Saturday, April 24, 2010

Don't Chase That Cat!

My sweet darling Captain Adorable chases cats. Sometimes he does it because it is fun, sometimes because they run off when he appears because he has chased them so often, and sometimes because he is feeling mean. I have asked him not to do this many times. I have carefully explained how this is not acceptable behavior. The behavior continues. I decided to stop giving it so much attention but to give lots of praise for petting the cats nicely. Now sometimes he pets and sometimes he chases. It seems I cannot stop the chasing without some kind of serious intervention, and I am just not willing to take that on as a battle, seeing as, well, although it is unkind, the cats are not hurt by him. They can indeed run away from him, after all.

The little one and I are in Tennessee right now, visiting my parents. There are four cats here. Two of them are here permanently, and the other two belong to my brother and his wife and are just here while their owners are in Australia. One of the two visiting cats is named Tabatha (cute name for a tabby cat, no?). Tabatha is a bit, well, bitchy and high maintenance. She's also a sweet cat when she wants to be, but sometimes she just lashes out. Well, last time we were here, she whacked Capt. Adorable while he was petting her. He was not doing anything wrong, and she did not hurt him physically, but he was very scared and unhappy about her reaction. During this visit, he was chasing her (despite admonitions from his mama and his oma) and she turned around and whacked him. I saw the whole thing. She made very little contact with his arm, and did not break his skin, but he was so hurt that he laid his head in my lap and wept, quietly.

We have talked about how Tabatha and the other cats do not want to be chased and that her reaction was because he was chasing her. He has not chased any cats since that incident. Perhaps she has finally cured him of this nasty habit!

I want to post a pic of her, to show how she is not scary at all, but it will have to wait.


alexis224 said...

So did it stop the chasing in the long run (well, as in - rest of visit)? In a way, I wish that Gus (my cat) would give A a small swipe like that when she's harassing him. He's not afraid to do it to my mother in law's dogs, but he's relentlessly harassed by A (not really chasing, just loud and in his face. Not cat-friendly behavior) and now the baby is making googly eyes at him too. He's 11 years old, and just not up for it any more - I feel so bad but don't know what to do other than not reveal his hiding spots.
Sorry to hear that it made CA so sad though - that was a heartbreaking image of him crying in your lap! I hope it has not soured his opinion of cats.

Rose said...

Yes, alexis224, it did stop the chasing for the rest of the visit. In fact, it has even affected the behavior at home. There has been only one or two mild episodes, which we talked about immediately. He has mentioned how Tabatha misses him (!) a few times, so she is still on his mind...