Category Archives: Educational

Service Cats: How Long Does It Take To Train A Cat Pt. 3

MeOW and welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We’re really enjoying this stroll down memory lane while explaining the length of time it took for each of us to learn specific tasks; and we hope you are too. Several of you expressed that you didn’t realize Training took so long after hearing about sis Lexi’s experience with the wheelchair. We never said Training was a snap, just that every cat can be Trained. That being said, kitty will learn more quickly any task that is in effect when they join a household. Me will explain that in more detail in a minute. Furst, we want to remind you to keep the questions and suggested topics comin’. You can post them in the comments section below or send us a private email via our Contact page. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series or just want to brush up on a purrticular subject, you can do so by visitin’ our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. Let’s get the business outta the way and pick up where we left off.


Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness



The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 you can check them out here and here. So we left off with me trying to be just like sis Lexi and help her help mommy while she was in the shower. Me was far too small to even get on the side of the tub, much less be any help; but me watched sis Lexi intently every day. When me was finally big enough to actually get in the tub, me pretty much knew what to do. Watching another cat perform a task can be a great Training Tool. Kittens learn to use a litter box, hunt, and more all by watching their mother. So, watching a Task being performed by another helps to Train the new cat. Thus, kitty will be able to learn quicker, because they won’t know any different. Me was about 4 months old when me was finally able to jump in the tub. Mommy had bathed me pretty regularly due to me’s sickly, wormy condition that left me’s bloomers quite a mess; so me wasn’t afraid of water at all. And of course, me had watched sis Lexi get in the shower for months, so me thought every kitty loved playing in the water. At 4 months old, me took me’s place beside sis Lexi to help keep mommy’s face out of the water flow when she passed out in the shower. Me was still too small to make a difference, but me was mimicking her actions and was finally able to be of help a few months later.


Young Dezi standing on whaeelchair arm with Lexi laying beside her

Dezi about 6 months old

However, the shower wasn’t actually the first task me performed. Me actually chose mommy instead of her choosing me; so me bonded with her right away. If you haven’t read about how mommy found and saved me, you can read about it here. Anyways, me was a teeny little thing back then. Me didn’t even reach mommy’s ankles when standing on all fours. A couple of days after mommy brought me home, she was standing in the kitchen washing dishes. Something she did a couple of times a day after feeding sis Lexi and me. Me suddenly started to mew me’s squeaky mew,  turn around and around and paw at mommy’s ankles with me’s front paws. Mommy didn’t have a clue what me was doing, so she just started telling me how cute me was and that she loved me. Me was persistent tho’, and continued me’s “dance” and squeaky mewing. Mommy finally picked me up thinking me wanted to be held and loved on. Me will never say no to loving, but me continued to mew and started patting/pawing at her face. After a few more minutes mommy started “seeing stars”, and put me down. She usually gets about a 30 second warning from her body that she’s going to pass out. After setting me down, mommy tried desperately to get to her chair to sit, but she didn’t make it. Yep, she passed out right there on the floor. If she’d only listened to me.  But she hadn’t. She had no clue that me was trying to warn her. 


Collage #Dezi as a baby and now at 6 years old

Dezi’s first day and now




These “Dancing Episodes”, as we call them, continued fur days until the light bulb finally went off in mommy’s head. While standing in the kitchen a few days later, mommy looked down at me dancing around and said, “Are you trying to tell me something sweety?” Nah, Duh. Me didn’t actually meow that, but that’s exactly what me was trying to do. Mommy gently picked me up and went straight to her chair to sit down. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later mommy got that “seeing stars” feeling and realized that me could sense and smell the change in her body chemistry. Me no longer dances around, but me still alerts mommy about 20 minutes before she passes out. That’s usually plenty of time for her to get to safety instead of ending up face down on the floor. All animals can sense/smell these subtle changes in the body chemistry, it’s just a matter of Training them to alert when they do. Or, in me’s case, listening when we’re acting strangely shortly before an incident happens. Especially if the actions are repeated several different times. We know many of you have heard stories about animals saving their owners from house fires, heart attacks, strokes and many other issues because our (cats) sense of smell is 14 times better than that of a human. Alerting mommy to these incidents has saved her many a bruise and embarrassing situation.


Dezi lays in wheelchairMe luvs the wheelchair




As for the wheelchair, well, me was never afraid of it. You see, unlike sis Lexi, me had never known mommy without one. So, mommy was able to start Training me immediately. Me’s Training started with just riding in mommy’s lap and getting used to moving around the house in the chair. Between 4 and 6 months, mommy started introducing me to the joystick and the power controls. Me had to be big enough to reach them. Again, me had been watching sis Lexi every day for all those months, so me thought this was something all kitties did as well. Once Training officially started, me took me’s maiden drive (mommy supporting me while me pushed the joystick on me’s own) within 2 months.


Dezi with telephone making a call for pizzaMe doesn’t really call the pizza place. MOL




Another Task we perform that people find interesting, is our ability to call for help with the phone. There’s no tricks or magic here, just an old fashioned land line. Mommy begins telephone Training almost immediately. Even tho’ kitty/me may not be big enough to actually push the buttons, we can get used to the repetition of numbers and what happens when the phone is activated and a call placed. Believe it or not, it’s kind of strange to us kitties to hear a voice we can’t actually see. An old fashioned answering machine is also helpful in getting kitty used to voices coming from the phone. By the time me was big enough to push the buttons down or carry the phone in me’s mouth, me was hooked. Me loves the telephone. Maybe a bit too much, according to mommy. Every time it rang, me would rush to answer it, even when mommy was holding it. More than once, me answered the phone while mommy was…indisposed (in the bathroom). Mommy says it wouldn’t have been so bad if me had just brought her the phone. But no, me wanted to push the buttons that accepted the call before bringing it to mommy. She’s always saying, there’s no phone in the bathroom for a reason. Me can’t imagine why that is tho’?. So, me had a little extra Training on only using the phone in emergencies or when mommy asks for it. Me does still occasionally get a little excited about the phone, but me hasn’t answered it while mommy was indisposed in years.


Raena reaching out from the perch to alert mommy

Raena Alerting to Syncope incident




As most of you know, Raena joined our family after sis Lexi went to heaven. She’s a smart one that Raena, and took to Training from day one. She’s been a master masseuse from the minute mommy let her out of the carrier here. Me had won a couple of automated toys to give to her as a welcome present; and she learned how to turn them off and on by herself almost immediately. She’s also built differently than me in that she’s longer and taller. So, mommy began her wheelchair Training a couple of weeks after she came here to live. Because our old wheelchair broke, her Training got derailed a bit, but she’s picking up the new chair like it’s been here forever. Mommy says she’s doing better than both of us. Raena has a very curious and open disposition, so she’s always done well in public. And, like me, she bonded with mommy right away and began alerting to mommy’s syncope incidents after only a few days.


Well there you have it. This 3 part series has been an overview of the time it took to Train a few different kitties to perform a few of our basic Tasks. If there’s a specific kitty or Task you’d like us to expound on, let us know. Otherwise, we’ll start a new topic next week. Remember, all kitties/anipals can be Trained and even do better with some Training. And, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. Don’t forget to leave your questions, blog topics and any comments in the comment section below or send us an email. And ketch up on any post you may have missed by clicking the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. We’re doing something new this week and joining Comedy Plus for Feline Fridays.


Till the next time…………………………………………Be Blest!!!


Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses


Deztinee and RaenaBelle           

Service Cats: Ode to Lexi: Letter to Heaven

MeOW Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline. We’re takin’ a small detour today fur mommy to pay tribute to an amazing Service Cat, me’s sis Lexi. A lot of you remember her; but fur those who don’t, she was mommy’s Service Cat fur 17 years. Sadly, kidney disease took her from us 2 years ago today. You can read more ‘bout sis Lexi, here, here and here. We’ll be back next week with our regular Service Cat posts. Fanks fur letting us honor sis Lexi’s amazing life and her memory.


Lexi forever badge from Ann




My Dearest Sweet Lexi,

Hello my sweet angel. I miss you more than words can say. My heart aches, each and every day. Today marks two years since I last saw your beautiful face; and felt your paw resting on my hand, or the look in your eyes when they met mine. I’ll never forget the purr that could be felt and heard from across the room when our eyes met and we shared a slow blink. In that moment, no words were needed to express the love we shared.


Lexi and her littermates the day they were born

110 camera image


I’ll never forget the day you were born…So tiny and yet so loud. You must have been terrified from the horrors that had brought you into this world. But, what I remember most is how you immediately quieted your screaming and started to rumble all over the minute I held you in my hand for the first time. You seemed to know, everything was going to be okay. You seemed to know you were home. You would have been happy to lay in my arms all the time. You never really needed a space of your own. I remember all those every 2 hour feedings when you preferred sleeping in my arms over eating. I remember when I would try to lay you down to sleep afterwards and you would wriggle your little body up under my shirt or arm or whatever you could so that you could stay close to me just a little longer.


3 week old Lexi waddling through the house

110 camera image
Lexi at 3 weeks




I remember the look on your face the first time you heard me call your name. And I remember the love I saw in your emerald green eyes as they focused in on my face for the first time. I remember seeing the world in a whole new way through your eyes as you experienced everything fresh and new. Each day was a wonder and every experience a welcome challenge. I remember the fear when you thought you might have to leave me and the utter joy when I told you we’d be together forever.



Lexi rides in her travel carrier home from BlogPaws Nashville




I remember the perseverance and utter determination you had when learning each new task. And, the pride you felt when you mastered those tasks. You would strut around and chirp loudly as if announcing it to the world. I remember each night as I laid my head on the pillow and you began to massage my head and purr away the stresses of the day. I remember waking each morning to find you curled up next to me and how you would gently put your paw on my cheek and purr.


Lexi at 16 years old in mommy's lap





I remember each day that we spent together and never gave a thought to how it might end. I never imagined a day without you. Through all the ups and downs, you were always there. I remember how you fought the disease that wore your body down. I remember when you could no longer stand, but still managed to massage my head as I laid on the pillow each night. Near the end, I remember seeing that fear in your eyes once again when you thought or maybe knew, our time together was coming to an end. You had been my reason for living and the heart that beat in my chest. Maybe you wondered how I would go on.


Lexi with outstretched paw rubbing head in mommy's hand





I can tell you, it isn’t easy, and each day I miss you more. From an abandoned kitten to Queen of the Service Cats, you were that and so much more. Saying that final good night to you hurt me to my core. But, I wouldn’t have missed sharing your life for anything in the world. Dezi and Raena help me now, and fill my life with love. But no one or anything will ever fill the space occupied by your memories, your devotion and love. Those I cherish and think about every day with a smile.


Lexi with mouth open meowing on 3/9/2016

3/9/2016 One of the last photos ever taken of Lexi.




I take some small comfort in knowing you’re pain free and happy again. I will always love you and miss you till the day we meet again on heaven’s beautiful shores. Forever here didn’t last very long, but someday it will have no end. Until then my sweet, my Lexi, enjoy your hereafter and think not of my grief or sorrow. Only think on and remember my love. I know you’re in the best of hands, those of our Lords’.




Loving You Always,




Lexi sitting on cat tree in paint

Till the next time………………………….Be Blest




Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses


Deztinee and RaenaBelle

with Mommy A

Service Cats: How Long Does It Take To Train A Cat Pt. 2

MeOW and welcome to a new installment of Service Cats and Everything Feline. Keep the questions coming. ‘Member, there’s no stupid question, we can’t all know everythin’ all the time. We do want to remind you to be as specific as pawssible when askin’ behavioral questions. We want to give you the best Training Tips to correct the unwanted behavior. Well bahaved kitties mean more kitties stay in their furever homes. And yes, a lot of mommy A’s Training Tips can be used to Train dogs, horses and other species, not just the finicky feline in your life. You can ketch up on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ on Training Tips and Everything Feline on our menu bar. There you will find the links to all our Educational posts and Training Tips. Today’s posty is a continuation of last weeks post where we began to address the question, “How long does it take to Train a Cat?” Let’s get the business out of the way and get this pawrty started.


Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness





The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

Raena sits posing in her tiger harness




Last week we explained that we couldn’t really put an exact time table on Training because there are a lot of factors to be considered, such as age, breed, abilities/disabilities and personality. But, all kitties/cats can be Trained and actually enjoy Training. We briefly told you about how long it took Shad, mommy’s first Service Cat, to Train herself. You can read all about Shad here. We then moved on to Lucky and sis Lexi,  mommy’s first “driving” (wheelchair) kitties. The greatest thing you have when it comes to Training, is an animals’ curiosity and desire to please their human(s). A Bonded animal will go to great lengths to get their human’s approval and love.


 Lexi lays in wheelchair




So, let’s take a look now at how long it took sis Lexi to learn to drive mommy’s first wheelchair. As we mentioned it took about 3 months for Lexi to get over her fears of the wheelchair. You have to remember, a wheelchair isn’t just a big chair, it’s a big, heavy moving piece of furniture. Unfortunately, many a kitty has probably had their tail run over more than once by someone in a wheelchair. Unintentionally of course, but me’s sure it hurts just the same. So, we left off with Lexi trying to push the joystick one morning after having watched her brother move the chair the night before by doing just that. Altho’ the chair was plugged in and wouldn’t operate, mommy praised Lexi for her attempts and told her how proud she was. Once mommy was in the chair herself, she held Lexi in her lap while letting Lexi rest her front paws on mommy’s driving hand (mommy could still move her upper body well in the morning’s at that time). As mommy’s hand and Lexi’s paws pushed the joystick forward, mommy continued to praise Lexi and say “Good girl. Let’s go to the potty room.” yes, the first thing mommy ever needs to do in the morning is hit the bathroom. Seems everybody including the kitties all have to take advantage of the facilities first thing in the morning, so Lexi had jumped out of the chair and after using the litterbox took up her watchful place on the bathroom sink’s vanity.


 Lexi's signature pose

Mommy did well under the ever watchful eyes of sweet Lexi.




The next stop mommy always makes is the kitchen to prepare a kitty feast. Again, Lexi sat in mommy’s lap with her front paws on mommy’s driving hand as they headed to the kitchen. And again, mommy praised Lexi and said “To the kitchen, it’s time for brekky.” Yes, mommy’s always used a lot of baby talk with us. This pattern was repeated off and on during the day for the next several months. Training sessions lasted about 15 minutes each time for each kitty, Lexi and then Lucky. Remember, Training is ALL about Repetition and Rewards. In this case, taking kitty for rides and praising them throughout each session. Lucky caught on much quicker than Lexi and was driving without mommy’s hand in about 4 months. Lexi took her successful, no help from mommy drive about 2 months later; for a total of 6 months Active Training. That means a total of 9 months passed from the time the wheelchair entered the house to the time Lexi successfully maneuvered it by herself. When we say “by herself”, we mean that mommy’s hands were no where near the joystick. However, mommy did and still does use her hands to steady and support us on her leg.


 Dezi checks out the new Powerchair




The joystick extends anywhere from 6 to 12 inches from the arm. The wheelchair’s arm is approximately 2 to 3 inches wide, so there’s technically not enough room for us to stand, lay or sit on the arm and drive. We must remain in mommy’s lap and stretch/lean forward to connect with the joystick. This “stretch” makes us a little unsteady, especially when the chair is in motion. Because the chair can continue to move slightly even after pressure on the joystick stops, means that it can be extremely dangerous if we were to fall, thus the need for some support from the rider/mommy.


 Baby Dezi looks up at Lexi laying in the wheelchair

35mm camera image

Hey sissy, how’d you get up there? Me wants to be just like you.




Let’s move forward a bit to the time me joined mommy, and sis Lexi. By this time, sis Lexi was 10 years old and pretty much everything was old hat to her. Meaning, she was fully Trained and wasn’t learning anything new. At least that’s what mommy thought. We’ll come back to this a little later. So, me came to live with mommy and sis Lexi when me was about 2 1/2 – 3 weeks old. Me was very tiny and very sick. Thankfully, me was in the purrfect home with just the right mommy. Me had picked mommy instead of her picking me, so me bonded with her right away. Oh how me loves and adores mommy and me’s then sis Lexi. Me wanted to be just like sissy. Even though she was huge compared to me, me tried to do everything she did.


 Baby Dezi her first week at home

35mm camera image

Yep, me was so tiny the only potty box me could reach was a foil bakin’ pan.





Mommy remembers one of the first showers she took after me came to live here. When mommy would get in the shower, sis Lexi would automatically jump into the shower with her and stand at the back or on the other side of the shower curtain that was in the tub. This time, mommy had just stepped into the shower accompanied by sis Lexi when she heard a banging echo on the tub. She pulled back the curtain to see little o’l me trying desperately to jump into the bathtub with her and Lexi. Me wasn’t even as tall as mommy’s ankles, so the tub was certainly to tall for me to get into. And, ya’ know what? Those tubs are slippery. There’s nothing for a kitty to grab onto for climbing. But me had watched mommy get into the shower accompanied by sis Lexi for a couple of days, and remember, me wanted to do everything sissy did. Anyways, sis Lexi jumped on the edge of the tub and laid down to comfort me while mommy continued her shower. Mommy says shortly after she got into the shower, she could hear me meowing me’s squeaky meow like crazy. And, when she came to, she found me laying under her wet hair on the floor. Little did mommy know at that time, but me had been trying to tell her that she was going to pass out.


 Lexi lays in bathroom sink while Dezi lays on vanity beside her

Me sure did luv me’s sis Lexi.




Mommy says this topic is lengthy, so we need to wrap it up fur today. But, we’ll be pickin’ up where we left off next time. We know you want to know all ‘bout how me learned to help mommy and how long it took, so be sure to click that follow button ifin you haven’t already done so. And don’t furget to submit your questions, whether about us, Training, Health issues or Anything Feline in the comments or via email thru our contact page. Mommy has experience with other animal species as well, so just leave your questions and we’ll try to give you an answer. And, you can ketch up on any post you may have missed or just want to re-read by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu above. Well, that’s it fur now, see ya’ soon. 


Till the next time……………………………………….Be Blest!!!




Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses


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