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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.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

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.

 

 Raena checks out the noms awnty Anonymous sent.

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.

 

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

 

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.

 

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

 

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.

 

 Dezi lays in the wheelchair

 

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.

 

Raena lays in wheelchair

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.

 

Raena in tiger kitty holster

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

 

Service Cats  

What to Look For     Training Foundations     Train Kitty to Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws and Exceptions     Accommodations and Common Sense

When the Handler Dies     Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train     Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help     Just What Is Kitty Capable Of

Shad: Original Service Cat     Harness or Vest Leash or Stroller

Dezi the Wheelchair and the Chest     Round and Round We Go

Tumble and Fall Response     Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena and the Wheelchair Pt. 1

When to Train     Explaing Rewards and Kitty’s Feelings 

Stop Kitty’s Begging 

#Service Cats: Explaining Rewards and How Kitty Feels About Training

Meow Me would like to fank you all fur your unnerstandin’. Even tho’ Buddy wasn’t ours, we luvved him. After all, mommy had helped take care of him since he came to live with mr. W 7 years ago. Anyways, we know you all came by today fur Service Cat Monday. We’ve got some great questions to talk ‘bout and answer today. ‘Member, ifin ya’ have questions, purrlease leave them in the comments or send us an email. We do our bestest to answer them all in a timely manner. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the bottom of this post. We need to tell ya’, our Service cat posts are not meant to be a trainin’ manual as trainin’ is all ‘bout repetition and reward. Our tips are tailored specifically to kitties, but they also work well with dogs. And, as with all our educational postys, the followin’ will be written in human English fur reader and translation ease. So, let’s get started.

 

 Dezi lays in mommys lap for loving

 

Our first question comes from those amazing Canadian Meezers Shoko and Kali and awnty Jean. They want to know how Raena acts after a training session. Does she want to continue/more training? Is she proud of herself? Is she happy it’s over? Remember, all training sessions should be kept short, fifteen to twenty minutes maximum. We’ve mentioned in several posts that training is serious business, but it should also be fun. And we’ve posted a few stories about our training adventures that shows just how much fun they can be. The goal is for kitty to learn something. It doesn’t have to be the exact task you’re training the fist time, but at least a part of it.

 

 Raena heads to the kitchen with the nip nanner

I’s struttin’ mines stuff all the time.

 

 

As you know, mommy is starting Raena’s wheelchair driving training. The first complete task would be to be comfortable with the control panel and power the chair on and off. No actual driving or biting of the joystick. So, mommy takes Raena’s fascination with the horn as a win. It shows she’s comfortable with the beeping and if it accidentally gets hit while driving, it won’t startle her and cause her to try to jump off the moving chair. Mommy says it’s always better to stop a training exercise while kitty is still interested. As with anything else, you want kitty to look forward to training the next time. If kitty is hiding, or running from you at training time, you’ve pushed them too far. You can recover from this. Pick a new task and start as if it were the very first time. You can come back to the previous task when kitty/doggy has learned that training is fun. Speak excitedly and expectantly. Use your baby voice. Whatever gets your kitty excited and eager to spend time with you. That brings us to our next question. But we do want to give Raena’s take on how she feels after a training session first.

 

 Raena sits in mommys lap and massages her

I’s luvs gettin’ mommy luvvin’.

 

          I’s always excited at the end of a training session. I’s could continue but mommy says we’re all done. Mommy also says that I always sashay around and strut my stuff, so she can’t be sure if I feel proud of myself or am just walking normally. I’s always follow mommy and ask to sit in her lap and get some more loving when training is over. She’s always happy to oblige. 

 

 

 Dezi lays in mommys' lap for some loving

Me luvs mommy luvvin’ too.

 

Thanks Raena. Now that everybody’s confused…Me acted and acts pretty much the same way. Remember, training is continual and repetitive. Mes sessions are refreshers. And mommy counts anytime me actually performs a task as a training session. So to answer the question about how a kitty (Raena) acts after a training session is: If it’s been done right, kitty will probably exhibit one or more of those emotions. Always stop a session while kitty is still engaged and eager.

 

 Raena sleeps in mommys lap

Extra luvvin’ leads to this. No trainin’ session happenin’ now. 

 

The next question we got was from awnty Victoria. She wanted to know more about the reward system mommy uses. Mommy prefers praise and love instead of treats. Mommy talks a lot during training sessions. It’s not all telling us what to do, but also telling us that she loves us, she’s proud of us, we’re so smart, she’s so blest, and so on. The tone of praise is gentle, affectionate and almost giddy. The tone used to instruct us is stern but gentle. So, even if you don’t believe we understand the words, we do understand the difference in the tone of voice. Altho’, mommy would argue with you over the fact that we do indeed understand what she is saying.

 

Dezi in harness

Rewards also include pats, hugs and kisses. Reward time doesn’t last long. The training session is only fifteen to twenty minutes long, so you need kitty to stay focused. For example, Raena pushes the power button or horn and doesn’t move away. Success. Mommy would say, “Oh Raena, you’re so smart,” and bend into her for a quick hug, and then it’s back to training. And remember, when using love as a reward, Do Not give love during the actual sessions unless kitty/doggy has performed the task correctly. We told you that mommy uses a hand to hold/stabilize us while driving the wheelchair. As tempting as it may be to rub kitty, Do Not! Kitty must not relax into a love session. There’s plenty of time for that later. You know your kitty/doggy best, so you know what kind of love they prefer. If your kitty doesn’t like to be patted on or near the tail, don’t do it. You want kitty/doggy to feel rewarded and not agitated. And Play time has no place during training. Unless you are training kitty/doggy to fetch a toy. Play time is not a “love” reward.

 

 Raena posing in her harness on the small cat perch

 

You might consider us bringing mommy the phone or other items a game of fetch; but it is not. Typically a game of fetch entails the human throwing something for kitty/doggy to run after, pick up and bring back. Mommy isn’t throwing the phone, food or anything else. We are learning to bring mommy something from a stationary position. Awnty Victoria had asked how long the loving reward should last, as her kitty gets frustrated after being petted for long periods. This is pretty typical behavior in most cats. Kitties typically warn you by a quick flicking/swooshing of the tail. If this is happening, your reward is lasting too long. Remember, rewards should be quick and only offered when kitty has performed at least some part of the task correctly. There’s plenty of time for extra loving before or after a training session.

 

 Raena in stroller

Well, we hope this post helps you understand the “Love Reward” system a bit better. Again, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or send us an email. We hope to be a bit busy today with mommy’s worker, so we’ll be ‘round to visit when we can.

 

Do you (your cat/dog) have a favorite love reward?

Have you trained (your cat/dog/human) to perform any specific task (other than feed me now-MOL)?

 

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

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Raena: Navy Blue

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

Service Cats

What to Look For     Training Foundations     Train Kitty to Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost 

Housing Laws and Exceptions     Accommodations and Common sense 

When the Handler Dies     Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train     Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes 

Calling Emergency Help     Just What is Kitty Capable Of 

Shad: Original Service Cat     Harness or Vest Leash or Stroller 

Dezi the Wheelchair and the Chest     Round and Round We Go

Tumble and Fall Response     Raena Calls for Help 

The Rest of the Story     Raena and the Wheelchair Pt. 1

When to Train     

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.

 Dezi lays in wheelchair

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.

 Dezi atop the Liberty cat tree overseeing her world

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.

 Raena sleeps in mommy's lap

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.

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

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.

 Raena lays in wheelchair while pointing out the joystick

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.

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

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.

 Dezi lays in wheelchair

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.

 Raena sleeps in mommy's lap

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

 

Service Cats 

What to look for     Training Foundations     Train Kitty to Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost 

Housing Laws and Exceptions     Accommodations and Common Sense

When the Handler Dies     Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train     Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes 

Calling Emergency Help     Just What Is Kitty Capable Of

Shad: Original Service Cat     Harness or Vest Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair and the Chest     Round and Round We Go

Tumble and Fall Response     Raena Calls For Help    

The Rest of the Story 

Service Cats: Will Raena Ever Learn to Drive

Hey Raena, do you know what today is?

Dezi and Raena with nip toy

          Is it another holiday sissy? I’s luvs these holidays; they’re so much fun.

 Raena hugs Dezi while she lays on the brown cat tree

Get off me Raena. Me doesn’t want a hug right now. 

But I’s luvs you sissy.

 

 

No silly, it’s Service Cat Monday. And the furst one of the new year.

 

          Well, what are we gonna talk about; mommy crawlin’ all over the house? You know, I’s not big enuff to give her a ride, or even let her hold onto mines tail so I’s could pull her from room to room.

 

Yeah, that wasn’t really the plan Raena. Me isn’t big enuff fur that either. Mommy’s more than a little peeved at the wheelchair peeps. They billed fur brand new wheelchair batteries a few months back, but mommy thinks they gave her used ones. She thinks that cuz they’re already dead and won’t hold a charge. Then to top it all off, they ain’t comin’ out to replace ‘em till next week. What do you wanna bet they rebill fur new batteries again? In the meantime, mommy’s been crawlin’ around since Thanksgiving.

 Raena sits in mommys lap and massages her

          At least we can massage her arms so she can use them to pull herself along in the mornings. I’s even gave her head a whacky paw this morning, to keep her from hittin’ it on the bedside vanity.

 

You did at that Raena. ‘Course now she probably has a headache. That means more head massages today.

 

          I’s already gave her one after brekky sissy. Ya’ reckon she’ll want another?

 Dezi snuggles in mommys lap

And lots of cuddly snuggles

 

 

Yep, me’s sure of it. She’s also having some teeth problems, that are makin’ her sinuses act up so she can’t hardly breathe.

 

          Is that why she’s so hot too sissy?

Dezi and Raena chat in the chair

Yeah sis, she’s runnin’ a fever. Hopefully it’ll go away soon. (no, mommy doesn’t have any dental insurance and there’s no community type programs she qualifies for. She needs dentures to get rid of all the problems once and for all.) Anyways, we hope to get new batteries fur the wheelchair soon, so mommy can start training Raena to drive. It’s about to get real interestin’ here. So we hope to have lots of adventures to share with you all this year. And remember, ifin you have any training questions, or just feline questions in general, let us know. You can ask in a comment, email or email via our contact page. Our contact page sends an email directly to us and is totally private. That means nopawdy sees what you write but us. Ifin you’ve missed any of our Service Cat posts, you can check them out by clicking the links below. Me’s gonna go give mommy another massage now. We’ll be by to visit as soon as we can. We hope you all had a pawsum Mew Year.

 

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

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Raena: Navy Blue

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Service Cats 

What to Look for     Training Foundations     Train Kitty to Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws and Exceptions     Accommodations and Common Sense

When the Handler Dies     Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train     Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing 

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes 

Calling Emergency Help     Just What is Kitty Capable of 

Shad: Original Service Cat     Harness or Vest Leash or Stroller 

Dezi, the Wheelchair and the Chest     Round and Round We Go

Tumble and Fall Response     Raena Calls for Help 

Service Cats: Dezi the Wheelchair and the Chest

Well meow everypawdy. Here we are another week closer to mes Gotchaday, which is next Tuesday ifin you’re wonderin’. Anyways, it’s also Service Cat Monday. You know what dat means; it’s time fur another Service Cat trainin’ posty. We had a lot of great questions, and sure hope we’ve given everypawdy some helpful trainin’ tips these last few months. Ifin you’ve missed any post in da series, you can ketch up by clickin’ on da links at da bottom of this posty. We told ya’ last week dat we had reached da end of questions asked by you; and dat unless we got any more we would start tellin’ a few stories ‘bout mes trainin’. And, well, we didn’t get any questions this past week, so today you’re gonna hear ‘bout some of da fun dat occurs durin’ trainin’. As with all our educational posts da followin’ will be in human English speak. So let’s get started.

 Dezi laying in wheelchair

Mommy wanted me to remind you all that altho’ training should be taken seriously, you can still have a lot of fun. We thought we’d focus on wheelchair training today. Let me give ya’ a little information about electric wheelchairs; or at least the one we have. At the end of one of the arms is a control panel. Ours is on the right arm since mommy’s right handed. On this control panel is a joy stick, power button, horn and speed buttons. The other arm has a small pouch attached for things like keys, a phone, wallet, and/or treats. For the first few lessons, mommy usually has the chair already turned on, so all we have to focus on is the joy stick.

Me was purretty young when mommy first started mes training, but me still had very large furry paws. Mommy had learned while training sis Lexi and her then brofur Lucky, that the wheelchair needed some padding if she hoped to avoid damaging walls, doors and furniture. So mommy cut up some foam pieces and attached them to the arms and foot rest. And in the pouch she placed a bag of our favorite freeze dried chicken breast treats. Mommy tries to avoid first thing in the morning training because she can’t move everything (legs, arms, etc.). So one afternoon, mommy got all set for mes training session, and it went something like this. 

Raena lays in wheelchair while pointing out the joystick

 Bigify to see teeth marks

 

 

 

Mommy sat down in the wheelchair that had been moved to the bedroom facing the bathroom. This is the shortest distnce and straightest line we have to drive. What could go wrong, right? Then she began calling for me to join her. Me was familiar with the wheelchair since it had been a part of mommys life from the day me came to live with her. So naturally me ran straight to mommy and jumped up in her lap. The newly attached foam had all mes attention. Me was sniffin’ each piece and even put the bitey on one of them. Of course that’s not what mommy had intended so, she gently moved me further into her lap and positioned me with mes head over the control panel where the joy stick resides. Mommy had already turned the power button on and turned the speed down to it’s lowest setting.

 

 

Mommy then gently pushed mes head over to the joy stick and tickled mes chin and nose so me would open mes mouth. And then she gently pushed mes open mouth down on the joy stick and said, “Bite”. Hmmmmm Really? Bite? Hasn’t mommy been telling me Not to Bite everything? And now she wants me to Bite? Whatever. Me bit down on the joy stick but nothing happened. Me wasn’t sure what was suppose to happen, but nothing did. So, me let go of the joy stick and started to turn to look at mommy. Well, while maneuvering meself to turn around, mes big ole furry kitty paw landed on the speed button. Of course neither mommy or me was aware of this until, mes other big ole furry paw pushed the joystick forward. Now mind you, all of this happened in just a few short seconds, not the slow motion it sounds like now. Anyways, what happened next is the very reason for those foam bumper pads mommy had attached to the chair earlier.

 Young Dezi standing on whaeelchair arm with Lexi laying beside her

Me had one front paw and one back paw in mommys lap and one back paw on the arm of the chair and the other front paw pushing against the joy stick. And before mommy could even say mes name, we bolted across the room and ran right smack dab into the chest of drawers sitting next to the bathroom door. Yep, we ran right into that big ole chest. Me jutted forward and then back against mommy as we made an abrupt stop due to the size of the chest we had just hit. Mes eyes were as big as dinner plates and mommys dropped jaw was still over by the bed where we had started. Sis Lexi came running down the hall towards us from her spying place right around the corner. Me gathered meself together and jumped over the back of the chair and zoomed down the hall towards sis Lexi. Head on collision in the hallway. Once me made it to the end of the hall me sat down, looked around and started bathing meself as if me had planned it all. Me could hear mommy hollerin’ ‘bout how much she luvved me and how purroud of me she was, but me wasn’t ready fur any hugs and snuggles, so me stayed put. Gotta remember to reward our actions. Altho’ things didn’t go as planned, me had “driven” the chair.

 

 

Once mommy gathered her dropped jaw and moved the chair back into position, she began to call for me again. Sis Lexi had taken up a safe position on the bed to oversee mes training. Reluctantly me headed back down the hall towards mommy and the kitty killing wheelchair. Okay so maybe the chair didn’t kill any kitties and maybe no kitty was actually even harmed, but it sounded good didn’t it?. Anyways, me jumped on the bed with sis Lexi and meowed with her a bit. A frustrated mommy finally reached into the pouch and brought out the hidden bag of freeze dried chicken breast treats. Of course sis Lexi and me were both in her lap faster than that chair could move.

 

 

While mommy fumbled around opening the treat bag, sis Lexi and me clamored back and forth to see who would get the first treat. Of course during this time, both of us kept stepping all over the wheelchairs’ control panel turning the chair off and on, off and on, and honking the horn. And then of course the moment came when the stray paw pushed the joy stick. It could’ve been a stray butt too, but we’re sticking with the stray paw. It just so happened that the chair was on and again at full speed. Can you guess what happened next? Yep, away we went. The treat bag went flying and so did sis Lexi. Let me tell ya’, in her day, she sure did love her some treats. Mommy and me came to an abrupt halt when we hit the side of the bathtub. Mommy has seen it coming but all too fast to stop it. At least she was able to grab hold of me and held on tight so me didn’t get thrown into the bathtub. When we came to a stop, mommy looked at me and said, “This is why, you’re to calmly drive the wheelchair with your mouth Dezi, and not your paws.” At that moment me could care less what we were supposed to do. All me wanted was down and at those treats sis Lexi was now gobbling up.

 Raena laying in wheelchair

 It’s gonna be mines turn next.

 

 

Well, there ya’ have it, wheelchair driving 101. Fur all of you dat think we just magically know what to do da furst time, well, dat just ain’t true. After 2 crashes in less than an hour, mommy halted trainin’ fur da day. Oh we’d be at it again da day after and da day after dat. Cuz ‘member, trainin’ is all ‘bout repetition. We’re still takin’ questions, so ifin ya’ have somethin’ ya’ wanna know or hear ‘bout, just let us know. Ifin we don’t get any questions befur next week, we’ll pick up where we left off here. ‘Member to check out our purrevious Service Cat postys by clickin’ on da links below. Me’s gonna go see ‘bout getting’ some treats right now, so me hopes you all enjoyed readin’ mes story.

 

 

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

 

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue

Mommy A: Black 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

Service Cats 

What to Look For     Training Foundations     Train Kitty to Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws and Exceptions     Accommodations and Common Sense

When the Handler Dies?     Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 

Easiest Task to Train?     Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help     Just What is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat     Harness or Vest, Leash or Stroller         

 

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