Things go mostly well here, but there are times that show even this household has its moments!
Yesterday, I was in my glider, Dougy was on his ottoman. He is a great big soft furball, and pleasant to pet or hold. He loves the former, and is not real thrilled about the latter.
I’ve learned not to hold either Andy or Dougy longer than they feel comfortable. In past, when they were kittens getting over an illness caused by ingesting an infected grasshopper, they had many baths. Many. In addition, Dougy had to have eye drops for an infection in his left eye a couple of times. They associate being held with stuff they don’t like!
Aw, well. I associate holding them with something I do like, so I hold them a little bit until they start to get wiggly or act distressed. Little by little, they tolerate more holding. Especially since they haven’t had to have a “poop bath” in nearly a year and a half!
They remember, though, they remember….
Yesterday, again, I was in my glider, Dougy was on his ottoman. He was irresistible! I had to hold him! I scooped him off the ottoman, which required prying his front claws from the fabric since he knew what was about to happen: “Don’t love me! NO! Don’t pick me up! You washed me. Washed me in water! NOOOOOO! And you just might do it again!”
I calmed Dougy down with a head rub, then I rolled him on his back to cradle him like a child. Bad move! He associates that position with eye drops! Rats! What started out as a good moment, now required some readjustment of his position to one more comfortable: topside up, and faced out so he could leave at will. For the moment, all was well, then, out of nowhere, Andy hops up onto the side table with a loud clatter! Dougy, frightened, breaks away from my hold and claws my chest with his hind paws in the process.
I got out of the chair, and shook my index finger at Dougy: “Bad boy! You are a very bad boy, Dougy!” He ran into the next room. I returned to Andy, by now on my new computer chair that he’s clawed up, where he was, well, clawing up my new computer chair: “You are a very bad boy, too!” Then he ran off to the next room.
I went to the bathroom to clean my wounds and bandage them if needed (it wasn’t), and I reminded the boys they were very bad boys when they came in to watch.
The rest of the day, Dougy acted very sad. He would come around and look like he wanted to get on the ottoman, but then he’d walk away. I tried to encourage him up. By this time, of course, I realized he wasn’t a bad boy, he’d just reacted to Andy’s noisy arrival, and I just happened to be holding him at the time. I reassured him he wasn’t a bad boy, that I was sorry! (I am, too! Poor Dougy is more sensitive to criticism than Andy.)
I got the feather toy out. Well, an extra long feather toy session, and Dougy felt a lot better. I could tell! But not enough to get on the ottoman again. Andy, though, got over it very fast, and stretched out on the end table shortly after “the incident”. He’s cool!
This morning, Andy had a hearty breakfast of trout-salmon mix wet food. In fact, he ate Dougy’s share, too. I fixed more for Dougy since he’d been in the bathroom on the towel in front of the shower when I put the food out. The boys tend to eat together when the food’s on one plate, take turns eating if the food’s on separate plates. Today, the food was on two plates, and Dougy was slow to come in.
I sat down to watch the news, the boys came into the front room to assume their usual places, Andy on the end table, and Dougy, with a little prompting, on the ottoman!
I reminded him that he is a good boy, brushed him (which he likes), and rubbed his nose. For good measure, I got out the feather toy, and played with him for an extra long time! Dougy is doing fine again. Andy got over scolding shortly after the incident happened. The claw marks barely show today, no infection since I know better to clean this type of injury quickly and thoroughly.
They are good boys! I know that, but I hope they understand that, too.