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Update on CJ - the traumatized kitty in Maine - Page 2

post #31 of 67
Hi Sheryl, sorry - I was off the Boards yesterday, really long hours at work right now. But I can't wait to hear about the latest update....and that he's nudging just warms my heart. Way to go~~ lots more work to get through but you are so wonderful to him.
post #32 of 67
Thread Starter 

CJ's still hiding out but he is greeting me with meows and purrs when he hears me coming to his hiding place and if I put my hand just inside the "cave" he will come over to it and rub his head and chin and generally let me rub, pat, and touch the front half of his body. So I can hear him and feel him but he will not come far enough out for me to see him (it's almost like he is embarassed about having only a few inches of his tail left). I'm spending about 20-30 minutes with him each time, giving him his food treat first which he has ignored the last two times seeking out the patting and stroking before eating. All this is so encouraging and I am struggling to resist the temptation to pull him out and try to hold him. I am letting him set the pace, which is defintely tough, as I want him to come out and be with us. But it is very encouraging to see the tiny baby steps he is taking. Cats have such a fragile psyhce.
Moose hugs from Maine,
Sheryl ...and of course CJ
post #33 of 67
Moose hugs?? I can only imagine!
Your news of little CJ is so inspiring. I learned a lot from Sasha that surprised me... for instance, he never looked back, he always seemed to be healing forward; he never held a grudge; he loved me the best he could through all the pain and oh, how he suffered on and off the morphine for 2 weeks; he always wanted to "do better" - he'd push himself to eat with a severed tongue, to groom and clean himself even though he fell over trying to do it (I cried) and he was tenacious in his want to move foward. That's what kept coming through. I feel that from CJ and although they seem fragile and are in some ways, the resiliency Sasha showed was amazing. That's what I learned the most, that with an abundance of love, love can heal just about anything.
Sheryl you are so sensitive and wonderful to him, it just can't be said enough. You have faith in your little one and whisper to him this very fact and he will heal. It's only been 4 weeks-? and look how far he's come. Actually, I am thinking as I write this and at week 4 Sasha was where CJ is...just coming off the antibiotics and starting to look out the windows again...but it was very, very unpredictable and very delicate. He had moved from the upstairs bedrooms to the downstairs and we actually went out to a movie and he did just fine alone for 3 hrs without either Eric or I there for him. ...but we rushed back and gently embraced him for hours after that, though.
We're still here with ya every step of the way~~
Elizabeth and love to our coyote clubbers, huh!!!
post #34 of 67
Sheryl, how is little CJ doing? I am very curious how the weekend went. Post when you can but know that we are all thinking of you~~~
post #35 of 67
Just bumping this for a CJ update!
post #36 of 67
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by cla517
Just bumping this for a CJ update!

It's been a busy week with all the Holiday stuff but the last present is wrapped so I can take time to let everyone know where we are at. CJ is still hiding out in his "cave" in Bill's workshop. He also has another spot that is on top of a pile of lumber that is suspended from the ceiling. He's quite an athlete and has always had a fondeness for heigths. He has set himself to my schedule so he always makes sure he is in the "cave" when I come with his treats. He does not venture out for me to see. I have to reach just inside the dark area to give him his treat. He very firmly rubs his cheeks, ears, and head against my hand. He purrs really loud during these sessions. I talk constantly to him during all of this using a real soft calm voice. So it's about the same. We have moved the main supply of cat food into our bedroom and leave the door open at night. The other two cats wander in and out all night. Our hope is that CJ will start to come in there at night and eat. He used to sleep on our bed every night and maybe the familiar surroundings will jog his memory or give him a little confidence.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.......
Sheryl and CJ....
post #37 of 67
Merry xmas to you and CJ and your family Sheryl! I hope that over the busy holidays he was able to maintain his responsiveness. I must say I do miss reading about him and had grown somewhat attached to your little guy. Now if I felt that from 3000 miles away, I can only surmise how you feel with him right there. Cousin Sasha sends his very best and we want you to know we are still rooting for little adorable CJ.
post #38 of 67
Thread Starter 
Well CJ has weathered the holidays without any setbacks!!!!!! And a little progress.... we moved the food for the other cat's and their water into our bedroom so that they wouldn't be hanging out in the usual places in case Cj decided to venture out and about. We leave our bedroom door open at night and there is a "cat access" door for the cellar as that is where the litter box is. You can see the access door from our bedroom. The other night, I awoke being poked by my husband who wanted me to hear CJ meowing from the cellar stairs. I called his name and made a few meow sounds myself. CJ and I "talked" like this for about 5 minutes and then he came out the door and layed down on the floor right next to the cellar door and meowed to me but that was as far as he came. I stayed in bed and did not go to him as I don't want to do anything he could interpret as my "chasing" him. Last night I awoke in the night to crunching noises coming from the cat food dish. In the low light of the nightlight I could see CJ eating. My husband, who was a sleep, moved and the noise startled CJ and he left for the cellar. But all in all, I would say he is taking baby steps everyday. Slow and steady...

Happy New Year to All of CJ's fans,
Sheryl and CJ
post #39 of 67
Thread Starter 

Good News!!!! Putting the cat food in the bedroom and gently "forcing" CJ to move about the house more has worked. The night before last I caught a couple of shadowy glimpses of him feeding but if I moved he darted out of the bedroom and off to the safety of the cellar stairs. This morning I woke up and noticed a black kitty sitting next to the food dish, which is right in front of a glass patio door, watching the birds at the feeding station right outside. At first, I thought it was our older black cat, Chuckie, as the cat had his back to me. But then I noticed that the cat sitting there did not have Chuckie's distinguishing "torn" ear. It was CJ, sitting and watching the birds just like he used to. Then Chuckie came in and sat next to him and started licking CJ's head and face (he has always taken care of CJ like a mother cat would even though Chuck is a neutered 10 yr. old male). I let this go on for about 5 minutes and then I softly spoke to CJ. He turned his head and looked at me and then went back to watching the birds. He stayed there for about 15 ninutes until Mr. Kitty, 11 yr.old grumpy neutered male coon cat, came over and growled and hissed at CJ. Mr. Kitty is kind of like "mikey" in the Life cereal commercial - he doesn't like anything or anybody except Buddie Moe, the Golden Retiever...Mr. Kitty's only friend. CJ cringed and then took off to his cellar hiding place. Before CJ's accident, he would have chased Mr. Kitty but now he's the low guy on the totem pole. I am sure that that will all work out in time.
This is real progress for CJ. I think that giving him his space for a month and then gently forcing him to start taking baby steps back to his old way of life is the way to go. If we see him lurking anywhere in the house, my husband and I speak to him but have vowed not to try to pick him up or touch him until he comes to us and rubs against us. It's hard... he's a very cute, cuddly Teddy Bear kind of cat and Bill and I both were always holding him and patting him. WILL POWER!!!!
Have a great New Year everyone!!!!!!
Warm, furry hugs from very cold Northern Maine,

Sheryl and CJ
post #40 of 67
Sheryl this is great.
It took Sasha 5 months to recover....so I know you want to scoop him up so bad! But your doing great and because of it he is starting to trust you again. His world view has been altered severely, and he does not see nor respond to the same stimuli in the same way. At some point in the future, you will indeed be able to gently scoop him up in your arms for that first hug.
post #41 of 67
Sheryl this is wonderful news
As E said - I can only imagine how much you want to scoop him up and give him a big cuddle - I can tell you we are all waiting for this day - but it will come in time - and what patience you have at this time

happy new year to you & CJ - looking forward to a wonderful 2005
post #42 of 67
Thread Starter 
Another leap in progress today!!!!!!!! Since we have moved the cat food into our bedroom CJ has been visiting regularly all through the night to feed and in the morning he stays to watch the birds come to the feeding station at the bedroom patio door. At first he was crouching down and cautiously watching as he ate, and the slightest sound would spook him. He'd run a few feet away to the safety of the bathroom if there was any noise or movement, and wait for a few minutes, then go back and nervously eat, always watching. He'd take a bite and scan the entire room for any danger then another bite then scan. I have been talking to him very softly while he ate. At first it spooked him but then he seemed to notice that his buddy Chucky wasn't running away when I spoke so it must be safe. Two days ago he finally got so he could eat while I spoke without constantly looking around. The night before last, Chucky was asleep on the foot of the bed and then I felt a cat walking up my leg, along my hip, but it didn't feel as heavy as Chuck (he weighs a ton..LOL) so I turned my head to see CJ walking up my body just like he used to before his accident. Evidently the movement of my head spooked him and he darted off the bed. Wow!!! He was building enough trust that he could do that....major progress. He seems to be judging threats by Chucky's reaction to things. Yesterday morning, as CJ was engrossed watching the birds, I did things like move my hands as I talked, reached for the TV remote on my nightstand, and such. At first you could tell it made him uneasy but he didn't run and then finally ignored any of those movementsand just concentrated on his birds. This morning he and Chucky were bird watching when I woke up. I talked to them and then I dropped my hand down and stretched it out. Chucky came over and rubbed against it and then CJ came over, very cautiously, and rubbed his cheek against my hand. Then he very strongly butted my hand with his head and very intensely rubbed his head against my hand. I patted him on the head, scratched his ears, chin, neck, and back. He wants the attention but he is very awkward and stiff but very intense. I was able to have two patting sessions with him but made no attempt to pick him up. I can tell from the way he acts that it would be too much, too soon. I am going to wait for him to jump up in my lap rather than try to pick him up. We're keeping everything voluntary with him and letting him set the boundaries. He loves the bird watching and spent about an hour bird watching this morning. But the minute we start to move around like we are going to get out of bed, he heads for the safety of his cellar and spends the day there. His que to come upstairs at nigh has been us turning the bedroom TV off but last night my husband called to him while we were lying in bed watching TV and CJ came up to see us and eat. After weeks of very little progress, he is finally taking giant leaps day by day. What a thrill it was to be able to pat the little bugger!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #43 of 67
Sheryl, I've been following the saga of CJ's progress and you'd think by now I'd remember to grab a tissue before I start reading the latest report... You're description a couple of posts back about Chuckie sitting next to CJ and then lovingly grooming him really got the waterworks going!

CJ seems to be making progress now in leaps and bounds. For him to jump back up on the bed shows how far he's come. You and your husband's patience and love are being rewarded. I can imagine how gratifying it is for you both whenever CJ displays some facet of his normal, familiar behavior.

I am so happy for all of you! Please keep the updates coming. I've got tissues handy...
post #44 of 67
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is so exciting now that we can see CJ on a regular basis. I even managed to take a picture of he and Chuck bird watching early this morning. Just go to this link and scroll to the bottom of the page.

post #45 of 67
Sheryl, just saw the pictures - what a great looking crew you've got! The pictures are wonderful, even the "grainy" one from this morning. The ones of Buddy Moe and CJ could melt your heart. CJ and Chuckie remind me of my wonderful black cat, Louie.

Is the picture of the mountain a view from your house? Maine is an exceptionally beautiful state - I'd love to live there but will have to be satisfied with visiting for now!

CJ's life sounded so idyllic before this latest, terrible adventure. I guess the lesson is no matter how beautiful the setting nor how safe it seems, there are always dangers lurking in the outdoors.

What a lucky boy to have been rescued by you and your husband! Thanks for the pictures!
post #46 of 67
Great page. Loved the pictures and your story is well written. Sounds like CJ has a guardian angel. Or two.
post #47 of 67
Thread Starter 

Another great night for CJ!!!!! He showed up early while we were lying in bed watching the evening news! He came over to the side of the bed and let me pat him and then he let Bill reach over and pat him. First time for Bill since CJ's accident. CJ slept on the rug next to my side of the bed for most of the night. This morning he watched the birds for a long time. He's so cute...he seemed embarassed about his "altered" tail the first few times we saw him, keeping it tucked under him out of sight, but now he wags it like a dog when we pat him. During the patting sessions he will throw him self down and lay on his back wanting us to rub his tummy. But we HAVE to stay in bed!!!! I did sit up on the side of the bed and talked to him while he was eating but he wouldn't come over to be patted until I laid back down. And he still hides out in the dark cellar most of the daylight hours not coming out until around 10 PM. The only daytime sightings of CJ are in the morning for his birdwatching. I'm thinking that he associates the daytime with the most danger...his initial accident/attack happened between 11AM and 3PM....the woman who found him captured during the daytime to go to the vets....the vet experience was in daytime hours.... so I am thinking that he is more wary in the daytime and that he associates humans on their feet and moving around as dangerous threats who will try to catch him and force him into unpleasant experiences. If we are obviously stationary, like lying in bed, he's comfortable but if we appear to be ready to get up and move, he's gone in a flash. So the next big hurdle seems to be daytime and ambulatory humans. I've got to give this some thought as to what I might do to encourage daytime visits. Moving the food into the bedroom forced him to ineract with us at night in a very gradual fashion so I am considering taking the food up at night,at some point, and only putting it out in my studio/office during the day where my husband and I spend most of our time. We are always seated when in there...Bill on his computer and I am either on my computer or painting. This way he would be able to come in, eat, be able to interact with us while we are in a non-threatening position (seated) and could even watch the birds as we have another feeding station outside one of the studio windows (the one in the CJ pictures with bird's on the windowsill). But I'm not going to do that for a couple of weeks. For now I will let him build confidence in this nighttime interaction with us and see where that progresses. Patience is the key here and at least now, I get to pat him and play with him on a daily (well..... nightly) basis.
And yes...KTLynn... that is the view from our home in the mountain picture. In fact, that is the woods that CJ ran over a mile through to reach his "rescuer". We have deer, moose, bear, coyotes, and more that wander through our lawn now and then. We live in a very small town of about 750 people right in the middle of the North Maine Woods. It is very beautiful and very remote here. Although our home is only 5 miles from Interstate 95 we have to drive almost 50 miles to go to the movies. This is a snowmobile enthusiasts paradise with hundreds of miles of groomed trails going all through logging country. And in the summer there are hundreds of lakes and rivers for camping, canoeing, kayaking, and such. I'm the flannel shirt and blue jeans type so this is heaven for me. I haven't worn a dress or skirt for the 12 years I have lived here LOL. Fortunately I can make my living from my artwork and my husband is retired as the only work in this part of the world is logging and my skills in that area are 0...lol.
Have a great day everyone and thanks so much for all the encouragement with CJ. I keep this thread going as I am sure that someone else will have to face what we are going through and when I came here and found Elizabeth and Sasha's thread it was so helpful. First, it gave me hope that my kitty could get back to his old ways and second, it gave me guidance in how to do it. Hissy, Elizabeth, and everyone else have been a blessing in all of this so thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
post #48 of 67

Well that is just the best news today for sure! I saw your thread pop up and here I am immediately glued to the screen. Sasha is right here, too! Your empathic nature and intuition is serving you so well right now Sheryl, and your husband sounds like he's wonderfully supportive....I wanted to touch on that just for a personal note if I may.....that healing is also about the environment between the humans, and an injured kitty such as CJ will be hyper-sensitive to that environment. Stress, arguments, tension --all of that in a very wound-up household can easily affect the healing and the "reintroduction" of the kitty into the human world when his world view has been traumatically altered. Bravo for you! We are not perfect by any means but when Eric and I would disagree on something we took it pretty much out of earshot around Sasha when he came home from ICU. This is just a comment in general...and CJ's rsponsiveness has hit a new spike up so you have so much to be happy for!

Very cannily you zeroed in on the daylight = PTSD for CJ. That might be entirely true. My focus with animals is traumatic and behavioral responses, and I have no formal training, I just use God's gifts inside myself, but when my gut clicks in with something, I have found it to be 100% true in the end. Another bravo for you to support CJ in this way. He loves you guys so much no doubt, and I am so looking forward to the day when he will be with you in the daylight. Now, think how far he's come in exactly 8 weeks! You will continue to see plateaus and spikes of progress. And again, don't be alarmed at a setback or two out of the blue. It will happen and it is normal.
post #49 of 67
Hi Sheryl - More progress, I see!!! All things considered, it seems that CJ is doing very, very well. Letting you rub his tummy is the ultimate sign of trust so you know you're on the right track with letting him come to you on *his* terms. Your intuition is to have great patience and go slowly and it's working!

Wow - so that mountain is the view from your house! What a wonderful place to live! No need to take a vacation - you already live where other people can only temporarily escape to! It's such a shame that in what was a paradise for CJ such a tragic episode occured.

I've got a friend who lives in a rural area with her 11 cats. She's seen all the animals in her yard you've mentioned (with the exception of moose, of course) and in the last year she's lost 2 of her cats. They simply never came home. I know bear won't go after cats, but coyotes will, and they've become more prevalent in her area. She is convinced that either coyotes or possibly a snake killed her cats. What do you believe happened to CJ? Did the vet ever offer an opinion on this?

Thank you for the continued updates. You and your husband are doing a terrific job with your boy. We're all pulling for you CJ!
post #50 of 67
Thread Starter 

it was mentioned by one poster that CJ must have a gurdian angel... well right now it appears that CJ's guardian angel is Chucky the cat. I've been down with flu bug, which kept me in bed, yesterday, and it gave me a great chance to observe what goes on. If CJ comes in the bedroom alone, without Chucky, he is very wary. He'll take a bite of food, look around, take another bite, and bolts out the door if you speak or make any sort of movement. But if Chucky is there, I can speak to them, reach down and pat Chuck and CJ will come over carefully for a pat. He seems to judge everything by how Chucky reacts to it. The night before last, Chucky was asleep on the foot of the bed while Bill and I were laying there watching the evening news. Cj came in, ate, saw Chucky on the bed and jumped up. My husband moved his foot and CJ started to play, pouncing on Bill's foot. He played with Bill like that for 15 minutes and spent about 1/2 hour on the bed. The minute Chuck hopped down CJ went with him. CJ is coming into the bedroom more now in the daylight hours, and will allow us to sit on the edge of the bed with our feet on the floor, as long as Chucky, is in the room. The one thing I notice about him is his eyes.....I don't know quite how to describe it but he used to have a very relaxed look before the trauma but now he has this "wild" look. But we are making great progress every day. Sometimes I am tempted to see a vet about tranquilizers to calm him down so he wouldn't be quite so stressed but I think that trying to get him in a carrier and take him to the vet would be so stressful for him, we would erase all the good that has been done. I just hope that he will eventually be able to relax....it must be awful to feel so stressed all the time.
Someone asked if we had any idea what happened to him...and my guess is pure speculation, as the vet who initially worked on him didn't give any opinion.
I still feel very strongly that he was attacked by a coyote. We live smack dab in the middle of the North Maine Woods and we have a pack of coyotes that live on our farm. We hear them a lot at night and we also have a resident herd of deer that winter in the cedar swamp here on the farm, which is one of the coytoe pack's favorite prey. We have found deer "parts" when we have been for walks in the woods. I have noticed a couple of things in CJ's behavior that make me feel more sure of this. Before his accident, CJ loved our Golden Retriever, Buddy Moe. They slept together at night....CJ would play with Buddy Moe's tail. They had a wonderful relationship. Buddy Moe is a great dog with cats. He has this way about him that relaxes them. He never initiates contact with them but will lay and ignore them until they come to him. Then he will give them what ever attention they want....kisses and licks, cuddling, etc. They can act nervous, hiss, run away, whatever and he never reacts or gives chase the way most dogs would. Since the accident, CJ makes a wide path when walking by Buddy Moe when he is laying down and never takes his eyes of him. Thankfully Buddy Moe just ignores CJ's strange behavior and never reacts. Also if Buddy Moe is standing up, CJ won't even go in the same room. CJ has been coming in the bedroom when we have the TV on and it hasn't bothered him at all except for the night before last when I was watching a show about coyotes and when they showed a pack howling, CJ flew out of the bedroom and headed right for the safety of his cellar hiding place. Hearing the howl really spooked him. I know that people have speculated that he might have been hit by a car but there are no roads between the house where he ended up and our property. It's a direct line through the dense woods and cedar swamp to this house. He was only gone from around 12 noon till 4:30 in the afternoon when he was found in their garage minus most of his tail. Someone had mentioned that he possibly could have gotten under the hood of a car and got injured that way. I ruled that out as CJ has been terrified of cars ever since he got under my Blazer, as I was backing up, and I accidentally drove over him. The resilient little guy bounced back from that one!!! One person in the local area told me it might have been a fisher cat (they are a large weasel/wolverine type animal). It seems that about a 1/2 mile from the house where CJ ended up, lives a woman who does cat rescue. She has over 30 cats and she has a fenced-in yard for them with a cat door on her barn. One morning, about a week before CJ's incident, she went to feed the cats (who are loose in the barn) and she found 11 of them dead. There was blood and fur everywhere, quite a horrific sight. She called in a local trapper to identify the tracks in the snow outside her cat door and was told that it was a fisher cat that had gone in the door and attacked them. I rule out that CJ was attacked by a fisher as he never would have gotten away from it as they are viscious and could have even followed him up a tree. I personally think that he was attacked/chased by a coyote, that possibly chased him up a tree (CJ easily climbs trees), got a hold of his tail and bit through it. Later CJ, disoriented, in pain from a severed tail and lost ended up at that house over a mile away. He was so paniced when the woman discovered him in the garage, I feel he probably had run the whole distance. It's all pure speculation and we will never know...oh, if he could only talk!!!
But every day we are seeing progress!!!!
A question for dear Elizabeth, who follows this thread, did Sasha ever have to go on any tranquilizers and if so, which ones and did it help?
post #51 of 67
Hi Sheryl, We're right here. We had an ice storm today and power outages, but now it's fine. I've also been preparing for our new addition, a little stray, starving and malnourished that was posted on the SOS Board from a lady that lives about 75 miles from me. She was one story I couldn't seem to forget and Sasha is now expecting her.... we are very excited.

In any event, ok to answer your question (sorry I am truly excited about the new little one of 11 months), No, Sasha was never on any tranquilizers or pills. He had about three or four PTSD episodes almost identical to CJ. For instance, a yellow lab came into the yard one morning quite early and Sasha just went nuts all through the house. He was yelling, hissing, crying, shaking, and got very, very angry with that same "wild" look in his eyes. I bent to pick him up and try and soothe him and he lashed out at me! That was a low point, as it was hard not to take that kind of rejection personally! I contacted Jackson, a beahvioral therapist who is a consultant for this site, and he read every word I wrote and then wrote me back. I think you might want to do the same, as Sasha is 12 and very, very experienced outside, but CJ is much younger. I strongly sense that CJ's trauma response and stress due to this attack will last much longer, due to his age. Sometimes younger kitties can bounce back, but sometimes the reverse - it does tattoo them for a good part of their lives. CJ is making incredible progress and thanks to you he has the best care and mama in the entire world. Everybody reading your story undoubtedly supports your continuing patience and intuition with your little one. I sense it was a coyote as well and the reaction to the tv just underscores that. Cats, even more so than dogs, have an audio database so to speak, where once a sound is heard it's all about recall. Dogs more with scent, cats, too, but nobody has that auditory database like a cat.

I would, however, talk to your vet by phone. Then, take that information to Jackson and look at all the angles. I will send you a PM with his contact data. Every situation is different. I knew Sasha so very well after 12 years that I sensed he would recover and be resilient enough with the psychological trauma to heal that too. He did, but remember -- 5 long months. The only behavioral aspect that changed was Sasha is more wary when he's outside (good!) and he does want to come in sooner. He is now trained to come in a 8 pm and he knows the quiet morning hours are out of the question to be outside unless there are people about. Again, go with your gut. If you sense something isn't right -- or too soon -- or might be traumatic, then it probably will be.
You're wonderful, you know that?!?
P.S. -and no, I would not pack him up to go to the vet at all unless it's utterly imparative. He needs his own secure world right now.
post #52 of 67
Hi Sheryl! I just love dropping by to read your updates on CJ - it is wondeful to hear he is doing better overtime. You are such a wondeful mamma!!!!
post #53 of 67
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I haven't posted since the 15th because there wasn't anything new going on. CJ had stayed the same for a week but I felt that was good. At least we didn't have any regressions!!!! But now there is a little more progress... nothing major but small baby steps. Oh so slowly and I always think of what Elizabeth has told me about Sasha and their journey back to a normal relationship. He is getting more playful with the other two cats. In fact, the gang ( we refer to then as "The Cat Boys") can be quite annoying as they sound like a heard of elephants running around the house at night. CJ is really the instigator of the play and even grumpy old Mr. Kitty is joining in. CJ also gets up on our bed several times in the night wanting to play if we move our feet under the covers. And last night he cuddled up by Bill's knees and did some grooming and just resting for about a half hour. This morning he got up on the bed and laid across my legs while he watched the early visitors to the bird feeder. We now run into CJ during daylight hours too. A couple of times I have come out of the studio door into the kitchen and he has been there. But the first few times he ran away to the cat door and the safety of the cellar. But the last two times, he has run to the other side of the room and watched. The first time this happened I didn't do or say anything but the second time, I just spoke to him as I walked through the room but made no attempt to go near him. He just crouches and watches. He has taken one step backward.. he was coming over to the bed and allowing Bill or I to reach down and pat him. Now he approaches our hand very slowly and just sniffs the end of our finger tips then backs up. He acts like he wants a pat...purring, wagging his little stubby tail, and rubbing his cheeks on the nightstand but if you try to touch him he keeps just out of hand reach. Clever little fellow!!! My personal feeling is the few patting sessions we have had have been too much "sensory overload" for his "short circuited" little brain to handle. We don't push the patting, just offer the possibility and let him set the limits. But his playfulness is showing that he is coming out of his kitty depression. I think that watching the birds at the feeder every morning has brought back that "prey-play" urge and has been good therapy. He is still very dependent on Chucky, and now, Mr. Kitty for his confidence. He will involve himself more when they are with him. Alone he is still haunted by the demons of his accident/attack and panics easily. Well that's what's happening here. Will post agaiwhen we have some developments. Haven't made a decision about tranquilizers...as long as there is progress, I'll let him "lick" this thing on his own.
post #54 of 67
Well golly gosh goodness - these are great things to report! Now, take a look where you were just a mere 6 weeks ago. SEE?
And I'm very glad to hear about your cautiousness on any kind of medications. But that's just me.
P.S. I got a new kitty while you were gone. She is a Maine Coon/Tabby mix. her name is Saba and if you're curious she's in the Photo Gallery under "Say Hello to Saba!"
post #55 of 67
Thread Starter 

Time for an update for all the "CJ" fans!!!!!!! He is making steady progress. He hasn't bothered to hide in the cellar form over a week. We can now walk within a foot of him and he doesn't shy away or panic like he used to. He is sleeping on the foot of the bed every night. Bill and I went shopping the other day and got him some new cat toys as it seems that the play/prey thing is what has helped him make the most progress. It was so cute. He just loved all his new stuff and was even more friendly and relaxed with us...kind of like he was trying to say thank you for his new goodies!!! He has let us pat him a couple of times but he still is very awkward, doesn't seem to know how to respond. When you pat him he purrs like crazy and sort of "head butts" your hand and pushes very hard against you. A couple of times he flopped on the floor so I could rub his tummy. Last night Bill and I had gone to the local diner for the "Friday Fish Fry" and Bill brought home a piece of haddock for CJ. We called him and he came to us. I bent over and put it down on the floor for him. He sniffed it but instead of eating he started rubbing back and forth on Bill's and my legs. He didn't bother with the fish at all but instead wanted to thank us for it. We still can't pick him up and he still is very wary of our Golden Retriever, Buddy Moe, who was once his best friend. That assures me that there was something canine involved in his accident/trauma. But the progress is coming in leaps and bounds now and it just so nice to see him all the time and have him curled up on the foot of the bed.
post #56 of 67
This is wonderful, Sheryl!!! You and your husband have done such a terrific job helping CJ get back to his "old" self step by step. What a sweet, brave boy he is to trust again after Lord knows what he went through...

Thanks so much for the updates - it's great to read about the continuing progress with your special boy!
post #57 of 67
Sheryl, it's been about a month more now, and I was just checking on little CJ and hoping it's even better. Any news?
post #58 of 67
Wow I've just now read this thread - what wonderful progress your making!
post #59 of 67
Thread Starter 

I apologize to everyone for not posting for awhile. After my last post CJ went into a "plateau" period where nothing happened for a couple of months. He just stayed the same....cautiously interacting with us but not allowing a lot of physical contact. But for the last month, he is getting bolder and bolder, allowing us to pat him and he rubs against our ankles purring all the time. He still does not like being picked up and has certain areas of the house where he is more comfortable interacting with us....in our bedroom and in the kitchen. Cj will get up on the bed at night and allow us to pat him. Most of the time he sleeps curled up at our feet. He used to be a real beggar at the table during mealtime and would eat almost anything including veggies but now he isn't interested in any kind of food treats. While Chuckie and Mr. Kitty are begging for food, CJ would rather rub against our ankles or have us reach down and pat him. We offer him all sorts of goodies but he prefers his dry cat food. Just another quirky thing as a result of the trauma he went through. His tail has healed but isn't particularly attractive...poor little guy!!!! We will have it corrected when he develops more confidence. He has just started venturing into my office/studio in the last couple of weeks but is very wary. He has gotten his play instinct back and in fact, he harasses poor Mr. Kitty who is just an old curmudgeon who has never understood what "PLAY" was all about. So in all, he has come a long way but still isn't back to normal yet. It's spring here in Maine and Mr. Kitty and Chuckie go out in the morning to "patrol" the yard but CJ just watches from the patio door. He isn't ready to venture outside and frankly, I don't think Bill and I are ready to let him venture out. I have noticed one interesting thing and I wonder if anyone else has experienced it in a traumatized cat. CJ yawns all the time. He never yawned that much before his accident but now it seems like the poor little guy is tired all the time. I feel it is something to do with all the stress he has been through.
I will be more faithful in updating this link for all of CJ's fans.
post #60 of 67

Oh I am ecstatic to hear this. Yes, Sasha hit a plateau too. Let me tell you about the yawning - he does the same, even more now than usual. But it's not that CJ is tired - he's stating who owns the territory. If you've ever watched Wild Kingdom and when the lions are all out, the males yawn incessantly. So do Chimps! It's a way of communicating saying that "this is my home". I'm not expert and we have some real experts here on the site, but Sasha is def initely communicating that it's his home and he's Alpha.
It's a good sign!!! Way to rock, CJ!
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