WAFFLES: Hey Boss, can I come and sit by you on the sofa?
KATIE: What, are you finally tired of sitting on top of that giant ladder?
WAFFLES: Why, do you want to come up here, Boss?
KATIE: I don't do ladders, Waffles. Especially ladders with orange cats perched on top.
A strange phenomenon has been taking place in our new mountain home. At first we thought it was the altitude. Or perhaps something in the water. It's a mystery no one has been able to explain.
If you've been with us for awhile, you might remember when we took a vacation to the shores of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota a couple of years ago. Though Katie has always been shy and sometimes even a little reclusive at home, in the new digs of our lakeshore rental she was strutting her stuff from the moment we arrived. It's almost like she was more comfortable there than at home. She had a confidence about her and was quick to explore every inch of the new space.
Fast forward to our new Colorado home - The same thing has happened again. Katie is more comfortable than ever. So much so that she's even allowing Waffles to get closer and closer to her. They follow each other around the house, sometimes even running with each other. When Glogirly sits down to watch TV, they both join her, sitting closer than ever. They're both even sleeping with Glogirly within inches of each other.
And if that's not crazy enough for you - Katie, who has always been scared of strangers and visitors, has suddenly started approaching new visitors in the house. She's let the painter talk to her and approach her, she's gotten close to the plumber, the electrician... virtually everyone who has come to the house.
It's almost as if the new space has given her a fresh start, a spring in her step and a trusting confidence in people.
What do you think? Is it possible for behaviors to be somehow linked to a physical space? We'd love to hear your theories!
You go, girl(cat)!ReplyDelete
How interesting! Maybe some behaviors are tied to a place.ReplyDelete
Maybe you had a ghost in the townhouse that scared herReplyDelete
Weren't you already living at the townhome with Katie when you brought Waffles into the fold? Katie had established the townhome as HER territory and therefore Waffles was an intruder. When you take both together to another place, they establish a joint custody on the territory. Just a thought. Plus, both are getting older, and likely settling down (mostly I mean Waffles). We have a very similar situation with our Moko (my old girl who hates every other cat - except one) and Arata (my daughter's 3-year-old male who has been with us three years this month). Arata was just 4-5 months old when he came home with us and Moko still won't have anything to do with him. However, my newest baby, Kotoha, who I found last summer when she was just two weeks old and bottle fed her in the beginning, gets along great with Moko (and gives Arata a run for the money when it comes to being crazy and bothering him, much as he bothers Moko).ReplyDelete
Good fur you, Katie! It's a fresh start.ReplyDelete
What Linda said about establishing new territory. It changes the dynamic from when it was Katie's home and Waffles was the interloper. Now Katie is anxious to make sure it is her territory... but she and Waffles are on a more even basis.ReplyDelete
We're also going with new vs established territory.ReplyDelete
I absolutely think it's possible that behavior is linked to physical space. While it can go either way, in some cases, a new space can be almost like hitting the reset button for two cats who previously didn't get along. Linda put it perfectly in her comment when she said that the cats establish joint custody of the new territory.ReplyDelete
we have heard that before - that a complete change in environment brings out differences in behaviorReplyDelete
Sometimes a change of place helps you break out of old habits. That's often the way we break through with formerly feral or traumatized cats, to move them to a new foster home. They can leave their habits behind in a space where floors and walls and smells and noises remind them of a fearful time. And now Katie and Waffles are on the same level playing field, both of them exploring an unfamiliar space, and probably comparing notes.ReplyDelete
I don't know, just happy that they are both settling in and exploring their new home.ReplyDelete
Perhaps she is tuning into your new excitement of moving and etc. and gaining confidence?ReplyDelete
Perhaps Katie is making sure that anyone new coming into the mountain home are HER property and not Waffles'... Just a thought.ReplyDelete
Mom thinks it's all about territory. The Townhouse is Katie's territory and she doesn't want to share it with any other cat. The new home is neutral so it's fair game to both to claim their own spots. Love DollyReplyDelete
My angel kitty brother Scribbles was always MEAN and especially hated men. After they moved into a house for the first time, Scribbles came out to investigate the TV installer guy. Momma says she was ready to dive in when the TV guy reached out to pet Scribbles, but he PURRED and wound all around the guy's legs! He was MUCH nicer the entire time he lived in the house. A different space can definitely make a difference in how a kitty acts.ReplyDelete
Everyone has made good points about territory, but I just want to say how wonderful that they are getting along!!!ReplyDelete
Maggie, Mickey Mouser, and Rufus the Red
Maybe the noises of the city stressed her out and constantly put her on guard? I imagine unexpected noises and interruptions might stress a cat out ... like she always has to be ready ... and now the peace allows her to relax a bit. When a single 20 something moved in upstairs 8 months ago (with a pitbull no less), the partying and new noises freaked Bear out and I could see his stress as he hunkered down. I'm glad to hear that Katie loves her new digs. That's what's most important :)ReplyDelete
How nice for Katie, and for Waffles too! Your experience gives me hope that when we finally figure out how to move on from here, my gang might not be too traumatized.ReplyDelete
We think the change in scenery can affect behavior. We're glad Katie is doing so well in her new digs.ReplyDelete
Definitely behaviour has a link to physical space. In humans and animals. Katie must love her new digs! I hope a Waffles loves it there too! I need to check out all posts. I'm out of the loop. I can't believe I didn't take the time. I'm so happy for your new home. Love is where the heart is and I'm sure there is comfort in Katie knowing that the family is still together in the new home.ReplyDelete
Maybe she loves the higher altitude.ReplyDelete
I agree with Linda S. It's something I commented on last week. They both arrived at the same time.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your new house. Katie something is legal in Colorado. We hear that eating it relaxes youReplyDelete
Lily & Edward
All I can say is WOW !!!ReplyDelete
I've seen changes in the behavior of my two cats, Sam and Maya, when I've moved, and I'm pretty sure it has to do with being in a new place. They're both starting from the same spot to lay claim to prime turf and everything is strange to both of them, so it's a chance for someone who was perhaps less dominant last time to be more assertive this time (if they can pull it off). Sam's very Alpha Cat, so I don't think anything ever shifted in terms of who called the shots, but I'm sure the daily schedule of who got the futon when and who had dibs on my bed for napping in the afternoon was rewritten. ;)ReplyDelete
My son is in the service and moves around a lot! I have seen changes in behavior in his pets. He eldest cat was always a shy, don't touch me, hiding kitty. Now she is a love bug. She has joined the family ans wants to be petted. I am not sure what brings the change, but It seems to be normal.ReplyDelete
Linda said something very interesting, and we agree with her. And we're happy that arriving both at the same time in a new house has positive effects on Katie and Waffles ! PurrsReplyDelete
I moved several years ago with four of my cats (Shady passed just prior to the move), and I don't recall there being any change. But those are my cats.ReplyDelete
Whatever makes Katie happier and more accepting of Waffles sounds good to me. Have fun!
We totally agree with what Linda wrote above. How wonderful that the new place is giving Katie and Waff a reset on their relationship. :)ReplyDelete