Author Topic: Why you should never give up  (Read 1961 times)

Offline Middle Child

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Why you should never give up
« on: June 16, 2012, 08:56:28 PM »
My Struvite Kitty(it's a horrible name to use I know, but that's how you all know her now so I might as well continue to use it)  has had many many milestones.  She came from the shelter at about 6 months old, unsocialized. She Chose me. She had to learn how to live with a human without biting, attacking, scratching, and so on. (took about 18 months and several trips to the ER, me I mean,  with bad bites)  She had to learn to allow me to trim her claws (took three years to success on the front paws, took over 6 years before she allowed the back, and now 7 1/2 years total, she allows me to do all four paws all at once)

She had to learn to accept being medicated. She allows me to stick a pH strip under her when she's peeing. (she even allowed me to catch her urine in a plastic tube when she was peeing) She learned how nice it was to sleep on top of mommie (took a few years) She learned to purr audibly, and last summer for the first time ever, she began to knead.

She has boundaries no other cat I've ever had has had, and I've learned to respect them.

But as for grooming.  I've never stopped trying, but she has never ever allowed more than a swipe with a comb or brush of any kind.  The closest she's come to biting me, currently, since the very early years, has been over me trying to groom her. I have tried all sorts of grooming tools.  Just a plain black comb. A rubber brush.  Zoom Groom, grooming mitt, flea comb, furminator, baby brush....none of it has ever worked, though I've never stopped trying.

Until now.  I keep a one of those short black combs handy for when I am reading on the couch at night, and usually will comb whatever cat is piled on me, except her.  A swipe of the comb will send her off my chest with a warning growl and usually an "accidental" (ha!) dig of the hind claws as she leaves.

One night a few months ago, deeply involved with my book, I absentmindedly began to comb the cat on my chest...Struvite Kitty.  I had given three or four strokes before I realized who I was combing, and the reason I realized it was because she gave a little warning chirp of a growl. (she really does chirp her growls, it's so funny).  However I also realized I had run that comb down her at least three, maybe four times, and she didn't run away!  I was stunned!

I waited a while, reading quietly and then tried again, and again she allowed four strokes before the warning chirp. I couldn't believe it!  This went on nightly for several weeks.  Sometimes I pushed too far and got dug by hind claws, as she removed herself.  Once, getting overzealous and forgetting who I was dealing with, even after she got off me and curled up on her cushion on the table next to me I continued to try to comb her. She chirped, and rattled her tail and twitched her back and still I ignored her so she had no choice but to turn and bite me.  She only drew a little blood and I shouted OUCH! and she moved to the chair, but not before giving me a look that CLEARLY said "Well you wouldn't LISTEN, I TOLD you I wanted you to stop" and I had to agree with her about that.  LOL!

Anyway, I became more cautious after that.  Then I lost the comb I was using. I put another by the couch and started using that, and she would have none of it.  Not even one stroke would she allow. I was so disappointed!  However, when vacuuming under the couch cushions a week or so later I found the original black comb!  I went back to using that, and she went back to allowing three or four strokes.

Gradually she has allowed even more.  I pay close attention and if she chirps, rattles her tail, or twitches her back, I stop. I read and don't touch her.  After a little while  I rest my hand on her, then pet her.  Then pick up the comb again and again she allows me to comb her.  Now we are up to 15 or 20 strokes at a time, with only short pauses in between.

All this happens ONLY when I am lying flat on the couch, and she is on my chest.   ONLY with that one black comb. And ONLY if I stop when she tells me to.

But....she is actually leaning into the combing now.  She purrs out loud and even murmurs little pleasure noises when being combed.  I never thought I would see the day that this cat would let me comb her. I am now getting a small kitten off of her every night.  She never ceases to amaze me.


Offline Lola

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Re: Why you should never give up
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 01:52:58 PM »
Wonder why the fondness for that particular comb... 
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Offline CarnivorousCritter

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Re: Why you should never give up
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 06:23:33 PM »
Wow, that story, not to mention you and SK, are SOOOOOOO awesome, MC! 

 DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy

Offline Middle Child

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Re: Why you should never give up
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 08:26:46 PM »
Wonder why the fondness for that particular comb... 

I know, it's strange isn't it?  The other night I grabbed the wrong comb (how could she know) and she was off me in a flash.

So far, she only allows these combing sessions when she is flat on my chest.  I tried getting some video of it the other night,  Haven't edited it yet though.

Wow, that story, not to mention you and SK, are SOOOOOOO awesome, MC! 

 DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy

Aww, thank you!  :-[

Offline Lola

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Re: Why you should never give up
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 10:06:40 PM »
MC,
I think you are a cat whisperer...or something. 
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