Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Mollycat
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Mollycat »

Wow that must be such a great feeling!

Just a thought about hissing, my Molly is very hissy, the hissiest cat I have ever met for sure, but at times it feels like just an extension of the lashing tail - not so much directed at anyone as an instant expression of a thought that crosses her mind. Molly hisses to herself, rather than at anyone (except the dog of course!) I think of it as only one side of the dilemma in her mind, she wants the closeness but is afraid of it. Does this ring like a possibility with your girls?
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B »

Always great to see updates on these two, particularly when it is such good news, i know how much being able to just rub behind the ear with one finger can mean, I will never forget the first time Freyja let me do it.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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It was, I just have to watch myself for pushing her too much now, or it might be another 2 years! Funny you should say that about hissing, Lucy and Coco hiss at me daily, I see it as a term of endearment and respond to Coco by saying I love you too! Lucy hisses most when I go to let her out, stems from my neighbours cat sitting on the doorstep. He's been dead over 12 months but she hasn't stopped, guess she never will. I think Chanel definitely wants it but I think is out off by her mum's reaction - last week I was letting Chanel sniff my finger and Coco drew blood.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Really pleased, last night Chanel actually ate part of her supper biscuits from my hand and this morning she came and rubbed my legs while I was dishing out breakfast, cant remember the last time she did that, and ate a couple of her breakfast biscuits off my hand. It was funny last night, Coco was watching her with a puzzled look, as its normally only Coco who will eat off my hand
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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I thought of something else, Molly makes a bold step forward and then withdraws as if she has scared herself because she's gone too far for comfort. We've all noticed it - one day she is all cuddly and then the next few days she runs away and gets all skittish. Does that sound like your girls too?
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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I don't think so, but one thing I find odd is that I sit with them multiple times a day for varying lengths of time, most of the time they take no notice of me, but if I've had a busy few days and not spent as much time with them, Coco is more hissy and a bit off with me, so she clearly appreciates it more than she let's on
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Well, they have been here 3 years today! When Chanel was watching me brush my teeth (her latest obsession, watching me in the bathroom!!) on Sun night, I was telling her that I never expected them to still be here, I remember when she was nice kitten, and I was hopeful that in a month or so she would be tame enough to rehome, but that only lasted a week! They have really come on this year, think part of that is me being around more, and they certainly enjoy ‘girls night out’ – to the point they often walk out as I walk in, they don’t even wait for their supper (which is mad, as they don’t always eat their tea before they get supper!).

As you can see, they are still very close, and for once, it’s not because they have knocked one of the beds over, so have to share (and I think the heating was on at the time!). I’m really glad I was able to persuade the manager to let me take them both – there is a chance Chanel would have been homeable if they had stayed separate, but it still would have needed a particular kind of home, and I doubt Coco would have been as good. I think there is a chance Coco will accept more than Chanel, when I blow her kisses, she is quite curious and her nose twitches a lot, I asked her at the weekend if she knew what kisses were. She is also more confident, she watched me brush my teeth last week and didn’t move when I did, whereas Chanel flies when I move in the bathroom. Also if my neighbour is out when they are sat on the windowsill, its always Chanel who moves before Coco. I did say this morning to them that maybe in another 3 years I might be able to stroke them!

The three of them did accidentally meet the other week, Coco just wandered back into their room, Chanel however just followed Lucy and sat a distance from her gazing at her! Surprisingly enough, Lucy hasn’t been keen to do that again. I do often wish I won the lottery (even though I don’t play it!!) so I could buy my next door neighbours house for the girls to have more space.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Great to hear an update and that they are all doing so well (including Lucy).

Separating those two would have been heartbreaking, they are clearly so close. While you can look and always wish for a lottery win to make things better for them, they are far better off now than they could have been, separated, with someone who didn't understand timid cats, or relegated to the status of barn cats. They certainly look happy enough curled up together.

Freyja, my nervous girl, has now been with me 4 and a half years, she will happily accept, even demand, a fuss when she wants, and sometimes even stand on my knee as long as I'm sitting quietly. I accept that I will always have to love her on her terms and she will never be the cuddle cat that my other old girl is. She is now over due her booster vaccinations, so I'm at that point of wondering how best to time things to get her in the carrier (I can only pick her up if she is relaxed on the bed). Limited appointments at the vets, and not being able to be in the surgery with her is making it all the more stressful this year.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Kay »

They seem to be content with their lives - I must admit I have had to revise my opinion on what cats need to be happy, since I got Penny - she spends 60% of her time in my bedroom, alone, and goes out into the enclosed garden only once or twice a week for 10 minutes max. She is very bonded with me, and spends her evenings and night next to me, but her lack of interest in the outside world is so different from any other of the many cats I have had before her.

I suppose the fact is that timid cats value feel safe above all other factors.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Never lose hope but never find an expectation.

Every morning as I scrunch Molly's ears or burrow her face in my hand, kiss her tummy or simply rest my cheek on her thigh, I remember a long time when I believed I would never be able to stroke her. She is nowhere near as bad as your two and yet was still the worst I have ever known personally.

Maybe C&C have benefited more than you'd expect from time out of their safe room, and the chance to explore. I seem to remember studies found that cats in densely populated areas can time-share territory to avoid fights but still have some space, maybe that's what Lucy and C&C are currently doing with the night time wanderings? It could be a healthy thing for them, the challenge of another cat's territory and scent, but nothing bad happens and it's still all safe.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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They were so funny last night, Coco has taken to scratching the carpet when she comes out of their room, I went to see if she was using the new scratch mat last night and she looked backwards at me while moving away! Then when I was brushing my teeth, I just saw the tip of her tail, so asked her if she was hiding, she actually turned round and peeked at me round the banister, but then Chanel ruined it by trying to rub against her - I do wonder if Chanel is a bit jealous, when her mum is doing interactive things that she normally does. Either that, or she's just been very boisterous this week.

I'm the same Ruth, we had to stop Lucy's acupuncture due to Covid, luckily she is fine on gabapentin as the next option is injections, but as I can't go in with her, chances of a very being able to di anything is slim! She is also getting a bit matted round her bad hip, she only tolerates being brushed at the vet! She has at least let me get some out without biting, which is a first, she has mellowed a lot this year.

Bless Penny Kay. I'm used to cats being indifferent to outdoors, Molly was an indoor cat by choice for years, then at 18 decided it was ok again!

Yes, they do seem to appreciate it, ironically the majority of the time they are back in their room in the morning (good at telling the time!), but when I go down to get bowls, they like to follow me down, so I sit on the sofa for 5 mins checking the phone while they gaze at me! Nicer than being watched while in the bathroom
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by fjm »

They really have come a long, long way. Their lives sound pretty idyllic to me - safe, warm, able to watch the world, the excitement of exploring the house with no pressure, and a dedicated human to feed them and provide entertainment! And best of all, still together.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Well, a couple of times this week I've gone to sit with the girls and thought I'd disturbed Coco from their new bed, today I went to give them their tea and couldn't see Coco, discovered she is using the bottom level of their bed, its only taken nearly a year! Downside is now I have to sit on the floor so I don't disturb her! I've popped out a couple of times and shes still there

They have been getting really brave recently, Coco is happier to stay out than Chanel, think she knows that I just do what I need to and don't go near her
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

Post by Ruth B »

It looks like they are both very content with their lot in life.

Just over a week ago I had to take Freyja to have her booster jabs, which in my mind was made even worse as I couldn't be in the surgery with her (fortunately Tiggy also needed a check up so at least Freyja had her for support). When we got home she was out of her carrier and off like a shot, however a couple of hours later when I was sat on the bed reading, she came up beside me wanting a fuss, she had already got over the trauma and forgiven me. Small things that mean so much.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Have had such a good week with the girlies, they are getting so brave - Coco has been using the downstairs level of the bed more and staying in while I sit on the chair, think the fireworks might have played a part in that! Last Sun Coco actually came to eat some tea while I was sat down, she ate out of Chanel's bowl, but didn't flinch when I moved hers onto the floor, as Chanel was a bit put out, so they both ate on the floor while I was sat there, which is a first - in fact, don't think I've seen Coco eat on the floor apart from the odd treat from my hand. Coco is getting better at staying put when I'm moving, she will sit on the arm of the sofa and let me walk past her into the kitchen, although she has moved by the time I leave the kitchen, and now we have a little routine where she sits at the top of the stairs and I kneel down and have a conversation with her - last night we were playing peek a boo through the banister! Then she let me actually stand on the landing while she sat in the doorway, which is a first. They have both started sitting on the landing watching me in the bathroom, good job I don't mind being watched!! Coco is definitely the braver of the two, think she knows that I'm just doing what I need to do and won't interfere with her.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Every little 'first' is a milestone with cats like these, a person who has only ever had the friendly, cuddle cats, can never really under stand just how much they mean.

I remember when Freyja wouldn't let me get within 6 steps of her on the stairs with out her running off, wonderful in a way as i knew she would never try and trip me up going up or down, now i can get to the step above her before she decides to move, and she knows i will just wait until she has decide if she is going the same way I am, or wants to go passed me. Some people would think it daft that I stand and wait for a cat to decide if they are going up or down stairs, but I know it is better that way. Tiggy and Saturn are often under foot and do get the occasional unintentional kick, I know that a single like kick to Freyja would put her back years.

Both of them are certainly looking good and seem quite content with their lot.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Yes, it certainly is Ruth.

Molly hated crossing on the stairs, so I'd always wait for her! It was better than when I first got her, I couldn't get out of bed if she was on the floor, which was tricky as that is where her litter tray was! The things I did for that cat, even had her food bowl on my pillow once when she was unwell (she ate most of her food on the bed at that point, plus had a heated bed and her own pillow on it, she must have hated needing the toilet or a drink, only things she had to leave the bed for! And if supper wasn't down at 10pm, she'd come to the top of the stairs at 10.01 screeching at you, she had an awful meow!)
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Ruth B wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:47 pm Every little 'first' is a milestone with cats like these, a person who has only ever had the friendly, cuddle cats, can never really under stand just how much they mean.
Oh yes that's the best summary of the last 7 years of my life! You might be surprised though, I thought the same of Molly but when she started a mercifully short lived habit of bolting across people mid step and got booted several times by different people, it didn't set her back at all.

The first time we get to touch, the first time we don't get hissed at. The first time we get to walk past and they don't bolt. The first time they purr, or headbutt, or slow-blink, or arch their back and raise their tail. After years when we thought this was as good as they would ever get, and then they pull out a surprise for us. The day we get overconfident and nearly lose an eye (or is that just me?) and the day we learn we can kiss an exposed tummy but not under any circumstances touch it with a hand, and then spend the rest of our life wondering what the heck got into our silly little head to even TRY that idea.

I think the thing that has amazed me the most is the intelligence and the strength of the connections they make and the ones they don't make. That it's always worth taking risks very gently because our idea of what must be the order of scariness doesn't match theirs. Molly is incredibly forgiving once she understands yo mean her no harm or she knows the danger's over. Not long after I got her, I had to take both cats to the vet. I missed her and she shot under the bed so I just took Boo and left her. When I came back with Boo, opened the carrier and left it open on the floor, Molly walked in and sat down and looked me straight in the eyes. Yet when I foolishly tried to trick her by tempting her out of hiding with a treat and grabbed her to take her, she would not take treats from me in that part of the room for weeks.

They are far more complex and interesting than I think we could ever truly get to grips with.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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I learnt with Freyja I had one chance, if it failed it failed and the appointment had to be postponed.
One of the first times we took her, I got her in the bathroom with the door shut and my husband on the other side with an open carrier, after a bit of a chase around the room, bottles sent flying, trying to hide in a corner and lashing out at me, i did get her wrapped in a towel and in the carrier. She never went in the bathroom again, very recently, over 4 years since the incident and a complete refurb from bathroom to wet room, she did put her head around the door as Tiggy was in there yelling to herself (the new design does have good acoustics and Tiggy likes the sound of her own voice, not to mention the heated floor). The next visit, we tried to catch her in a towel, that failed miserable, we didn't quite end up in A&E but that is partly because i'm not scared to clean wounds out with Peroxide. it was also when she finally learnt how to use the catflap fear can be a great motivator. However for years afterwards I couldn't even pick up a handkerchief without her panicking and going into hiding. She still watches me warily as I fold T-Shirts to put them away, but as long as I don't have to get within 6 feet of her with one she will stay where she is.
I do try and push her boundaries every so often, I actually managed to restrain her with both hands on her one on each side for about 3 seconds the other day, and every so often I can slip a hand under her belly as she is standing beside me on the bed and take some of her weight on it, no paw off the surface yet, but each time she lets me do it with out panicking is one step closer.
Unfortunately I've never really found treats she liked that much (not helped by the fact that i haven't found a treat Saturn didn't like and that he couldn't hear me open the pack 3 gardens away, and I swear he can teleport), so rewarding her is really hard, the best I can offer is a good ear rub afterwards.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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I have a similar problem rewarding Coco with treats, not only is she not as food oriented as Chanel, but Chanel bulldozes in and takes over!
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Yes we have cancelled many appointments because the first time grab catching her off guard had not been spot on enough. It was when she missed her assessment appointment for radioiodine that I realised I had to take drastic action and called in an animal communicator and reiki lady. I even asked which carrier she would prefer and to my surprise after saying she saw pink (neither is pink) she then said the one she can see out of best. Sceptical, I tried, and she was right. She was right about a lot of things, both things I already knew and things I found to be true or changed later. But one thing for sure, the extra calm gained by a reiki session before I have to put her in her carrier has a 100% record so far, compared to 1 in 3 success rate without. It's well worth the extra money for us.

Yes good old fashioned home remedies! My gran's was mercury chrome, I remember the dog with big red patches where he had torn claws or got caught in the fence or bushes. I'm a devotee of TCP and salt myself. Warm olive oil to clear blocked up ears. A hot salt and sugar flannel allowed to go cold on the eyes for sore eyes. And my anti-cold hot toddies drunk sitting up in bed are legendary.

Molly won't take sweets off strangers, she is quite foody, but it's an evolutionary process where she has to trust you enough before she will start to take treats from you and it builds from there.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Part of me wishes i could try the Reiki on Freyja, but while I'm open minded about it, my other half is extremely skeptical, and we don't have secrets. I couldn't organise it and then not tell him i'd done it even if he didn't need to know, it's just the way we are, and possibly why we have managed over 20 years together and are still happy.

There is a lot to be said for some old remedies (and a lot that should be ditched as well). Salt water has long been one of my go to antiseptics, and my Father, as a dentist, would recommend salt water mouthwash over the commercial ones, I think they have improved since he retired, and they do taste better, but salt water is always a good option. Many years ago, i managed to drop a heavy sideboard draw on my foot, the type of draw made from good oak with proper dovetailed joints, not one of the cheap ones you get these days. The corner landed on my big toe and i was only wearing slippers. That was one injury I couldn't face putting peroxide on. It had landed on the bottom of the toe nail and cracked the nail just above the cuticle. I managed to get upstairs and to the bathroom and clean it with salt water, before I ended up lying in the bathroom with my foot raised on the side of the bath, blood drops in a bath do look remarkably like discarded rose petals. I was lucky, I never saw a doctor or nurse about it, by the time my husband got home it had stopped bleeding and i didn't think it was necessary to head to A&E on a Friday night, I'd see what it was like Monday. The nail never went black, the crack seem to let any fluids that built up out and it never got infected. i am still convinced that bathing it liberally with the salt water helped a lot.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Coco is happily using the bottom bed even when I sit on the rocking chair, which is nice. Let them out last night, they both raced out before I'd dished out supper, so after putting their supper out, I put the light on and peered down the stairs to find Coco was playing on the stairs - I only had my old phone on me, so might be tricky getting the pics off that to post, but I was so proud
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Ruth B wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:14 pm Part of me wishes i could try the Reiki on Freyja, but while I'm open minded about it, my other half is extremely skeptical, and we don't have secrets. I couldn't organise it and then not tell him i'd done it even if he didn't need to know, it's just the way we are, and possibly why we have managed over 20 years together and are still happy.
Would he be so resistant that you couldn't try it at all? Everyone's different, mine is also a mumbo-jumbo-mumble sort but he lets me get on with it and even listens patiently when I tell him about things that have happened. He was a bit curious when I stopped smoking instantly with one hypnotherapy session. He even tells me about his friend's haunted house, and the long gone family dog that you could hear walking across the floor upstairs from downstairs, but still has no time for all that.

Booktigger this is great, these small victories. How they can still pull out little surprises after so long. Doesn't it make you wonder what would have become of them if they had gone to a less patient, less understanding home. They are so lucky to have landed with you.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Yes, that is something me and my neighbour discuss regularly, only the other day I was saying what the possibility might have been if we hadn't been involved in the rescue at that time, probably both on a farm, they'd have tried with Chanel but she'd have still needed a particular kind of home and the manager wasn't enough of a cat person to know that
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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I've had countless well intentioned people telling me Molly had to learn and to just get on with it and not make any special concessions to her. Actually I rather love the extra level of quietness and peace in my home since I have had to be mindful of her. Everything is calm and movements measured and no raised voices ever, no sudden movements, a much more conscious way to be. Probably helps us all, really.
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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While my neighbour appreciates these two need considerations, she has a different view with Lucy and thinks I'm too soft with her and shouldn't accept some of her behaviour, yet accepting her and her quirks is why I think she is a nicer cat, I think if I'd followed her advice I'd have had a neurotic cat, and why she isn't good with my neighbour - although it would be nice not to be hissed at daily (mainly for opening the door for her! Cocos trigger is me scooping the tray!)
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Oh no I'm with you on Lucy, I think just the same about my moggin.

Molly is also very hissy, and also spits more in an average week than I've heard in a lifetime. It's not directed at anyone though (except the dog) but often it's more like she is talking to herself. She can hiss at her toy when we're playing, or to herself as she's walking away from me, or very randomly at someone and then immediately rub her cheek on their knuckle or use their fingernail to pick her nose.

I'm guessing us scraping their tray is going to be of interest because we could potentially be doing our business and marking territory in there? Molly and Bobby too when he was around, often come to investigate when they hear me using my facilities just next to the tray, I think to check I am actually using my own and not the tray!
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Lucy huffs quite a lot, that can be at herself too! Even when I have to do nasty things like her weekly meds, she will then come and have a cuddle, which to me is a sign of absolute trust.

Had brave Coco and Chanel again last night, Coco happily walked past me and wandered into the kitchen, then when I was leaving the kitchen to go upstairs, this is what I saw!
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Re: Coco and Chanel dilemma

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Freyja never hisses at me, but the slightest wrong move and she is off into hiding still, and some times I can't even tell what he wrong move was. Other times she can be really demanding and insisting on being fussed, normally when we are sitting quietly and she can come to us. It is just the way she is and while I would like her to trust us more I won't push her too much, it would just drive her further away. What does change is how long she stays in hiding, when things were bad she would be under the bed for hours, now, she can be back out in minutes, carefully watching what we are doing from a safe distance.

When I got Freyja and Saturn, I had actually asked about another couple of cats I had seen advertised, a pair of nice white and black girls, really nice cats, but far more normal I guess. Between enquiring about them and going to see them, I saw Freyja advertised, and fell for her story, knowing that such a cat would be harder to home, and thinking I had enough experience to handle her and give her the time she needed. She was so scared all I really saw was a white blur going from one hiding hole to another, but i wasn't put off. I have sometimes seen the question 'who would take home a cat too scared to be seen when they visit', well I guess the answer is 'me'. Saturn we went home with, Freyja had to be brought over later, I don't know if they managed to get hold of her, or had to trap her to get her here. She may not be everyone's choice of cat, but I have never regretted choosing her, here at least she can be herself and no one is trying to force her into a mould she doesn't fit.
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