Sunday, April 24, 2011

A leg up on the situation

Lily enjoys our visits during the day to her suite, which we've expanded a bit in the last two weeks (tour to come soon). She's wary of foot traffic, but now that she's come to expect us in her space (often bearing food), she comes up to us to say hello right away. "Pull up some rug," she seems to say.

Once I oblige her, she likes to start off the pleasantries by sniffing and climbing all over my lap.

This involves a good deal of head-bumping and chirruping, which leads to ...

... the lateral shin snuggle. She'll sidle up to my calf, coy as you please. Before I know it, she's nuzzling my pant leg and giving me the sleepy eyes.

Finally, when Lily's decided all's well between us, she steps daintily into the kitty-shaped hollow my legs create and nestles from head to tail for a proper snooze.

My tailbone is protesting all the sitting, but the near-audible sigh of bliss Lily makes when she settles onto my knees is so worth it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Either Lily wants to show her approval of this new lap arrangement

... or I need to lose some thesis weight. The thick sweatshirt isn't helping my figure here, but Lily loves it.

Lap training has gone well, though we've been inconsistent with it in the last week. Life chez Kittitas has been too busy for much sitting around. Hopefully, we'll return to more of a routine as soon as I get my thesis turned in. (The defense is in two weeks, so the clock's ticking down.)

Thank goodness for sweet company in the meantime!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lap training

As you know, Lily's cautious in a new space. She likes to have a safe spot in every room we introduce her to, and if she can't find one, she'll default -- at a fast trot -- for her suite, where she's got her food, water, litter, and bolt hole. Obviously, it's no good to pursue her as it only reinforces her instinct to head off.

We'd had much success with her in the living room when we sat on the floor and let her explore. If we moved around, though, or even sat on the couch, she wouldn't approach. The most she'd do was cuddle up to this (thanks to the catnip all over it):

How to convince her that we were still safe in this new context?

Wet food.

Lily recognizes the dishes we use for her daily half-can of tasty goodness (supplemented with dry kibble), so I started carrying her downstairs last week directly to the couch to offer her the wet portion of her meals. Behold the result:

"Ah ha! This is something I remember!"

"Hmm. Human also on couch. Oh well, this is too tasty to leave behind."

"Come to think of it, I believe I liked something about that human when we were up in my room ..."

"Yes! This is it! A lap -- and this one comes with a view!"

I haven't attempted to get Lily to come to the couch on her own yet from across the room, but now, even if she doesn't want to eat when we sit down together, she recognizes that the couch is a safe place. And that means she's back to begging for cuddles -- if she hops down to the floor, she hops back up again and stays happily. I think we can call that progress.
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