Sophie Runs Amok

If you saw Sophie and McCloud together you would say, "those are cats of a different color." This is true- one is striped and lumpy and one is satin silver velvet, 4000 threads per inch. One weighs 22# and one weighs 8#. One lives for food and affection while the other lives for freedom, independence and the pursuit of voles. In other words, one is like a dog and the other is, well, a cat. An extremely intelligent feline of perfect form.

So, this move has been even more difficult for her than for me. She sleeps much of the day, as she has most of her life and then, as darkness falls, she unfurls, stretches and meanders towards the nearest door. And now, for the first time, the door does not open for her. There’s rat bait out in those alleys.

As you might expect she’s going through various phases of maladjustment and refusal to adapt. The first night it was disbelieve and shock. She spent the better part of 4 hours hanging from the screen, three feet off the ground, howling. The next few nights she regained her dignity but remained in denial as she tried to scoot out like greased lightening every time the door hinge creaked. Then she got depressed and slept a lot more. When she was awake, she was slinking around, low to the floor with her ears laid back.

I would say that her current phase is one of anger except that it’s not that obvious. It’s more like retribution and revenge and, while we were making some headway, there was a major set back the other night when she escaped.

Linda was visiting and we were in the living room fussing with the TIVO set up when I noticed that the screen to the courtyard door was open a crack. I glanced to my left, saw McCloud toppling over on the living room floor trying to launder his back, back to my right towards the door and I knew in an ohnosecond that the silver bullet was gone. Over the wall. On the lam.

Now, the courtyard is surrounded on all sides by 10 foot brick walls. On either side of our courtyard are more private courtyards, all surrounded by 10 foot brick walls. How far could a smallish grimalkin get in mere moments with these challenges, you ask?

We found her four courtyards over snuffling about at her leisure, checking out planters, children’s toys, fallen leaves…We ever so nonchalantly approached her, quietly chatting with each other, as though we had barely any interest in her at all. "So, how many rows do you do in garter stitch before you switch to, why look! here’s our little Sophie meandering about, I love your choice of yarn color…" This ploy worked for just a smidge as she looked up in happy recognition, raised her cheerful question mark tail and started walking towards me. Until she was three feet away and the light clicked on and bamm! Bloody hell if she was being taken that easily.

It took a fair amount of maneuvering before we had her cornered and just as I made my move she shot STRAIGHT UP the bricks, all ten feet of them, and dropped over into the next passageway, light as a feather. Eventually we trapped her; Linda was the one who got her because I think Sophie thought Linda might be the lesser of two challenges at that point. She passed her off and I carted her home with an iron grasp of her back and a firm grip to the scruff of her neck.

So now she’s really pissed. She’s had a taste of freedom, knows she can get over the wall and she’s being watched like a hawk. About the only fun she’s had the past few days was when I brought home rug samples and let her try them out. I didn’t count on her tearing them apart while we slept and it was a horrifying thing as I considered in the morning that we might have to pay for all these lovelies.Rugsoph

Yesterday we got this new toy for Sophie. Rich and I have gotten a lot of mileage out of it, batting at the balls, making nail sharpening and climbing motions, fluffing around bits of catnip on the platforms. Sophie has not looked at it once. Not once. Not a glance, a sniff, nor a hitch in her getalong as she makes her way  to the courtyard door.Catpost

13 responses to “Sophie Runs Amok

  1. I’m not sure I should be talking to you considering yesterday’s football game, but stopping by to say “hi.” Have you thought about a leash for Sophie? A sort of half freedom? You could go on walks.

    Or would that be too silly?

  2. I think I might be considering the purchase of some hardware cloth – or chicken wire – to stretch over the top of your courtyard walls until Sophie gets too old and fat to climb straight up the bricks. Poor baby, I can’t say I blame her for being miffed. My girls would die if they couldn’t get outside, even though they never travel more than 15 feet in any direction.

  3. Yes, Sophie might get used to a halter and leash or they have some things like outside habitats, huge crates she could have toys and her little tree in, get the breezes, but not the roaming. It’s funny. Mine have been inside so long we can leave the door wide open… they will stand at the threshold but won’t go past it unless placed outside. Then they will check a few things out but keep close to the porch or the sunroom in the back.

    Mr. Rhett says to tell her it will be OK. He didn’t like it here for several months, but now he loves the sunroom and he gets much more attention than he did in Mississippi. He is here primping and grooming himself as if he things Sophie will walk through the computer screen.

  4. They do make special strollers for cats, y’know.

    Poor Sophie.

  5. Ooh, poor Miss Sophie. That must be so hard on a cat when they’ve been used to being outside and now can’t. I hope she adjusts soon.

    My cat was like those of Roxanne’s. She finally got so old, she wouldn’t even try for the door.

  6. Poor Sophie! Some cats are so independent, like our Kendra. She would kill us if we kept her inside. She loves to explore outside too. (but we don’t live in the city, so it’s OK,although not always with our neighbors in suburbia)

  7. Oh gee, guess it is only natural that she tries to get outside. She may warm up to the new kitty contraption when she thinks you are not looking. Give it a few days. Does McCloud like it? If she sees him playing with it she may get jealous. My daughters cats love their carpeted “trees” but it did take a few days for them to try them. Hope things get better. Not a whole lot of options. We had one cat we tried a leash on, no good. He wrangled out of it and dashed across a huge field headed toward a highway. My kids were frantic, but they caught him. Sophie may do better.

    Take care, MJB

  8. You have fine taste in townhouses and rugs, but that cat tree? Is that the most aesthetically pleasing model you could find for such a gorgeous cat?!

    Is there such a person as a cat psychiatrist?

  9. If you try the leash option, I sugget a harness rather than a collar (to avoid MJB’s misadventure). We traveled cross-country in an RV with a very independent, dignfied cat. He got used to the harness quickly and we left it on him the whole trip. Brace yourself for withering looks when the leash comes out, though…

  10. We have a scratching post similar to that, that the cats reach *around* in order to scratch on the sofa.

  11. Poor Sophie. I understand her need for freedom. I met a cat that reminded me of her the other night…he/she tried to come home with me and was sad when I didn’t allow them to.
    At least McCloud’s adjusting, but then McCloud is the more laid back of the two.

  12. Poor girl. Both of you.

    I imagine Houdini would react the same.

    How’d we end up with such similar kitties? I have the 22# Sumo Cat/Rocky, who rolls around on his back and begs for food, and then there’s 8# Houdini, who adores me, but on his own terms.

  13. Your box arrived Saturday – THANK YOU!!! I love you soooo much!!!

    I tried to post a sweet thanks to you but Blogger got all #*&^%$# and I went all #*&^%$# in my post 😦

    You know, typical me…

    Anyway, the munchkins LOVED the presents!!!


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