Thursday, December 29, 2005

Keeping An Eye On Aya

We've had Aya the Cat for three days now, and there's good news and bad news. The good news is, Aya's adjusted well. He's not left any kitty bombs in the wrong places, and he tolerates the girls reasonably well. The bad news is, he's not declawed, and already he's taken a stab at my couch and the dresser in my bedroom. When he went for the couch, Carl and I were watching Return of the King on Carl's new TV, and when I lunged for Aya to make him stop scratching I spilled my beer. Not much, but enough to be irritating. And now I leave the door to my bedroom shut so Aya can't go in there. Aya, being black, can be awfully hard to find when he sneaks into a corner or under the furniture, but we've discovered that his favorite place to hide is under the futon in the fourth bedroom (guest room, Carl's "office", whatever) so that's one of the first places we search when we're looking for him.

Judah and Aya have only met through glass. Judah's seen the cat through the French doors in our kitchen, and because the dog lunged up the steps toward the door, it scared Aya and he ran back into the basement. But those times that we've shut Aya in the basement and let the dog into the kitchen, the dog could care less that there's the scent of a cat in the house. All he cares about is the scent of Munchy Bones in the bag on the shoe rack. So I doubt that, in the off chance that Aya and Judah meet, Judah will do any harm to the cat. It's more likely to be the other way around.

When Aya came home with us, I noticed that he didn't have any toys, so today (whilst out shopping) I bought him a Jouet pour Chat (that's French for "cat toy") and a small plush mouse. The mouse has catnip in his stuffing, and he came with extra catnip, and Aya just loves that. I shook the mouse in the catnip tonight and the cat about clawed my hand to shreds trying to get that mouse. The "Jouet" is an elastic cord on a plastic stick (looks like a short fishing rod, no reel) and on the other end of the cord is a bell and some strips of brightly colored mylar. If you swing this thing through the air Aya will lunge and jump at it - a kind of Kitty Ballet. If you lay the mylar on the floor and drag it around a corner, Aya will "hunt" it. He'll usually play with you for about five minutes before he gets bored. He's also not much of a lap cat, and he seems to prefer my husband in that regard, anyway.

So over all having the cat in the house hasn't been too bad. I'm going to try to trim the cat's claws tomorrow with a nail clipper. If the clipper for humans doesn't work, I'll use Judah's Industrial Strength Claw Clipper. Hopefully this will discourage Aya from clawing at my furniture. If it doesn't, well, then the cat will learn to like living in the basement.

2 Comments:

Blogger neophyte said...

I just have a thought. Don't cats use the furniture to sharpen their claws? So if you trim the points off his claws, won't he feel the need to sharpen them even more? Somebody who knows more about this, correct me please? (I know they also sharpen their claws in order to mark their territory.)

6:09 PM  
Blogger Kafaleni said...

Cats "sharpen" their claws to shorten them, because (like our nails) they just keep growing, otherwise.

Word to the wise, if you've never clipped a cat's nails before.... (I've had a couple of cats I've had to do this for. If I lived close enough, I'd loan you my kitty nail clippers..)
1. Pull the sheath (skin around the nail) back, until you can see most of the nail. If the nails are clear, you're in luck. If they're black or dark, you have to be more careful. If they have clear nails, you'll see a black/dark spot at the base. This is blood. Do not clip this far, as cat's toenails bleed like a son of a feline. If they're dark, take care and don't clip down very far, just enough to blunt the ends.

PS - if you do make him bleed, it won't hurt him that much, but the guilt may just be unbearable.

Kaf

11:39 PM  

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