Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Scaredy cat

We have a scaredy cat. We sometimes call her our invisible cat, as most of our family and friends have never actually seen her and probably think we have made her up. We often call her our silly cat, as she is silly to think we'd let anyone hurt her. But mostly she is a scaredy cat, terrified of anyone other than us (and one or two others) - and we have no idea why.

Apart from being exceptionally cute, our feline is also rather demanding. She is vocal beyond belief and particularly astute at demanding affention (affection + attention) from her human mummy and daddy now! and like this! She loves to play and insists on chasing a piece of string on the end of a stick through her cat tunnel until well after we have tired of the game. You'd think that a cat like her would love having a wide, adoring audience where she could dominate the compliant humans and be the centre of attention, but there is nothing more further from the truth.

As a kitten, she was well socialised and came from a family with three kids, dogs and lots of other kittens. The family handled her carefully and regularly before handing her over to us at 2 months old. She started off tolerating others well at first, but then suddenly decided that everyone apart from us was cause for fear. She races out the door the moment she hears a vehicle pull up into the driveway and before the courier even makes it to the front door. The same is true of almost all our other visitors; one sound and she's gone. She eventually returns a few hours after they leave when she thinks it might be safe again, sulking all the way.

We have overseas guests staying with us for two months. They have been here for less than a week and have probably caught glimpses of her just a few times as she has crept into the house, spotted them, then made a hasty retreat. Our scaredy cat sneaks in late at night to sleep with us once she is certain they are safely in bed, but races outside again if she even hears their door open during the night. Eventually, we hear her meowing outside the front door, protesting at the unfairness of having strangers in her house and insisting we let in 'our' door. (That’s a habit we want to get her out of – she can use her own door, thank you very much!) We're hoping she will relax and get used to them (they’re both cat people!) but can’t see it happening anytime soon.

We really don't know what to do about our scaredy cat. Our home has been hers for two years now, ever since she was a tiny two month old kitten. We've tried everything short of locking her in a room with 'strangers' until she gets used to them, which we don't imagine would work too well. It doesn't matter if they are 'big people', 'little people', loud or quiet - she seems to have a blanket ban on anyone other than us.

Advice gratefully accepted ...

1 comment:

~JarieLyn~ said...

My mom has a cat like that. Well, her cat used to behave like that for years. It's only been the last year and a half that he has come around to being in the same room as visitors. I can at least pet him now when I visit. Maybe it's just a phase. :) It is kind of funny though.