Monthly Archives: June 2016
MeeeOW everypawdy, hope you all had a great weekend. It’s another miserable Monday and we ain’t da least bit miserable. Okay maybe a little, da lawn crew’s here and da hots have arrived. We’re all tryin’ to stay cool and me’s tryin’ to hide. Raena? She’s right at mommy’s side bein’ a great Service kitty in training. Anyways, are ya ready fur another educational posty ‘bout pickin’ and trainin’ Service Cats? As with all me’s educational postys this will be written in da human English fur translation purr-pusses. Ifin you missed me’s furst posty in this series, you can check it out here. We got some great questions and comments so we’ll try to answer them today. Ifin we didn’t answer your questions or you have more, purrlease leave them in da comments or use our contact us page to send us an email. Now let’s get on with it, shall we?
Last week we discussed how to pick a cat to train. We said that neither breed or sex matters. The most important thing to look for is a kitty that wants to be with you and is both outgoing and calm. Yes, that kitten/cat does exist. We also stated that you must be realistic in your expectations of the things a cat can do. While us kittys may be able to do things you might not expect, it shouldn’t be forced. In other words, don’t expect kitty to carry anything that weighs half their weight, much less more than them. The average weight of a healthy cat is between 8 to 12 pounds. That can vary from breed to breed, but do keep these numbers in mind when determining tasks for your kitty to perform. Remember, ALL TRAINING is based on kitty’s natural instincts. And, for the purpose of these posts we are focusing on a kitten of 6 to 8 weeks.
We were asked again, if Ragdoll cats are better suited to being Service cats. Our answer is still NO. Mommy has had and trained several Service cats and till me joined her, she had never had a Ragdoll. For mommy’s particular needs, Ragdolls are a good choice. This goes back to our first post and knowing what tasks you need performed and if a particular breed would be better suited to those tasks and your lifestyle.
The next big question we got was:
At what age can training begin?
Mommy says training begins the minute kitty comes home. You want kitty to perform tasks without fail. You need to develop a close bond with kitty. You’re going to want kitty to feel rewarded when they receive extra love and pats as opposed to treats. Mommy has a game she calls “Scent Me Up”. She rubs her cheeks and chin on kitty’s cheeks and chin. She often speaks softly while doing this. Mommy will say things like I love ____________(insert name), or ____________(insert name) is such a good kitty, this will also help kitty learn it’s name. Scenting is a natural behavior for kitties where they deposit their scent on whatever they’re rubbing; thereby owning/claiming that person or object as theirs. This is also one of the ways cats greet each other and treat their family members. Doing this brings you closer to kitty. Typically this behavior will cause kitty to respond in kind, purr and occasionally start kneading. The kneading behavior will be focused and become massaging as training progresses. You may or may not need kitty to perform massages for you, but this is a task that we perform for mommy several times a day.
If you need kitty to perform massages, PLEASE, DO NOT DECLAW KITTY!!! We will tell you how to get kitty to retract their claws in a later post.
The “Scent Me Up” game should be repeated several times a day for about 1 to 3 minutes each time. Remember, kitty has a short attention span and doesn’t want to be held still for long periods of time. And the last thing you want to do is cause kitty to run from you when it’s time for training. At some point, kitty will start initiating “Scent Me up” themselves. At this point, kitty is well on their way to a very strong bond with you. Kittens respond at different times and mature differently so there’s no set age or time limit for when this happens. Mommy continues “Scent Me Up” throughout our entire life. Sis Lexi had a “Scent Me Up Session” her last day here with us; and me gets them everyday too. Training continues even after the goal is reached. Remember, Repetition is the name if the game.
Some of the tasks we perform for mommy are dialing 911, carrying the phone to her, massages, Driving the wheelchair, and alerting to a syncope incident. So our size and weight come into play to determine when training starts. Raena weighs less than 2 pounds, so asking her to carry a phone or even press the buttons is expecting too much. But mommy can start to focus her kneading, and she can watch me alert mommy to a Syncope incident and learn to do it herself. All animals can smell the changes in body chemistry that occur before Syncope, Seizures, Heart Attacks and many other medical conditions; but not all animals will alert to those changes. Because mommy passes out several times a day, Raena gets lots of exposure to the smell and actions me takes. She’s doing pretty good. She alerts 75% of the time. She’s still young and hasn’t been with us very long so we do expect that she will eventually be at a 100% alert rate before long. Once she alerts 100% of the time, we can officially say that she has been specifically trained for that particular task.
Mommy says to watch kitty closely. How do they play? Do they have a particular quirk? Even if you think it’s annoying, how can it be focused and turned into a usable task. Again, training is most effective when kitty’s nature is taken into consideration. If you’re going to need kitty to be around water often, then kitty needs to get baths early and often and/or be a water loving breed. That doesn’t mean you have to scrub kitty down all the time, but they must be comfortable getting wet and being dried off. If you need kitty to be in a noisy office or area, then you must expose kitty to that type of atmosphere often and at a young age. But remember, it’s always good to provide kitty with a quiet escape. Mommy can throw a towel over our stroller to give us that escape. We still have access to mommy but we can safely take a break from all the hubbub.
Me’s gonna wrap it up for now, this is a lot of infurmation to digest. The first step in training is the foundation and most important one. Without that bond, kitty will never be 100% accurate 100% of the time.
Are there any particular tasks you’re interested in?
Is there a task that you would like to know if kitty could perform?
Do you have any questions we haven’t addressed?
Till da next time……………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Dezi and Raena
Meowllo everypawdy and welcome to another Blest Sunday. Even tho’ we’ve been takin’ a few days off we didn’t wanna miss our Blest Sunday posty. Mommy says she’s gotten a lot accomplished and things should start to settle down fur us soon. Me will be so glad to get all this lease stuffs behind us, so we can go fur lots of leisurely strolls. You’ve purrobably noticed da new header and background fotos, and ifin ya’ follow our other social media sites, we’ve been updatin’ them as well. While we may not be ready to move sis Lexi to da side bar only, Raena is here to stay, and it’s only right dat she takes her place alongside me.
Anyways, this has been a pawsum week. Raena and me played our furst game of patty cake. Me patted too hard da furst time and Raena went flyin’ but she came right back and me learned to be more gentle with me’s pats. Of course we didn’t have any memory fur da camera’s so mommy didn’t get any fotos. But, fanks to uncle Mike, fellow cat scout Pete Hartley and furmily, awnty Susan Mullen, and an anonymous sender via amazon we have memory so both camera’s are charged and ready fur da next furst ‘tween Raena and me. And mommy keeps watchin’ fur another round of patty cake. She says it was adorable. Me doesn’t know what’s so excitin’ ‘bout us playin’, but mommy’s get x’cited over just about anythin’. Anyways, Fank ya’ll so much. Mommy does luv takin’ fotos of us and she really was sad dat she might miss some of Raena’s kittenhood.
Mommy, make Raena quit pullin’ me’s tail.
Speakin’ of Raena’s kittenhood, me told ya’ dat she had to go to da VET on Furiday fur her furst round of kitten vaccs and a recheck of her eye and nose; well all went well. Sort of. Dr. C went to give her da shot, and stead of pokin’ Raena, it spit out all over her furs. Yep, she’s so fluffy he missed her skin altogether and vaccinated her furs. Raena showed her disapproval by turnin’ and spittin’ at him. Me was purroud of her, but mommy told her dat wasn’t nice and dat she needed to behave ifin she wanted some of those yummy treats. Well a few minutes later da tech re-entered with a new syringe of medicines and Dr. C went in fur a second try. He got her dat time and she wasn’t da least bit happy ‘bout it. She’s on a L-Lysine supplement fur 10 days to hopefully clear up her eye and nose run. We would purreciate any purrayers you could spare as well. Anyways soon enuff they were all done and we were off.
(This was sis Lexi one week befur she left fur heaven. This past week Raena and me both have been playin’ with da same nip pouch, so we thought we’d show ya’ll a good nip toy never gets old.)
Mommy had picked up this bag of treats da last time we was at da VET fur me’s rabies shot and Raena luvved ‘em. So mommy had purromissed dat she would get another bag fur Raena after da VET visit. So off to Walmart we went to get treats. What are they you ask? Well they must be new cuz we hadn’t seen ‘em befur. But they’re called Delectables Juicy Treat. They come in several flavors and cost .50 cents a bag. There’s about 6 little chunks of moist meat purr package. Da meat and vitamin E supplement are da only ingredients, so mommy knows it’s good fur us. Me doesn’t care fur them much but Raena luvs them. So mommy gets me da freeze dried chicken breasts and Raena gets these.
Well we finally headed fur home. And fank catness too, cuz it was hot enuff to fry an egg on da sidewalk out there. When we got to our door we noticed a Chewy box waitin’ fur us. We hadn’t ordered anythin’ so we had no clue what it could be. After getting’ us inside and settled mommy opened da box to find it full of summer goodies fur her. Chewy had done sent mommy a thank you box. Me doesn’t know why mommy needs a fank you, after all us kitties do all da work and try all da foods and treats and toys and do all da posin’ fur fotos and…well, anyways, mommy sure did purreciate her Chewy box, and all kitten aside, me really purreciates Chewy fur thinkin’ ‘bout mommy too. She does a lot of work
puttin’ together helpin’ with our review postys.
Well after all dat excitement and overwhelmin’ heat, we all crahsed and slept like logs. Raena was back to her spastic and annoying self bright and early Caturday meownin’. So this past week was full of blessings. As always, we count all of you among da biggest of our blessings. Fank you all fur bein’ our furiends. We’re sendin’ big hugs and purrayers to and fur all of you. Don’t furget to take a moment today and everyday to give thanks fur da blessings in your life.
Purrlease let us know what ya’ think ’bout our new background.
Is it too busy or just right?
Till da next time……………………………………….Be Blest!!!