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Cats

Wednesday Feb 7, 2018
Betty and I thought it would be fun to have an animal.
A big dog, like maybe a golden retriever, we greatly enjoyed one, takes some effort -
    - exercize
    - the biologicals

We thought maybe a kitty cat would be about
    our size and energy level.

After visiting the shelters in Fremont and Hayward
    we were advised it was a little too early
    in the season for young cats and kitties.

Casting about for "private" adoption agencies, we came across "Dusty Paws", with an office in Castro Valley.
http://www.dustypawsrescue.org/adoptable-pets/home-ready-cats
that had a cute young cat called Figaro

We filled in the adoption form and were contacted in a few hours by
    Kathy Clayworth
    Dusty Paws Rescue volunteer foster
    510-402-8490
    kball2@earthlink.net

She said that she would be in Union City the next day (Thurs Feb 10, 2018)
   and she could bring Figaro and littermate Hunter.
   That sounded great, the two could play together.

Thursday Feb 8, 2018
Thursday 11 AM arrived, and so did Kathy, bearing cats, litter, litter box, wet food, dry food, toys, and forms.
We were advised that there was a trial period of 8 to 10 days to see if we (Betty, Ed, house, cats) were a good match.

Kathy took out the reluctant kitties from her carrier,
    and they promptly hid under a couch.
Kathy advised us that they might stay hidden for up to 2 days.

Saturday Feb 10, 2018
And they did stay hidden for two days.
   Nor did they touch the canned food nor kitty litter.
Saturday noon came, and Betty reported that there was urine in a throw rug in the kitchen.
She wanted to move them from under the couch to her office.

About then, we got the following message from Kathy
"They spent the first 3 to 4 weeks with me hiding under a short set of stairs between my 2 cat rooms. I eventually put pillows and blankets under the stairs so it made it more difficult for them to hide there. I am surprised they didn't come out to eat their wet food as they love that. But, when they are real hungry, they will eat."

Betty laid plastic over the carpet in her office, over which she laid the large kitchen rug. Also the food, water, litter box, and bed box were moved into her office.

Time to move the reluctant cats. We finally had to turn over the couch and overstuffed chairs in the living room. Hunter dashed into the open door to Betty's prepared office,
and Figaro dashed into the kitchen, up the cloth curtains, and into the little space above the kitchen cabinets.

This is little improvement, so Betty got a fish net and step ladder and approached Figaro. The next thing I saw was Figaro "flying" through the air, in a long arc - then hiding under the overturned couch. She highly resisted going into the open door to Betty's office. So we returned the living room to "normal" except that Figaro was hiding under something.

So we set up another litter box, water dish, food dish, and let Figaro win win as Ninja kitty.

I am beginning to think we are on mission impossible with those two cats.

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Thoughts: - mission impossible ??
Maybe a small dog - some mellow breed ?
The first dog Ed had as a kid was some version of Sheltie -
but that is an energetic dog that also needs mental challanges

Then sister Reta received a Cocker Spaniel "Snooks"-
but brother Ed called the dog "Puddles" for a characteristic when she got excited :-(

Feb 26, 2018 - a 16 day pause in this report -
There has been slow progress -
About 4 days after the last report we saw Figaro watching us from behind an inversion table and plants in the living room - about 5 feet from where we think she and Hunter hide - in/under a reclining chair -
Cats are eating and using the kitty litter box properly.

About 4 days later, Figaro watch us from the hallway, maybe 10 feet away.
Now we see Figaro almost daily - from a "safe" distance.
We hope Hunter is still alive, no bad smells is a hopeful sign.

Another 4 days, Betty reports playing with Figaro with a toy Kathy left for us.
Hey, a little later, Figaro comes by and I get to play with her.
These toys are attached to string attached to a little pole about 3 feet long.

Feb 26, 2018 - Just after midnight
Yesterday Betty reported seeing Hunter -

Just after midnight, in my "office", Figaro was playing with toys and wrestling with a throw-rug "as usual", and there was Hunter, in the background - in the hallway -

Aug 3, 2018 - Dear Diary
Much progress. Figaro and Hunter recognize that we are not active threats. We can't really pet Hunter, but he hangs around and now sniffs us without recoiling with fear. The litter box has been replaced with a thing that can "rock" 90 degrees to help sift big clumps, and we have settled on a more expensive kitty litter.
We have settled into this (more expensive, $0.75/pound) kitty litter.
And we have placed this cat jungle in a handy place.
Note the added scratch pads and the scratch damage to one of the posts
And added several scratch pads in the hall. Note the debris around the bottom. This seven days after vacuuming up the previous mound.
And are thinking about installing this (home built) cat door into a window opening.