Slow progress with a scaredy cat…

For obvious reasons, I haven’t been giving equal time to the two new additions. Where Anya has required multiple daily rounds of medication and came out of her shell fairly quickly, Cordy has remained largely reluctant and uncertain. Technically, she’s largely remained firmly tucked into the cardboard base of their inclined scratching platform.

If the paperwork is to be believed, Cordy went from living in a park to being trapped and hauled in to the shelter and then moved onward to my house all in a span of four or five days. For a three-month-old kitten brain, that’s got to be just about as much new experience as anyone would want to deal with. I’m not at all surprised she was mostly shut down for the first two weeks I had her.

She’s making slow progress – coming out at meal times and grudgingly playing with the business end of a feather wand, if only briefly before beating a hasty retreat back to the safety of her box.

For the last three nights, somewhat unexpectedly, Cordy has emerged from her safe space while I’m checking in with them before “lights out.” She’ll pad cautiously across the room, rub against my leg, and stand still for a few pets from ear to tail before losing her courage and jumping away. This morning, while I was doing a last check before leaving for the office, she did it again.

Even as I’m sitting here typing it out, it doesn’t sound like much… but it’s leaps and bounds of progress for a cat who was more or less shut down for the first two weeks she was here. It’s progress and I’ll take it. I’ll take as much progress as we can muster between now and the first week of April, when Anya’s scheduled for eye surgery. I’m fully expecting that to be a giant step backwards for all of us.

Slow progress…

The day to day of my world can be somewhat constrained at the best of times. It’s how I like it, so no complaints. For the last week or ten days, though, it’s constricted even more than usual. 

With Jorah, I spent the better part of six months keeping him contained in the kitchen. Fortunately, the kitchen here is spacious and well lit, so it wasn’t a particularly bad imposition in exchange for easy cleanup while we conducted remedial housetraining and cleaned up his all too frequent accidents. 

With Anya and Cordy, the confinement is considerably less spacious. It may be a generously sized guest bathroom, but the apparent space shrinks down considerably when you add in two cats, a litter box, scratching post, multiple food and water dishes, multiple beds, and some toys. At the moment, the confinement is mostly for the convenience of the repeated, daily rounds of medication I’m giving to Anya. Keeping them in a single space feels somehow more humane than chasing the poor girls through the entirety of the house thrice daily. Plus, she’s currently forced to contend with the cone of shame. Giving her the run of the house while the cone restricts her ability to squeeze into space that would let her avoid any unwanted canine attention feels distinctly unfair. 

The shelter recommended a two week decompression and adjustment period before introducing the new additions to the wider household and all of the additional room to roam. That would nominally end on Friday. The plan for the moment is to maintain the status quo at least through the weekend and Anya’s follow up appointment with her ophthalmologist on Monday. It seems that we’ve gotten a grip on the worst of the infection – her eye isn’t bright, weeping red – but there’s obviously still a lot of involvement with her conjunctiva. Assuming she’ll need continuing medication past Monday, I’ll need to reconsider our options. 

With stress being consistently listed as one of the causes for flare ups of her condition, getting her introduced into the house while also mitigating her symptoms feels like it’s going to be a fine line to walk in the coming days. I’d very much like to avoid a flare up resulting in another weeks long course of drops, ointments, and oral meds.

Anyaka has turned out to be quite the trooper. Despite our rough start and her being thoroughly annoyed with the current medical regimen, she’s purring up a storm and remarkably affectionate. Cordy remains uncertain of this new home. However, she has allowed me to touch her briefly while distracted with stinky food or toys. It’s slow progress all around, but it’s progress nonetheless.