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After discovering that Inkie stole the pile of cat biscuits in the back room, we took great care to lock everything away.
Frustrated with the loss of his secret buffet, our kitten is now on a mission. In the hunt for extra meals, he turned the house upside down, angered Target, and inadvertently called in Mother Nature to fight on his side too.
It started with Inkie channeling his inner ninja warrior. To make sure we hadn’t pulled a quick one, he went into the back room and turned the stack of reusable soap and detergent containers over. Then he rummaged through the pile of rags and tossed each item on the floor.
When it was clear there were no bags of crunchies hidden, he let me clean up and tried another method.
Every time we went into the kitchen, Inkie rushed in, stood at his bowl, and asked for biscuits. We felt guilty for ruining his fun, so he got extra charges first. But since we are thinking about his long-term health and don’t want too thick a fluff, we slowly reduced the amount and then started saying no.
Inkie fights dirty because he immediately ropes in the big guns. As he sat there meowing pathetically that he’d starved to death on only half a dozen meals a day, Tic Tac stepped forward, squeaking.
Our girl is kryptonite for the little determination we have. She also knows it and shamelessly plays it off. Except for the baby mow, she danced nicely on tiptoe, beaming with her huge blue eyes and rubbing her fluffy white tail against us.
We were helpless in their sweet labors. Completely distraught, I handed over the goods while I mumbled: “Don’t tell the other two-legged friend, OK? That’s between us. ”The only thing that saved my pride was hearing the same request from Tom.
The best way to change habits is to make small changes. I started by switching out cookie kegs and replacing the simple little screw cap with a bigger flip top. Then I pushed the barrel away from the bowls and onto the kitchen counter.
Although it required incredible mental strength, I also replaced picking up the keg with picking up the cats and petting them. Tic Tac loved to lean her chin in my hand and elongate her eyes as she purred. But Inkie was mad.
Our little Machiavelli started hopping into bed in the early hours of the morning, purring and giving me headbuttons, and demanding breakfast before dawn. At this point Target got involved.
As a Senior Cat and Executive Office Snoopervisor, our 14 year old boy spends his day with me. He’s on desk duty during office hours and sleeps on my pillow at night.
When Inkie headbutted me, he bothered Target. Like me, Target isn’t in its brightest time before dawn. As I hid my face and played myself dead, Target grumbled and registered his protest.
But inkie is more stubborn than curry stains. Our kitten screeched and stayed with it. Target stood up, grumbling.
It was a terrible tactical move. I warned him, “Don’t reward Inkie for this. Ignore him. “But Target never grasped the concept of using behaviorism for training.
Target got up and met Tic Tac, who was standing by the bed, ready to support her naughty playmate. When I refused to get involved, Inkie lay down and Tic Tac decided to take a walk on the roof. Still grumpy, Target walked with her.
Inkie didn’t give up, so we kept repeating that little scene all week. It didn’t bother me because it is against my principles to get up in the middle of the night. Plus, every unrewarded meow brought me closer to victory.
Another bonus was that Target enjoyed its early rooftop walks. It’s fresh in the morning and with the tree nearby there is also bird watching and Tupai stalking.
It was great until the rain caught him. My poor boy came home with his back soaked and his paws soaked. When he jumped into bed, rubbed against me, and complained, I ran to my aid with a towel.
Hours later I came out with a fantastic rash. My face was flushed, the skin rough and grazed. Horrified, I did the dishes, got myself an ice pack, and broke out the calamine lotion.
Since I have sensitive skin and various annoying allergies, I wasn’t too worried. I had a few reactions after cleaning. But then I realized the house was an insider tip because I was obsessed with finishing the book I was writing. In addition, the rain had softened the pollen.
As I petted Target, who offered healing pats, I remembered the impromptu shower at six o’clock. It occurred to me that maybe he was wearing a spider web on his coat and that I woke up with it on my face. I had some amazing hives after touching nets so it wasn’t a far-fetched notion.
As it turned out, I was half right. The very next day our neighbor brought Mr. Abdul, a skilled arborist, with us. While he was pruning and shaping various branches of our large tree that bees love, he also dived into the gutter and removed some of the yams that were growing there.
He tossed it down and immediately dived under the garden hose. “Bad hand,” my neighbor warned me. “It will burn you up.”
Bingo. That was what Target was wearing on his coat. I went straight to check it out, but luckily it’s perfectly fine, as are Tic Tac and Inkie. Fortunately, their fur protects their skin.
But it just goes to show that measuring yourself against a cat is a tricky business. Cutting Inkie off from his self-service cat biscuit buffet plunged us into a battle of the minds characterized by shameless manipulation and cunning counter-movements. But I never expected him to harness the power of nature.
I’m totally impressed and I think it deserves a cookie.
When your cat is up before you
Cats are very social and love to sleep with their humans. However, because they are naturally beautiful predators, they are nocturnal, especially at dawn and dusk. You cannot fight nature. Hence, it is impossible to get your kitten to act humanly. However, you can work with your pet to have your calendars synced.
Play with your pets in the morning and in the evening. Ping pong balls, feathers, tunnels, whatever gets your kitten up and running is good. Spend at least 20 minutes playing games, then give them a light meal. Add dinner half an hour before bed. Hopefully your pet will be tired and sleepy.
Also, encourage your pet to stay awake for an hour in the middle of the day. Cats sleep a lot, but they love spending time with their human family, so try going for a walk or hanging out together.
Your pet needs a place to sleep at night. Cats will tell you where they want to be. If you want, you can try to guide them by placing a pillow in a cardboard box, placing a rug next to the bed, or leaving a small gap in your bookcase.
Finally, if your kitten bumps her head or meows you in the middle of the night to wake you up, don’t reward the behavior. That means you don’t pet or talk. Teach your cat that you will not be available in bed. It will take a few weeks, but this gentle training method works.
Most importantly, never punish your cat. Your pet loves you and doesn’t think like you. Screaming or punching will only scare your pet of you. Gentle consistency is the key to success.
Orked is about a year old, vaccinated and neutered and has a very cool personality. This beautiful one-eyed, wobbly girl was rescued from the Botanical Park, KL. She loves being caressed and a little play every now and then. She is very happy to sit with you and relax while you read or work. She is a real sweetheart. Orked is in Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Interested adoptive parents please call or write an SMS on 012-202 6384.