Friday, December 12, 2008

The cats

Jill asked how the cats handled the move so I thought I'd share how they are doing since it is actually an interesting story.

Starting about the time the packers came, our outdoor cat Everest became very clingy to me. She was always on my lap or following me around the house. This was very unusual behavior for her as she spent most of her time outside and only came in to eat. She generally wanted nothing to do with us. We stopped letting her out a few days before we left the DE house to make sure she was around and she was actually fine with that.

The morning of the our last day in DE, Logan accidentally let Everest outside! It was panic time. I was brushing my teeth when I heard him scream and then he started crying hysterically. I dropped my toothbrush and ran downstairs. Everest was standing on the back deck, basically waiting for me to come get her. It was like she ran out and then realized we were leaving and she didn't want to be out there! I went out and picked her up no problem. Again, very unusual for her.

I loaded both the cats into the car and again they acted weird. Rainier, the cuddly one wanted nothing to do with me and sat under Logan's feet the whole trip, while Everest cuddled in my lap. This behavior continued the whole time we were at my dad's house, with both cats acting out of character.

When we got to GA, Everest found a hole in the suspended ceiling in the basement and hid there for 4 days. This was more like her. Rainier became cuddly again as soon as our furniture arrived. Everest is now out of the ceiling and more affectionate than she ever was in DE. The weirdest thing is that she has shown no desire to go outside since we got here. In DE, she spent 90% of her time outside. It is like she doesn't think outside exists here or something. The only door we use goes into the garage, so she hasn't seen us going in and out a door to the outside. I'm not sure if she forgot about outside or what.

So, the cats have adjusted nicely and seem happy to be here with us. I'm happy to now have 2 affectionate cats. They both sleep with us at night and sit on my lap when I'm on the couch.


Gail said...

Animals are very sensitive to changes. They have predicted disasters with their actions. I am glad they have settled in nicely.

CeeCee said...

Christy, I'm glad the transition hasn't been to very difficult on your kitties.
Some roll with the punches and others freak out. Glad yours 'rolled'.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like a stressful situation for your kitties, but they've weathered te storm quite well it seems. And now you've got two changed, loving kitties. I'm betting one day, probably during the summer, that Everest will discover that the outside is a grand adventure with tons of fun stuff to explore.

Oh and in reply to your questions from my blog:

1)Did you get yours as adults? ~Catlinite, our male llama was already 2 yeas old and had been a guardian llama for a herd of alpacas for over a year before he came here.
Cataleya was almost a year old and had been busy going to state fair and llama shows for 6 months before we bought her.
The important thing is to buy llamas that have been handled (but not too much for males as crias) and learned basic commands, been desentized and are familiar with haltering.

2)Had they been trained to guard animals?
~No, llamas seem to come naturally to guardian behavior. Males tend to be more protective and wary of predators and better suited to guardianship than females, but both can do well at it.
I've read and been told that if you keep just one llama, they will do a better and more thorough job at guarding than when keeping two. But llamas are herd animals and like to be with their own kind, so I prefer to have at least two llamas myself.
Of my two llamas, Catlinite, the gelding, is more protective of his flock of sheep and goats, but Cataleya is more nurturing, gentle and sweet...and definetely more hands-on. She could be a PR therapy llama actually as she loves people and being petted and fussed over.
Catlinite...not so much. He's all work and dedicated to his job of being a guard. Nothing gets by him.

3)You have a female and castrated male right? ~(YES) Is one easier to handle than the other?
~I would say my female is easier to handle. She likes the attention and allows me to handle her feet, pet her all over, even her belly. She actively seeks attention. She's easy to catch and halter, too. Catlinite is skittish and does not like his feet touched nor to be petted. He's very independant, but he's an excellent guard llama and we do enjoy his handsome self and appreciate his dedication. He's just not a 'pocket llama'.

4)Do you think you need 2 llamas or will goats and sheep be company enough? As mentioned before, if you just want a guard llama, then as long as they have the company of the sheep and goats, you'll probably be better off getting just one llama, because then they can focus on protecting their flock and not hanging out with the other llama. But if you decide to get two llamas, they'll usually be happier. Just make sure to go with two llamas of the opposite sex, as one (usually a gelding) will usually take on the role of guarding.

Feel free to ask any other questions you can think of. I'm happy to help if I can. My entire family loves our llamas and can't imagine not having them around. I don't think you'll ever regret bringing a llama or two onto your farm when that time comes, either.
Just imagine gazing out that beautiful kitchen and enjoying your lovely llamas grazing and protecting your flock :)

New Mexico

Joanna said...

I think cats are much more sensitive than we give 'em credit for sometimes. When my mother only had a few day to live, Chuck, her cat, positioned himself high on a tall dresser in her bedroom except for taking a few breaks, he stayed there watching her until she died. He had never done anything like that before.

Kyfarmlife said...

Glad they are all settled in...story sounds familiar to me, in fact one time when I moved from NC to KY my Maine Coon I had then was already freaked cause there spray washing the roof that day (my ex was in MC and we lived on base) and he went missing, searched for hours. No cat. Had my neighbor come and check later that night, we were staying 2 hours away with his aunt. We pulled in after 2 hours of crying, and not 5 minutes later phone rang..Jezz had been found, hiding within the coils on the back of the fridge! Ex drove 2 hours back that night to get him, and two hours back to his aunts and then slept for 2 hours before our 12 hour trip to, it was crazy!

linda m said...

I'm casting my vote for the llama.