Now, Levi is an entirely different story! While appearing to be every bit as afraid as MaryJane, he doesn’t hit or spit or lash out. He cowers, lowering his head and his ears, and trembling, when I reach to pet him. I noticed early on that he did better when I was sitting down, than standing and towering over him. He’s always been more adventurous, checking out different places in the room, and quickly made the baskets in both cat trees his favorite places. He did have a brief setback when MaryJane was upsetting him and he’d started to hiss at me also, but as soon as I moved her out of the guest room, he started coming around. Unlike MaryJane, however, he showed no signs of enjoying being petted.
Pounce cat treats (crunchy only) has been the way to Levi’s heart. He just LOVES those things. But I’d only give them to him when he was on the cat basket of the older cat tree (that I could reach while sitting in the rocker), and he was persuaded over time to allow me to pet him while he was eating the treats… which I took as a singular victory!! He started to very tentatively turn his head to where he wanted to be scritched along the side of his neck, then under his chin. Then about 2 weeks ago I heard the very faintest of rumbles… I had to stop and listen 3 times before it was clear that, yes, that really was a purr! Very low, but definitely a purr. He still will not come to me… but… when I sit down and shake the bag of Pounce treats, he’ll run to jump in the basket to get his treats!
Finally he stopped lowering his head and ears when I reached in to pet him, and also was starting to let me pet him while I was standing beside the cat tree and not sitting in the rocker. So day before yesterday, I decided it was time for a trial outside the bedroom. I lured him into the basket with Pounce treats, then picked him up and carried him into the dining room and set him down on the desk, still holding him though, and petting and putting down Pounce treats. When I let go, he was busy snifffing at the open window onto the back yard. After a bit he slid down onto the window sill and kept looking out. I kept talking to him, but also doing my “normal” thing on the computer and reaching out every bit to pet his head. After a few hours of this, I went to nap. When I got up he was draped on the sofa. He’d always been spooked when I looked at him and came towards him directly, so I didn’t make eye contact and veered off to the kitchen. He kept a close eye on me, and finally let me lure him to the cat tree I have next to the desk. Yesterday he’d some jump up on that when I shook the Pounce bag, and this morning for the first time since being loose in the house that he let me pet him while he was eating his Pounce treats. Although he hasn’t purred yet.
He still doesn’t seem to like to be petted along his back, only his head and under his chin, and he’s definitely not coming to me to be petted, only for treats. But last night he got up on the bed with me after I turned out the lights, and this morning I lay in bed and shook the treats and he jumped right up on the bed to get them. And he’s WAY curious about me.. he follows me around (even to the bathroom), watching me, and not in a spooked way but in a “what the heck is this person doing?” The picture on the left is him popping up to watch me get another glass of tea in the kitchen. Also he’s definitely interested in the cat dancer toy, although he hasn’t gotten brave enough to get close enough to me to chase the end, but you can just tell he’s crazy to chase it. Oh… and he LOVES popcorn. I tossed him a piece night before last, and he chased it all around the living room til it was just bits. And he LOVES being loose in the house. In between exploring corners and nooks and crannies, he races through the house on thundering paws, making enough noise for a herd of elephants, and appearing pretty pleased with himself over it, too.
So Levi is really coming around nicely it’s only a matter of time. Here he is owning his space under the coffeetable (see that white styrofoam box? That’s my daughter’s Christmas present… I left that in as a teaser, mwaaahahaaha’s love ya sweetie!)
I’m also starting a Flickr album for Levi, ’cause he’s just too darned photogenic!!!
If you’ve missed it, here’s the blog update on Mary Jane.