Coonie Craziness

A few weeks ago, June 29th 2013 to be precise, the House of Chaos was entertaining Simian visitors. As the Feline denizens busied themselves being cuddly and sweet around the visitors a lot of things were being discussed and done (Grumpy Man and The Mistress are Roboteers: we build fighting robots). At one point however did the discussion turn to Maine Coons. The lady of a fellow Roboteer had her eye on a Coonie that was available to her but our friend didn’t want more cats in their house than the queen and kitten they already had (and two woofies…). An understandable point, as Grumpy Man himself had already made clear the the current 6 feline denizens are the absolute maximum, although he couldn’t stop number 7 from walking in and make himself at home here. The lady proceeded to say that apart from “her” candidate another Coonie was to be had, and that both had a pedigree and would go for a negligible sum of money, but could she find a home for the two and then convince her life-mate to relent for one of them… Grumpy Man didn’t even ask The Mistress as he knew what her answer would be.

And so the next day we undertook the expedition (it’s a 1,5 hour drive) to our friend’s home in order to collect the twain which the lady had already fetched for us. Her life-mate still did not relent but we didn’t care anyway. We now have two Maine Coons !!!

Enter Chucky van Droomwereld and Chateau Beau van Spinnepoes. Alias Chuck sNorris and Beauregard.

Both were perfectly at ease in their travelling cages. Both were more than perfectly at ease travelling in a car (and were absolutely quiet during the entire trip !). But when they were released inide the House of Chaos both turned out to be perfect scaredy-kitties and went immediately into hiding. Beauregard ended up on top of the stairs to the attic, Chuck hid in our Nesting Room under a clothes rack behind a convenient laundry basket full of dirty bed linen (which The Mistress couldn’t find the heart to remove until two weeks later).

Both were immediately taken to the Man In White the next day, for a check-up and in order to inspect and register the chips. Yes, they are both chipped and both have a pedigree of a meter long. Chuck is 3,5 years old, Beau only 2 years. Chuck is already castrated, but Beau not and in this House we do strictly adhere to the principle to not procreate: the Simians won’t have offspring, and neither will the Felines. Hence an appointment was made for Beauregard to lose his conkers two days later. This meant keeping him in isolation for one night and half a day as he was not to eat. In order to avoid him becoming lonesome we decided to corral both him and Chucky in the spare nesting room. I’ve never seen cats jump that high when these two realized there was no escape from that room… And hissing and angry… But once in the tender arms of the Man In White Beauregard was as sweet and well -behaved as any owner could desire. Weird beast ! He did recover well from the surgery though. He just didn’t allow me to approach him for three days afterwards. ^^

The first week both kept themselves hidden away. When Beau was lying on the attic stairs he would hiss impressively to any Simian crazy enough to venture close. Sometimes he would hide elsewhere, not to be found. Chuck would just cower more deeply into his hiding place, yet after a night of two he would cautiously venture forth and inspect the snoring Simian(s) in the Nest, eventually settling himself in a basket next to The Mistress’ side of the Nest (we had acquired the basket from an auntie and no cat had ever slept in it before !). At the first sound or movement, however, he would scramble back into his hiding spot. But as the days passed both felines gradually ratcheted up their courage and started venturing out into the House of Chaos and its weird and wacky denizens. The need to eat and to relieve themselves certainly forced them to undertake a daily trip downstairs anyway. But then, so did the need for social contact. And the sheer irresistible lure of curiosity. We are now two weeks since their entry and, although still skittish, they come over for cuddles and scritchies readily enough and clearly recognize their respective names. We have also discovered that both would commit murder for a treat. They love treats. Did I mention that they adore treats ? They really like treats. Really.

Chucky, being the oldest, is also the more adventurous of the twain. He has already inspected Grumpy Man’s Work Den and even went so far as to gaze out into the Garden of Chaos (but refrained from actually stepping outside). Beau prefers to remain in the living room although he has to come over to the kitchen for food and the litter box from time to time. They have also discovered the joys of watching out of the window. As it is quite hot right now they prefer to repose in the hallway and on the stairs. However, both come out from time to time to say hello and have a few scritchies. It is clear that they crave contact.

But it is also clear that they have never had much contact with Simians before. Needing two weeks before allowing a Simian to pet you is rather long really. And they remain too alert for noise and movement, ready to bolt at the least provocation. Play seems also a bit of a strange pastime for them. On the other hand, both are endearingly happy with attention and are discovering with relish that petting is sensuously fun.

The other feline denizens of the House of Chaos have been on their best behaviour ever since the introduction of these newcomers. From the very first contact they proceeded with caution and a tact I had never suspected they possessed. Instead of mobbing the intruders they just… ignored them. It was the newcomers who had the hissing fits really. And the old hands were being laconic about it. That they were disturbed by the changes was evident when we saw them all sleeping in the Work Den. Freya even took up residence in the roof of the Work Den ! It was also clear to see at feeding time: when Chuck would move about there was this Chuck-shaped space the others didn’t intrude in. They would also pointedly ignore both Chuck and Beau when the latter would try and sniff at the others’ tails. All very polite and quiet like. Loup-Garou, ever on the lookout for potential nap-mates to cuddle up with, was the first to execute an actual nosey-nosey (greeting nose-to-nose). We are now breathlessly awaiting the overtures for a change from a détente-by-ignoring to the development of a warm friendship from the others. It’s still too early to tell.

Of course, after Grumpy Man had stated with vigour that “6 cats is more than enough, and well, maybe 7 could still be handled but no more than that !” it was he himself who had decided to take in numbers 8 and 9. And The Mistress ? She sits here typing this text with a huge huge grin on her face, gloating. We have Coonies !!!!

Beauregard photo Beau_zpsfe89c269.jpg

Beauregard

Chuck SNorris at play photo 001_zps3062c6cb.jpg

Chuck sNorris

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Faster than his Shadow

A few months ago, in March 2013, The Mistress was quietly having a Moment Of Bliss in the Reading Couch with a nice cuppa tea and a very good book, as she heard the cat-flap in the kitchen door flapping. As she looked up, having an unimpeded view through the living room, the computer room and the kitchen, she noticed Rikishi coming in, followed by what did look like Freya but was… eh… smaller. Intrigued, The Mistress forgot all about her book and kept watching the scene.

Rikishi was proudly strolling through the kitchen, now and then looking backwards as if to ensure that his companion was still following him, and made a beeline for the feeding bowls. His body language could be deciphered as being: “and here is food, it is yummy.” He then strolled over to the water bowls, saying “and here we have water, you can drink it”. Then, after his companion had finished his careful inspection of the offered victuals, he proceeded to cross the computer room with a “here you can sleep real well” glance to the couch there, and then he entered the living room where the smaller of the 2 scratching posts is located. He pointed to the scratching post and said “here you can strop your nails” and did exactly that, as if to show how it’s done. His bewildered companion looked on with awe. Then Riki stepped into the living room proper and announced “and here have toys and lots and lots of room to play. Let’s play !!”

At which point his mysterious companion, who did look like a smaller and darker version of Freya, spotted the Simian in the room, said “YIKES !” and … kind of vanished. I could just discern the tip of his tail flipping through the cat-flap in the kitchen door. So that took care of his name too.

Bliksem (Lightning Bolt) is a fine feral tomcat who had already been noticed during the past weeks before that first real encounter. We had been spotting some fast movements from the corners of our eyes but never really saw who caused it. But now that Rikishi had formally introduced his playmate to the House of Chaos he was welcomed, albeit with a large reluctance from his part. All right, he was immediately enthusiast about the hammock on the central heating unit in the living room (which is his designated “safe place”, the only place where we Simians won’t try to approach him, ever, so that he has one place where he can feel totally and completely at ease) as it was still freezing and turned out to be the coldest spring in decades. And he did learn really quickly when the Stinky Goodness was being doled out (every morning when The Mistress rises from her Nest, and every afternoon when The Mistress comes home from her job). But the presence of Simians made the House of Chaos a house of peril as far as this newcomer was concerned. And it took us 3 months before we could even touch him.

Cue forward a few months and our Bliksem is still shy and nervous around Simians. But he has struck up a close bond with Loup-Garou, who adores anyone who would snuggle up with him for a nap on the sun-kissed windowsill. He plays ferocious games of tag with Rikishi. And he terrorizes Freya with relish. The other kitties don’t even look at him. The French have this apt expression for that: “quantité négligable”, literally “ignorable amount” but it really means simply not important enough to be noticed. That’s the attitude of Hrimnir, Bean Sidhe and Isegrim towards the newcomer. Unless he stalks and pounces them. Then he is being noticed all right. And thoroughly trounced.

But one day The Mistress came home from her job and noticed that someone had been lining up some toys on the floor in the living room. As she sat down to check her emails she saw from the corner of her eye some movement and turned out to be Bliksem ! He gently placed another toy, a grey mousey, next to the others, all in a perfect line. As The Mistress slowly and cautiously (so as not to spook the tyke) reached for her camera, Bliksem actually proceeded to sit behind this work and… pose.

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It may take lots more of time. It may require immensely lots more of patience. But in time we expect him to become a full-fledged member of the Feline Denizens of the House of Chaos. And so, now there are 7. *sigh*