We came home tonight from a shopping expedition to a ticked off, wee, feral cat. Cienna waited until Jatina sat down on the couch to run up, smack her once with a soft paw, meep, and nip Jatina three times … before fleeing. This is how Cienna says she dislikes us leaving her alone for so long.
I fear we didn’t scold her. It’s hard to. She’s so cute. And to be fair, Cienna’s nips are barely pinches. Plus … it is kinda hard to take an attack by an Angry Tribble seriously. Because, damn, she is! She is a tribble! She’s furry, all dark, with an almost invisible nose, and when you look at her all you see is fuzzball, with big eyes, trying to be scary. I mean, look at that face!
And it doesn’t help that Cienna’s GO TO sound for expressing deep displeasure is “Meep!”. It’s kinda hard to fear a “Meep!”
If she isn’t meeping, she’s burring. She talks to herself about absolutely everything. It’s constant. She burrs when she comes into a room, and burrs when she leaves it. Burrs if she finds something interesting to play with, burrs when she hops on the couches. Burrs if we move, turn on a light, give her a snack, pet her, everything. Burr. Burr. Burr.
But it’s “MEEP!!” if you tick her off.
In other news, Cienna has sectioned off the house into ZONES OF SAFETY. Each room has it’s own Danger Level. The kitchen is the worst.
In the kitchen, no one can touch The Cienna. She is extremely careful to never let us get too close. She hides and watches us warily. And if we do come too close, she flees in a panic, regardless if we whether or not we were looking at her.
But take a few steps out of the kitchen to sit on the couch and you are now in another Zone. Here she is a bit more sociable. She plays, she wanders around us, wrapping her tail around our legs, but she still resists being picked up.
And in the bedrooms … Cienna now wants to be held. All the time. Extra points if you are on the computer and you need both hands. Because Cienna wants to be held in an arm so she can see what you are doing. She hops up with her tiny paws and burrs at you. She’ll do it twice. You get two chances. Because if you haven’t picked her up by the third time, you get a “meep”, and a smack.
Then there is the bathroom. The bathroom is a special place. It is Cienna’s favorite room. This is where she bonds with us by … racing into it every time one of us makes a move toward the back of the hall. And then she hops in her cat box and waits. So we can … go together.
Being a Fixed Lady has changed one thing though. Cienna has upgraded the living room to a “Safe to Sleep on Human Laps” zone. This began a day after she was back from the vet. And she’s become pretty insistent about that lap sleeping. If you perch on the couch and do not lean back to provide a lap, she will stare at you in disdain, before meeping and giving you a smack.
But it’s not all Meeps and Burring. There is her … irksome tendency to test if other things in the house can be used as cat boxes. This … is also getting better. But one tip for anyone looking at taming a feral kitten? Fake suede on furniture is quite water resistant. Thank God.
And then there is the trauma thing. Cienna still has some serious trauma about trusting people when she sleeps. Whenever she hops into a lap, or allows herself to be held, and then gets sleepy, the moment she begins to relax, she starts trembling. This has been a fairly consistent behavior from the moment she left her kitty bag and became more autonomous. And I suspect something pretty bad happened to her when she was sleeping with her momma and siblings, because she never does it when she’s sleeping alone. Only if she’s on a lap or in someone’s arms.
It’s disconcerting. Because she so obviously wants to be with us when she sleeps now. But it scares her. Poor wee baby. But, as I said, it is getting better, and the trembling stops in only a few moments now if we cuddle her. So we cuddle the BeJeezers out of her as often as we can.
And I think that’s all for now. I wish you all well. And that you’ll be planting flowers this Spring.