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Socializing a feral: The story of Lucky - Page 10

post #271 of 369
Well, I haven't been online for several days. We have finished the remodeling of the bedroom and therefore, yesterday we opened the other bedroom door (Lucky's room).

She is still very tentative about coming out of there. She'll get about 2 feet out and then run like all heck back in that room. Tonight she was a bit more curious and ventured into the newly remodeled bedroom, but kept running back into her room. Later on, Kitty and Lucky got into a "little" scuffle (gosh, it is SO hard to let them be and not intervene). Nobody got hurt and it surprisingly didn't deter Lucky from investigating outside her room afterwards. In fact, I believe she was actually looking for Kitty again. I think Lucky is willing to allow Kitty to be the Queen Cat because she usually backs down. I feel for Kitty because she's so old now and wants to make sure she's the Top Cat (even over the dog ). Later on our dog went and laid down in the room and Lucky was very curious and just watched her from her perch on the window. Then, she hopped onto the bed and hung her head way off (I thought she was going to fall on the dog she was leaning so far off).

We'll see what tomorrow brings. We've been shutting the door at night and trying to take this slow, but each night we see Lucky venturing out a little bit more and seeming a wee bit more confident. I must mention, when I went in by her tonight she gave me SO many head butts it was amazing. She's a little lover. My brother-in-law was in that room yesterday and she didn't hiss at him, but she didn't go by him either. Now, instead of hiding under the bed when she's frightened, she retreats behind the drapes at one of the windows and lays on the headboard. I think she can see through the drapes (even though we can't see her - only her shadow if it's light out) so she feels safe.

She's come a LONG way. I only hope things continue on fairly well and this isn't the calm before the storm.

To be continued...:tounge2:
post #272 of 369
All three of you have come a long way together! Great job!!!
post #273 of 369
Howdy all!

I think everyone was okay with renaming this thread so that the content would be clearer. I hope you like the new name! If you have a better name idea, please let Laurie or I know and one of us will make the change.

Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story will all of us!
post #274 of 369
I confess that I am addicted to Lucky's story. Of course, if Miss Kitty has seniority, she deserves respect and the position of alpha cat (dog). We don't want her feelings hurt. I'm so glad Lucky and Kitty have made a start. Dogs are usually very anxious to make friends, but your dog is exceptionally brave! This is getting "excitinger" and "excitinger."
post #275 of 369
Oh Debby, somehow I missed the news about Spike! I'm so, so sorry to hear it. My prayers are with you and Spike.

Sandi - Jeanie really hit the nail on the head.

This is getting "excitinger" and "excitinger."

They have had a bit of time to get used to each other through the screen - and it sure sounds like things are going really well so far! Got my fingers crossed. I loved hearing about Lucky craning her neck so far you thought she was going to fall off the bed onto the dog! You've done so much for this little girl. You'll have a happy whole family real soon. :tounge2:
post #276 of 369
Lucky and I are so honored that so many of you are living vicariously through this thread with us and enjoying the "taming/socializing" of our feral girl.

Today Lucky spent a lot of the day in luxury - curled up on the middle of the bed in her blanket. When I walk in there she meows a cute little sound and comes up to me for pets and kisses. (I'm absolute butter in her paws when she shows me all this love :tounge2: ). Usually, it's in the evening around 8 or so when she dares to leave the security of "her" room. For some reason, she's anxious to investigate the hedgehog room. I've got a sneaking suspicion, it's because Kitty has some blankets in there under the heat vent (where Miss Kitty LOVES to sleep) and Lucky wants to investigate this further.

There's definitely a pattern here - when she was outside, you'll remember me telling how she'd dare to come up to the food we put out - each day getting a bit closer, but if we'd come out off she'd go to the fenced area behind/beside the garage. Well...it's the same sort of thing...if she gets spooked - she runs to her "safe room".

Tonight, Kitty did enter Lucky's room and they both "meatloafed" (thanks, Heidi, for the description ) for a bit and stared at each other. Then, almost at the same time they got up and Kitty ran (as fast as she could for her weight and her age) at Lucky and Lucky scooted under the bed. Oh well...progress. Lucky came out shortly thereafter and Kitty left the room as if she'd gotten her point across. I feel for both of them, but am happy this day has finally come.

Do you all think we should be leaving the screen door open ALL the time - even when we're gone? We thought for the first week or so, we'd shut that door when we left home for any length of time. I'm open to any opinions or advice.

Thanks for enjoying our story - my hope is that someone else will get answers and help from our experience.
post #277 of 369
I think you're wise to take your time. It seems to be working well that way. Let them learn to tolerate each other and then become friends-hopefully.
post #278 of 369
Sandi, since this has become a sticky I forgot to see when you updated it! Sounds like you are making a lot of progress with Lucky, and with the whole family. Lucky is such a brave little girl to go exploring so much. Ophelia has her safe zone, too, and we make sure each time we've moved to establish that area for her. This last time she didn't come out of the bedroom for a good 3 days when we moved, and it is definitely the place she escapes to. Lucky will probably always run to her room when something happens that makes her uncomfortable. Ophelia runs into our room whenever someone comes in the front door (including us, we often just see Ophelia hiney when we come home until we say her name and she recognizes our voices), when she wants to escape from Trent (that doesn't always help), when there's a loud noise outside or inside. Needless to say, closed doors are not allowed at my house.
post #279 of 369
Hi Sandi! Just wanted you to know I still think about Lucky and the gang!!!! Any recent stories to share? Did you find Miss Kitty and Lucky curled up together yet? LOL! Or Lucky and your hedgehog?

Just wondering how things are going....

post #280 of 369
We need our "Lucky fix.!" Let's hear the news.
post #281 of 369

Lucky and Kitty had a tiny encounter the other night. Lucky had skulked her way to the porch room and I was in the kitchen watching (on the phone) and all of a sudden Kitty comes walking around the corner with a mission. I called to my s/o that we might have a problem, which brought our dog (barking) to the end of the hall by the linen closet. So, Kitty meets up with Lucky and Lucky dodges Kitty (who reaches out a front paw to swat Lucky but misses) - when Lucky encounters Snickers (black lab wagging her tail furiously). I think Lucky skidded and just about hit the door to the linen closet and then like a bolt of lightning made it around the corner to the "safe" room. It was a riot, but I was just standing there in shock at how quick that little one can run. Needless to say, Lucky didn't venture out of that room for the rest of the night.

I keep telling Kitty she's got to allow Lucky to come out and explore a bit more. Today when I was getting their "wet" food ready, Lucky came out into the hall, but as soon as she got a glimpse of Kitty, off to the room she ran. Whenever Kitty enters that room, Lucky will hiss a bit and then hightail it under the bed. She always comes out right away (after Kitty leaves). It's slow going, but the door is OPEN all the time now (even when we're gone - as Lucky has plenty of places to hide where the other girls can't get to her).

I'm so hoping that someday I'll find Kitty and Lucky have figured out their differences and become friends. Lucky is VERY curious about Snickers - and she runs to the hedgehog room any time she can to get a peek at Needles. I had to put the screen cover back on my hedgie's cage - just so no one gets hurt. Lucky is very intrigued by that prickly girl.

That's all the news for now. I'll try to keep you updated on a more timely basis. :tounge2:
post #282 of 369
Thread Starter 
Oh thanks for the update!!!! Snickers must have really surprised Lucky!!!! I think it's sweet she wants to look in at Needles all the time and I loved the picture you sent of them! You should post it here!!!
post #283 of 369
Sandi, thanks!!!! LOL - Miss Kitty still has the gumption (spelling?) to be top cat!

And I agree with Debby - it's such a cute pic!

post #284 of 369
Okay - today Kitty was in Lucky's room investigating (Lucky was on her perch snoozing away). Well, I happened to look in on them and here Lucky was on the perch looking more like a giraffe than a cat (her neck was craned so far). It turns out Kitty decided to use Lucky's litterbox. Was Kitty "marking" that litterbox - or leaving her scent behind for Lucky, or what? We'd never had a litterbox in that room before Lucky came along. Now, of course, we'll be leaving that on in there and I did figure both cats would use all the litterboxes eventually. I didn't know if I should scoop it out right away (I did) or leave it there? I didn't want Lucky to feel ousted or something and stop using that litterbox. Your thoughts, please?!

Crazy. I wish so badly that Kitty would accept Lucky and vice versa. I know, I know...patience...
post #285 of 369
Lucky comes at me angrily

I am feeling SO bad. Lucky was after some electrical cords tonight and I told her "no" and I was feeling a bit panicked (I guess - and she must have picked up on that). She ran behind the couch and started to hiss and come out at me with teeth bared and claws grabbing at the top of the couch (meant for me?). My husband (who she seems to favor) came out and she ran into his bedroom).

I know a lot of you are probably wondering why I hadn't sprayed those cords with Bitter Apple or something, but these were the cords behind the fishtank and I honestly didn't think she'd fit behind the darn thing. At first I thought she was stuck behind it, but then she started at the cords and I got worried that she'd electrocute herself.

Should I just kind of leave her be for the next day or so - just feeding her and scooping her litterbox out. I'm a bit worried if she reacted to me this way that Kitty will really be in for it when Lucky stops running away from her when she approaches.

HELP! It sounds stupid, but I was totally taken aback when she reacted to me this way - things have been going SO well lately...and now this...
post #286 of 369
Hi Sandi,

I wouldn't worry too much, cats can have moods too, if when you approach Lucky she appears mad still, back off and let her come to you again...

I never put bitter apple on my wires, cause only Leo went after them, when I said no, and took him away from there, after a few times he understood, he may still swat them from time to time, but never chew...but they are wrapped up, and no water, so no real danger...

Lucky will forgive you if she is mad, she was probably a bit shocked at your discipliary action, which she never was exposed to. Give her time, she will eventually learn the "no" means she should stop what she is doing, just don't yell, a firm no should do.

My cats jump on the kitchen counter, I don't mind when I am not cooking, but when I am, I look at them and say "down", they jump right off (this after after picking them up and putting them down the first few times).

you are a good kitty mommy, and we all can't be too careful, stuff happens...

it will pass, and she will show you love again soon!
post #287 of 369
Sandi - you know your question about the litterbox I just don't know the answer to!

Maybe PM Mary Anne? I'd think it's OK to let them use whatever litterbox they want. Lucky will have to get used to it sometime! Our ferals are VERY fastidious about using a box, so I doubt that Miss Kitty using "Lucky's" litterbox would cause her to not use it.... ?????

And Cookie's right. Our cats definitely have moods. She was probably more scared than angry, and just didn't know what you were doing. Our cats usually get over whatever it was that was bothering them after a good long nap.
post #288 of 369
Thanks Anita and Laurie.

I was a bit startled and shocked, I guess, and I had posted when it was still quite fresh in my mind. This morning I just kind of ignored Lucky a little. I was doing some cleaning in my bedroom and she came in and hopped up on the bed. I had just put the down comforter on the bed yesterday and she had actually been on it last night with no type of reaction - just cuddled down a little. This morning - she was a cat possessed! The full moon isn't due until Wed. I believe. Anyhow, she would lay stretched out and roll all around - then jump around on it and do the rolling thing again - then sniff at it. Crazy. After I left the room, she left as well. I did start talking to her, but I was thinking, maybe we're a little too overbearing with her. I mean, we're always checking on her to make sure she doesn't get into mischief or hurt herself. I think I'm going to back off a bit and hopefully she won't get hurt. I think I've pretty much cat-proofed as much as possible, but you know how that goes...

Anyhow...I'm hoping things will get back to "normal" soon. Miss Kitty has been tolerating Lucky, but no real breakthrough yet. I'm worried about Kitty a bit - she's really slowing down, so who knows??? That's for another thread.
post #289 of 369
Sandi, I could be wrong, so use your best judgment. My cats both jump up on the love seat and do the "rolling" thing when they want petting. It started when my female was in heat, and wanted my husband to pet her. After she was spayed, the behavior continued, and my male has started to copy her behavior. Then she gets very jealous, and sits and wags her tale, and gives Blueberry dirty looks!
post #290 of 369
yup the rolling thing is a female thing, both my females do it, Piper though, I don't know if she wants pets, because if we go close to her when she is rolling, she runs away, but she always does it after we give her a treat of fresh cooked meat, so I think it her way of saying, thank-you, you made me happy and content by feeding me the treats I love! My other female is not spayed yet, and also bugs the crap out of my husband for pets. she is getting over an URI so we can't spayed her till she is 100% ok...

My Leo doesn't roll, but lies down and shows me his belly to greet me when i come home...

so in other words, the rolling is a good thing, sign of happiness, and you can find out if Lucky wants pets when rolling just by trying!
post #291 of 369
Thanks Jeanne and Anita.

I'm glad to hear that Piper is coming around quite a bit, Anita. I remember way back when she was a bit more timid. I've got to catch up on some of the posts I've neglected.

I think everything is back to normal. I just kind of left her some extra space yesterday and she has been searching me out a little bit at a time. Also, she ended up throwing up a small hairball yesterday morning. We had a 40 degree drop in temperature in one day so maybe that affected her as well. Who knows.

Thanks and I'll keep you informed.
post #292 of 369
thanks Sandi,
and yes Piper has changed a lot since we got a third cat!, she even jumps on our laps now and rubbs us.. she only runs when certain people come over, and from us if we startle her! She is still feral, in that she must approach us for pets, or she runs but not in fear anymore, her tail is not wagging like before in fact she walks with it straight up alot more! this are big changes for Piper and I am so happy for her, she is much happier and alert, exploring things she would never do before! (starting to act like a cat finally!)
post #293 of 369
Sandi, lucky for us cats don't hold grudges for very long. The hairball could have been a reason why she reacted the way she did. Trent always acts a bit funny when he has a hairball, but he's such a Mommy's Boy that he just wants more cuddles like "Mommy, I don't feel so good, hold me and rub my tummy to make it all better."

Trent wiggles or rolls when he wants pets too. Ophelia doesn't want us when she wiggles, like Piper she runs if we approach her when she's wiggling.

Anita, we've had Ophelia for over 3 years and she still runs from strangers and when we startle her. That's a feral's best way of defense - run from danger. Sounds like you've done wonders for Piper, and every once in a while she'll surprise you with another breakthrough that you didn't expect.
post #294 of 369
Isn't it about time for some pictures, Sandi?
post #295 of 369
Okay - I'll get on it.
post #296 of 369
Here's one on the window.
post #297 of 369
Last one for now.
post #298 of 369
Oh gosh, Sandi - she's getting so big!!! (Or gotten so big!) To me our Spooky looks like a very light version of your Lucky. Tan where Lucky is brown. (Although I guess Spooky has some dark brown stripes). But it's that sweet face...

None of our kitties wiggle! They'll stretch out, and sometimes roll over - but only Spooky VERY occassionally likes her tummy rubbed.

And our kitties all run from other people. As a matter of fact, Shelly's the only one that doesn't run from the door being opened or closed!

post #299 of 369
Well, we've learned a lot about Lucky from those pictures. He's interested in icthyology, ornithology, and hedonism-fish, birds, and pure pleasure! A typical kitty and beautiful too!
post #300 of 369
Thank you for the beautiful compliment about our pretty girl. We, of course, think she's lovely, but we're biased. I'll have to post the one where she's watching our hedgehog eat. She's definitely a curious cat (like there's one that isn't? ).

Tonight we went to the Humane Society with my brother and his family. There's a 10 week old kitten (a bit darker and with a little more white/beige than Lucky) that my niece is really interested in adopting. My sister-in-law couldn't make it so they're hoping the little one is still going to be available tomorrow. A real cutie. I must say, it was terribly hard to leave that place without bringing one (if not more) of those cats home.
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