(There’s finally been a break in the storms that have plagued Oklahoma all week, and Dezi and Raena settle in to eat breakfast and chat about recent and future happenings)
Hey RaenaBelle, ya’ know, when mommy says there’s a tornado and ya’ need to get away from the window, ya’ really should get away from the window.
But she closed the door sissy. How else am I’s s’posed to see what’s goin’ on?
Sometimes Raena, ya’ don’t need to see what’s goin’ on. Kinda like tomorrow. You realize mommy ain’t taking either of us to her surgery, right? You ain’t plannin’ on standin’ at the door and caterwaulin’ the whole time are ya’?
I’s did hear her sayin’ somethin’ like that, but I’s thought she was just jokin’. How long is she gonna be gone? And why ain’t she takin’ at least one of us? And by one of us, I’s mean me. I’s don’t like it when mommy leaves me.
She’s gonna be gone most of the day. We might even get dinner late. As fur why she ain’t takin’ us, well, when she goes with another human, she thinks they can take care of whatever might happen.
So this human that’s takin’ mommy to her surgery can smell when mommy’s gonna pass out? How does she alert mommy.
No silly. Humans can’t smell anythin’. Well, that’s not completely true, but they can’t smell like we do. And they fur sure don’t know anythin’ ‘bout alerts. But mommy says ifin she does pass out, the human would be able to help her. Ya’ know, all she really needs is to be given a little breathin’ room and she’ll come back ‘round soon enuff. And the human can help her re-orient by tellin’ mommy where she is, what day it is, what time it is and you know, all those things mommy has to figger out after comin’ back ‘round. And while mommy’s in surgery, she’ll actually be knocked out. It’ll kinda be like she’s sleepin’.
Really sissy? Well who’s gonna give mommy her massages?
Nopawdy Raena. Mommy won’t need a massage fur surgery. But she’ll need purrlenty when she gets home.
Well I’s don’t like it sissy. I’s don’t like it at all. I’s think mommy might need me. I’s’ll just have to dance it up and make her take me.
Raena, it don’t matter how much dancin’ you do, mommy ain’t takin’ us. Why don’t you invite a furiend over fur a play date. That’ll help keep you occupied and outta me’s fur. And fur sure away from the door. We don’t want the neighbors turnin’ us in fur a noise complaint, cuz of all your caterwaulin’.
Can I’s invite Simon?
(Raena coyly drops her head, and peers up at Dezi while twisting back and forth)
Yep Raena, you can invite Simon. So long as ya’ll don’t chase me. One floofy tailed chaser is all me can handle at a time.
We won’t chase you sissy… (Raena crosses her paws behind her back and quietly, under her breath meows) much. Is mommy gonna be okay sissy?
Yes Raena, she’ll be fine. We’re purrayin’ fur her and so are all our furiends.
Will she be able to help us with our bloggy?
Uh, you mean, Me’s bloggy? Hopefully she’ll be up to it Furiday, but ifin not, she’ll fur sure help us with Blest Sunday. We’ll just have to be patient and wait and see how she feels when she gets home. Now, come on, we have to get ready fur company ifin you’re invitin’ Simon over, and the pawrty over at Shoko and Kali’s. You know, their pawrents have gone away fur a couple of weeks and left them with a sitter.
A couple of weeks? Mommy better not be getting’ any ideas of leavin’ us fur that long…Ever!!!
Don’t worry Raena, mommy couldn’t be without us that long. Me bets she’s gonna miss us more tomorrow than we’ll miss her.
Yeah right. I’s bet you’re wrong, wrong, wrong, sissy. You may be smart ‘bout a lot of things, but that ain’t one of ‘em.
We’ll see Raena. Now let’s go get ready fur your play date. And say fank you to all our furiends fur purrayin’ fur mommy tomorrow. Don’t furget to enter our #LumaSoothe give away by clicking the foto below.
MeOW and welcome to Service Cat Monday. We purreciate your patience and understandin’ fur lettin’ us take last Monday off. It’s been another week and mommy still hasn’t gotten us a special graphic. Can you believe it? Anyways, we haven’t gotten any new questions, so we’ll be tellin’ a Raena trainin’ story today. We welcome any and all trainin’/behavioral/health questions. Altho’ mommy has spent the last 30 years trainin’ kitties, she started out trainin’ doggies. And most of our tips will work fur both cats and dogs, as well as a few other species. You can ask your questions in the comments section or send us an email. A little known fact is that mommy has also trained a pig and broke horses. Yep, mommy has a purretty colorful past. MOL As with all our trainin’ posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translation and reader ease. Our trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step trainin’ manual as trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can click the links at the bottom of this or any Service Cat Monday post. Alrighty then, business is outta the way, so let’s check in on Raena and the wheelchair.
Me should tell ya’ first, that Raena, is so attached to mommy, she doesn’t like it when mommy tries to do anything without her. And me means anything. We have a pawsum cat tree that sits right in front of the living room window and a small perch that mommy puts in front of the door every day so we can look out if we want to. From the tree and the perch, we can clearly see the whole parking lot, trash can and mailboxes. But when mommy takes out the trash or checks the mail, Raena sits at the door and meows at the top of her lungs. Mommy says, she sees a lot of the traits that made sis Lexi such a good Service Cat in Raena. Now me wants to say, Raena is NOT sis Lexi, and we’re not looking for her to be. And while any and all kitties/doggies can be trained, some are more prone to be Service Animals due to their personalities.
Anyways, we left off with mommy teaching Raena all about the wheelchair’s control panel and the buttons. Raena has a real good handle on the power button and horn. She can successfully power the chair on and off; and stays put when she honks the horn. The next lesson is to get Raena to bite the joystick and move the chair. Initially, mommy isn’t looking for her to drive through the house; she just needs Raena to be comfortable biting the joystick and staying in place when the chair moves. That sounds easy peasy doesn’t it? It might be for a human who can understand the concept, but us kitties like stability. It’s very important that Raena not get scared and try to jump down when the chair is moving. Most of these electric wheelchairs weigh a couple hundred pounds and could literally kill a kitty if they were to get run over. It would for sure cause damage. Most chairs continue to roll slightly even after the joystick isn’t being pushed.
So, every day mommy picks up Raena and they head for the wheelchair for a lesson. Me heads to higher ground for safety and to watch the show. Mommy sits Raena in her lap, gives her a few extra hugs and “scent me ups” and then positions her with her front paws on the arm of the wheelchair and her behind sitting on mommy’s right leg. Mommy puts one hand under Raena to offer support and puts her other hand on Raena’s head so she can gently guide her. Mommy then tells Raena to “Power On”. This is the cue for turning on the chair. We did cover this part of the training in Raena and the wheelchair Pt. 1, so we won’t repeat all those steps, and just move on. Raena pushes the power button, and usually the horn too. That girl does love to make noise. Mommy gives her praise and gently rubs her chin for a few seconds. Then mommy gently positions Raena’s head over the joystick and tells her “Bite”.
Now let me tell ya’, it doesn’t take much coercing to get Raena to bite anything, so the training here is to have her continue to hold on to the joystick without chewing on it. Once Raena has a hold of the joystick, mommy gently pushes her head down and says “Hold” to ensure she doesn’t let go. Mommy then praises Raena, and uses the hand positioned under Raena’s belly to rub her for a few seconds. Then, mommy releases Raena’s head and let’s her take her mouth off the joystick. These steps are repeated off and on for the whole session. Raena’s pretty smart and seems to enjoy training so her training sessions can last up to 30 minutes at a time. Remember, training sessions must be repeated at least once daily, and shouldn’t last more than about 15 minutes a session. But, you know your kitty/doggy, and if they are genuinely engaged, you may go over the 15 minutes. Mommy recommends only increasing sessions by 5 minute increments. It’s better to stop a session with kitty/doggy still wanting to perform than to go too long and have them run from you when it’s time for another training session. Training is serious business, but it should be seen as fun for kitty/doggy.
Never move on to the next step until kitty/doggy can repeat the previous steps successfully at least 98% of the time. Raena is performing Bite and Hold at about 95%, so mommy is still focusing on this step. Mommy keeps the wheelchair on the lowest speed setting for these training sessions so that the chair doesn’t move even if Raena accidentally pushes or pulls the joystick. However, remember those speed buttons are on the control panel right beside the power button and horn button; and we are kitties with big paws. Just the other day, mommy and Raena sat down for a training session and unbeknownst to mommy, Raena pushed the speed button before settling back in for the joystick Bite. Needless to say, mommy and Raena were both surprised when the chair started moving when Raena bit down on the joystick. Thankfully, Raena isn’t afraid of anything, and her response was to let go of the joystick and sit back in mommy’s lap. And thankfully, Raena had only pushed the speed button twice, so they didn’t move too far or fast. Me had thought for sure they were gonna run right into the cat tree, but they didn’t.
Me’s gonna wrap it up fur today. As you can see, Training sessions are laborious and Repetitive. But in the end, kitty/doggy will be happy and well trained. All kitties/doggies can benefit from some training. While you might not need a Service Cat, there are simple commands that can increase your bond with kitty and keep your home happy and everyone getting along and knowing and respectin’ the boundaries. Mommy says that Raena should be ready fur her furst actual driving lesson by next week. Altho’ that estimate was made before we knew she would be going to the dentist on Fursday; so it may be another week or so, but we’ll keep you updated with her progress. And no, mommy still hasn’t figured out how to take fotos/videos durin’ the actual trainin session. ‘Member to leave your comments or questions below, and check out our previous posts fur tips and tricks fur many trainin’ points fur kitty/doggy.
Don’t furget to enter our LumaSoothe give away by clickin’ the Entry foto below. And ifin ya’ missed it, check out our review here.
Hey Raena, where did you and mommy go the other day to get all those britches she’s been washin’?
I’s don’t know sissy, but after we sold our aluminum cans mommy saw a sign and said “Oh my cats Raena, we’ve gotta go back”. We did some kinda middle of the road turn and went into this big store with racks and racks of clothes. She kept throwin’ jeans in this basket till we couldn’t see the bottom anymore.
Well how many green papers till all those blue jeans cost?
What do I’s know ‘bout green papers, sissy? I’s know mommy was happy, and there was purrlenty left over fur treats. What? (Mommy says something to Raena) Oh, okay. Sissy, mommy says they had a bag sale at the Good Will and she got 10 pairs of jeans and a couple dress pants fur $2.00.
Oh, dat’s purretty good. Me thinks she has plans to cut some of them off and make some shorts fur summer. That means she’s gonna be draggin’ out the sewin’ machine soon.
Sewin’ Machine? What’s a sewin’ machine. sissy?
Oh Raena, the sewin’ machine is soooooooo much fun. There’s strings fur playin’ everywhere. Altho’ mommy gets really mad when you walk over the foot pedal. Somethin’ ‘bout a needle goin’ thru her finger. So whatever you do, stay away from that pedal. Me knows it looks like fun, but there’s purrlenty of other things to play with.
There’s a foot pedal? Am I’s gonna learn to sew sissy?
Nope Raena, sewin’ ain’t on our list of duties. It’s kinda like the carpet monster and mop. They exist, but we don’t have to use ‘em.
Well that’s good. Cuz you know this wheelchair drivin’ thing isn’t as easy as I’s thought it would be. But it sure is fun, watchin’ you run. MOL
That’s not nice Raena. Me just wants to make sure you don’t run over me. You can sure be dangerous with that thing. Besides, you’re not s’posed to be watchin’ me. Maybe that’s why it’s takin’ so long fur you to learn.
Mommy says I’s no more dangerous than you were sissy. And that’s I’s right on schedule.
She’s just tryin’ to make you feel better Raena, cuz me’s a wonderful driver.
Sure you are sissy. Like the other day when you ran us into the wall?.
That was your fault Raena. Ifin you hadn’t swiped me’s leg, me wouldn’t have veered off course. Anyways, this isn’t Service Cat Monday, it’s Blest Sunday. And are we ever blest. As we told everypawdy on Furiday, mommy has a ‘pointment to start getting’ her teeths fixed. Ifin anypawdy missed the good mews you can read ‘bout it here. That means the total green papers we need to get all the work done is gonna be less than originally anticipated. Mommy says she’ll have to wait till after the ‘pointment to know exactly how many teeth are removed by the surgeon on Fursday, but she thinks our total will drop by ‘bout a thousand dollars. She will make the adjustment to the fundraiser once she knows fur sure. In the meantime, ifin ya’ wanna help us out, you can donate directly to our paypal at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the fundraiser here.
That’s such pawsum mews sissy. We’re so excited. And we’ve got a pawssible ride, we just need to lock her in. Ifin anypawdy can spare a purrayer we’d purreciate it. The lady we’re talkin’ to is a little scared to drive in the city. But we know she can do it, we just need her to get the courage to say yes. And we’d also like to say a meowsy big fanky fanks to awnty Debbie, Katie and Waffles fur their donation to help mommy. I’s think that Waffles is a handsum kitty boy. But I’s hear he’s a real ladies mancat. And we also wanna fanky fank our Anonymous Angels. They’ve not only helped with green papers, but also in helpin’ mommy navigate the system, and tryin’ to find mommy a ride.
Dat’s right Raena. There’s been a couple times they’ve pulled mommy off the ledge durin’ all of this. And me also wants to say fank you to awnty Vonda and all her kitties. She sent some green papers fur me to get a new harness/vest to match yours and mommy’s furinally well enuff to measure me and get it ordered. Me can’t wait fur it to get here.
Me either sissy. We’ll be stylin’ together.
Sure we will Raena. (Dezi rolls her eyes) Anyways, there’s all the other blessings we’re fankful fur today too. We have a luvvin’ furever home, food in our bellies and on our plates, and the bestest furiends in the universe. We always wanna remind ya’ll to take a minute today and every day to give thanks fur the many blessings in your lives. No matter what’s goin’ on, there’s always a blessing just waitin’ to be found. Every night we purray and ask God to keep His hands on all our furiends and bless ya’ll abundantly.
I’s luvs purrayer time, sissy. Let’s not furget to link up with the Kitties Blue fur Sunday Selfies befur we go. (The phone rings and Raena rushes to try to answer it before mommy. Mommy grabs the phone and a short conversation ensues. Mommy begins to cry and say a bunch of thank yous and God bless yous.) OMC, OMC, OMC!!!!! While we was writin’ this very posty, the lady mommy’s been talkin’ to ‘bout takin’ her to her surgery ‘pointment called. Guess what she said?
Well Raena, by the tears in mommy’s eyes and the Cheshire grin, It’s a GO!!! Mommy now has a ride to her ‘pointment on Fursday!!! WooHoo (Dezi and Raena zoom thru the house and run up the cat tree and end up together in mommy’s lap) We gotta go and help mommy celebrate. Don’t furget to enter our give away fur that pawsum LumaSoothe by clickin’ the entry photo above. And check out our review here.
I’s took a break from lookin’ out the door. Things are really blowin’ ‘round out there. I’s never seen anythin’ like it. Mommy says it’s cuz this is mine’s furst Spring, and there’s nuffin’ quite like Spring.
Well, that’s true. Spring brings warmer weather, wind, storms, and all kinds of new stuffs.
That warmer weather stuffs is so right, sissy. You know when mommy and me went to her ‘pointment on Monday, it was really hot out. Fank catness we had air conditionin’ in the car. Did you enjoy your alone time?
Me sure did Raena. Me napped, used the pawdee box without you stalkin’ me, played a little and, well, then me kinda missed you and mommy. Ya’ll were gone longer than me thought you’d be.
Yeah, sissy, it did take us longer than mommy had originally thought. You know, an angel, and we know she was an angel, cuz nopawdy knows her or had heard anythin’ ‘bout what she told mommy; and we haven’t been able to find her again. Mommy had called a dentist office to see ‘bout their prices and this angel told mommy to call her case worker and get them to approve her fur emergency assistance to get her teeth fixed. Mommy had never heard of such, and when she called her case worker, she hadn’t either. But eventually mommy got somepawdy that told her Medicaid would pay fur any emergency extraction deemed medically necessary with prior approval. So Monday we headed out to a dentist to see ifin any of mommy’s teeth qualify.
We was runnin’ late cuz mommy accidentally drifted off a few hours minutes in her chair. You know, she was s’posed to stay awake all night. Anyways, I’s danced and chortled till mommy agreed to take me, and we rushed off. As soon as we got outta the complex we ended up behind this guy in a pick up truck that was swervin’ all over the road. Even tho’ it’s illegal to use those cell fones while drivin’, ‘pawrently he just couldn’t wait to chat it up with whoever. It was purretty scary, so mommy kinda just backed off and we followed him till we got to a town with a red light so we could safely get ‘round him. It wasn’t till we got to the office that mommy realized she had furgotten to bring the camera, and her x-rays. Anyways, we were the only ones in the office and the staff was really nice. They didn’t really make googly eyes over me tho’. I’s not know what was wrong with them, but at least they were nice to mommy.
Doctor Washington came in and poked ‘round in mommy’s mouth a bit and ordered a panoramic x-ray. We had to go to this room where mommy’s head disappeared into this helmet that went ‘round and ‘round her head. It was purretty cool. It was kinda like the last one she had done, but this time she was sittin’ down. Anyways, after the x-ray, Doctor Washington, said there was 6 teeths that Medicaid would pay fur. The criteria fur them payin’ is that death is immanent ifin said teeth are not removed in a timely manner. Then he told her she’d have to go to Oklahoma City to have them removed cuz no oral surgeons ‘round here take Medicaid. The appointment was made fur next Fursday the 30th. Now mommy has to find a ride. The office requires somepawdy drive mommy to her surgery ‘pointment and wait fur her to get finished.
Yeah, me knows mommy’s been a little stressed over that one, cuz we don’t have anypawdy who can take her. She’s been callin’ ‘round to all kinds of places tryin’ to hire somepawdy fur that day. Our closest furiends live down ‘round the Dallas/Ft Worth area, or Northern Oklahoma. ‘Course, me would make a shout out to ya’ll; ifin you’d be willin’ to help us out and take mommy, we fur sure would get ya’ some green papers fur your troubles.
We sure would sissy. Anyways, after the dentist visit, mommy decided to take her cans and sell ‘em. The trunk’s been full fur a couple of months now. We made a whole $15.00, so mommy treated me to some bacon. Furst, we stopped off at the Wally World to get mommy some bread and look at the treats. Mommy said they didn’t have any treats we would eat, so we left and stopped at the pet store to get a bag of somethin’. We got a new Ulta store last Christmas, well actually Ardmore got it. Anyways, we walked ‘round in there a bit too. Mommy luvs that beauty stuffs. The peeps there sure were pushy helpful. They kept tryin’ to get mommy to buy somethin’ help mommy out. “Do you want a bag to place your items in? Can I help ya’ find somethin’?” Mommy kept tellin’ ‘em we was just lookin’, but they kept hoverin’ anyways. When mommy furinally got tired of it, we headed to the mickey D’s to get me some bacon; and headed home.
Well, wha’d ya’ think ‘bout the bacon, Raena?
I’s not sure sissy. I’s guess it’s okay, but I’s would rather stick with freeze dried chicky breasts. I’s didn’t know why we didn’t stop at the place that said chicken filets (Chick-fil-A). Anyways, it was a long day, but I’s did enjoy spendin’ time with mommy. But I’s missed you too sissy. I’s was glad to be home.
Me was glad ya’ll were home too. Me got a LumaSoothe treatment and then we had dinner and treats. Dat’s always a great way to end a day. Meowin’ of the LumaSoothe, don’t furget to head on over and enter our give away by clickin’ the Enter Here graphic below.
Fanky fanks fur the reminder sissy. Now let’s link up with Rascal, Rocco and their pawsum co-hosts fur the Pet Parade and let mommy make some more calls to find her a ride. We can sure use the purrayers of our furiends, so that we can get all this worked out. Havin’ Medicaid pay fur these 6 teeths, means that mommy doesn’t need as much money to get the rest of her teethies fixed. We’d like to remind everypawdy ‘bout the fundraiser here, just in case you wanna donate and/or share. And you can always donate directly to our paypal with our email address: email@example.com.