On The Inside, Looking Out

Hat’s been an indoor member of the family for about a month and a half now. He’s not out in the main part of the house unsupervised yet, but he’s settling in really well and I couldn’t be happier with him – what a sweetheart he is! He’s learning about catnip (loves it), toys (not as good as real prey, but they’ll do) cat furniture (fun to scratch on and climb), shiny reflective surfaces (intriguing but a little scary too) and the Roomba (Whoa – WAY scary!).

I think he still misses the outdoors and his outside friends, especially his BFF Cassie. He’s interested in the front door and I’m sure it’s because he smells all the outside scents wafting in around it. Cassie has been coming by every day. Sadly, I haven’t seen Kit since before Hat came in – I keep hoping that he’ll turn up again one of these days, but I’m afraid he may have used up his 9th life :( .

Hat’s making new friends inside – he loves the dogs and the dogs love him. And he’s getting along really well with Kacey. I’m impressed – NOBODY gets along with Kacey! Biki’s kind of afraid of him and hisses when he gets too close, but she’s doing better. She gets lots of treats and play time whenever he’s out to try to impress upon her that good things happen whenever he’s around. She sniffed his tail this morning … then he turned and looked at her and she spat at him, but that was pretty bold on her part. Hat would really like to be her friend, but he wisely averts his eyes and makes himself small when she hisses at him. The boy has excellent social skills!

It’s fun observing all the kitty body language that’s going on. Cats have basically 3 ways of marking territory – spraying, scratching and rubbing their head on things. Head rubbing deposits facial pheremones, which signal friendly intent. (Feliway spray, used to calm anxious cats, is a synthetic version of facial pheremones.) Hat is a serious head bumper – the furniture, corners, me, the dogs, even Kacey. He’s making some very pushy statements of ownership … but in a nice way.

Kacey’s very excited about her new subject family member. She also spends a lot of time perched on the highest spot in the room when he’s out – a way cats signal their rank. For a cat who’s used to being “King” outside, Hat’s doing a pretty good job of asserting himself AND sucking up to the “Queen”.

He’s also pretty good at posing, when he’s not climbing into the camera!