky on another front. Goldfish started to really learn how to be a cat once she was released into the house. OK - so she was learning from the resident weird cat (Chanel), but she was still learning. much as Chanel is a little weird about some things, she is mostly fearless. She isn't afraid of people coming in the house, she isn't afraid of noises, heck she isn't afraid of the vacuum cleaner. Now if people come over, Chanel comes out and Goldfish will venture out slowly. I don't call Goldfish the "minion" for nothing.

Fairly quickly Goldfish developed a habit I have come to love. She followed Chanel up on the bed at night and then got pretty friendly with me so long as I was laying down. Then she started sleeping right NEXT to me. Now she runs into the bedroom when I head in that direction and jumps up on the bed looking for attention. I have even been able on more than one occasion to actually pet her while standing next to the bed.

I take it in baby steps and completely at her speed. I tried sitting on the floor this winter and offering her treats. She was pretty took her about 20 minutes to come very close and even then she wouldn't come closer than my ankles. I am going to keep trying though. The nice part is that she is food motivated so I have that in my favor.

But there was something new this past weekend. She came over and rubbed against my ankles. I reached over from the chair where I was reading and she rubbed into my hand (that is the routine - she has to bump my hand and then I can run my hand down her body - one hand only thank you though). She came over and we went through the routine for several minutes - until Daiquiri batted the toy out of the kitchen and then she was off and running. Check it out:

In case I was afraid it was a fluke - she did it again this weekend. She had been asleep on the cat ladder by the window. She woke up and when I called her name, she chirped and came over for some attention.

I doubt she will ever be a lap cat. No one here currently really is so she isn't going to learn that from anyone (Ivy will occasionally but not on a regular basis).

The one big concern I have with her is her annual vet check due in October. I don't want to grab her from the bed since that is our safe space. I do have gabapentin on hand and plan to put that in some food. Hopefully that will slow her down enough that I can catch her and get her in a carrier (without losing a finger). Hopefully she will forgive me for it fairly quickly. And yes....the vet will get fair warning.  haha


  1. Great video of Goldfish letting you scratch her. She looks like a happy cat. I have some here that I can't scratch. It is frustrating.Good job that you are earning her trust slowly but surely. Have a great day.

  2. Aw that makes my heart happy :)

  3. I bet your heart just burst with joy.. :)

    Have you considered doing Rescue Remedy with her or even going up to CBD? Both helped Eli a great deal with his paranoia, the CBD was a huge thing for him and he was a teenager by that point.. He even gave the cable guys whatfor..

  4. Cats learn from other cats! I couldn't get close to Angel Sammy or Sweetie outside, until Paddy O'Malley appeared. The PO'M has allowed us to pet him since early days, and then whatdoyouknow...Sammy and Sweetie began looking for attention too! Glad to hear that Goldfish and Chanel are buds!

  5. I love seeing so much progress with Goldfish! It took Boodie a long time to trust the humans, and even longer to not hide when strangers came over... but eventually she did.

  6. Yay for your progress, Goldfish ! We're so happy to see that you're trusting your human more and more, at your pace. Purrs

  7. goldfish; after 16 years; I still am a cat's cat and have actually only allowed 4 people to touch me; about 7 to see me, and I really like it that way ~~~~~~~~~

    hugs from dai$y =^..*= ♥♥♥

  8. OMG! I know how sweet that is! Just yesterday, Hamlet hopped up on my desk and came over to stand on my mousepad tall with tail up and blink slowly at me, the signal he really wants pets. The rest of the household do this all the time. It's the first time he did it, and he was all into it, even when Giuseppe came up next to him for his pets. Hamlet has been with me since September 2015. His sister was adopted after 18 months. A couple months ago, he sat on the edge of a kitchen cabinet and blinked at Dr. Michelle who actually had the chance to pet him.

    I keep carriers out and play games with the red dot and treats prior to vet visits. It's the only time I do that. Hopefully that will help if you need it.

  9. I know what you went through. My Raleigh is currently running from me when I get too close, even if I am just passing by. He had been improving, even after a vet visit yesterday. But I had to give him eye-drops this morning and now he is back to where he was almost a year ago.

  10. You’re certainly making progress with her. She’s lucky to have Chanel to learn from (hopefully she won’t learn the weird stuff ;) ).

  11. I love how cats learn from each other! How wonderful that the new one would eventually come up on the bed - and next to you!!! Great video! you really have some great skills re: domestication.

    Bless you for your efforts!

    Check out my homeless cat blog archives about the abandoned/feral cat colony I manage.

    Debby in Arizona

  12. Oh! We love this. Way to go, letting Goldfish be herself, and being patient. :)

  13. Good work with Goldfish, and way to go Miss Goldfish. You'll find mom bean is darn nice.

    Our Saku was a little like that when he was young, not very friendly and definitely not a lap cat. But now that there are only he and Sasha, he's become a real suck and likes to spend lots of time on the mom bean's lap. Maybe Goldfish will do that too.

  14. I am glad Goldfish is becoming more personable.


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