Friday, July 6, 2012

One month with Tina and Charlie.

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been one month since Charlie and Tina came to live with us. Having the two in the house has surely helped with the grieving process over Cato. We miss Cato a lot. I still have Cato moments every now and then where I get teary-eyed thinking about him. He was such a special tomcat and will always be in our hearts. Cats become family very quickly and Cato is part of our family, even though he’s no longer with us.
Although they’re settling in fine, we’ve decided to keep Charlie and Tina in the house for a bit longer before letting them out into our garden, and most likely beyond, as they will go and explore further afield.
We’re getting them into a nice routine with regular meals and playtime and it’s doing them the world of good.
I often wake up at around 6 am, read for half an hour and at around 6.30 I open the bedroom door to let the two in. They jump onto the bed for a little good morning scent rubbing ritual and play with my feet through the duvet while I read for a bit longer. At around 6.50 I put away the book and give them some proper playtime. Orla joins in if she’s awake. Just after 7, I get washed and dressed and we give the two their breakfast and Orla or I clean the litter box. While they eat I get my breakfast ready. Tina often only eats a small part of her breakfast and goes into the sitting room with me to get a few minutes personal playtime while Charlie is still eating. That’s her idea by the way. She just stops eating, walks into the hall while looking back at me and into the sitting room where she waits. When I enter, she looks at her favourite toy and gets right into it as soon as I pick it up. I give her about ten minutes after which she goes back to continue her breakfast. Charlie gets some personal playtime as well from Orla or me.
Orla works from home and is with the two during the morning while I’m away. They rest and play together while Orla works and Orla gives them playtime during her breaks.
Around 12.30 they get their lunch and I often come home for lunch and give them a good ten minutes playtime during my break.
After work, around 5 pm I often sit down to watch the Dutch news and current affairs while playing with the two. In between 5.30 and 6 pm they get their dinner and around 10.30 pm the last food after some playtime. Once every few days I give them a good grooming session, which they both enjoy. Their coats are beautiful and shiny. They give us a bit of grooming every now and then too, which is nice.

Charlie often comes to me when I’m sitting behind the computer to sit on my lap and cuddle up to me. He then often sleeps on my lap for half an hour. He also lies down for belly rubs from Orla or me. Charlie is very easy going, curious, very trusting and not easily scared. That worries me a bit as it might get him into trouble when he’s outside. For the rest he didn’t change that much from when he first came.
The biggest change we see in Tina. She used to run whenever she came across one of us and would hide a lot. Now she lies on the floor with her belly exposed. She also lies down on the couch at times, sometimes even up against one of us. She actually comes looking for our company. I’m so happy to see that she shows trust in us now. I was afraid that the episode where she ran off and I grabbed her to get her back inside while she fought like a wild cat had set us back but it’s almost as if it has intensified the bond. I do pick her up from time to time, just to get her used to being handled so I will be able to give her a flea treatment, etc., without her getting spooked. I want her to know that when we pick her up, it’s not going to hurt her. She’s quite the character. She is very cautious but she is the wilder one in terms of hunting and energy. She’s also the more daring one where it comes to jumping and climbing. Tina also mothers over Charlie a little bit, showing him how to do things and grooming him. She’s definitely the smarter one of the two.
Both of them seem to drink less but pee more. The benefits of a wet diet: plenty of moisture in their food. I do see them visit the water fountain at times. They love the running water.
It’s so much fun getting to know their personalities and watching them develop. Let’s hope we will have many happy years together. I’m still freaked out by Cato’s accident, but know at the same time that I have to give these two the opportunity to explore outside as well.

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