MeOWww Everypawdy, me’s back. You give that Raena an inch and she’ll take a mile. MOL Anyways, we got a lot of questions after our last Service Cat Monday posty with concerns ‘bout li’l ole me. Furst, me wants to fank you all fur your concern; but rest assured, mommy hasn’t cast me aside fur a newer, younger model, namely, RaenaBelle. Me still works every day. Let me get the business outta the way and we’ll meow ‘bout it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavorial questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
First, we want to follow up a little about last weeks post. For those of you who might have missed that post, mommy’s wheelchair is broken and unusable right now. None the less, Training continues as always. Awnty Kat from Momma Kat and her Bear Cat said, “I assumed part of the training was knowing what to expect (when Raena does one thing … the chair does this) – like how she might sit different if the chair is going forward. I would assume them learning to expect what the chair will do would cut down on anxiety and surprise when the action does happen.” And, she’s not wrong. However, if the chair doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Unfortunately wheelchairs are expensive and most people don’t have a spare. Learning what to do when the chair is broken and can’t be used is just as important as learning how to drive the chair.
You can see the control panel in this photo. Power button on top,
horn just below and the 2 speed buttons just in front of the joystick.
Remember, there are quite a few steps that have to occur before the wheelchair, even when working properly, will actually move. Believe it or not, the driving is probably the easiest part. After all, pushing the joystick forward is only one step. Seat position, bracing and turning the chair on and off require multiple steps, especially when we can’t read. The control panel contains 4 buttons positioned closely together, Power, Horn and 2 Speed buttons. We kitties are pretty smart, but reading the names of the buttons is a bit beyond our purview. So, it is necessary for us to prove proficiency in turning the chair on and off every day; as well as sitting properly and allowing mommy to brace us. Each button beeps when pushed. This simple step can often be enough to spook a kitty and make them want to jump down and/or run away. We have to become accustomed to the beeps and to fall back to driving position whether the wheelchair moves or not.
In our driving position, we must make sure that our back paw claws aren’t digging into mommy’s naked leg; and that we’re comfortable with where she has placed her hand to brace/hold us in position. And, even tho’ the wheelchair isn’t going to move right now, we must show that we know to bite the joystick and push it after powering the wheelchair on. These are basic steps and the first steps we learn. Each kitty learns at a different speed, however, mommy will often focus our initial Wheelchair Training on these steps for at least a month before ever letting us actually propel the chair forward. We like to remind you all that Training is ongoing and doesn’t take breaks or vacations. The truth is, that even when the chair is working properly, whoever doesn’t drive in the morning will be going thru these steps as Training every day.
We do take turns driving mommy in the mornings, but it’s not like today is me’s turn and tomorrow is yours. Each day, one of us will take up the Driving position, and that’s who drives. We don’t fight over who gets there first, we just kind of have an unspoken agreement, that whoever does, gets to drive. Of course, that’s after we’ve both proven ourselves proficient in driving. When Raena was first learning to drive, it was up to me to actually drive in the mornings. Even when she would take up the Driving position, mommy would give her some extra loving and then move her to the other leg so me could slip in and take the joystick. The rule is, whoever doesn’t drive the morning routine, gets Wheelchair Training that day. Now that we can both drive equally well, we take turns Training on those initial steps each day. Even sis Lexi, the last year of her life, still had regular Training Sessions.
Mommy equates Training to an old human saying, “Once you learn to ride a bike, you’ll never forget.” However, if you don’t ride for a while, you’re most likely to be a bit wobbly. You know the steps, but you’re a bit rusty and may even fall a time or two. However, if you ride every day, you’ll keep getting better. The same is true for us. Just because we learn to drive, doesn’t mean we should stop practicing. Remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. Me will be honest and tell you that it is confusing for us when the wheelchair is broken and our morning routine changes, but because of our continual Training, we adapt. We’ll meow more about that next week. In the meantime, me has a basic Wheelchair lesson to perform today. Me’s going to insist on Training first. Raena begs for treats better than me, so if she trains last, we’ll not only get lots of extra love but we just might get a handful of treats too.
Me’s gonna wrap it up now. Fanks again fur your questions, and keep ‘em comin’. And ‘member, you can ketch up on our Training Tips by clicking the links below.
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
Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty Internal Disputes
The Rest of the Story Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4
Stop Kitty’s Begging Calling For Help Options Pt. 1
Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3
Mmrrrrr Hiss, Stop it Raena, it’s time fur Blest Sunday.
C’mon sissy, I’s just wanna play. Meowin’ of blessings, look ‘round. We’re so blest to have so much to play with.
We are Raena. But, you know blessings aren’t all ‘bout the material things.
‘Course I’s know that sissy, but still, it’s nice to have ‘em. But, I’s also know that we’re blest to have such a pawsum mommy. Did we not have fun this weekend? Even tho’ mommy woke up feelin’ sicker than a dog, she made time fur us.
Yep Raena, she sure did. We had asked ifin she would take us fur a stroll but mommy did even better. Well, sort of. Me got all harnessed up, and thinkin’ me was goin’ fur a stroll furst, me went straight over to the stroller. To me’s sur-purrise, mommy snatched me up in her arms and took me outside. She even let me touch me’s paws to the grass. We were lolly-gaggin’ (wastin’ time) ‘round when all of a sudden mommy realized she had left the camera in the house. Did you know we could hear you meowin’ at the door all the way on the other side of the ‘pawrtment complex?
I’s wanted to be with you and mommy sissy. What did you x’pect me to do, wait mine’s turn patiently?
Kittens Raena, you could see us every minute. Anyways, realizin’ we didn’t have the camera, but seein’ that me was really enjoyin’ the great outdoors, mommy said, “It’s okay Dezi, we don’t have to have photos of everythin’, all the time.” So, we just kept walkin’ ‘round. Till that is, mommy got tired of hearin’ you mewin’ at the door like a little lost kitten.
Well sissy, I’s figgered ya’ll had been out there purrlenty long enuff that surely it was mine’s turn. I’s couldn’t wait to get outside and put mine’s paws on the grass. We even stopped off at the mailboxes to check the mail. And, that’s when it happened. Mine’s nice long leisurely stroll got cut short. In mere seconds the birds stopped singin’ and the skies turned black as night. The heavens opened up and let the flood waters fall. Oh MeOW, I’s headed straight fur the pawrkin’ lot to dance in the rain. Mommy was yellin’ somethin’ I’s couldn’t quite make out thru all the noise of the storm. And then, befur I’s could get mine’s paw in the puddle on the sidewalk, mommy snatched me up and took off runnin’ towards our ‘pawrtment.
Yep Raena, ya’ll looked so funny. Mommy can’t actually run to save her life, so ya’ll were doin’ more like a quick hobble. Mommy’s head was lookin’ down as much as she can bend her head, and you were starin’ straight up pawin’ at the air.
Oh sissy, it was so much fun. Till we got back inside that is. I’s was soaked. All mine’s fur was wet. It took hours fur me to dry off. And, you were no help, hidin’ out unner the bed.
How many times does me have to tell ya’, Me’s Not HIDIN’, me’s purrtectin’ mommy and you from spiders and other creepy crawlers.
Yeah, sure. Whatever you say sissy. I’s just happy we got some special time with mommy. We are indeed blest.
We most certainly are Raena. And, one of our angels sent some green papers fur mommy to get somethin’ special fur all of us. We sure did purreciate it. We’ll tell ya’ all ‘bout that shoppin’ trip later.
Hey sissy, did you see the card mommy got from another bloggin’ angel? She had been blest by somepawdy and wanted to pass it along. We furgot to ask ‘bout name droppin’, but she knows who she is, and we’re sendin’ fanky fanks and hugs your way.
We have the bestest furiends in the universe Raena. Fank you all fur bein’ our furiends and pawrt of our furmily. We’d like to remind you all to take a minute today and every day to give thanks fur the blessings in your lives. Each new day brings new blessings ifin we’ll just stop and see ‘em. We’re linkin’ up with the Kitties Blue fur Sunday Selfies too. C’mon Raena, let’s go play.
Till the next time………………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. That’s right, I’s here fur this weeks Service Cat Monday cuz it’s mostly ‘bout me. Let me get that business stuffs outta the way and we’ll get right to it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our Trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step training manual but rather, Tips/Tricks/Techniques that mommy has used/developed throughout her many years of training animals, cats in purrticular. Training is all about Repetition and Rewards and takes time. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease leave them in the comments section or send us an email. Ifin askin’ about behavioral issues, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clicking the links below.
It’s been a while since we’ve written about my training efforts, and we’ve gotten a few questions lately asking how my driving is going. So, we thought we’d take today to talk a bit about it. But, keep those questions coming, we’re really enjoying the topics ya’ll are throwing at us. The last time we posted about my driving lessons, I was doing pretty good, but not yet driving too far. You can read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 by clicking the links below titled, Raena and the Wheelchair. Of course mommy’s continued to train me even tho’ we’ve not written any posts about it. Remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. And remember, we can’t stress enough, Training doesn’t take a day off.
Here’s our question for today. “What do you do when you’re training a kitty to use a piece of equipment, and that equipment breaks?” Yep, mommy’s wheelchair broke. Seems a motor is out and the chair will do nothing more than go around and around in circles. I certainly can’t drive that. Mommy can’t even drive it, so what’s she supposed to do? Thankfully, because mommy and me didn’t take a day off, I’s can drive the wheelchair quite well now. Anyways, the first thing one must do is get a replacement or repair as soon as possible. But, anyone who has ever worked with Medicare knows that soon takes on a whole new meaning.
Mommy called a repairman as soon as the chair broke. He’s a new one to us, but looks like he’s going to be a good one. He came out the very next day to check it out. Mommy’s current chair has been a piece of junk since the day she got it, and he explained it’s because the chair’s about the cheapest one on the market. After looking it over and getting some information from it, he informed mommy that Medicare won’t pay to repair it, so we have to go through the channels and get a new one. So, we have an appointment today with mommy’s doctor for the evaluation to get the paperwork started.
In the meantime, mommy will continue to work with me on things like turning the chair on and off and sitting and standing properly when driving. Even though the chair doesn’t move, I will continue to learn to bite the joystick and hold. It’ll go something like this: Mommy and me will sit in the wheelchair and I’ll position myself on her right leg next to the joystick. Mommy will say, “On”, and I will stand with my front paws on the arm of the chair and push the power button. I might just press the horn too. Ya’ know, just for good measure. And then mommy will say, “Let’s go”, and I’ll bite down on the joystick and push it forward. We won’t be going anywhere, because mommy will have slipped her hand up and turned the chair off. After about a minute, mommy will slip her hand back up to that power button and turn the chair back on, and then say to me, “Off”. And, naturally, I will put my paw back on that power button and turn the chair off. We’ll repeat this scenario for about 15 minutes once a day. Of course, I will get lots of extra love after each step and at the end of the Training session.
It is a bit confusing to me that we’re not actually moving, but, these initial steps are more important than the actual driving. And, as long as mommy’s happy, I feel good about it and want to continue to please mommy each and every time. And hopefully, we’ll have a new chair sooner than later. So, even if the piece of equipment is broken, there are Training steps you can continue with. Always remember, Training is ongoing for life.
We can’t have a Service Cat posty without a foto of sis Dezi too.
Well, I’s gonna call it a wrap for today so we can get ready to go. I’s gotta help mommy find the raincoat fur mine’s stroller since it’s stormin’ outside. ‘Member to leave your questions or topics in the comments section. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, just click the links below to get caught up.
Till the next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
RaenaBelle and Deztinee