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Dr. Porsche. Opinions needed from other cat fans...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello everybody, first time poster here, neat forum!
Anyway, I've had cats most of my life and my wife and me just recently moved to Vancouver. After we settled in, we checked out a couple of local SPCAs looking for the right cat.
I connected with this brown-tabby purr factory. He was a bit shy at first but as soon as you spend a little time with him, he is very very loving cat. His named him Ferdinand (hance the thread title).

He's been with us for 5 days now and is getting better and better. Very intelligent, cuddly and quiet. After a vet visit we got a confirmation that he's 2, just as I suspected.
Each night he spent with us, he spent more and more time on our bed, from zero to a couple of hours last night. He also started playing with me quite a bit last 2 days.


However, something is happening now that is very strange. My wife was on the bed(same bed we sleep on) talking on the phone to her sister. I brought him in the room already purring(it's easy to turn his engine on) and we were going to get the phone(cordless, looks like a remote) closer to him so her sister hears this guy's motor running.
And then, as I was bringing him on the bed to the phone he absolutely went NUTS! I let him go right away since he wanted to get away in panic but he did manage to scratch me a bit, my wife a bit more and put two considerable sized tears in the bed cover. He WAS NOT aggressive towards us, but was trying to get away. Something freaked him out of his mind. He spent next hour on the window ledge, too afraid to come down. He reacts ok to us, seems safe around us two, purrs and wants to be pet. However, he's very alert, looking around the room and checking out all the windows.
An hour after the incident My wife came with her slippers on which he was staring at. I brought one closer to him in very slow-mo so he could smell it and check it out and he freaked out again and shot out of room.

Now he's on the kitchen window which ne never visits so he's obviously trying to get away.

I am thinking he might have been beaten with an object approx. 1' in length. He's two and he came to the SPCA as a stray but already neutered so he might have been someone's cat.


Any educated opinions/guesses on this? I have cats for a long time and a Siamese at my mom's freaks out around other cats but I have never encountered something like this...then again, I have never had an SPCA cat either.


P.S> This is the phone we have:



And Ferdinand with my wife...

and by himself:
post #2 of 18
Hi, first I have to ask what I'm missing here title-wise (I thought Ferdinand was a bull, who didn't want to 'fight'). Anyhow, he's adorable (and your wife looks like a nice person). Don't assume the phone is some reminder of an awful past for him. Cats freak out at all kinds of things for reasons that don't always make sense to us and that might seem silly if we did get it. It's just as likely he was afraid of the voice at the other end that he picked up from a few feet away (cats' ears are so good) or it might just have been the act of your having been so deliberate about bringing him to the phone that made him nervous, or having created carpet static on your way to it without your realizing it, who knows? But he'll get over it soon as long as it isn't repeated. Try 'recording' his purr some other way that (got an old video cam?) from farther away, or just be convinced the other person has heard purring before and gets how cute it is. While cats seem to concentrate for ages on prey, their attn. span is really pretty short (half the time mine fall asleep while concentrating) but will do the drama queen (or king) routine over the tiniest thing if their routine is changed.
post #3 of 18
He's lovely!

I wouldn't assume that he's been abused necessarily, even the most well-balanced cats can be unaccountably terrified of the strangest things.

My Sonic detests plastic bags and will run away from them all puffed up. He came from a great breeder who treated him brilliantly and he's never had a bad experience with a plastic bag, he just objects to them horribly!

I imagine that once your cat was feeling anxious having been spooked by the phone he was a bit on edge and more easily frightened by other things. I'm sure he'll calm down given a bit of time to himself! You probably just have to accept that he's not going to be that chatty if you phone him anytime
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
LOL, yeah I know cats get freaked out over strangest things, but this was really strange. As I said, I've had quite a few cats so far, but none of them were shelter cats.
In fact, all but one were strays that I "adopted" from the street.
This morning he's doing better but he did not come into the bedroom last night(I didn't think he would). He's also still very aware of things and on guard. Some sounds scare him a lot, I sniffled and he twitched... a couple of times!
That will probably take a few days.
The positive is that while frightened he's acting very affectionate towards me and wife and while I'm near him he tries to get as close to me as he can.



As for the name, Ferdinand Porsche is the founder of Porsche(as in vroom vroom). And it's funny, this Ferdinand seems tame(despite the freakout) and not very eager to fight, just like the bull.

And another pic I took, he's laying in the very spot he tore up a couple of days later!
post #5 of 18
One of my cats just decided one day to be scared to death of the feather on a little cat toy. I had to throw it away, because he went berserk! It was odd, but, so is Moose. Who knows why some cats just go goofy over what we perceive is nothing!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clpeters23 View Post
One of my cats just decided one day to be scared to death of the feather on a little cat toy. I had to throw it away, because he went berserk! It was odd, but, so is Moose. Who knows why some cats just go goofy over what we perceive is nothing!
Right now, he's scared of almost anything. I was just stroking his hair and I touched his back foot(which he to my surprise doesn't mind being touched), and he jolted up.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
UPDATE
After 36 hrs, he is doing better. Last night he played a bit and wanted to be pet very bad. Still, he'd jolt at the strangest sounds even while being pet so we have to exercise caution to avoid getting scratched by mistake.
He still did not enter the bedroom but he walked up to bathroom which is next to it, and that is something he was scared to do earlier in the day.
All in all, seems like he will go back to normal today or tomorrow maybe, although it could be a while before he sleeps on the bed again.
I just don't want it to happen again and it's hard to prevent when I don't know what triggered it in the first place! \t
post #8 of 18
Ruling out any medical issues, it's almost impossible to predict what will scare a cat, especially one who seems to freak out over anything at any time! I have one of those too.
post #9 of 18
I bet he's just on edge still because of his new surroundings. I have to say though, that the picture of your wife petting him as he laid on his back shows (to me) that he already has a great amount of trust in her at least. Most cats I know aren't comfortable being pet like that unless they really trust you. My Wickett loves being pet like that at bed time. He also freaks out at any thing unfamiliar... which for your cat, right now, is everything. It should get better as he gets more and more familiar with his surroundings but I suspect he'll always be suspicious of new things.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
I bet he's just on edge still because of his new surroundings. I have to say though, that the picture of your wife petting him as he laid on his back shows (to me) that he already has a great amount of trust in her at least. Most cats I know aren't comfortable being pet like that unless they really trust you. My Wickett loves being pet like that at bed time. He also freaks out at any thing unfamiliar... which for your cat, right now, is everything. It should get better as he gets more and more familiar with his surroundings but I suspect he'll always be suspicious of new things.
That is why it caught me off guard, the fact that he is so comfortable. I have never had a cat that likes being pet on the stomach so much!
He just absolutely loves it!
And he has no problems with two of us, in fact he seems to find comfort if we touch him. But it's the sounds, objects and shadows that get him.
post #11 of 18
You may just have a scardy cat on your hands. After 2 years in the same house with the same people Wickett still freaks out at little stuff... like the dryer buzzing. Last night ne spazzed out on the couch for no aparent reason. I went to pet him and caught him off gaurd and he bolted!
post #12 of 18
My Sho will sometimes get jumpy over objects too, even those that he's lived with and seen every day.
In his case it's because he didn't get a good look at it.

Could you try leaving the phone down on a surface the cat lays or walks on? Not yet, maybe in a few days when he's settled. You'll probably see him slowly approach it, once he gets a good sniff of it he should hopefully lose his fear.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I think that might be the case. But the degree of "freak out" was unbelievable. He was insane at that moment.
And, I have never seen a cat run along a vertical wall!!! He did that, to go around the bed, he had to make a sharp turn and instead of sliding on the hardwood, he jumed on the wall and ran about 3 steps along it. Unreal!!
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, another update.
He's being better, sleeps on the arm chair, plays etc.
I picked him up a couple of times as well. But, when I picked him up and put down on the couch where my wife was laying, he freaked out again and hissed. He acted normal right until I actually put him down. We are in Vancouver which is a bit too humid for static to develop.
He freaked out less this time though, he walked 1/2 way across the living room floor and stopped, looking back at the couch. Again ,when I pet him he's just fine with that. But this really puzzles me...especially since he was great on the way back from the SPCA. He was also ok when we took him to the vet, was not freaking out and did not seemed scared at all, just a bit alert.
post #15 of 18
Is it possible your wife is wearing new hand lotion or hairspray or something that smells different (though I suppose not as he probably is ok with her apart from those times)?
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Have't thought of that, but I don't think that's the case. I don't want to create any incidents again, but I'd like to put him down on the couch w/o her or the blanket on it.
However, it's leather so that 'experiment' might ruin it.

What sucks is that he's claws are really long and I just bought the clippers that day and wanted to trim it but the whole thing happened before I got the chance to. And now I won't be able to for a while...
post #17 of 18
A clue, a clue! My female M. Coon never likes our leather furniture, and it's quite possible it has some odor they don't like either. Try a diff. location for starters, but even then don't dump her right on your wife or the couch, maybe just in the immed. area til she's more comfortable.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
A clue, a clue! My female M. Coon never likes our leather furniture, and it's quite possible it has some odor they don't like either. Try a diff. location for starters, but even then don't dump her right on your wife or the couch, maybe just in the immed. area til she's more comfortable.
Will practice! LOL
I don't think it's the leather since the original incident happened on our bed, the one you see here:
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