Saturday, December 17, 2016

It's Caturday, and There's a Learning Curve

It's Caturday, time to talk about my cats! James and Solstice, collectively known as The Hellions, are eight-year-old littermates. They are unusually destructive, especially for mature adult cats. Two months ago, I built them some wall shelves for more vertical space in which to rampage.

Wall-mounted shelves for cat entertainment
James has finally gotten the hang of it.
Despite a lot of training time spent gently coaxing them from one platform to the next, The Hellions were hesitant to use their new shelves. This was a bit weird, because normally they climb on anything and everything no matter how much effort I take to ward them off.

Maybe the concept of empty shelves was too alien? I figured they needed something truly irresistible to entice them, so I bought a small potted fern and set it on the highest shelf. Exactly two hours later, Solstice climbed all the way up there, ate the plant, knocked the pot down, and then spent the rest of the afternoon surveying her kingdom from on high. Solstice is a very relaxed cat, she knows neither strangers nor fear.

James took a lot longer to decide that the shelves were a good idea. He is generally a more cautious cat, and it takes him a while to warm up to new things. He started out using one or two of the shelves, but it took him a full six weeks to decide that the cat shelves were safe, fun, and inviting. I like to keep track of this sort of thing, as it pays to know how long it takes my cats to get used to something. Now that I know James can spend six weeks acclimating to a new thing in his environment, I won't be too quick to decide that my cats don't enjoy a new toy or piece of cat furniture.

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