Service Cats: Raena and the Wheelchair Part 2
Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. Me’s been thinkin’ we need a special graphic fur these postys, what do ya’ll think? It’s still chilly here, and mommy did somethin’ that kinked up her neck. She says every time she moves there’s a jolt of pain that shoots through her body. Looks like we’ll be givin’ her lots of massages today. As always, we welcome your questions and comments ‘bout training and anythin’ in general. So ifin you have a training question, purrlease leave it in the comments or send us an email. We do our bestest to answer them quickly. Our Service Cat posts are not meant to be a step by step training manual, as training is all ‘bout Repetition, Consistency and Rewards; but rather tips, tricks and entertainment. The followin’ will be written in human English fur translation and reader ease. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the bottom of this or any Service Cats post (each link opens in a new window). Okay, the business is outta the way, so let’s get to it.
We first want to address a concern brought to our attention by our dear friend Tucker from Feline Opines. Last week we addressed the issue of kitty begging for human food. Like many of our friends, Tucker, has some health issues and must be careful about the foods he eats. Altho’ we didn’t promote feeding your kitty/doggy from your plate, we did imply that it was okay to give, in limited quantities, some human food to your pets on their own plates in their own space. We did however, fail to say that any human food you feed to your kitty/doggy should be without any spices including salt and pepper, and should be an acceptable food for the particular animal. Here’s a couple of links to appropriate human food for cats: Pet Care RX and Care 2. And of course there’s always the balanced raw food diet that’s totally appropriate. The key word here is “Balanced”. There is a lot of information available as well as recipes for Raw diets, just make sure what you feed is balanced and contains all the necessary ingredients and supplements. Most of you know that we currently eat a commercially prepared freeze dried raw diet with added water or low sodium broths. Me’s not quite ready to sink me’s teeth into completely raw flesh and bone.
Our favorite noms, Primal chicken and salmon and Whole Life duck.
We didn’t get any questions last week so we’re going to check in with Raena’s wheelchair training. We left off with Raena learning about the control panel and how to turn the chair on and off; and how to be comfortable with accidental button pushes including the horn. Let me say, Raena is really smart and not afraid of anything. Those qualities make for a great Service Cat, but they also keep everybody/kitty in the house on their toes. Y, Just the other night mommy decided to run up and check the mail. She was hurting really bad and decided to take the wheelchair instead of trying to walk to the mailboxes. It was close to dinner time, so mommy was in a hurry and decided she’d go alone. We can see her the whole time from the front door. Raena’s never been outside in mommy’s lap in the wheelchair and since it was dinner time, mommy didn’t even give a thought to taking Raena. Big mistake. Raena was prancing around in front of the wheelchair so much, mommy couldn’t even move. Mommy would never run over us ya’ know.
Finally, mommy relented and picked her up. Raena got all harnessed up and off they went. What should have taken 2 minutes, had turned into a full blown lesson and made dinner twenty minutes late. That girl just has no perception of time or that her antics always cause meal time to be late. Me isn’t sure her tummy clock works right. Anyways, harnessed up and positioned on mommy’s lap, Raena and mommy sat at the front door for a few minutes while mommy instructed Raena to turn on the chair. Raena seemed to be a little confused. We don’t normally wear our harnesses to drive the wheelchair in the house, nor is the chair facing the front door. Raena kept looking back at mommy and then the front door. Me was watching from a safe distance down the hall at the doorway of the bedroom. Raena may be smart, but that girl is dangerous for sure.
Mommy finally got tired of waiting, and hearing me meweek for dinner and pulled Raena to her lap. She opened the door and they headed out to the mailboxes. Me moved to the cat tree to watch the events as they unfolded. Mommy had the chair turned up to full speed ahead and before Raena knew it they were sittin’ in front of the mailboxes. Raena must have seen a bug or something because she started chirping and tried to jump down. Observing safely from the cat tree in the house, me thought we were never going to get dinner. Me started squeaking out meows left and right. “Raena, you’re causing dinner to be late!” me meowed. “Raena, me’s starving!” Me added. Did she care? No. Mommy put the mail in the side bag on the chair and repositioned Raena on her lap and told her to turn on the chair.
Raena looked at mommy and at the house. Me’s sure she could see and hear me, so me meowed out again. She slowly moved her paw towards the control panel and a car zoomed past on the highway. Her head turned and her eyes darted towards the highway as she fell back into mommy’s lap. Of course the car was gone by then, but Raena didn’t really understand that. Mommy cooed at Raena and repositioned her yet again, and instructed her to turn on the chair. Mommy began crooning one of her made up praise songs about how smart Raena was and how much mommy loved her. Raena seemed to get a jolt of courage and pawed the power button as well as the horn. By this time me just knew the whole complex was watching. You can’t see them, but let me tell ya’, these old folks are nosier than a nose. If something’s going on in the parking lot, they’re all watching from their doors and windows.
Anyways, mommy gently told Raena to get off the horn and positioned her head over the joystick and told her to bite. They must have spent 47 hours 5 minutes with mommy trying to get Raena to bite the joystick before mommy pulled Raena back into her lap and zoomed back home. The reality is, there are too many distractions outside for a lesson. But anytime kitty is eager to train, you need to take advantage of it. And remember, if kitty gets any part of the training right, they get rewarded. So Raena got lots of extra love. Altho’ she hadn’t bit the joystick or drove the chair, she did turn the chair on and for the most part sat quietly in mommy’s lap. Even tho’ she initially tried to get down to chase whatever she saw, she calmed quickly when mommy told her “No”. And yes, me ran down the hall as they approached the door. Mommy’s pretty dangerous behind the joystick too. And yes, we finally got dinner.
Me’s gonna wrap it up now and go give mommy some of those much needed massages. ‘Member, ifin you have any questions or ideas, let us know. And don’t furget to check out the links below fur other Service Cat stories and/or training tips.
Do you (your cat/dog) get distracted easily?
Can (you) your human easily redirect you if you’re distracted?
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 February 27, 2017, in Educational, Feline Behavior, Human Speak, Service Cats, Training and tagged #RagdollCats, #ServiceCats, #WorkingCat, Deztinee, RaenaBelle, Training, Wheelchair. Bookmark the permalink. 69 Comments.