Service Cats: Raena and the Wheelchair Pt. 1
Meowllo and welcome to another Service Cat Monday. It’s a brand new year and mommy has brand new tasks to train Raena to purrfurm. As with all our educational service cat posts, the following will be in human English. Ifin you’ve missed any posts in this series, you can click on the linkys at the bottom of this post. And ifin you have any questions, or something specific you’d like us to cover, purrlease leave it in the comments or send us an email. Our training posts are not meant to be a step by step training guide as training is all about repetition. We do hope you find them entertaining, informative and helpful. There are many tasks that mommy hasn’t figgered out how to capture in fotos or videos, but we do try to post those we can. Remember, it’s just mommy and the two of us, and the duties we purrform are in respawnse to a problem mommy’s having so the camera is usually the last thing any of us are thinking about. So, let’s get to it.
As you know, mommy had plans to train Raena to drive the wheelchair when she got big enough to reach the joystick while sitting in mommy’s lap; but the batteries died on us and we had to wait to get them replaced. We have new batteries now, so Raena’s training commenced. Mommy was a little under the weather last week, but she wanted to at least get Raena comfortable with the chair. Now let me tell ya’, Raena’s pretty smart and catches on fairly quickly. We have several battery operated toys which she quickly learned to turn off and on by herself. And before the batteries in the wheelchair went out, she was turning the chair on and off and honking the horn without any training. Based on that you’d think Raena would be ready for the next step, right? Well, this is where that repetition comes in. Since the batteries died and the chair didn’t respond to her pushing the buttons, she lost interest. So she’s starting from the beginning again.
So mommy picked a day and after breakfast picked up Raena and took her to the wheelchair to sit down. Raena loves sitting in mommy’s lap, so there was absolutely no struggle. Mommy had already put a small bag of treats and a grooming brush in the pocket on the arm of the wheelchair. Me took up a viewing spot on the top of the Liberty cat tree. Me was safely out of the way, but could still see everything as it unfolded. Mommy got out the grooming brush and started brushing Raena and telling her how smart she was, and how proud of her mommy was. Then she moved into the cooing and love talk. Raena purred liked her life depended on it. Let me tell ya’, that girl has a motor box that can rumble the bed.
See? Raena’s favorite spot.
After what seemed like forever a few minutes mommy started repositioning Raena to one leg so she would be closer to the joystick. Once Raena released the tension in her body and continued her rumbling purr, mommy continued the praise and loving coos. Me could tell Raena was eating that up. Us Ragdolls really do love our peeps; and we’re no exception. We love our mommy like no other. Mommy then positioned Raenas front paws on the arm of the wheelchair. Mommy held her securely with one hand and continued brushing her fur with the other. Raena responded by rubbing her face and chin on the arm of the chair and the control panel. Mommy quietly and matter of factly told Raena to push the button. Raena continued to rub the control panel.
You can sort of see the control panel in this foto. The button
furthest from the joystick is the power button. The red button
is the horn. The 2 buttons closest to the joystick are the speed controls.
You can see how easy it is to push all those buttons and to get confused
and push the wrong button.
Mommy put the grooming brush away and slowly but firmly took Raena’s paw and placed it on the power button. Raena pulled her paw back and continued rubbing the joystick. Again, mommy took Raena’s paw and placed it on the power button and calmy told her to push the button. Raena stood up and by doing so pushed down on the power button. The chair beeped and Raena pulled her paw back, sat back down and looked up at mommy. Mommy smiled at her and gave her lots of praise for turning the chair on. Of course this was an accident and nothing Raena did on purpose, but it’s where training starts. Mommy repositioned Raena again, and placed her paw on the power button again. She then calmly told Raena to push the button again. Again, Raena pulled her paw back and looked up at mommy. Mommy placed Raena’s paw back on the power button and while telling her to push down, mommy gently pushed Raena’s paw down till the chair beeped again.
You can see the arm with the control panel and joystick.
Mommy had loosened her hold on Raena’s body and she wriggled loose and climbed up on the arm of the wheelchair. She pushed down on the power button and the horn. The chair beeped over and over again. Raena’s rumbling purr got louder and louder as mommy praised her for being so smart. Mommy gently pulled Raena off the arm and back onto her lap, leaving her front paws on the arm. Once again mommy placed Raena’s paw on the power button and gently pushed it down turning the chair off. With one last beep, the lesson was over. Raena was lavished with praise and love and me decided it was time to get in on a little of that meself. Mommy rewarded us both with lots of hugs and a few treats.
Another shot where you can clearly see the arm with the control panel.
And can see why mommy would need to hold us or offer some
support while we’re driving.
This whole training session lasted about 20 minutes, and would/will be repeated at least once a day every day till Raena is comfortable enough to turn the chair on by herself again. As we’ve said many times, training is all about repetition. We cats are very smart, and we want to learn. But if you’re not ready to commit to daily training sessions, we will never learn. And all training sessions should be fairly short. If kitty gets bored or frustrated, they won’t learn and could possibly try to avoid future sessions. It’s better to have a lot of small sessions as opposed to one really long one. Mommy believes in positive reinforcement and praise as the reward instead of food or treats.
Well, we’re gonna wrap it up fur today. As you read, it takes both mommy’s hands to train, so we don’t have any fotos of the actual session. This is what mommy’s trying to figger out. Since she’s the only one who can take fotos, how can she do it, without any free hands? MOL ‘Member, ifin you have any questions, let us know. And ifin you’ve missed any of the Service Cat series, click on the links below.
The purrfect ending to any training session.
Do you (your cat/dog/pet) have any battery operated toys?
If so, can you (your cat/dog/pet) turn them on and off yourself?
Till the next time………………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
When the Handler Dies Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Posted on January 23, 2017, in Educational, Human Speak, Service Cats, Training and tagged #RagdollCats, #ServiceCats, Deztinee, Educational, Human speak, RaenaBelle, Training, Wheelchair. Bookmark the permalink. 76 Comments.