Monday, March 31, 2008

A monumental first step

Today was the first step of what may prove to be many. What was downright frightening previously has been made to be slightly more doable as of today. What previously caused the flight part of the "fight or flight" syndrome to occur, just may be able to be overcome someday. We all have irrational fears. Some are private, but some, like the one I am speaking of now, are as obvious as the end of your nose. They can run our lives, because we cannot seem to overcome them. They keep us confined, both physically and mentally. They make us think we can't accomplish certain tasks- even simple tasks such as spending quality family time with those you love. It's a horrible feeling to know that your family is right downstairs, and if you could be with them, you would- you bet you would....if it wasn't for....



the DOG.
But today a milestone has been made. Today was the first day in the history of cat ownership that our cat got up the guts to venture downstairs all on his own free will. It didn't last long, and he was quickly overcome with kitty jitters and the anticipation of doggie-chase, but he did it!
Perhaps some of you remember when we adopted our cat, Abner on August 1st (me and my hubby's anniversary, incidentally). Since his adoption, he has warmed to our family swimmingly. He sleeps with us and cuddles up so nice and warm and tight that I can hardly imagine sleeping without him now. And, strangely enough, our dog also sleeps in bed with us, and Abner doesn't seem to mind that in the least bit (sorry dog trainers, we let our dog sleep with us and we like it that way). But once day time arrives, it's a whole different game. The cat simply will NOT come downstairs and the times when I have carried him downstairs to try and show him that it's not really such a scary place to be, his claws dig into me so deeply that I have to use a tweezers and drill set to release them. He's so tense that it feels that he's died and immediately gone into rigor mortis.
My theory is that at his previous home, there was a dog there who loved to chase cats and he's been forever scarred by the ordeal. Now, I must admit, our lab mix, Vern, is no angel in this area. But she is obedient, and will usually listen to us when we discourage activity which we don't approve of. So the cat has nothing to fear.
I just hope that today's first step is the beginning of many ventures into the rest of the house and Abner will soon learn the joys of the living room, dining room and kitchen- not to mention the ability to curl up in my lap while I watch the Simpsons with the rest of the family.


Does this dog look scary to you? She runs away even when my rabbit gives chase! If you know how to communicate this with my cat, please tell me how!
Thanks!

20 comments:

Blue Bellied Yank said...

That's funny! I have a cat and dog drama t my house too. Lambie (the Black Lab vs. Mr. Bibs (the American Shorthair).

Angel... said...

hahah thats funny...I love dogs.. you have such a lovely dog. but I m not allowed to have dogs at home :( i don't like that.

enjoy

catch u later

Angel... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pink Icing said...

My feelings go out to all of you. I grew up with a dog but had cats in my adult years.
It must be hard to be Abner coming into an established home and possibly so full of scars from a previous home. That very cuddly dog so clearly in an established hierarchy might cause him distress from previous existence that could take considerable years to overcome. If at all.
We all learn at a different pace and I'm sure even Abner will. Given time. In your loving home.

My hugs and strokes to lucky Abner......

Donna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

Sorry.. had a load of typos! LOL

Hey there... thanks for your note.

With regard to your question, I really don't have any answers. It's just one of those things that takes time -- and that's if you're lucky.

Some younger folks seem to "snap back", but I don't anticipate that will be the case with me, since I am 40 years old.

If you lost the old-fashioned way, then I say be patient. You might be surprised at what happens after a couple years. Even after having WLS "they" tell you not to consider plastics until you're 2 years out.

As for me, yeah, it's not pretty... but it is me, and it is what it is. I have my health back and that's the real prize... getting skinny is simply a side effect for me, considering where I came from.

Thanks again for your note! Good luck to you and congrats on your weight loss!

Aileen said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I read a bit on yours and have bookmarked it to return tomorrow. (date night with hubby tonight) Looks like a blog I will definitely enjoy reading. And the recipe blog? You're right up my alley on that one. I love to cook and love trying new recipes. Already planning on the spinach wontons for tomorrow.

whimsical brainpan said...

Have you talked to your vet about this? They might have a good suggestion. Me, I'm stumped.

Lizard Princess said...

Donna-
thanks for the positive feedback- I'm in my early 30's, so perhaps there is still hope (abdominal pilates, here I come!)

Aileen- thanks for the compliment. I was considering deleting my recipe blog awhile ago (I hardly ever update it) but I won't now that I know someone is looking at it!

Whim-
Yes, I talked to the vet and he pretty much said that it takes times for pets to get used to each other- some longer than others. As long as they're being civil to each other (which they are), he said it's not a real problem.

Muhd Imran said...

What an interesting mix of pets you got there.

Abner will eventually mix with the rest of the family soon and may well be inseparable from your dog.

DirkStar said...

I love the picture of the arc. Where did you get it?

Lizard Princess said...

Imran-
Thanks for the encouraging words, and you're probably right- they have made a lot of progress since Abner came home with us.

Dirk-
The ship pic was taken by myself at (I probably shouldn't say this) the national Rainbow Gathering in Colorado, 2006. The reason I said I shouldn't say is because a lot of people there don't like it when people take pictures, but I was taking pictures of a structure, not people, so I justified it that way.

Aileen said...

I didn't know that about the Rainbow groups. i went to a Hippy Fest a few years ago and there were alot of Rainbow members that we camped out with. I took some pics and thery never said anything. Oops.

Angel... said...

Just stopped by to say hello

Have a good day

Lizard Princess said...

aileen-
You're right, just like anything with the rainbow clan, everything and every "rule" is totally subject to the individual. If they didn't seem to mind, I'm sure it was OK. There are just some jittery cats out there who are running from the feds and whatnot (or are just paranoid, etc) who don't like to have their pictures taken. Those people usually aren't shy about asking you to not snap their photo!

angel-
Hi back! i must warn you, I am a sporadic blogger, but that doesn't mean I don't care (just busy). I'll come over and visit you soon!

Angel... said...

just stopped by to say hello to you

Angel... said...

I just stopped by to say hello to you.

Hope you are doing well

Eternally Curious said...

LOL! Wow ... you've made me feel sorry for a cat!! How'd you do that? ^_^

Hoping this is a permanent break-through for your kitty!

Eternally Curious said...

Hi LP! Please forgive having to comment here, but I don't have any other way of contacting you. I just wanted to tell you how sorry I was you deleted your comment on my "Competition" post -- because I agree with you entirely! On the subject of who should, rightfully, be raising our kids - I've always believed it is us parents that are 110% responsible for that. Not the schools. Not the babysitters. And certainly, later in life when it's clearly too late, NOT society and our law enforcement systems. WE chose to become parents. The responsibility is ours, or should be. In fact, speaking personally, my feathers get quite ruffled when someone attempts to usurp my authority in this area. In my post, I only meant to convey a sense of outrage at those all too numeorus times when these facilities, namely schools, don't seem to be treating children fairly or equitably. It rankles me when I see inequality in any form. But by the same token, I don't believe that "equality" means lowering a standard, just to accommodate a few who can't seem to adjust well.

So I sincerely appreciated your comment, LP. I just wanted you to know that.

Muhd Imran said...

Hi LizP.

Just dropping in to say hello. Hope all is well there. Do take care.