Hey everypawdy it’s me, RaenaBelle, from mine’s purrch atop the cat tree at the Three Belles Ranch. I’s can’t see much out of the window. Covered with mini blinds and curtains, open only in the middle, mine’s view to the outside world is skewed. Mommy says it’s too cold to have the door open and she’s tryin’ to purr-pare a noise barrier fur when the construction starts. She says it’s our new normal, least fur the time bein’.
Doesn’t it seem strange with the door closed Raena? Mommy says peeps all over the world only open their doors when they’re enterin’ or leavin’ their homes.
I’s know sissy. It does seem strange. Fur as long as I’s can ‘member, we’ve always opened our door every meownin’ befur brekky. This is fur sure gonna take some gettin’ used too. Don’t you think? I’s mean, you know how we kitties are with closed doors.
Yeah Raena, we can no longer see peeps comin’ up the walk. Now we have to wait on ‘em to knock on the door or ring the doorbell. Did you know the doorbell used to scare me?
Really sissy? Why?
Me’s not sure Raena; maybe cuz it’s so loud and comes outta nowhere.
Hmmmmmm I’s like the doorbell. When it rings, it usually means we’re gettin’ somethin’. Like the other day when the Fedex man rang and left our noms.
Yeah Raena, me doesn’t mind it ringin’ when we get somethin’. ‘Course, it doesn’t really bother me any more. Mommy always tells us how proud she is of us when we don’t run, so me just decided to stop bein’ scared of it. Me likes it when mommy’s proud of us.
I’s do too sissy. Ya’ know, I’s thinkin’ we should get some treats fur not bein’ ‘fraid. What do you think?
Me’s not sure mommy thinks that’s treat worthy Raena. Besides, you didn’t eat your treats the last three times mommy gave ‘em to ya’.
I’s don’t like that kind anymore sissy. I’s wanted somethin’ different.
Like what Raena? That’s the fourth treat you’ve turned your nose up at this year. And it’s only been this year fur a few weeks now.
Purrlease…Like you haven’t done the same thing sissy. How many treats have you refused to eat lately.
Eh, Me would rather have a bit of good nip or vine than some crunchy piece of fake chicken.
Me too. Even better, I’s like playin’ with mommy. Meowin’ of, ya’ reckon she’ll have time to play with us today? I’s been workin’ on some new moves to try out with the cat dancer.
You’ve been workin’ on some new moves huh Raena? You know mommy isn’t gonna let go so you can drag it off to your hidin’ spot, right?
Ya’ never know sissy, she might lose her grip. All it takes is one time and it’s mines. MOL
Sure Raena, you keep thinkin’ that. (Dezi yawns and stretches) Me could use a nice nap. Why don’t you go play with mommy and let me sleep.
Fine sissy, ifin you wanna sleep your life away, then go ahead. I’s got places to go and peeps to meet and…
Raena, you ain’t goin’ anywhere. You can be so dramatic. Seriously, you’ve gotta quit watchin’ so much tv.
Maybe someday sissy, but not today. The Vikings are on today, and I’s luvs the Vikings. Sissy? Sissy? Hmmmmpht Guess she’s already asleep. Oh well, a nap does sound like a purretty good idea.
Till the next time…………………………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. Hurry, gather ‘round, our playdate guest will be here any minute now. (Raena frantically surveys her kingdom to make sure everything’s picked up and clean. She wants her playdate to feel welcome) Sissy, are you ready, Prancie’s gonna be here soon?. Why don’t you ask mommy ifin we can put some silvervine down on the scratchers. I’s bet Prancie would luvs that.
Raena, calm down. Me’s sure Prancie will have fun. Besides, we’re gonna have a story time with her new book. You know, the one awnty Ellen sent us to review. There’ll be purrlenty of time to play later. Now, help me set up our tunnel pawtal so she doesn’t smack into the door. (Dezi and Raena get the tunnel set up and have a quick bath before Prancie arrives. Suddenly they hear the swoosh of the portal) Hurry Raena, she’s here!!!
Hey Prancie, good to see ya’ girl. How was your trip? Wanna lay down on the scratcher and rest a minute? We’ve been lookin’ furward…
RaenaBelle!!! Calm down, let her ketch her breath fur kittens sake. Sorry ‘bout her Prancie, she only has one speed and it’s full on all the time.
No problem Dezi, there’s a few of those at my house too. With so many siblings, you can always count on mayhem. And in the 13 years I’ve lived at my house, I’ve seen it all. Thanks for inviting me over girls, I’m happy to be here. This scratcher is pretty comfy.
It is, isn’t it Prancie. Besides mommy’s lap, it’s purrobably our next favorite seat. So, do have any besties at your house?
Well Raena, Phoebe and I hit it off right from the start. I pretty much get along with everybody, but yeah, I’d say Phoebe was my bestie. She is missed. (Prancie drifts off in memory for a minute)
Let’s meow ‘bout your book fur a minute Prancie. We luvved readin’ your story. Altho’ me has to admit, it made us very sad that somepawdy could kick you out into the cold mean streets. We’re such pam-purred pusses, we can’t even ‘magine what you must’ve went thru.
It was quite a shock to me too Dezi. It got so cold, and I was so hungry, I almost gave up. My ears were so cold and then they weren’t. Part of them died and fell off. It sure was a rough life. When I saw that manger with fresh hay part of me wanted to just curl up in it and die. But, when I saw the people who would become my forever family, a little spark of hope welled up inside me and gave me the strength to ask God and them for help.
Ooh Ooh, that’s mine’s second favorite pawrt, Prancie. Mine’s favoritest pawrt is when awnty Ellen and uncle David adopted you and let you stay with them.
Well Raena, my dad wasn’t my biggest cheerleader at first. But, I finally wrapped him around my paws. I’m a big daddy’s girl for sure. One of my favorite things is the chicken he feeds me off his plate. As you all would say, I’m one blest kitty, that’s for sure.
I’s luvs the pics.
You sure are Prancie. I’s know sissy and me are so Blest to have you and your whole family as furiends. We think your ears give you character. We know ya’ll didn’t include the story of your ears in your book, but we’re glad you meowed ‘bout ‘em here. Peeps need to unnerstand, that just cuz we kitties have furs doesn’t mean we don’t get cold and suffer from weather the same as they would. We think your book would make a purrfect gift fur any occasion. And, with Christmas comin’ soon, we hope it makes it unner the tree fur lots of little humans.
We should tell everypawdy where they can get their own copy girls. It’s available on amazon and Barnes and Noble fur $12.95. And, peeps can also order it directly from you and awnty Ellen at 15andMeowing.com fur $10.00. You can also get the kindle version fur $2.99. All proceeds go to help suppurrt all the kitties livin’ with Prancie and awnty Ellen.
Thanks Dezi. I also brought a copy to give away. Mom says we’ll ship it anywhere in the U.S..
Give away is open to all U.S. residents. You must leave a comment on this post to enter. Then click the “Enter Here” graphic for additional entries. Winner will be notified by email and must confirm within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited and a new winner chosen.
Fanky fank you Prancie and awnty Ellen. We luvs give aways. We hope all our U.S. readers get in on this. And fanky fank you fur comin’ fur a playdate. We totally luvved your book. We also learned that awnty Ellen has a degree Elementary Education and that’s what sparked her idea to write your story as a children’s book. Like ya’ll, we believe that all kitties and even woofies deserve luvvin’ furever homes. The ‘purrtant thing to ‘member, is that kitties don’t act out of spite. There’s no bad kitty. Like Prancie, we purray that all anipals know the luvs and warmth of a furever home. And now, it’s time to play!!!
MeOW and welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline. What do ya’ think about our new name? Anyways, we’re getting some great questions, so keep ‘em comin’. ‘Member, there’s no dumb questions. Even the experts can still learn somethin’. Mommy says the day you think you can no longer learn anythin’ more is the day you become a fool. You can ketch up any time on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ the Training Tips and Everything Feline link in our menu board above. Please leave your questions or post suggestions in the comments below or send us an email via our Contact Page from the menu above. We’re glad ya’ll enjoyed last weeks post and hope we simplified the definitions somewhat and made it easier to understand the difference in the classifications of our Animal Helpers.
The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
We were asked, “How long does it usually take to Train a kitty to perform a task?” Our general answer is going to be: Each kitty is different and there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when Training kitty; so the time it takes will vary. Any kitty can be Trained regardless of age, breed, “disabilities” or personality. Successful Training is always, always about Repetition and Rewards. Remember, when it comes to Training mommy says, “Learning doesn’t take a day off”. Mommy used to give piano lessons to humans of all ages. While most teachers give 30 minute a week lessons over the span of 10 years or more, mommy insisted on 1 hour a week lessons for 1 year without breaks or vacations. No summer’s off for mommy’s students. However, if they stuck it out, there’s nothing they wouldn’t be able to play, and in most cases could rewrite music into any key they wished in just minutes. Mommy is very serious about Training of any kind.
Shad (110 camera image)
That being said, let’s take a look back at some of the Service Cats mommy has Trained and how long it took to learn specific tasks. We’ll start with Shad, since she was mommy’s first Service Cat. If you missed Shad’s story, you can read it here. Shad actually Trained herself, but we can look at the sequence of events that occurred leading up to her first act of calling 911 for help. Mommy’s accident occurred in November. A lot of her problems were immediate including passing out. Shad’s first Service Cat act was to dial 911 on the telephone when mommy passed out and hit her head on an end table. She did this in March of the year following mommy’s accident. Mommy surmised that Shad had been observing her since November and realized that when mommy hit her head she was out longer and often more confused when she came too. The next task Shad taught herself was to move the shower curtain away from mommy’s face and push mommy’s head away from the water flow when she passed out in the shower. She first did this in April following the accident. Again, mommy surmised after receiving praise for her attempts to get mommy help, Shad stepped it up and wanted to do more to help. Shad was a small girl, weighing in at only 12 – 15 pounds on average, so she did the best she could considering mommy’s weight and size.
Now let’s move to a Service kitty most of you are familiar with and one that mommy did Train, Lexi. Mommy determined that if Shad could learn those things on her own, then surely mommy could teach other cats to perform those tasks as well as others. When Training, one must always keep in mind the size and natural instincts and abilities of the animal being Trained. For example, you can’t ask or expect a kitty of 6 pounds to pull a manual wheelchair. You must have realistic expectations to be successful in your Training attempts. Since all kitties have the ability and desire to “knead”/”make biscuits”, Massage is one of the first tasks mommy Trains a kitty to perform. Even the smallest of kitties has some power in those paws. After all, that’s how they work more milk into the mother cat’s teats. Lexi’s mother had been killed while she was giving birth, so mommy had raised her from the beginning. Even tho’ Lexi didn’t have to “work” for her milk, she still had great kneading capabilities. The trick here is teaching kitty when and where to knead/massage and how not to use their claws. You can read mommy A’s Training Tips here. A kitten’s eyes and ears are open by the age of 3 weeks, and that’s when mommy started Training Lexi. Lexi was successfully giving mommy massages on demand by the age of 5 weeks. Only occasionally would she get over excited and bring out her claws. Please Do Not Declaw Your Kitty, they can be trained not to use them on you but on appropriate surfaces!!!
Lexi at 6 months (110 camera image)
Mommy started teaching Lexi about the phone when she was about 7 weeks old. She learned the number pattern to dial in about a month but wasn’t big enough or heavy enough to actually push the buttons down until she was about 4 months old. We know it’s hard to believe, but sis Lexi was that small at one time. She had 2 brothers at the time who she watched help mommy in the shower every day. At about 4 months old, she jumped into the tub on her own and tried to help them. She was too small to make a difference, but she learned what to do by watching them and eagerly took her place beside them when she finally got big enough. Lexi was about 3 years old when mommy got her first wheelchair. At that time, Lexi and 1 brother, Lucky remained with mommy. They took turns learning about the wheelchair.
Lexi and Lucky laying on the bed. (110 camera image)
It took about 3 months before Lexi was comfortable enough around the chair to even ride in it. It was her brother Lucky that gave mommy the idea to train them to drive it. At the time, it was the only chair mommy had, so she sat in it most of the time. One night she and Lucky were relaxing in the chair watching television when he got up, pushed the power button, bit the joystick and propelled them forward. He seemed a bit shocked, but didn’t jump down. Lexi came running over and jumped up in mommy’s lap too. Mommy moved the chair back to where they had been and Lucky proceeded to repeat his actions. This happened over and over that night until mommy plugged the chair in and they went to bed. The next morning when mommy awoke, Lexi was sitting in the chair biting the joystick and trying to push it. A wheelchair will not operate when in charging mode.
Lucky laying in wheelchair (110 camera image)
We’re going to stop here for today. We’ll pick up where we left off next Friday, so be sure and stop by to see what’s next. And ‘member to leave your questions and post suggestions in the comments section below or send us an email via our Contact page. You can ketch up on any post you may have missed by clicking the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from the menu above.