Saturday, March 21, 2009

What is on Abraham's mind?

Q. One of our new charges, Abraham, had returned home after a two weeks stay with us. He did great. He was friendly & social & relaxed, right from the get-go. His mother had warned us that he has aggressive tendancies with other animals. She mentioned that he has been know to seriously bite her on the hand or even on her face when she removes Abraham from a situation where he's misbehaving, with either another cat, or more recently, from the paper pouring out of her fax machine.

I explained to her that all cats do well at the Pet B&B because none of them see it as their territory to defend... And, all cats know, that Erin & I are 'top dog' (Sorry, Erin.. just an expression!). So, the whole 'territory issue' doesn't exist... We've been warned about aggressive animals plenty of times, but alas, we've never had a fight there.. Not to say, that when you take your cat back home again, he won't attack a cat that wanders onto his property, because he probably still may.

A. Abraham's mother said that he wasn't bad with dogs. I asked what he thought of them? He described them as 'big, mean, have you for lunch, not that smart, will attack anything.' I asked if he'd gotten on with dogs in the past? 'not really, kinda, not much, tolerate them.'

I asked him what he thought of the Pet B&B? 'It's not outside but it's fine, fun, lots to play with'. I asked what he thought of the other cats during his last visit? 'They're all fine. They're friendly enough, playful sometimes'.

I asked if he had anything to tell me? He said' take me outside sometimes!' He'd seen me take Spencer for walks and he wanted me to take him out too. I told him that he'd have to go on a harness and leash if I were to do that. He flat out refused that idea. He absolutely didn't want to have to be tied and argued with me about it saying that it wasn't right.

He & his mother have been house & cat sitting for friends this week. There is a small white female cat in that house that Abraham has been bullying. I asked him about her and what he thought of her? 'She's not nice, calls me names'. Which names? 'tough guy, big galloot (sp?), trouble maker'. He said she does that because she doesn't like him being in her house. I asked him what he says to her in return? 'I'll make you pay for that. I'll get you back. I'll track you down and get you!' I asked if he calls her names to? 'not really. not like that'.

He bit his mother's hand a few nights ago when she pulled him away from the white cat. I asked him if he'd bitten her? 'not really. not hard'. I told him that she was in a lot of pain from that bite. ' So what!' I asked if he meant to hurt her? 'not really. not like that'.

He bit her again this week when she held him back from the fax machine. I asked him if he did this and why? 'Yes. Held me back, paper coming out' I explained that his mother needs that paper for her work. She can't have it all shredded from him attacking it. He said 'she doesn't. for me to play with'. Again he argued with me about this.

I asked him to describe his personality? 'talented. How? brave, strong, independant thinker, confident player. What do you mean? mastermind, play to win, strategize'. I asked him to describe himself in more detail, 'handsome, fast mover, covers ground well, fast/ efficient'.

I asked him to describe his mother? 'clever, smart, well respected, well liked'. I asked him what he thought of his mother? 'She's alright, She'll do. I'll keep her in line'. In line? 'tell her what to do, how to act with me, show her the way, the ropes.'

As an aside. In my opinion, if a domestic animal bites a person when they are scared, startled, eating or in hunting mode, that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. But, if a domestic animal bites 20 or 30 seconds after the 'incident' has already passed, then I would see that as the animal 'deciding' to bite. It is a decision to bite, not an instinct to bite. They are aware of this distinction. They know it's a choice. And, just like with children, if their boundaries aren't well defined to them, they will set their own.

1 comment: