Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day

So I decided to take the cats outside for a bit. Last time I tried, it was a complete disaster, with Luke and Han panicking before we even got out the door. I had figured that being together would reassure them, but this time, it seemed only to make them feed off each other's fear. They were flailing and thrashing, trying to get free of the harness that was holding them, and when I let them go, they bolted into the bedroom to hide.

This time, I decided to take them one at a time. First, of course, was Leia- because she wants to go out, and we did a lap around the house, slowly, exploring everything. She loves being outside (at least when it's not cold and gusty), and really can't get enough of being outside before I want to go in. But I won't let her off the leash, at least not yet, because she gets so wrapped up in everything that's outside that she doesn't listen to me, and I don't want her to go somewhere she shouldn't where I can't get to her. So, leash it is.

Next up was Luke. I didn't give him the option of going outside or not, I just carried him outside (on the sunny side of the house) and put him down on the thick bed of pine needles. He wanted to cower and hide, but I kept him in the open area. If I squatted down, he would try to hide under me, and otherwise, he wanted to be as close to the side of the house as he could be. I just kept picking him up and putting him in the open. I want him to learn that being outside is not that scary. He did really well- I could tell that he was scared, but he didn't panic, and when I brought him back inside, he was fairly calm while I took off his harness, and then when it was off and I told him he could go, he ran- but didn't bolt- back to the living room.

Then it was Han's turn (although Leia disagreed; she wanted to go out again), and I dealt with him the same way as I did with Luke. He was a little less afraid, and more uncertain- I put him down on the ground, and he didn't want to immediately hide, but he had no idea what he was supposed to do. He was sniffing the air though, which is good. After we were out for a little while, Elijah put Leia's harness back on and brought her outside again, so she got some more fresh air and sunshine. A little while later, I let Han go back inside (he reacted the same way Luke did, waiting calmly until I got the harness off and let him go), and then soon after, I took Leia back inside, despite her protests.

It was a successful trip outside, judging not in the least by the way the boys aren't cowering and hiding, but lounging in their usual spots.

As for other successful things, here's my breakfast yesterday, a fried egg and cheese sandwich, on rosemary sourdough bread (not homemade this time).





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