Cheyenne going AWOL

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Kay
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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Kay » Tue May 20, 2014 2:47 pm

just one more thought - have just remembered how many years ago I had just the one cat, who spent all his waking hours sitting in a neighbour's garden amongst their 5 cats - he only came home for food in the evenings, but I used to shut him in until the next morning - he spent most of his time indoors sitting perched on the partially open casement window, waiting to get back to his buddies up the road

he was killed on the road just before his third birthday, but I often wonder if he would have stayed at home if he'd had a live-in buddy

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Camdengirl » Tue May 20, 2014 4:50 pm

Really pleased to hear you're keeping Cheyenne around, and that she's made herself comfortable in the shed, it's probably just the bed she wanted! You may well find that when the weather cools down later in the year (and the days get shorter) she starts coming back in for longer stretches again.

I would continue to feed her in the house, both (as others have said) to give her reason to come in/to stop other neighbourhood cats enjoying your hospitality, and also because if she is the only cat with access to it you will notice very quickly if she goes off her food for any reason. It's often the first sign that something isn't right, especially if a cat toilets outdoors. But it's probably a good idea to give her a water bowl in the shed.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Willowgill » Tue May 20, 2014 8:40 pm

Mick that's lovely to read - she's obviously content with her own company and feels safe in or around your home so I'm glad you're not thinking of rehoming her. We have a cat flap in our summerhouse which we originally did for Mr B (the stray who 'lives' with/near us) but Alfie loves it in there and disappears in there when he feels threatened by Daphne or even just when he feels like it. There is also a cat kennel on a bench outside it and he takes turns in that with Mr B. If Cheyanne uses a cat flap I'd definitely put one in your shed for her to use (leaving the door open could encourage other unwanted visitors!) but I'd leave her food in the house so that she doesn't totally move out. Come the winter you might find she's finally settled down to a routine and comes inside on a night to keep warm but you can get self heating pads which she could sleep on in the shed if that doesn't work.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Walesgang » Tue May 20, 2014 9:20 pm

Hi Mick

I haven't been on much for a few days.

How long have you actually had your girl?

I would be tempted to take a step back with her.

I assume she found her safe place in the cupboard - did you initially keep her in that room?

It sounds like she still thinks of it as a safe place. Where do you feed her? Do you know what time does she come back/leave. It's important to let her still feel safe. Has she shown any sign of using the shed? Maybe you could keep her current safe place and the shed available to her?

It sounds like she is extremely timid - my Squeak was (and still is with most people - we have visitors at the moment and she is keeping well out of the way!). It's important to know she has somewhere safe and food. I wouldn't make any radical changes at once. Try to get her back in a routine - let her set the pace and be patient. She will settle for a new norm which you will both find ok - whatever that is.

Good luck with her and thanks fir giving her a chance

Val

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Lyn from Australia » Tue May 20, 2014 11:40 pm

When Summer initially started spending 85% of her time outdoors, I didn't put anything at all out for her, but of course there was water available from the fish pond. As time has passed she has proved exactly what a stubborn little so-and-so she can be, :twisted: :twisted: by yowling for food, putting me to the trouble of stopping work, filling a bowl and putting it down inside for her, and then she's walked in the door and run straight back out again after a sniff at the food!! She's basically forced me to feed her outdoors on demand! I do manage to get her indoors for a few hours each night now, which is the only saving grace!
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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by notjustacat » Wed May 21, 2014 2:51 pm

Hi Walesgang
Just a brief recap. She was a rescue from an RSPCA centre. Actual history unknown, but scared of everything. I have had her 8 months. For the first three months I restricted her to one room albeit open plan. Then she got outside one day but came back that evening, so I took to letting her have that freedom. That's when she the migrated to a cupboard upstairs. Her routine at that point was have breakfast, go out, return about midday sleep in the cupboard till 5pm, have her evening meal then go out till about 11pm. Unfortunately I cornered her in her cupboard one day to sort a problem she had. As I at that point and even now, have never stroked her, she panicked. Flew outside and only returned after I had gone to bed. But not to the cupboard. That's when she started the routine of going out before I got up and returned when I had gone to bed. But with the advise and support of the ladies on this site a compromise has been found. Cheyenne now lives in a shed at the bottom of my garden and very comfortable she is in it I might add. She comes in for breakfast, goes out, sleeps in the shed till tea time comes in for that and then goes out again. As long as She's happy I'm happy. I am sure one fine day her barriers will come down.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by lilynmitz » Wed May 21, 2014 3:53 pm

I think I'd be inclined to keep feeding her indoors. That way you're at least giving her a daily check to make sure she's still around, that her appetite is good (loss thereof often being an indicator of illness), and who knows, she may learn to trust a bit more this way. But putting a little snack and some water in her shed won't hurt either. Before you do that, it might be a good idea to see if you can get her into a routine of tapping on the bowl and calling her so she knows her food is ready indoors? Cats do like routine, and this will keep her bonded to the house, and to you, in some tenuous way at least, so you can keep an eye on her health and welfare.

I haven't been keeping up with this thread (sorry, I'm all over the place at the moment), but accepting her preference not to live in the house does seem a good compromise all round, and I really hope it works out for you both. You have a generous heart, accepting her way of dealing with living in a human world.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Walesgang » Wed May 21, 2014 4:52 pm

Hi Mick

It sounds like you are being reasonable with your girl. I think Anna's idea if keeping food in the house and trying to get her coming in is a good one.

I recently read a book called 'Tilly, the ugliest car in the shelter' by Celia Hammond. You might find it an inspiration that cats who appear impossible to socialise can be.

It would be lovely to hear how your girl comes along

Val

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by greenkitty » Wed May 21, 2014 7:05 pm

Really pleased to read your updates and that you and Cheyenne have found a compromise that will hopefully work for you both, she sounds pretty happy with the new arrangement, it must have been a treat to see her stretched out and relaxed on her new rug. I agree with the others in that I would continue to feed her indoors. Keep coming back to update us on her progress. I know what it's like when sometimes you can't see a way forward (it was an upsetting introduction that brought me here originally) so pleased you're sticking with your girl and adapting to her needs :)

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by JulieandBarney » Wed May 21, 2014 8:57 pm

Hi mick never worry about causing a dispute on here, it is a public forum so we are all entitled to our thoughts . . I think you have done an amazing job so far so well done . . You will always find those who will tell you that you are wrong in your thinking on here...thankfully most of us recognise the usernames and tend to ignore the harsh comments as 99per cent of us on here are very helpful thankfully. Sure I will be shot down in flames now by the 1 per cent ! All I can say is you have done an amazing job so far in a difficult situation. We'll done ....d,o what You feel is right. X

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Lyn from Australia » Wed May 21, 2014 11:07 pm

I think I'd tend to let her settle into this new routine, then perhaps on nice days sitting out in the garden, talking to her and maybe trying to feed her treats.

Have you ever tried to attract her attention with "Da Bird"? (Turkey feathers on a string attached to a long thin stick).

I am a devotee of "My Cat from Hell" on Animal Planet TV here in Australia - and I've yet to see a cat, no matter how scared, not be tempted to stalk and play with this particular toy. My cats ADORE it!

Another thought, belatedly I suppose, but perhaps not too late, is to arrange or install shelves or cat trees around the house so you can use the toy to get her UP off the floor and around the house at some height, where she can feel safe but still be able to see all that is going on. Many cats seem to relax once they are up off the floor and can't be cornered.


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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by notjustacat » Thu May 22, 2014 7:46 am

Hi Lyn
I have used the toy dangling on a rod and it worked in getting her to interact. However once she had found the great outdoors she showed no interest in the toy whatsoever. Also I have stack boxes, shelves and scratch poles in various places around the house but again she shows no interest in using them. All she wants to do is be outside. I also watched the Cat From Hell program hoping for a solution. Unfortunately none of the episodes fitted our situation. However I am sure if it were possible to have the guy on the program visit he would come up with a result.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Thu May 22, 2014 7:48 am

I think we should all club together to get Jackson Galaxy to come over to the UK to do a special on Mick and Cheyenne!

Mick - daft suggestion, but if you see the little lady outdoors just chilling you might casually wander past her waving the Da Bird?

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by notjustacat » Thu May 22, 2014 10:05 am

Hi Sarah. She doesn't come outdoors to chill but seems to prefer the comfort of her shed and sheep skin rug. But she did come in at her normal breakfast time and even allowed me to approach her while she was eating. But not too close mind. We will prevail. Also thanks Julie and Barney for your kind thoughts. I was only concerned that some peoples comments were being shouted down. In the end this is about positive advice for Cheyennes welfare.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by JulieandBarney » Sat May 24, 2014 8:46 pm

How are things going with Cheyenne Mick ? Any progress at all ?.....

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by notjustacat » Sun May 25, 2014 2:10 pm

How kind of you to ask Julie. Well, she was settled into her living in her shed and coming in for meals routine. However, last night she spent the night in the cupboard that she used to call home. That may be because it was a little chilly last outside last night. Or was it because of the feral cat that wanders around here at night. Who knows. That is one problem with the shed, as it requires the door to be slightly ajar to allow Cheyenne to come and go. Which unfortunately invites those unwelcome visitors to corner her in there. I know a cat flap activated by a magnetic collar would be the answer. But there is no way Cheyenne would let me near enough to put a collar on her. So it's a day by day situation just now. I hope all is well with Barney.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Jacks » Sun May 25, 2014 2:41 pm

If you got her from a rescue Cheyenne should be microchipped. If she is, what you need is a microchip catflap and it can be set to open for her. The problem still is getting her near to it so that you can press the button for it to recognise her chip... But if she starts to get a little more friendly eventually this is what you could do.

Good news that she used her cupboard on a chilly night - she definitely sees you as 'home' :-)

Please keep us updated regularly! x

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by JulieandBarney » Sun May 25, 2014 6:14 pm

Hi Mick....sounds like Cheyenne is trusting coming back to you, when she feels threatened....a massive step, though it may not seem that way to you, just keep doing what you are doing, absolutely marvelous, you have such kind patience, I admire you.

Barney is not too bad, though I am continuously afraid of letting him out into the garden and the 'real world' ....never felt this way with any other cat I have had, I argue with myself every day ! :roll: ........x

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Walesgang » Mon May 26, 2014 9:25 pm

Hi Mick

I hope you don't think I was in any way being critical in my suggestions. My idea that you keep the cupboard available was as she seems to be doing - that it's there if she needs it. Sheds are useful for truly feral cats who have nowhere else warm and dry. By keeping feeding her indoors means that she will increasingly feel safe indoors and hopefully in time be more confident with you.

There have been times with a couple of cats where i have wondered if I am doing the right thing carrying on with domesticating them, but every small step helps. The fact that she comes back even after the tooth incident is a very positive sign.

You are doing a great job

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by notjustacat » Tue May 27, 2014 12:34 pm

Hi Walesgang. I have had no problems with any of the comments made by anyone who responds. As long as they are in Cheyennes best interest that is the main thing. As far as I can see all the input has been in that direction. Cheyenne has spent this weekend in her cupboard due I think to the wet weather here. Also last night when I went to bed, she was on a blanket box at the foot of the bed which was a first. She continued to be there even when I got into bed and put the light out. However she was back in the cupboard when I got up this morning. She is continuing to eat here, but as I type this she has left the house and is once again in the shed. Whatever makes her happy is fine by me. Thank you for your interest.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Tue May 27, 2014 3:30 pm

That's great, Mick, that Cheyenne was on the blanket box at the end of the bed. A little sign that she's not completely averse to matters.

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Kay
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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Kay » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:13 pm

I should love an update on Cheyenne, if you're reading, Mick

as one of CatChat's more obdurate hiderawayers, her (and your) story so deserves a happy outcome

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by notjustacat » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:05 pm

Hi Kay. How kind of you to inquire about Cheyennes' well being. Well I had always been given the impression that cats like their routine. However Cheyenne seems to be an exception. During this hot spell she has abandoned her shed and cupboard and now lives in some bushes beyond my garden perimeter. The only thing that is worrying is that she has to cross an estate road to get there. She still comes home for food i.e. breakfast and evening meals. She was only coming in during the early hours when I have gone to bed and before I get up. I now get up just after midnight to make sure her breakfast is prepared for her return around 6 a.m.. Now today, she broke that routine by turning up at the front door (there is a cat flap in the back door!!) at 6 p.m.. The only reason I noticed her was by chance seeing her outline through the frosted glassed front door. On opening it she rushed in straight through the house and out the back door then stopped and sat down in the back garden. I went to her with her favourite treat chicken. Now when I fed it to her she as about 6ft away. But as I broke pieces off and threw them closer she responded by moving nearer. To the point where I could put pieces down by my feet and she would pick them up. But any sudden move resulted in her backing off a couple of feet. Having finished the chicken I stood up and went and prepared a meal for her and stood out of the way. She then proceeded to head for her food bowl finished it and then went over the fence heading for her bushes retreat. Now I noticed something on this visit bearing in mind I hadn't seen Cheyenne for about four days. She has started carrying her tail higher. Previously it was always held low. Now I think that is a big plus. Also it will be interesting to see what she does when the weather breaks. I hope this hasn't been too long winded. Suffice to say Cheyenne is still shy.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by greenkitty » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:08 am

Tail held high is the sign of a confident, happy puss :)

I'm sure when the weather starts cooling down she'll be back in the shed again. She seems really happy with her arrangements now, good on you for allowing her to live as she wants.

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Crewella » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:07 am

I agree with Julia - that's good news, and it's lovely to have a detailed update. :)

I think the thing with routines is that cats, especially nervous cats, like us to follow them as they feel safer and more settled if our actions are predictable to them. They don't, however, seem to feel the need to return the honours - I'll swear my lot take pleasure in keeping me guessing and on my toes! :D

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by Kay » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:18 am

I'm glad the arrangement she has forced upon you is working out OK, Mick, but I do feel a bit sad you are still deprived of cat love - and after so long it is beginning to look as if Cheyenne is not going to be providing it any time soon

because she is so keen on an independent life, I doubt it would disturb her much if you took on another one if that is what you would like - a cat who loves laps and being stroked - there are plenty of them out there who would love a home and an owner like you

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:37 am

I agree with Kay, Mick. You are being a great dad to Cheyenne, but we want you to be kitty loved too. Can you consider another baby, one who has a known history of being comfortable with humans and wanting love?

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Re: Cheyenne going AWOL

Post by notjustacat » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:43 am

Thanks for that thoughtful response Kay and Sarah. I know that getting another furry would fill that missing bonding which is non existent with Cheyenne and me. However I would rather continue to concentrate all of my efforts to bring her round. As you may gather, Cheyenne is in her element and as such if she is happy then so am I. As I have said earlier in this situation, Cheyenne didn't ask to be here. But she seems to have found her niche for the time being and I am sure this is better than the situation she has come from. If I do break through that barrier of hers, you wonderful people here, will be the first to know.

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