Tony: A Matter of Time

an artistic rendering of Tony

life hasn’t been easy at all for Tony.  he went from being a king cat in a home where he was adored and pampered to a foster home with many other kitties and some dogs.  his world went from an indoor/outdoor expanse to one room, and that was only his first challenge.

when your as old as Tony, any change is harder than when you’re younger.  I sympathized with him from the very start, and tried to give him as much space as he needed with attention when craved.  it wasn’t easy for either of us.  his first night was really ruff, and i did a little crying.  it was hard enuff watching what my parents were going thru much less having to watch what Tony was being challenged with, and i couldn’t help but feel guilty as if i was contributing to his unhappyness rather than being helpful.

Tony enjoying a window seat. at my parents he could go outdoors, the neighborhood was that safe. here i don’t trust my neighbors especially with the disappearance of my cat Febe a couple of years ago.

being in the room was not what he desired at all at first, but that quickly changed when confronted with the other critters of the house.  after being the only pet in my parents’ household for 8 years, other than the occassional visit from me and the dogs, it was a huge shock and everytime the door opened, a round of hissing and growling from Tony follwed.  pretty soon, he didn’t want out but to remain inside; it was the lesser of 2 evils.

Tony receiving affection while still in the room

and so weeks went by before i finally forced the issue:  i picked up Tony and brought him out the room.  that was no easy feat.  Tony is a biter when it suits him:  he was declawed at some point in his life-before my parents got him- and this is often a declawed cat’s main defense mechanism.  out he went, and upset he was.  very upset!  he managed to take it for a few hours and would rush back to the door of the room he’d been in whenever i went down the hall.  i finally conceded, and let him back in.  this routine would go on for weeks.

Tony a few days after arriving.

it was frustrating.  i knew he wasn’t happy in the room.  i would periodically hear him yowling in a low tone, and then would go in and check on him.  he was lonely.  it was obvious he missed my mom and his old life.  who wouldn’t after 8 years of a secure, happy routine?

back in his old life, my mom endulged Tony by running the water from the facet in the bathroom for him to drink.  here he had to accept it in a bowl.  in his old life, Tony asked for food and he receivedit  several times a day.  here he was on a schedule.  in the old days, Tony’s world was alot larger.  here, it was the size of a bedroom with a window to look out.  who wouldn’t howl at night?

Tony in a moment of contentment

time moved on and kitten season was on the horizon.  i knew that Tony would have to be completely out of the room and soon.  our ongoing battle of being brought out, him throwing hissy fits, literally, and eventually me succumbing to letting him back ensued.  and then calls started coming about kittens.  it was time for tough love.  Tony would have to leave the room and have to adjust to all of us out here in the rest of the house.  he pitched and absolute fit!  hissing and growling at us all.  taking swipes where he felt threatened, and then retreating to the garage for days and days before finally coming when I called him.  it was heartwrenching, but kitten season hit with 6 kittens needing to be taken in and it didn’t leave much time for me to be preoccupied with Tony.

and it was just as well.  Now, Tony no longer hisses whenever someone gets too close; he knows they aren’t going to attack him.  Now, Tony will hang with me at times, accepting a limited amount of affection-too much overstimulates him and he also has “sensitive spots”- and he’s even come and hung out with me on the bed for periods of time.  Tony now eats at feeding time with the other cats, and altho he would like to go outside, he seems to be at least accepting being able to sit in the open window and look outdoors; altho for awhile he was determined to try and get out as the dogs were going in and out.

it’s not happening fast, but he’s getting there, and i look forward to when he approaches me in the bathroom and i can run a narrow trickle of water for him to drink.  i’m positive it’s just a matter of time.

Tony 5/22 enjoying the evening view in the window

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