Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Happy Birthday, Stanley!

In a post I wrote a few weeks ago, I mentioned Stanley, and Judee inquired as to who Stanley was. I introduced you to him in this post, but it’s probably time that I give you an update. Stanley is my cat, and today is his third birthday. This dog person, ignorant of all things feline, adopted a cat during the pandemic. My only experience with cats prior to this was when my son, his wife, and their two cats, moved in with me for six weeks while awaiting the completion of their new home. I fell in love with their cats, and longed to have one of my own.

My ignorance played into my hands when I adopted Stanley. Had I known his background, I probably wouldn’t have done so. I must say that when one of the women at the shelter followed me out to my car when I was taking Stanley home and said to me how much they appreciated my “taking a chance on Stanley” adding that he was the kind of cat who would be likely to spend his entire life in a shelter, I wondered what I was getting into. He had apparently been at another shelter and had completely shut down. He would interact with no one. So he moved to the shelter where I found him and still didn’t have much to do with anyone. He had come from a home where he hadn’t been treated particularly well. The home was full of big dogs and small children, and that was a combination that proved difficult for him.

 When I brought him home, I didn’t see him for a month. He hid that entire time. The only reason I knew that I even had a pet was because his food bowl would periodically empty, and the litter box would be used. I was patient. I had no idea what I was doing anyway, so I just kept doing it; I let him call the shots. When one day I saw his little face at the top of the steps leading to the lower level, I was thrilled. At that point I decided that I was going to hand feed him by playing hockey with little pieces of kibble, shooting them across the floor to him one by one, each time making the length shorter and shorter until eventually he was eating out of my hand.  He still wouldn’t let me touch him, but I loved being able to get that close.

A month to the day of my adopting him, I was stretched out on the bed watching something on TV, and he leapt on top of it and started rubbing up against me and purring.  That was a wonderful day! We have been best buddies ever since. He is a sweet and loving cat. He is, however, still skittish. If I move too quickly he will flinch. He still will not let me pick him up. I never grew up with a cat, I always had dogs, but I am so in love with my sweet boy Stanley, and he seems fairly relaxed with me.

For those of you who are cat people, I would like some tips on how to get him to use scratching posts. I have bought every kind imaginable -- upright, flat, wavy, triangular, and I can’t get him to use any of them. He does seem to like the furniture, and that’s not working for me.

Thanks for asking, Judee. I do love my boy, even when he awakens me at 5:00 AM to put food into his bowl that he then proceeds to ignore. Cats!

 Happy Birthday, Stanley!


gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

So interesting Patti- I too grew up with dogs and when we got our cat we were naive to how to interact. We too got the "wrong " cat as she came farm a farm cat who was basilicaaly feral and not real sociable.We too let her call the shots and got used to her and her habits. I'm glad Stanley is coming around and warming up. My grandkids have a friendly cat who has helped us love cats. Sorry I have. no suggestions- but Stanley looks really cute. Happy 3rd!

Gina said...

I forgot that you had gotten a cat - I have been mulling that over myself. Have you considered getting a cat tower? I had a cat once who absolutely shredded the arm of a beautiful upholstered chair in my bedroom, earning himself a declawing and I am not sorry about it one bit. It probably kept him alive. He was 100% indoors anyway and he got loads of loving. I have also had cat clippers I used on previous cats but I think the key was I started that early and they were used to it. We always used a squirt bottle of water to discourage the clawed ones from clawing the furniture - oh, how they hated that. We also put treats around the cat tower to make it seem like a fun place, and that had some success, too. Good luck!

Marie Smith said...

Such a beautiful cat!How wonderful that you let him set the dynamic in the relationship. He must have been wonderful company during the pandemic. I hope you have many happy years together!

Linda said...

Happy Birthday sweet Stanley! This post just warms my heart, I love him too! You may not term yourself a cat person, but you are the best - kind and patient, and that's what they need when they've been hurt like that. He looks so sweet and relaxed and happy.

sandy said...

I LOVE this story and the beautiful photos. What a significant point in your love affair with Stanley when he jumped up on your bed. I loved reading this. We also rescued a cat, Beanie, and i had actually never had a full time indoor cat before. We had ferals and a few cats when the kids were little that had to stay outdoors. I was never a cat person until I actually met one and interacted with them. They are so smart and sometimes so indignant if you try to pet them when they aren't in the mood. Anyway we have to keep beanie's nails clipped which my husband does so that cuts down on a lot of damage to furniture from scratching. Other than that, nothing has helped.

hugbandit7 said...

Happy Birthday could I forget about him and how long it took him to come around?! So glad he is now your best bud and he just needed the right person to bring him out of his shell. And no clue on scratching posts. Maybe put foil where he scratches? Put catnip on the posts where you do want him to scratch? I'll have to ask my cat friend (she has 6) if she has any tips.