Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Kittens are Developing Personalities and Habits

The first of two posts for today.

Our two new kittens, Lily and Ruby, are beginning to show their little personalities and they are definitely relating to us far more than they were on their arrival only a few days ago. They are getting very bold, too, and Ruby’s latest trick is to try to dash through into the main house when we open the door into the flat – the time is fast approaching when we’ll be giving them the run of the house – parts of it under strict supervision, though! Otherwise it would be like letting a tornado loose, as they are no respecters of our possessions!

I am trying to teach them to use the scratching post to sharpen their claws, rather than the carpet (their favourite at the moment). Each time they do it, I say “No!” and if I can catch them, I pick them up and and put their paws on the scratching post and make the appropriate movement! Hopefully eventually they will get the idea! Once the big cat tree is available to them, there will be more scratching posts for them on there, too.

Another trick Ruby has developed which definitely needs to be discouraged in the strongest possible terms is climbing up my legs when I am feeding them. Her claws are like little needles! I tell her “No!” very firmly, and splash her with a bit of water – it always happens when I am washing their bowls in preparation for filling them with the next meal. She really doesn’t like this, and hopefully it will make the association in her mind that climbing my legs has an immediate and not very pleasant consequence! This definitely needs nipping in the bud before she grows any bigger and does me serious damage!

We are trying to teach them not to climb up onto the table or onto the bureau. They get a “No!” when we see their intention, and “Get down!” if they take no notice of the “No!” in an appropriate tone of voice, and they do usually obey, but if not, we lift them down and put them firmly on the floor with no words spoken, or cuddles or strokes given. We then put them onto one of their toys in an effort to give them something more constructive to do. It helps when one of them is trying to go somewhere inappropriate and her sister comes along and distracts her with a game!

When they are a bit bigger, I am going to get them started on clicker training. I’m not into getting them to perform tricks, but to get them to come when called, and to channel them into good behaviour rather than going where we don’t want them, is my aim. I have mugged up on this on the Internet over the past few weeks and have discovered that it is a very positive and affirming activity, and the cats come to enjoy it very much, as it involves lots of attention and treats!

Ruby is extremely vocal at feeding times, issuing very loud and sustained miaows, and I’m amazed that one so small can make so much noise! The trouble is, when I put the bowls down, she doesn’t immediately want to eat and I have to pick her up and put her in front of the food! She tends to follow me back into the kitchen and do the leg-climbing trick again if I don’t watch out! Ruby is one feisty kitty! Lily is much better behaved at feeding times.

They are both getting a lot more affectionate with each other and with us. They always sleep together, and wash one another frequently. When I went into the room yesterday morning, I was greeted by Ruby making a bee-line for me and crying and wanting to be picked up for a cuddle! Every time I sit down, she wants to climb up onto my lap, and she purrs her little head off. She has definitely bonded with me. She loves nothing better than to be close to me and sleeping in my arms, once she’s exhausted herself with all that vigorous play! Yesterday she fell deeply asleep and was dreaming – her little paws started moving, and then she began little suckling noises – obviously dreaming she was back with her mother. I had forgotten that our previous kitties did this when they were kittens, too.

Lily is quieter than Ruby, and she is not so interested in cuddles with me, so when my hubby is around, he makes a special fuss of her. She seems a quieter personality and less dependent – Ruby could be described as clingy with me! I love her dearly – well, I love them both of course, but it rather looks as if she will be “mine” and Lily will “belong” to my hubby! This is lovely for me, because for so many years, I had to put up with both kitties making a bee-line for my hubby, especially Beatrice, and I never got a look-in unless he was out. (To be accurate, I think Ruby has decided that I “belong” to her, not the other way around!)

We are trying to persuade them not to come up when we are eating, but this is quite a task with Ruby – I can put her down on the floor 10-12 times during the meal! She is like a little teasel with her claws and you need both hands in order to pull her forwards to undo the claws that are hooked into you!

We have recently visited two National Trust houses (Barrington Court and Lytes Carey in Somerset, on days when we first visited, and then collected, the kittens) and they always put a teasel head on the antique chairs that they don’t want people to sit on (could be painful – you’d get a prickly bum!) and it occurred to me that I could hire Ruby out to work for the National Trust, to lie on her back on a chair and play the teasel with her claws!

A selection of photos and videos as our new kittens approach ten weeks of age.

It’s been really warm and sunny today, so here they are, sunbathing by the glass door.

Both Kittens Sunbathing 1-8-17

Lily Sunbathing 1-8-17

Ruby Sunbathing 1-8-17

Later on, when my hubby came home, he had a cuddle with Ruby.

Ruby with N with Paws in Air 1-8-17

Ruby with N Showing Tummy 1-8-17

Here he is with Lily.

N and Lily - Button Hunt 1-8-17

A very affectionate and loving pair of kittens as shown by the following little video.

The only time I get to photograph them is when they are asleep or being cuddled, because when they are playing, they move too fast and it comes out all blurred! For that, video is the only answer!

A recording of the two of them on my lap, purring together.

I have discovered the only way I can put a sound recording onto my blog using Open Live Writer is to create a video and insert that.

Isn’t this the most delicious sound? I was so thrilled the other day when I first heard Ruby, and then Lily, purr. They do it all the time now.

1 comment:

  1. Listening to Oreo purr always calms me down! There have even been scientific studies that show that the sound of purring lowers people's blood pressure! They're so-so cute and it's interesting to learn about their different personalities. I must say Oreo never bothers us when we eat and he never demands food. He sometimes comes up to me and meows just to let me know that he's hungry but then he just sits patiently waiting for his food. On the dark side though, he's mangled one of our armchairs - it's an old one destined for landfill, so we didn't mind too much but we're afraid to buy a new one now. When we move, it will be a good time to establish some new rules. We let him get away with scratching the furniture for too long and it became a habit for him. You gave me an idea with the water - maybe I'll have one of those mister bottles handy and spray him every time he claws the furniture and hopefully, he'll get the message! Lovely that Ruby is bonding with you - birds of a feather, LOL? Lily sounds lovely too and perfect for hubby to spoil with love!

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