This morning there were all the usual signs of Tishka’s evening and night time activity. Yesterday evening she ate from the bowl at the head of the basement stairs twice and each time she ate, I replenished the small bite of food. While she appears to be getting a bit bolder, it may be that we are just a bit more predictable. She is a smart cat and a wily one!
Reflecting on my conversation with Liz, I realized that we more than likely would have taken Tishka but been better prepared for a long courtship.
Maybe we should be buying her some roses and a box of chocolates?
Small observations from the weekend. Saturday evening Frank and I went to dinner with our nextdoor neighbors. Before we left I put down a small serving of wet food for Tishka. I put the bowl in the usual spot. When we returned home, I noticed that the bowl had not been touched.
I had thought that since she had had the whole house to herself she would take advantage of our absence. But it was not until we got home and after Frank turned on the television and we settled in to watch it, he heard Tishka at her bowl. Apparently, the sound of the television assured her that we were where we were supposed to be and she was safe.
Today I learned that Tishka had had much more trauma in her life than we knew before. I also learned that it took months for her to make friends with Liz and Sandy but when she did, she became quite affectionate. So we will wait her out and hope her fear fades and her acceptance of us as her family grows.
She continues to come upstairs a bit earlier than before and I have refilled her bowl several times before we go to bed.
There is a comfy spot on the couch for you, Tishka.
So what is new as of last night? Tishka came upstairs and ate from the bowl at the top of the stairs while we sat in the living room watching television. She came up and ate from the bowl three times while we were still around. Frank was in his study on the computer but he didn’t see her and, given that he had headphones on he did not hear her either.
This is a bit bolder that she has been or maybe she is just bored and hungry. Maybe we are building a little trust with her. I have to keep believing that she will come around.
Folly beach at low tide.
Last night Tishka came up several times to eat what was in her bowl at the top of the basement stairway. Shortly after she emptied it, I replenished it. I could hear her, but I resisted looking at her. She did her usual night time rounds. Not much more to say about it. She has set up a routine for herself and by default, for us. Right now it is working for her, less so for us.
I dipped my finger into the jar of baby food and offered it to Tishka. She backed away as if I had thrown boiling water at her and resettled herself a shelf further away from me, glaring, but not threatening. My heart is moved that she is so fearful and our only wish is to help her find some comfort here. I put some of the baby food on the shelf and left her alone.
I was concerned that she would not come upstairs during the night, but not to worry. She made her usual rounds, even came up a bit early to eat from the bowl nearest the top of the basement stairs.
This morning when I went to check on her I did not see her in the coal bin. When I went down a bit later she was clearly visible on the shelf as far as she could be from the door.
A sketch of a boat in Charleston’s harbor
I have to admit that I was a bit shaken when Tishka hissed at me. But then, I thought, well, at least she acknowledged my presence. When Frank and I went downstairs to check in on her, she had moved to the far corner from the door and didn’t seem to say much of anything.
Tishka did not some up during the early evening, but did make her usual rounds when we went up to bed so she may have been upset, but not completely hostile to food and water.
A friend gave me a jar of baby food, pureed chicken, which she characterized as crack for cats. She suggested I dip my finger into the jar and offer it to Tishka who should find it pretty irresistible. I will give it a try…
the moon and grass and two cats. monotype
We seem to have established a pattern for now. Is this the extent of our progress or is there more to come? I certainly hope there is more to come. Some days my patience is a little thinner than others. And again with the cloak of invisibility. I think of the prayer, “Lord, give me patience and give it to me now!”
Frank had to go down to the basement this morning to retrieve some electrical cords. I went with him and after he found the cords he wanted, we peeked into the coal bin. Tishka was on the top shelf directly across from the door. We did not enter the space but could see her clearly. Best view we have had of her for a while. We talked to her and left treats.
I turned her condo to see if I could encourage her to go to the second and third tiers…maybe. We will have to wait until tonight to see if there was a change. Not much else to do right now except put out some food in the usual places and try not to be too eager to see a cat!
A view of the marsh from Pierpont Landing, West of the Ashley, Charleston, SC. I walked to this spot every morning while I lived nearby.