Posted by: guinness222 | January 21, 2018

Kitten Tough Love, or how “Michael” became “Mr. Hiss” Part two of the Story

Where last we met, ….”Michael” was about to have his name changed to “Mr. Hiss,…the sainted Cat!”. Well as I said it was about six or eight weeks after we got them and they were just becoming more stealth. They were eating fine, not doing any damage, but were developing “anti-social” tendancies so we needed to break the routine for them and let them know two things; first, that we loved them, and second, that we provided for them, and at a minimum expected a little reciprocation of love as well.

So as things progressed I decided Michael’s hissing and Nikita’s alienation of us was going to have to change! So I decided that the answer was some “solitary time”. I took Michael first, (ok, I’ll admit it I liked him better anyway for his determination to protect his sister above all. So I “lured him” into the spare bedroom, closed the door and let him explore. There was no way out, no “hiddie holes” so he would have to come to grips with life. I made sure I fed him on schedule and with plenty of food. He whined a bunch, and when he didn’t Nikita would come upstairs and meow for him at the door, and try and reach under the door and touch him, and vice versa. And at feeding time I would take the food up to him, put it on the placemat by the window, and lay down on the double bed by the window and just “talk” with him for a half hour to an hour very quietly, trying to build a bond with him. After a couple of days, it began to work!

He didn’t Hiss when you came near him now, and just gave a little surprised “meow” if you touched him. This continued along with the feeding, talking to him, and after a couple days of that he actually jumped up on the bed and walked close to me to see if everything was ok! The next day he actually let me touch him and stroke him a few times, and began to meow and I swear I heard a purr of two as I chatted with him. So much for his solitary meditating time, I let him back out into general population and run of the house and he continued to explore me in particular when I’d sit on the couch, and occasionally stick his head under my forearm and lift it up, sort of a Cat sign for “OK, you can pat me now,…you’re OK!”

The next day I lured Nikita into the solitary chamber and repeated the same process. Michael spent most of his time just outside the door meowing to Nikita, (rough translation probably, “it’s OK he won’t hurt you, just be nice and time will fly, and you’ll be out quickly,….just learn and cooperate, I still love you sis!” He was more agile and could get his paw and about an inch or two of his paw and his front leg under the bedroom door. imitation seemed to calm down and relax quickly. She started letting me pat her the next day and purred even louder than Michael and seemed ready to accept us much quicker. (OK women are more intuitive and faster learners!) So I was able to let Nikita out of the bedroom and she seemed very well acclimated to us and the house.

Since they were born feral, we decided letting them outside alone was out of the question, or they would be gone, so we bought a couple of leashes, and collars and that was a waste of time and money! Our first cats we adopted back in New England, Toonses, and Tiddles defied all cat logic, all we had to do was open the back sliding door, whistle and call them by name and poof!, they appeared and came right in the house. They were kittens when we got them, but they immediately took to us, and were just SUPER little cats, both common Orange Tigers, and brothers as well.

Since Michael would still Hiss at us once in a while,….and all we did was say “No hissing!” and shake a finger at him, we started calling him “Hiss” and the name stuck, and as many times as we tried to get him to stop before going to “Solitary”, we noticed he would stop and look at us with the “You talking ta Me? look. So the name Mr. Hiss was coined and stuck for the last 19 years.

Being a “macho” male cat, Mr. Hiss started chasing Nikita more often, and not in a “fun and games” way, but a more 15 year old hormonal teenager way. So we took them both to the Veternarian and had them “fixed”. (Down here in Florda there are Feral Cats everywhere, a restaurant was out of business for less than a year and when the property changed hands they had to remove over 100 feral cats from the place, it took a couple of weeks to round them all up and remove them!

Mr. Hiss began to mature, but still wanted his sister BAD. Again being responsible animal parents, we knew this would eventually lead to huge frustration problems, so we opted to turn Nikita, the Vixen over to a “no-kill” shelter, and they were so impressed with her the employees adopted her, and shortly there after she was running the place and had the run of the place to boot!

And that’s how we wound up with Tom, Barb, and Mr. Hiss.

Stay tuned for the final installment next time, “Mr. Hiss, 18 years of love and care,…..for all of us.

-30-

January 21, 2018


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