Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions...

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andrewh1973
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Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions...

Post by andrewh1973 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:42 am

Hello Everyone human and feline alike!

It's been a while since I've posted on here, but that's because at the end February Arnie and I emigrated to Malta! He had a hard week just prior to that also, his friend, the black cat two doors down, was run over a week earlier and Arnie found his body in bushes outside. He was clearly upset by this and so I was especially worried about the move.

He hated the flight, 4 hours stuck in the hold of the plane in the dark, alone meant many of us above could hear how much he hated it: if you stood in the rear toilet you could hear him yowling with fear. By the time I got him to our temporary home for a week (a friend who herself has two cats) he had lost his voice totally such was the amount he was crying out, it took him 2 days before he could miaow properly again and once he did, triumphantly strode around the room at 5am letting me know he could again, loudly!

1 week was spent in the temporary home, at the start of the week, the resident cats hated him and hissed, miaowed, growled and pursed him whenever he managed to slip out of the room. By the end of the week though he was mingling freely with them and the aggression had largely stopped, the younger of the two cats there (about 2 years old) had suddenly discovered that she had an energetic and persistent playmate! I've realised now that Arnie really needs a playmate, so eventually I will visit a cat rescue shelter here and get him a friend... How on earth do I choose though? He has a very specific personality and I don't think every cat will get on with him!

We moved into our new place on 7th March, empty totally save for a sofa bed and my suitcase and Arnie's essentials. He's been kept in ever since and will remain so until my stuff arrives at the end of March. I figured it's wise to do this so that by the time he is allowed out alone he'll have properly bonded with this new place and will have accepted and recognised this place (and the stuff within it) as his own and familiar once more.

Do you have any suggestions as to what more I can do to help him adjust and reduce the risk of him running off? He has been prone to running off in the past as I've said before, so this worries me greatly!

Overall though, I'm so proud of the little chap, he's coped so well with this and his purrs and licking of my face at night shows he's still very fond of me and he trusts me to look out for him now. I feel humbled!

I'm going to try and take him out on a harness today though, but he's not all that keen on wearing it so I'm not sure how this will work!

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Re: Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions

Post by Crewella » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:09 am

Hi Andrew, I'm glad you both made it to Malta safely, even if it was a bit tough on poor old Arnie! :D

Personally, I'd leave it a couple more weeks before even taking hin out on a harness. Because of his history of wandering, you want him to really feel lord and master of his new domain and keep him focused on 'home' before adding the distraction of the outside world.

Also, there's always the possibility of him escaping and getting lost, especially as you say he's not too keen on the harness. Just in case, I'd want him to be a bit more settled in before taking the chance.

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Re: Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:29 am

Hi Andrew and Arnie,

nice to hear from you again. I am pleased the move has gone well for you and hope you will both be very happy in your new home.

I have a friend who moved to Malta a few years back and his life has changed beyond belief. He is so happy there.

Arnie sounds the sort of cat who could make himself at home anywhere, and I am sure there are folks on here who could advise you better than me. But I would say one thing. How use to his harness is he? Does he wear it in the house at all?

After Bobby's OP, he really wanted to go out with the others. But we were scared to let him out with only 3 legs and a huge (bandaged) wound. We got him used to wearing a harness around the house before we tried to take him out. As it turned out, he hated the lead so much that he refused to walk anywhere and just sat in the drive in the sun. :roll:

If Arnie is not used to wearing a harness he might panic when you take him out and that would be a big setback in his confidence with you and his new home.

I hope everything works out well for you. Please let us know how you go on and keep in touch. Fusses to your brave boy, Arnie.

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Re: Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions

Post by andrewh1973 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:59 am

Thanks for your good wishes and thoughts so far good people!

Well we've just had an adventurous and stressful morning... at 8:30 the landlord calls with a plumber wants to do some work. I've told them Arnie must not go out so do not leave doors open. So what does he do? Leave doors open as he's wandering in and out on a couple of occasions. Arnie nearly gets out. So I put the harness on him, he seems better with wearing it now. At least he doesn't try and bite it off himself the moment it's on as he was before! But the moment he goes out wearing it, he makes a bolt for the gate, jumps over it and tries to run off down the road. Only being yanked back by the leash stops him and he crouches to the floor fearful for a few moments then starts to angrily wrestle with the harness trying to bite the lead to get free.

I pick him up and he instantly calms down and I can feel him gently digging his claws into my hands so he can hold on tightly to me. He's not clawing me out of anger with me but, I think, clawing me so he can hold on and feel safe. I walk around with him in my arms for a bit and eventually he struggles so I put him down again and he runs towards the front door and wants to go in. He's still scared.

He uses his litter tray, has a wander about in here again and then about 45 mins later he's at the front door again, miaowing loudly to go out (like he used to do in Manchester). I put harness on him and try again. Again he makes a bolt over the gate but this time stops and crouches on the pavement outside. Pick him up again and walk about as before, claws not as dug into my hand as before but I can see he's still anxious.

Eventually he wants to get down and again he runs towards the front door. Goes in, lays down on the floor and miaows at me, I detach the leash and he calmly walks about inside here for a few moments then gets up on the sofa (where he is now), has a wash, licked my face a couple of times to show he still loves me and has now drifted off to sleep, softly purring for a moment as he did so.

He's without doubt a complex cat but his actions to me make sense. I sense that without my stuff here he's not really sure this is his proper home yet and what he's wanting to do is go find the home he used to have, hence his desire to run. I will try to keep him in for the next few weeks until my stuff has arrived and this place looks like our home again.

The biggest problem with this place though is that there's no "buffer space" that I can use to contain him when I come in each time (my last place had the front door open into the kitchen and I used to keep the inner kitchen door shut when going out just so that when I got back in, he couldn't come running out straight away, even though there he wouldn't run away, most of the time!). It's very likely that one day he will be quicker than me and as I open the door he will just run out before I can stop him. This worries me greatly. Hopefully though that by the time I get home each time, I'd have been out long enough for him to actually miss me or rather, be hungry enough that his first thought is "ah, slave's back, food time" rather than wanting to leg it!

Having a cat is never easy. Having a former stray cat with roaming issues and taking them abroad, probably a nightmare for a few weeks/months I guess. At least I'm sensing he knows he can trust me and I'm "safe harbour" for him, I can see that in the way he sticks to me like glue at night once I go to sleep. He hasn't yet spent a single night off this sofa bed. The moment I go to bed and put the lights out he's on the bed to settle down with me. Very obvious to me that just now, this cat needs me as much as I need him!

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Re: Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions

Post by Baggypants » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:39 am

Congratulations on the move! I moved with our 3 cats from the UK to Portugal a couple of years ago - apart from the short ferry trip we did the journey by road, there's no way on earth I would have dared fly with them :?
Is Arnie is micro-chipped? If so please make sure you get his details updated in case he does go walk about and perhaps make sure your neighbours know he's yours and are familiar with him.

It sounds like he is going to be fine though :D

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Re: Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions

Post by andrewh1973 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:59 am

Baggypants wrote:Congratulations on the move! I moved with our 3 cats from the UK to Portugal a couple of years ago - apart from the short ferry trip we did the journey by road, there's no way on earth I would have dared fly with them :?
Is Arnie is micro-chipped? If so please make sure you get his details updated in case he does go walk about and perhaps make sure your neighbours know he's yours and are familiar with him.

It sounds like he is going to be fine though :D
Well done on your move also!

He is chipped of course (it's a requirement for pet passports if nothing else) but sadly it's no use here, there is no registration scheme at all for cats in Malta, only for dogs.

The problem with cats here is that most Maltese seem to regard cats as either a pest (since there are thousands of unwanted cats roaming around the islands) or as a pet that when you move, you just abandoned (because they wander off anyway) and you just replace with a new one in your new home (which then adds to the stray cat problem). Attempts by animal charities to re-educate seems to be largely ineffective. You know you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink? Likewise here, you can lead a Maltese to knowledge but you can't make them think! Such views with regards to cats are ingrained. Cats are most definitely a second class pet compared to dogs here. I've spoken to dog owners before here who happily tell me if they're out walking their dogs and they come across a cat, they will encourage the dog to chase and kill it.

Frankly I hope Buddhists are right and such owners come back in the next life as cockroaches. I'll have my can of insecticide ready...

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Re: Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:57 pm

They are a bit like that around here. The husband of a friend of mine (a farmer) thinks it is quite acceptable to drown unwanted kittens and would never consider 'wasting good money' on getting a cat neutered to prevent the problem in the first place. But he will happily part with tens of thousands for some new gizmo for his tractor. :twisted: :twisted:

Many folks I know have cats but don't tolerate them in their pristine houses. To me a pet (cat or dog) is something you have to fight with to get a seat on the sofa. :lol:

Perhaps there is another reason you have moved to Malta. It sounds like they need you there!

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Re: Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:25 pm

How lovely to hear from you and Arnie. You will definitely become the local crazy cat man now you are there! Big kisses to your boy. Well done so far!

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Re: Moved Arnie abroad.. an update for you all and questions

Post by greenkitty » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:51 pm

I saw this product in the Petplan magazine today and thought it might be useful in your situation: http://www.gprsos.com/pages/how-it-works" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, they have a special offer on until 31st May quote GPROFFER to bring the price from £62.56 to £39. I know it's dependent on Arnie not losing a collar but might be worth investigating as it doesn't use microchips.

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