Feline dog-training II

Starting to see results dog-training the kittens. They both come and greet me at the door when I arrive home without me calling them. Leo bounds over to say hello vocally, cavorting and purring loudly. Think feline lawnmower. Lily takes her time as though she’s slightly resentful of having to turn out when she was, after all, fast asleep. Her purr has got louder. You no longer have to place a hand on her back to tell if she’s purring or not by feeling the vibrations.

Just being there is enough for Leo but actions speak louder than anything else as far as Lily’s concerned. She’d prefer it if I had a table tennis ball on me so she could dribble it crazily around the hallway. Actually she’s probably roughly the same standard as the England football team and being just 15 weeks old, she’s bound to improve. Being a mutant does help her, having that extra finger like an opposable thumb on each front paw. Looks like she’s got a pair of baseball catcher’s gloves on and provides excellent passing finesse which Leo doesn’t possess.

Leo is much more of a dog. He’s more inclined to bring the ball back to me than pass it on. Definite “fetching” possibilities. He nicked some cheesy nibbles and had a furtive sip of g&t the other night and comes and miaows loudly in the kitchen if there is food about as though appealing for me to “accidentally on purpose” drop some in his direction. When Lily innocently padded over to see if there was any cheesy nibble going spare, the greedy big brother actually growled at her and she backed off, startled. Not that she can’t hold her own. Next time they playfight she no doubt let him have it straight in the face – a hard jab with both back feet. She could have taught Jackie Chan.

The “off” command is known to both of them now and usually effective. Sadly, they understand “No” only when they feel like it. The reaction is far too slow to stop one popular houseplant – a kind of cat leisure centre – being very gradually shredded by Lily who climbs it, hides in it and fights with it.

They will both sit and beg (not very tidily, I admit) for nano-bites of vintage cheddar. Leo will do a “down” and rolls over for a tummy tickle. You talk to him, he talks back. As a dog-like cat, he shows great promise, although I realise that his may be a passing phase and when the day comes – in less than two weeks – when he can venture into the great outdoors, his feline instincts will kick in and overwhelm any remote tendency to be dog-like.

Mutant dwarf Lily is growing into a pretty, sweet thing but gives affection strictly on her terms. She sees DT man as a challenge and takes every opportunity to flirt, nestling on to his lap for a snooze and generally schmoozing shamelessly. Same with my brother. Same with my eldest. She is a compleat tart where men are concerned but we have our tender moments too. Leo, on the other hand, isn’t interested in anyone but me.

A friend has a gorgeous working cocker pup. We compare training notes. I think that, in advance of the kittens going outside, I should maybe train them to a whistle.

“Sounds like they’re ready for dog training classes,” said my pal.

“They’d be a sensation. Tasty!”

Just told them to "sit" and "down" and "watch." Yeah in my dreams.

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Gorgeous Rudi, the cocker.

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Rudi - runs like a whippet, floats like a bee!

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About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
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11 Responses to Feline dog-training II

  1. valzone says:

    Lovely pics here Jan, especially Rudi, he looks a real cutie. Sorry I can’t share your love of felines, you probably know I have passionate dislike for cats, the photos are great though.

  2. janh1 says:

    Hi Val. Oh didn’t know your dislike was passionate! Still, all depends on experiences I suppose.

    When I was growing up at home, I was never allowed to have a dog but at various times, we had a cat – The Puss, Tommy and A.N. Other. They each just found us. All characters in their own way. I was fond of them all.

  3. IsobelandCat says:

    Love the pic of the kits and of Rudi running.
    Cat comes to the sound of my house keys.
    He knows ‘no’, but is selective in obeying it. He also knew he was not allowed on the kitchen counter and used to look as though furiously searching for a palusible excuse when I found him there. Arthritis has limited his jumping power.

  4. janh1 says:

    Laughing here at the thought of Cat’s expression while trying to think of plausible excuse!!

    Leo is the jumper here – bounds from here to there but Lily is a climber – crampons out and she’s away. She still can’t quite make the jump on to my lap from the floor.

  5. What lovely photos. Rudi in flight is a very happy dog!

    To further the training in preparation for being allowed out, you may want to consider starting to use a triangle or wind chime every time they are being fed. Then, when they go outside, rattle the triangle and they come back. Top Tip from my catsitter.

    • janh1 says:

      Great idea, thanks Sophie. Pavlov’s cat theory – and s000 country house πŸ™‚ Tinkling the triangle for dinner.

      DT man fed them twice today instead of me and they were most confused and suspicious…

      • Maybe you should use a dinner gong πŸ˜€

        I wondered if you dished up most food and Leo’s devotion is actually cupboard love (and if it is a male trait since Mackenzie is the same). Now they know there is another food provider to butter up.

  6. valzone says:

    Hi Jan. I suppose ‘passionate’ wasn’t the right word, but you get my drift. It may stem from childhood, I don’t know, I don’t think so though. I hate the sound of a cat purring, it really disturbs me. They have a presence that I dislike quite intensely, their eyes, I dislike the shape of their pupils. It is strange I know, because I love all animals, buts cats…

    It would be interesting to hear what it is about cats, people do like, I know yourself and Isobel love them, so, what is it about a cat that you like?

    My friend has two, she adores her cats. I can recall being at her house one day in her kitchen. One cat was sat on the windowsill watching us. It had a stroll along the worktops, had a sniff about at everything, then returned to the windowsill, to continue it’s stare. I was amazed why she allowed the cat to do this on a food preparation area. Eventually I had to ask her to put the cat somewhere else, I couldn’t stand it.

    • janh1 says:

      Sounds quite a deep-seated dislike. I can’t remember the cats we had at home being particularly affectionate but the Puss was a character. Totally in love with our hamster, who spent his life in a cage in the kitchen or going for a run in his hamster ball. She would lie on top of his cage and purr and he’d do his “monkey bars” act and cling to the top to stare at her. We never did trust them out together though.

      I am still getting to know my kittens and finding out about their intelligence, but they are friendly and playful and funny when they are beating each other up, very sleek and relaxing to stroke – plus they like to cuddle up to you and purr loudly. Not much not to like πŸ˜‰

      I don’t like cats on food preparation areas either, by the way!

  7. IsobelandCat says:

    It was as though he was saying ‘ I can explain’ once he realised that flattening himself wasn’t working and I could still see him.
    My father disliked cats, but mainly I think because his grandmother, who he loathed was a cat lover.
    I was always in the dog lover camp until Cat adopted me, though I never disliked cats. He has taught me a lot, and seen me through some difficult times.

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