Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Feline Help?

You've all seen my purr-baby, Wookie. (If not, check the Christmas pictures we posted). I'm sure I've mentioned my kitchen remodel (which, Thank You God, is now finished). This remodel has traumatized my baby.

She's always been stranger-shy, hiding whenever anyone comes into the house, flying up to our attic bedroom if someone knocks on the door. And she's always been afraid of the ceiling fan in our dining area. But now, after two months of upheaval, she won't even come downstairs. Instead, she lays at the top of the landing and stares down at us occasionally emitting a tiny meow of loneliness. She wants me to come up and keep her company in my office.

The poor baby used to come down to drink water from Zuzu's big water dish. Now I make sure she has water in the little cat water dish I keep in my office for her. She used to come down and snooze under the sofa. Not any more. She'll play with her toys. Upstairs. She'll race back and forth in the hallway. Upstairs.

But she won't come down and sit with us.

I'm at my wit's end. I've carried her down, taken her into the kitchen (and I've the scars to prove it). As soon as I let her go, she races back upstairs. I've brought her down and held her on my lap, petting her and talking to her to soothe her fears. The minute I let her go, she's--you guessed it--back upstairs. I've no idea what I can do to help her overcome her fear.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd sure appreciate it. I'd love to have my little purr-baby settled again and unafraid to explore her entire house.


Skylar Masey said...

So sorry to hear this about Wookie. I know this is going to be hard, but I think it would help if you didn't cater to her "nesting" instinct in the attic. If she has everything she needs up there, why come down? And if she gets lonely enough, she will eventually brave the downstairs. If the remodal was just finished, it may take her a while to realize the big, evil monsters aren't coming back. If you try to force her into doing something she doesn't want to do (as in forcebly putting her downstairs) she may start to see you as part of the problem, not the solution.

Just my 2 cents. And I hope she readjusts soon. :0) Give her a pet for me.

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about cats, but I think her lonliness will overcome her fear eventually. When it's been quiet enough for long enough downstairs she'll come around.

When we removed the slippery carpeting from our basement stairs and replaced it with black rubber treads, my dog stopped going downstairs. Now whenever I go down there {laundry room and craft room are down there} he sits at the top of the stairs and hangs his head over, waiting until I come back up. No amount of bribery will get him to put his feet on the black rubber treads. If we open the back cellar door, though, he has no problem racing up and down the cement stairs and that's the only time he'll go in the basement now.

MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott said...

Pets are just plain weird sometimes. You don't know what makes them do the things they do, but they seem to have good reasons for it. Pets also have rather short memories. Give Wookie some time and she'll come around. When we moved into this house I had no idea how much trauma it would put Kittygirl through. I hadn't a clue. We had locked her in the bathroom so we could come in and out with the furnishings without her running away. When we were finished, which all told was about an hour, and opened the door for her, she wouldn't come out. She hid in a corner of the bathroom for days. When she did come out it was to hide behind other furniture. Finally, she did get the idea that she was safe and that the same people who loved her in the apartment were at the house.


Angela Verdenius said...

ah, bummer when your furbaby gets so upset. I personally would just let her come down on her own accord. If she's so timid, it may take her awhile. Don't force the issue, she'll gradually come down as her courage comes back. Just gvie her lots of love. Maybe you could put a treat a few steps down, and when she eats that, then another time, a treat a few more steps down and so-forth, so she gradually comes down the steps her self.

But for now, I'd let her come down when she's ready. She'll be fine upstairs - she obviously feels safe up there, and once she realizes everything is okay downstairs, she'll come back down.