Monday, February 21, 2011

The Inky Situation

inky drollgirl

About a week ago a foster cat mom brought this big fella Inky to my house. He is a beautiful, big 7 year old rescue kitty. 

Inky has issues. ISSUES. Patience is NOT MY FORTE, but I am trying my best to give this not-so-little guy a chance. I know he has it in him to be a fan-fucking-tastic cat, but WOW does he have issues. 

A bit of background on The Prince of Darkness Inky...as mentioned above, he is a rescue kitty. He was abandoned years ago, and has been living with what was likely an unspeakable number of cats at a foster cat mom's house [note: foster mom would NOT tell me how many cats were in her house, and she refused to let me enter her house.  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek]. Inky lived with her for several years. Before coming to my place, he had to go to the vet to get medicine for an infection, plus he had to have two teeth removed.  All this plus moving to a new home on the same day made for a REALLY ROCKY START. Cats and change don't always do well.

Inky is skittish. Skittish beyond belief. His eyes are fully dilated almost every time I see him.  He is p-p-p-p-p-p-petrified. He looks at me like I am Frankenstein, and runs and hides when he sees me -- almost always. It is like he is spring-loaded -- always ALWAYS ready to run. This is hugely upsetting to me, as I am a MASSIVE CAT LOVER, and it hurts to see one so scared. But I am trying to give him time. He has hiding places EVERYWHERE. When I come home it is like playing a game of WHERE'S INKY every single day. It is bizarre. But I know his hiding places, and I just check to see where he is, and then try to let him be.

Sometimes Inky lets me pet him. Sometimes. And these moments are just FANTASTIC, as he cannot get enough of the good lovin'. But, invariably something scares him...a sneeze, a rustling curtain, a shift in the seat, just about anything and he bolts away. But....he is letting me pet him more and more, so I am hoping this skittishness subsides and that he can eventually chillllllllllllllll and just relax.  I am used to cats that follow me around, sit next to me, jump on my lap, beg for attention, etc., so  Inky's behavior is quite a change for me. 

Inky and my other cat Leo have not yet started a gay love affair. NOT EVEN CLOSE. They mostly ignore each other, and/or keep a wary eye on each other. Every now and again there is a minor hissy fit (literally) which is generally centered around food and/or fighting over the best window seat in the house, but it passes quickly. They don't sit together or play together or clean each other or copulate, but maybe they will someday. Maybe.

Inky likes to play. He is mad for the laser toy, and he races around on my hard wood floors so much that the neighbors called me and asked me what was going on at my place.  LOL.  He doesn't even really chase the laser beam -- he loses his mind and just races everywhere. What a freak!

Have any of you ever had a similar experience with a pet? What did you do? How did it turn out? I am hoping for the best, and the foster mom is telling me to be patient. So I am trying REALLY HARD to be patient. Sigh.  Worse case scenario I can take Inky back to his foster mom.  But I really don't want to.  I want to make this work, and hope Inky does, too.




video/band introduced to me by kitty stampede

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42 comments:

Shelley said...

so first... as I am typing this Munchie is sitting pretty on the sofa next to me (cute). I bribed my cats with treats. The only treats I have had luck with are these http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2751571

in any flavor. Munchie HATED me and Cleo when Cleo showed up. I bribed her with treats everytime they so much as sniffed each other. They still dont have a gay love affair 3 years later, doesn't stop me from hoping. I give them a treat anytime they lay down within a foot of each other... positive reinforcment is my point :) and a shit-ton of patience

Felicia said...

I used to have a cat just like this. He was a big gray, fluffy Persian and so cute! He lived with a family that abused him before so all he did was hide ALL THE TIME. There were moments when he would come out and play and cuddle, which were the best. He was always very skittish but they definitely warm up to their surroundings as time goes on. I think since you live alone and only have one other pet he will feel more comfortable very soon.

Kitty Stampede said...

I've been wondering what the scoop is with Monsieur Inky. I think he just needs time. And I think the major thing influencing his behavior is the fact he had that terrible vet experience, and than BOOM, new home. That would TOTALLY freak the poor bubs out.

It's great to hear that there are some positive moments. As long as he is eating, drinking water, playing and actually lovin' the lovings, I see hope even if he is skittish-it probably won't be permanent but might last awhile til he builds up trust and feels secure in your home(gets used to all the new sounds & smells etc).
And Treaties or Tweaties as I call them lol..always help as Shelley mentioned..and of course soft food.
Have you given him catnip yet?

It sounds like you are doing everything right! It's just a matter of time. :)

Dancing Branflake said...

I've never had a cat before BUT I know someone who choreographed a dance about "the crazy cat lady" and this post reminded me of it.

十十f十 said...

Inky sounds like he's been abused before. but i'm only assuming that cats can hurt like dogs. yes, i'm this ignorant. my SIL told me dogs can go into depression when they're abused. talking about this reminds me of this clip of a guy abusing his pet dog. it was so heartbreaking i cried imagining what's going on in its mind. its legs were practically shaking as its owner yelled at it.

that number's cute!

...love Maegan said...

I soooo hope he settles down in the next week or so ...you NEEEEEEEED him. I love that photo.

Jessica said...

Poor Kitty. Sounds like Inky has had a rough life. My sister had a kitty like that and it took a while but he calmed down and is the best kitty she's ever had.

Improbable Joe said...

The last cat I adopted was sort of scared of stuff, and I have two other cats and a dog prone to pouncing. So what I did was I locked Lucy in the guest room, and visited with her a few times a day. Didn't approach her or anything, just laid on the bed reading a book, and would meow at her and call her name every so often. After a day she would come when called and hang out as long as I didn't move to touch her. Over the next couple of days she got to the point where she would hop on the bed and headbutt me a little. At about the 5-6 day mark I started introducing the other pets to her.

Now she's mostly fine, and sleeps in the bed with us occasionally. When me or my wife get sick (or insomnia hits me) I'll sometimes go sleep in the guest bedroom and Lucy has kitten flashbacks and spends the whole night with me.

TS Hendrik said...

My current cat was so skiddish when we first got her. If you approached her she'd either run or lash out than run. It took a while before she really became comfortable with us. Now she doesn't run she just sits around judging us with contempt.

WendyB said...

My dog Gigi didn't come out from under the bed for a week. And when she did, she used to attack my old dog Mr. Chubbs completely unprovoked. He would be sleeping in the next room and suddenly she'd make a beeline to attack him. An animal behaviorist at the ASPCA despaired of such behavior. That was in 2003. Now Gigi is semi-normal. She's not really good for the dog park or anything like that because she likes to pick fights, but she's affectionate to the family and is delighted by our new dog, Henry.

love jenny xoxo said...

I think it's great you are giving him a chance!! I bet he will come around. My parents caught a wild kitten with a net, we live in MN and it was going to blizzard so we were worried that the kitten would freeze. She came around and is very affectionate, but she is a little scared around strangers.

XOXO

Diana said...

Congrats on Inky!

I have a black cat, Zelda. I have two pictures of her, that's it. That's because she's super scared, too. Of everything! The only time I have with her is when I'm in bed, half asleep and she'll rub on my leg. Inky sounds like he's getting used to being in a new place. He probably has trust issues (just assuming because he's a foster kitty). Give Inky some time. In not time, he'll be on your lap, and then waiting for you at the door! <33

Lorena said...

I don't have cats.
I like the INKY name and I have to say that as any foster animal - try (i know you are ) try to keep him in your home. Think of it as someone who has a new jail cell and is getting to know his room mate and custodian.
I am aware that this may not sound like a happy comparison- but that cat must have gone through hell and back.
I am certain that INKY will begin to love you both.

bananas. said...

aw come on inky...she can't be that bad! ;)

just kiddin...

hope it works out! i had a somewhat similar situation with omar. he is the first pet EVER in my life that i wanted to give back to the breeder/previous owner. i didn't though and despite his "issues" i love him all the same.

Kimbirdy said...

oh poor guy! change is hard. i had a similar situation when i moved to los angeles and my partner moved in with me. my chloe cat and i had lived alone for about 10 years, so to move AND have a man around all the time suddenly was super hard. when we were both calm, sitting at our computers, she would slowly slink out from her hiding spot. but as soon as the mister would scratch his nose or clear his throat she would bolt back to her safe spot. we worked for weeks on letting the mister be the one to give her treats and share some love, but it really just took time for her to get used to him and our new environment. i think it took a couple months before she was more comfortable with him, and now {5 months later} she's completely back to normal. i'm not sure there are any amazing tricks other than patience and time. i'm sure he's in a much better situation with you, and he'll probably be grateful for that in time. good luck!

Marisa said...

I'm sure it will be okay. Hell it took like 2 months for my own cats to to stop hiding after moving. I may just have special cats though. Sounds like you're doing a good job though. I'm sure he'll come around with time :)

diane said...

I used to cat-sit for someone who was away for months at a time. The cat slowly got used to me, and finally would greet me at the door. It felt like forever. Inky will slowly warm up, little step by little step. And then will come the day when you will suddenly remember how he was in the beginning, and you will realize that he has completely relaxed (as much as his individual personality will let him).

Hanako66 said...

:)

Keri said...

OMG... you're making me cringe.. I found a cat a few months ago and gave it to a foster person who had 16 cats that she admitted to.

amazing!

Vivienne said...

Oh gosh! That's tough. I would say that as long as he is not destroying your property or expresses his fear through bodily fluids, just give him some time...

only a movie said...

I bet it will get better with time. Seems like he could get used to being well loved.

Isabel said...

aww poor inky. did u see the tlc show about people addicted to weird things. there was one episode about a woman addicted to cats. she had like 20 somthing living in her house AND she had a cat allergy. she bought cat food instead of groceries. it was weird.

Isabel @ Walk of Fashion

Kathryn said...

Hang in there! Change is hard on animals and I think even more so for cats as they are so independent and even harder since he is an older cat. It can take them awhile sometime to warm up to you. It is hard if you have had cats that absolutely love you and enjoy your attention right from the start.

A cat I used to have, Baby, was like that. She had been barn kitten and not around people much before I chased her down in my high heels in the mud at the farm that of the people that were giving her away.

She hissed and spit and hid for about two weeks before she felt comfortable enough to even come out and eat if we were awake, but she did eventually warm up and even became a lap cat, but it always had to be her idea - I could never pick her up.

Kristine said...

I have high hopes for you and Inky and his gay lover. My cat treats me with utter disdain and refuses to cuddle, but I love the little bastard anyway. Sounds like Inky is already coming around a little. Good luck!

Char said...

poor poor baby. the only trick i might try is leave a towel for them both (separate towels) and let them lay on them.

then. wrap them in each others towels to rub some of each others scents on them. lovingly of course.

and then the only thing that works is lots of patience and letting inky become comfortable.

vint junky said...

I have my fingers and everything else crossed for you!
We recently became the owners of a cat. Long story but basically it's my late nan's cat and i don't think he was ever abused (he was a stray originally) although he is frightened of men. We've had him for around a month now and he is coming round to the hubs, so maybe...
We have had rescue dogs before which came around slowly but i get the feeling dogs are alot quicker trust than felines.
Yeah, it'll probably just take patience, but i can relate as that's not my forte either.
Good luck hon
xxx

Alisa said...

Poor Kitty, poor you. Like the others said, I bet time will make things much better! He needs to learn that your house is a safe place. Lucky kitty that you found him!

Tia said...

Oh Inky....
About 6 years ago when I lived in an apartment complex, a neighbor/friend offered to give me one of their cats, as it didn't get along with their other, much older, cat. I had been BEGGING Richard to let us get a pet, and literally pounced on the oppourtunity. This cat was CRAZY! They had clearly not given it any attention. He was terrified of everything, and wouldn't even come close to me. He warmed up to Richard quicker, I think some animals have prefences in men or woman, and he had lived with 3 girls before, so maybe he thought all girls were bitches?? Anyways, we still have him, and while he hasn't become the most social cat in the world, he is now a loving and fun animal.

So....hopefully it works out for you and the Inkster!

Haute World said...

Sorry, I have no clue about cats, but this one is gorgeous. I'm more of a dog person but despite their reputation for being quite loveable, they can be difficult too. It seems the kitty is getting used to you though so that's a good sign. I know that people in your neck of the woods (i.e. LA) will go get pet therapists or pet psychiatrists the moment something is wrong, but I'm guessing this isn't a step you need to take ;-)

TK Kerouac said...

Love....Love will keep you together

adrienzgirl said...

My MIL has a cattery. People drop off cats to her all the time. At any given time she has 50+ cats. But she really is the weird cat lady. She loves them and spends hours in the cattery giving them all attention. When she places a cat, especially the skittish ones, she recommends time. Eventually most of them do come around. Depends on the cat.

Hopefully he'll unwind as he claims his space.

Trixie said...

Awww, it's so nice that you are doing this. I hope he does settle down. Every cat I've had (except the first one) was a resuce from the pound and they generally relaxed after awhile. The one I have now is still very skittish but getting better. She licks the dog! The dog hates her. She'll let me pet her for ages which she didn't used to let me do but you still have to watch for her crazy eyes as my son calls them because that's when you step away! Hopefully this kitty will feel safe soon!

Farah said...

He is beautiful!!

georgia~gigi said...

Inky is a beautiful black cat :)
I hope he chills soon for you!
Have a great day!
xo
G

Kalika Brooke said...

I have had a similar experience, give him a little while and he'll relax, although the laser toy racing around like a freak thing will stay forever:) Cats, they're so funny:)

SabinePsynopsis said...

Cats and change never do well, and if it's a traumatised cat, even worse. But I think you're doing such a great thing, and I'm sure he will quieten down when he realises there is nothing and no one threatening him. The fact that your 'old' cat and Inky don't fight is a huge plus. I'm confident it will be fine in the end - and just think how wonderful it will be when he comes for cuddles without fear. Hopefully sooner than later.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Don't take the cat back, buddy. The poor guy just needs time. I have two of my seven cats that came to me semi-feral. One of them took over a year to get to where he comes to me for love. I can hold him now and even kiss him, but at first, everything frightened him. He is still skittish, and I think he will always be that way. I just remember that it's not his fault--they told me they thought maybe he had been abused. Now, when I come home from work, he is almost always in the front window, looking for me, waiting on me. It has been worth all the patience it took, even over a year's worth. In the beginning, I was very frustrated. Marley just had to do it on his own timeline, not mine.

Your two cats may never take to each other--I have two that clearly don't care for each other, but they have learned to co-exist and to tolerate each other for the most part.

Hang in there. Please don't give up on the poor fellow. He's obviously had a rough life. You can make all the difference for him.

Love you,

SB

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I forgot to add that your new cat is really beautiful, and black cats are special to me. It seems like they always have nice personalities. Puppini is a black cat, and she is my favorite of the lot.

morgan said...

Some cats are just plain weird. My cat is 16 and is similar to Inky in that she only wants to be touched when SHE WANTS TO BE TOUCHED. Bitch.
Give him some space and he will eventually become comfortable with you. He and Leo may never have a gay love affair but if he has a nice, loving mama, what more could he ask for?

anotherfishinthesea said...

awwww this makes me so sad - i bet he will come around though!! this whole story reminded me so much of my grandparents cat, bud.... but would only interact with about 3 people and hid from everyone else, but as years went by she got much more cuddly. i bet ye ol' black panther will get more domestic with time :)

chloe said...

gee, he does look like a panther!
i can't help with advice but i'll be sending you good vibes, i hope it works out x

1sourapple said...

My mom had the same experience with a gorgeous male shelter cat I picked out for her that had come from a hoarding situation. He also had tooth issues and ear mites. He was so scared he would shake and only came out in the middle of the night to eat. But he never clawed or tried to hurt us and would really enjoy being pet when we could find him, ha ha. It took 2 or 3 months, but Tucker is now very bonded with my mom. Yay, very happy ending! =)