Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:43 pm

Chanel was being funny yesterday, they had knocked one of the beds over, and I normally put it back when I clean their room on a Sun, but didn’t yesterday, as Coco was sat where it lived, so this is what Chanel was doing when I was supposed to be reading to them, ended up not as I was sharing pics instead! One to look at when I have doubts that keeping them was the right thing to do, a friend said last night I give them everything they want, although not always sure they’d agree with that. I didn’t get up that early this morning, but Coco wasn’t back, I popped downstairs to find she was on the sofa, I tried to kneel to have a chat through the stairs, but that freaked her out. Decided to do what I do with Chanel, nip to the bathroom then potter on my phone while waiting, but the only thing that achieved was Chanel deciding to go and find her mum! So I had to go downstairs and convince them to go back up, Chanel was easy, but Coco was in the kitchen, although Chanel was cheeky and was waiting on the landing for me to go back up! Nice that they are getting more confident though. Last week I was a bit upset as Chanel doesn’t seem to relax in the morning till I shut the door, but then realised that was actually quite a good thing, while they are still happy in there, I don’t have the dilemma of them wanting more than I can give them. Next year I do need to try every night, not sure how much Lucy will like that though, she doesn’t always come to bed with me when she doesn’t have to! I’m off over Christmas so will be able to give them more time out. Will be interesting to see what they think of their new bed, I think I’ll have to put some blankets in it to help it smell like my house.

Sorry Viv, have only just seen your response - yes, they clearly have started to trust, although not completely. I think that Coco has definitely lived in a house, although suspect she might have been used as a breeding queen, hence the distrust of humans. Chanel obviously was born outside.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:10 pm

Always great to get an update on these two, and no matter how far from perfect you might feel their lives are, they are far better together with you than the possible alternatives. If she was a back yard breeders cat then the life she has now is far better than that, and far better than living on the street, which is probably all they have to judge things by.

It must be so hard when she is like that, even in the photo I just want to reach in and rub the belly, but I guess that would be a little too much contact at the moment.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mollycat » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:53 pm

So she is willing to show you her belly ... and that close too.

A timely reminder that a gift is greatest by its meaning not its content.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:24 pm

Yes I do feel their lives are less than perfect, although I like one of the comments the rescue Lucy is from put for one of their hard to home cats, that every cat deserves a home, however unconventional. And yes, at least they are together, and safe, warm and well fed, with things to stimulate them (they have been bought a bit too much for Christmas, but they haven’t had much this year). I know, so wish I could touch her! I was trying to get her attention last week and ended up prodding her as she was distracted, her fur is so soft! And I did it again last night, but she didn’t react too badly, and then did accept some treats and happily sniffed my hand, hopefully she realised it was nice, as I did have a conversation with her after. Not as close as it looks unfortunately, I had to crop the pic to post it.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mollycat » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:57 pm

I'm not sure, if I had taken advice and let her approach me, if Molly would be letting me touch her to this day. And yet she was deperate for affection, but so scared to accept it and trust. I started to 'accidentally' touch her and she hissed a lot or ran off, she would ask for it and then panic and run. I honestly thought she didn't like being touched for months. Then it was only in certain places, and I would 'accidentally' touch places she said no to, and eventually she figured it was ok there. It was 4 years before I was able to put both hands on her, I've only recently been allowed to stroke her ears and she loves it. I don't know what possessed me one day when she was especially relaxed to kiss her tummy, but she quickly accepted that and I do it often now, but when I touched it with my hand last week she kicked my hand away sharply. Yesterday i did it again, just a touch, and this time she didn't protest though her ears went back briefly.

It's so lovely that you have documented their whole story, the progress and the setbacks, the way you have. So many people just don't understand what it is to have cats like these, and to have hope that their own traumatised or wild cats might one day come to see that the world isn't such a bad place after all. My vet looks at me like I'm crazy when I ask her to give a wormer, or book an appointment just to detangle a knot. She can't figure out a cat who can take an injection without being held with a cat that can't be restrained or medicated in any way at home and needs reiki just to be put into a carrier.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:34 pm

I will admit I didn't wait for Freyja to come to me either. When she had settled enough to be fairly relaxed on the bed I started to reach my hand out to her, it never got to a hiss or growl, I just watched her body language and the moment I could see i was too close I pulled back and then walked away from her, she learnt that I would never really push her beyond her comfort zone and that she didn't have to run away herself, so slowly she let me get the hand nearer to her until one day she let me scratch her behind the ears. Fussing the rest of her came a lot later, bit by bit, and two hands reaching for her is still scary, but she is getting there. If she is in the right mood i can just about hold her enough to get a spot on flea treatment on to her, but that is it, she also isn't bothered about any treats so I dread her ever needing medication. I do wonder if the treat issue is more due to Saturn loving every type of treat offered and she just doesn't think it worth fighting him for.

There are a lot of people that wouldn't be able to understand the joy a cat like her can bring and how much of a reward just being able to give her a fuss is. I can't pick her up and cuddle her, she has stood on my knee twice in the time i have had her, not sat down, but just stood there with me barely daring to breath in case i scared her, but I look at her playing with her toys or snoozing on the bed, coming demanding an ear scratch when she wants it, and I see a happy cat, and in the end that is what matters most to me, she is happy here, and looking at those photo that is a happy cat you have there.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mollycat » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:36 pm

Is it a girl thing, I wonder? The most traumatised I have known seem to be girls.

I think we just know when we have a cat that breaks all the usual rules. I've got a surprising number of good ideas from natural horsemanship videos, for dealing with Molly anyway. Even though a cat is not a prey animal, not a herd animal, they seem to have a lot in common with horses.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:50 am

I always say I'm bad at languages, but that is because most people don't count equine and feline as languages. I too learned a bit about the art of horse whispering and have applied the same techniques to cats, and it does seem to work. I always find it amusing when someone goes on about how dogs are so much more intelligent than cats as they can understand so many human words, I always wonder just how much 'canine' that person can understand.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:42 pm

Well, I did try the hands on approach when I first got the girls, in the beginning, once you had pinned Chanel in a corner and she’d drawn blood, she would accept a fuss and would purr, but after a few days, you could touch her, but she was so rigid, you could tell she wasn’t enjoying it, then she started getting closer to her mum and then there was no chance, Coco was too protective. When I ended up prodding her the other week, she was wary of me for days, and she doesn’t even like toys brushing over her. I think she is like Molly and would like it, as she does often roll over and show her belly, but too scared, but harder as she sees her mum hissing, growling and popping at me. It could be a girl thing, we have managed to sex timid cats based on their personality.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:22 pm

Tried something new last night, I let the girls out, then sat in the front room in the dark with just the TV on. Chanel came investigating, so realised this would go better with a toy, so dug Lucy's Da Bird out, which made her come into the front room, although she didn't seem to like the TV! Coco didn't appear, but I didn't really expect that. They also got all morning out, when I got up the second time, Chanel was back downstairs, let me get quite close before running away, then when I was going back upstairs after making coffee, she was lying at the top of them looking like flat cat, but again let me get quite close before running. Will definitely try that again
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:27 pm

Oh, forgot this from Mon, don't think they wanted me to leave :)
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Alice » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:51 pm

You mention sitting in a dark room and it made me wonder if you've tried playing with a laser pen, to see how either of them react? It's fun without any human contact, and the 'spot' would be more effective in the dark than in normal lighting.

My Ragdoll, Tilly, in my avatar, loves to chase and pounce on the dot.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:08 am

I did try a laser pen when I first got them, but Chanel seemed frustrated with it, so I stopped it

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:29 am

I do wonder if some cats like to be able to actually 'catch and kill' what they are chasing. I've gone through several wand toy attachments due to a certain cat liking to grab hold of it and 'disembowel' it with his hind paws, or just chew the feathers off.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:37 pm

Good start to the year with them, when it was their night out on Sat, I didn’t feed them first, left the landing light on and then sat in the dark with just the TV on, Chanel came down really quickly. She was intrigued with the TV this time, and did sit on the rug near me for a while. When I went to go up, she flew up before me, but then I sat and read/chatted to Coco for a bit, when Chanel realised I was sitting down, she turned round and left the room again! This week I’m going to try just leaving the door open and sitting with the light on. It was their night out on Mon, when I got up on Tue, neither were back, I found Coco on Lucy’s heated bed! Told them it was time to go back, and went upstairs to potter, but neither followed me, I had to move the curtain to get Coco to come back up – unfortunately I didn’t have my camera on me. My neighbour thinks I need to get them one of their own, but it’s not that easy in their room, plus they still aren’t using their new bed – I put it on a different angle when I cleaned on Fri, didn’t do anything. Will post pics over the weekend, although tonight I'm trying sitting with the light on.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mayday21 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:22 pm

Hi Booktigger HNY to you, Lucy, Coco & Chanel. Yes I’m still here but haven’t been on CC for some time but folks never far from my thoughts especially when I look at the Famous Five from Oz, yes Pebbles is back with me. Little minx kept picking on Simon. I couldn’t handle the angst so drove 2 hrs (half way) with a friend & picked her up. She’s fine with me. Guess she just likes it here. I gather Coco & Chanel are exploring a tad more but still skittish. Wonder what happened to them? I’m so glad they’re with you. No doubt you’ve heard about are dreadful fires with our wildlife decimated. It’s devastating. Fusses to all the kidlings from Vivian & The Famous Five from Oz.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:35 pm

Happy new year to you too, it is such a shame about ths fires. Naughty pebbles, assume you are keeping her now? I think Coco was used as a breeding queen, she is quite comfortable with things like sofas. We know Chanel was born outside, I think the people who asked for help had little experience, fell for her looks and expected her to be a normal kitten. Luckily they asked for help and I persuaded the rescue to let me have both, I think Coco would have been on a farm otherwise, I don't think an indoor life on her own would have been fair. Chanel may have tamed down on her own, but her mum holds her back. At least they are together and seem content

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:07 pm

Feels like we are just going from strength to strength this year, not sure if something has just suddenly clicked with them. I think I disturbed Coco playing yesterday, popped in for my kindle and she was near the door, then when I was in the bath I could hear playing. This morning neither were back in their room, I got to the step above Chanel before she moved (I deliberately only switch the landing light on, to avoid spooking them, had the sense to take my phone this time to use as torch), couldn’t find Coco so decided to go in the kitchen to get their food bowls, came back in and saw a cat on the stairs but assumed it was Chanel until the cat ran and realised there was no fluffy tail! I spoke and she actually stopped running and looked at me. She moved to the top of the stairs as I went up, but I walked really slowly and she stayed until I was only about 4 or 5 steps away. Downside was I hadn’t seen Chanel sneak back out, so I shut their door, and opened mine, must have been in 5 mins before I realised there was only one cat! Lucy was just sat on the stairs and Chanel was on the front room floor, but Lucy fortunately ran back into my room, which meant I could get Chanel back in. She mustn’t have been that stressed, I heard playing noises 5 mins later.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mayday21 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:45 pm

Let’s hope little more +ve progress on Coco & Chanel. Yes Pebbs will stay with me. Was so disappointed with what happened but in the long run had to think of her. She was confused when she came back as she was happy but Simon was terrified of her. Personally I don’t think boundaries were put down for her so she just wanted to be boss. This is apparently a Siamese trait though she’s a x not pure. Snow Girl, the matriarch, hates her & Pebbs antagonises her but there’s only Snow’s growling going on. Don’t know if you watch The Vet On The Hill, Aussie vet, Scott Miller, he’s here helping out with wildlife.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:34 pm

Tried sitting downstairs with the light on last night, Chanel was down within seconds! Not fazed by the light or seeing me, although she did show a lot of interest when a ferret was on the TV! She did have to be told off a few times for scratching the sofa, but did ask me to play with her. Coco was in the front room this morning, let me walk past to go to the kitchen, but when I'd made my tea, I found Chanel on the stairs and Coco nowhere to be seen!
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mollycat » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:40 pm

Does seem like a lot of progress very suddenly. Could it be you that's let go a bit and freed them up to get brave?

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:50 pm

It does, I thought it was me being off for Christmas, my neighbour thinks its them getting more time out of their room or it could simply be after over 2 years they feel they aren't going anywhere. Coco has stayed down a bit more in the morning, she let's me sit on the sofa and just watches me. Next thing is to get them used to me walking around

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:23 pm

It does sound like they have come a long way very suddenly, just make sure you remember that when they suddenly go back a few steps and start panicking at the slightest movement.

Beautiful pictures.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by fjm » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:39 pm

3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years - sounds as if you may definitely be on your way to the next breakthrough!

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mollycat » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:38 am

booktigger wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:50 pm
It does, I thought it was me being off for Christmas, my neighbour thinks its them getting more time out of their room or it could simply be after over 2 years they feel they aren't going anywhere. Coco has stayed down a bit more in the morning, she let's me sit on the sofa and just watches me. Next thing is to get them used to me walking around
That's funny, Molly has just made a definite step of progress with my OH after 2 and a bit years. She still flees from his scary rustly orange hi-vis work trousers though. Well who wouldn't! But he is breaking the habit of getting dressed in the doorway and she is responding by not bolting, and has even let him stroke her or give her ears a quick rub.

Getting used to walking about ... oh the years of fun I had with Molly, stopping in my tracks to talk so gently to her as she was poised to run, the little victories as she watched me braced but still lying down. the first time I walked past her and she didn't have one back claw dug into her bed braced ready to leap up and bolt. What a journey.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:31 pm

My Molly had issues with feet, for the first 5 years if she was on the bedroom floor when the alarm went off I had to lie there and wait! And she never got over her issues with crossing on the stairs in the 8 years I had her. I think that might be part of my problem, I rush too much for their liking, but last week just stopped, walked away from Coco and sat down. As much as Lucy was supposed to be an only cat, it is working, even though I do sometimes think that someone with more time/space would have been good for them. I think Lucy is accepting of them as she knows they are staying but she isn’t forced to interact with them, and luckily they are nowhere near ready to have more time out, and they haven’t got the vocalisation of the Siamese.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:25 pm

More improvements this week, sat down with the light on, Chanel happily came down, was very curious about the TV, had a good explore, and then at one point I was laid on the sofa and I felt something behind me, which made me jump - Chanel had decided to jump on the back of the sofa to get on the windowsill! Was impressed at her bravery, even if it did make me jump! When I went to go up to bed, I could see a cat at the top of the stairs, but was convinced Chanel was on the sofa, switched a light on to realise she was, it was Coco at the top of the stairs. First time I've seen her out since I've been sitting downstairs, she looked a bit panicky like she hadn't realised where I was. She let me get part way up before running back in the room, but then did eat some of her supper biscuits off my hand, twice in one week, a rarity these days!
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mayday21 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:50 pm

Hi hoping 2020 proves to be a milestone year for Coco & Chanel. As well as drought, fires we now are combatting the coronavirus!! It’s raining here in Qld & we’re hoping it’s making its way to drought effected areas for farmers & graziers. So many have lost livestock. Hope everyone’s well as are their fur babes. Vivian & The Famous Five from Oz.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:37 pm

I was a bit naughty with Chanel yesterday, but she doesn’t seem to be wary of me after like she normally is, so hopefully we are making a bit of progress with touching – I needed to mop yesterday and she turned into ‘flat cat’ and when she is like that you can do anything, so I stroked her from head to tail, she has such lovely fur. I hope that if I do it occasionally, at some point she might feel a bit of comfort from it and they always get treats after I clean their room, so a bit of positive association.

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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by booktigger » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:34 pm

Had a little breakthrough today, look what Chanel has just let me do! I gave her some treats as a reward and she ate them off my hand, which is a rarity. I'm fully aware she may be wary of me and not allow this again for a while, but so proud, especially as she has been hissing more recently, including this morning
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