Unrepentant little beasts

(22 Posts)
givemushypeasachance Fri 18-Jul-14 10:26:27

That would be my two boys, Monty & Rolo, after giving me a very sleepless night last night. I've had them coming up for three weeks now, they're around 10/11 months old and lived at the adoption place since they were kittens so other than the courtyard garden they had there 'outside' is a bit of a foreign concept to them. I decided to start letting them have supervised excursions in my back garden - five or ten minutes before their breakfast and dinner of wet food. That worked well on Wednesday and yesterday morning, and I sat out in the garden with them for twenty minutes last night and they had a good old explore (but were cautious, and darting back to the kitchen a few times) before shooing them back in.

Where I went wrong was listening to them when they said they wanted to go out again at 8pm. They'd only eaten a bite of their dinner so I thought they'd go out for a bit and soon come back when they were hungry. But oh no. The lure of the exciting outside world was too strong and they were off and frolicking and over into the neighbours' gardens and very much refused to come back in no matter how much I rattled biscuit containers and tapped food bowls. Anytime I tried to shoo them in they'd dart under my decking or over the fence again. Thankfully I'd put a breakaway reflective collar on Rolo with a bell so I could hear him jingling and know he'd not gone too far. (Since Monty still isn't keen on being touched haven't tried with him yet!)

I decided to leave them be and they'd hopefully come back when they wanted to, but then it got dark, and neighbours' cats started prowling around and I was worried they'd be scared away (they boys seemed remarkably unbothered actually and sat next to the giant cat from next door on the decking - he seemed pretty blase too!), and then it started bloody thundering and there was lightning and rain and I was basically having kittens worried they would get lost somewhere or just never come back. Searching for black cars in the dark is a challenge...

I couldn't leave the cat flap on entry only since Monty had demonstrated he could use it but even showing Rolo several times he hadn't got it yet and I'd taped it open for him to go through, so I had to wait downstairs until he came in to shut the flap behind him. I dozed on the sofa until 3am and he finally deigned to come back and pretty much inhaled a whole pouch of food. Put the flap down on entry only and Monty followed at about 4am. After seven hours outside on their brief 'excursion' they're now temporarily grounded!

I imagine it was all just a bit too exciting, and the desire to explore took over. At least they did both come back of their own volition once they were suitably hungry, although already broken my promise to the adoption place that I'd keep them in at night (whoops). Once Rolo figures out the cat flap it'll be easier to switch it to entry only if they're out late and that'll corral them when they do come back, but hoping when the novelty of outside wears off they'll be slightly less obsessive about it. I'm quite tired this morning now.

It's a good job they're cute...

chemenger Fri 18-Jul-14 10:32:21

Welcome to cat slavery. They are beautiful.

PotOfYoghurt Fri 18-Jul-14 10:42:01

I only came on to say that when I first read your thread title I thought it said 'Unrepentant little breasts'. What you actually wrote makes much more sense.

As you were.

Staywithme Fri 18-Jul-14 10:48:34

I only came on to say that when I first read your thread title I thought it said 'Unrepentant little breasts'. What you actually wrote makes much more sense.

Now picturing breasts running round the back garden! grin

They're beautiful looking masters and I'm sure you'll make a wonderful slave. I've don't the sitting up til daybreak because one kitty didn't return home. It's soooo stressful and all sorts go through your head, getting hit by car, getting lost, being attacked, etc. Then she wandered through the door, not a care in the world and went to sleep in her bed. Brat!

cozietoesie Fri 18-Jul-14 12:06:23

Stay firm. Once they're in at dusk for their tea, then that's them for the night - and they'll soon learn that you mean it and adjust their thoughts accordingly. (That is, of course, if you do mean it. I suspect you of being under the paw already!)

smile

givemushypeasachance Fri 18-Jul-14 13:52:48

Mountain Dew and many cups of coffee are only doing so much to keep me going at work today - but I bet the cats are happily snoozing away on a windowsill back home!

I suspect I'm very much under the paw too, but definitely being firm today since I need to be up at six tomorrow for a trip to London and can't play silly beggars with them again all night. Think we'll be starting again with the outdoor world on Sunday morning, and will see if we can be a bit more sensible having a whole day at home to keep an eye on them.

My sister has suggested a wander lead - ha! I'd like to see her try to get one of those cat harnesses and leads on Monty...

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 18-Jul-14 14:06:21

Who's on the left? He's a cat to be reckoned with.

We've had nights like that, dh goes to work saying if you see the cat sleeping poke him with something pointy.

JamForTea Fri 18-Jul-14 14:09:56

They are so beautiful. Black male cats are the best, so affectionate. It's really hard letting them out for the first time but I bet they know what side their bread is buttered on.

ChubbyKitty Fri 18-Jul-14 14:11:09

My dads cat has a lead. He attaches it to the washing line so she can explore without running into a road, like a furry dodgem car.

My cat is too spoilt for outside. If she's outside she can't harangue me for attention.

givemushypeasachance Fri 18-Jul-14 14:24:27

Fluffy - the one on the left is Monty, he's the chap who was labelled by the adoption place as "extremely timid" and spent the first day here hiding behind some shelves and growling at me! He's actually very nosy and quite bold and insistent when he wants to be, he's just not keen on people being in his personal space (unless they're offering Dreamies) so we're working up to strokes and petting. He has a version of "bitchy resting face" where he always looks like an angry owl (see attached photo), unless he's fast asleep when he looks like an adorable teddy bear.

Rolo on the other hand is a little skittish at times but is a total tart for stroking who's default interaction is to headbutt and rub around anything going...

JamForTea Fri 18-Jul-14 14:33:27

An angry owl grin. He does rather look like he's plotting to take over the world.

givemushypeasachance Sun 20-Jul-14 20:33:00

I'm trying to be a laissez-faire cat parent, but these boys really do make it difficult! I was in London all day yesterday so they were kept in, but decided to let them out again this morning and see if they could approach being outside a bit more gradually. I let them out just after 10am - tried Rolo on the cat flap held ajar with pegs since he still can't work it normally, but he managed that okay. Monty joined him, and I taped the flap open so they can both get back in.

I left them both to it, and I think there was a bit of exploring and then they set up shop under the decking. Since then I've seen Monty once - about 6pm I looked out and he was on top of the decking, but went back under there when I popped outside to put something in the compost bin. It's now ten hours since they went out after only eating some of their breakfast. Why aren't they hungry yet and back inside clamouring for their tea? They usually pester me for food when I get home from work around 5/6pm! The little devils. I'm really not up for late night cat vigils again...

cozietoesie Sun 20-Jul-14 20:58:00

Depends what's living under your decking!

givemushypeasachance Sun 20-Jul-14 21:25:06

Ha that's true - maybe they've got all sorts of tasty things under there! Next door's cat always seemed to like it under there too...

I just went and sat outside waving Dreamies packets about and after a few minutes Monty emerged briefly and had a wander around but seemed to be in no rush to come in. I put some wet food in a bowl and left it near him, he went over and had a bite then I moved the bowl back inside so he knows there's dinner on offer but he doesn't seem that bothered for a cat that hasn't eaten in nearly 12 hours. Assuming Rolo's under there too since I haven't seen a sign of him all day - there were kids playing and screaming a few gardens down earlier so can't imagine he'd have wanted to be snoozing the afternoon away in their garden.

I've put pegs on the inside of the flap so Rolo can hopefully use it too but they shouldn't be able to get back out again; will see if we corral some kittens that way. I can't do another 3am waiting up with them!

givemushypeasachance Mon 21-Jul-14 09:39:12

Well Rolo turned up eating a large bowl of biscuits at 2:30am, was super affectionate and chilled out for a bit then he managed to sneak back out through the pegged cat flap. So I adjusted it so it was only just ajar and he came back again around 4am. Took the peg off then since Monty can use it properly, and it's on entry only. Heard a noise and looked outside to see Monty clambering over the six foot perimeter fence to the wider cul de sac at around 5am; he wandered around the garden for a bit and then went back under the decking. He still wasn't in when I left for work at 8am, the little bugger. Hoping he'll come back inside during the day since Rolo was clearly missing him. Unless he's scavenging he won't have eaten in 24 hours so must be starving!

Bloody teenage boy cats being dirty stop-outs all night, who needs kids to worry about when you've got them...

cozietoesie Mon 21-Jul-14 10:02:54

The initial excitement of The Great Outdoors should wear off fairly shortly - especially if there's inclement weather coming. (You'll probably have 'ruggers' come winter.)

The excitement of getting whatever is under your decking - and it surely sounds as if there's something there - will, sadly, last until they clean it out which rather depends on how good hunters they are.

Best of luck. At least they sound as if they're enjoying life now. (And they're coming home to you after their adventures which is no mean thing for rescue cats: sounds as if you've scored there!)

givemushypeasachance Mon 21-Jul-14 10:47:37

I do hope it's just initial excitement - don't mind them being out for long stretches, but more than 24 hours without returning for a meal isn't really on as a long-term schedule! (Monty I'm particularly directing that at you, wherever you are right now.)

I think they're probably sleeping under the decking rather than hunting - like I said next door's cat used to quite often emerge from under there and come for strokes when I went out in the garden on a sunny day, if he wasn't sunbathing on top of it; it must be quite nice and shady and seem safe under there. Since my boys like hiding under my bed when they're scared indoors and have spent most of a day under there before snoozing in a drawer then they obviously favour underneath things like that as hiding spots.

I almost wouldn't mind if they were outside sleeping on top of it all day because at least I'd be able to see them and know for sure where they were! Until evening hits and then the exploring urge kicks in...

sashh Mon 21-Jul-14 18:15:51

OP

If it's warm and I'm working I sometimes don't see my cat for a couple of days. Her food gets eaten and if she is in the mood to sleep on me I feel her at night but otherwise she loves to be out when it is warm.

And yes she was out in the storms over the weekend.

givemushypeasachance Mon 21-Jul-14 18:29:00

I think Monty might well be that sort of free spirit outdoor living cat - the little bugger still wasn't back when I got home from work. In the end I decided to let Rolo out again, since they tend to be bravest when together and Monty has often follows his lead as he's a lot more confident with people and such. Rolo had a sniff around and then went under the decking, and Monty popped his head up a couple of minutes later! The next bit was a tad trickier, but quickly went in and got some chicken which perked Rolo's interest and he trotted after me back to the kitchen where I fed him a few small scraps. Monty's interest was piqued so he cautiously followed. Door firmly shut behind him. He seems a bit spooked, almost a bit 'wild' (he hasn't had any human contact for almost 36 hours!) and wanted to go back outside but that certainly isn't happening for a few days... The adoption centre has a behaviourist I'm hopefully going to have a chat with tomorrow to see what she recommends; possibly since Monty is still quite people-shy it would be better to keep them both in for a few more weeks till he's hopefully more confident and doesn't find living the free life outside worth missing several meals for. He's not actually as hungry as I thought he'd be, though he's topped up his biscuit levels a bit!

RustyBear Mon 21-Jul-14 18:36:18

Maybe Monty's been eating next door's cat's food!

givemushypeasachance Mon 21-Jul-14 18:42:10

I certainly wouldn't put it past the little git to deliberately shun all my attempts to lure him back with waving food packets and Dreamies and opening tuna in the vicinity and everything but brazenly go and steal someone else's food! Or maybe under the decking is a colony of tasty mice or frogs; or something else he's been feasting on. Or just stubborn contrariness outweighs hunger; he's certainly got that in spades!

cozietoesie Mon 21-Jul-14 18:46:11

Bet you he's got a belly full of rat mouse or shrew/vole etc. He does sound like a free spirit even though it's a tough time of year to keep any cat inside.

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