Today is a discouraging day. I let Marius out of his cage last night and he spent the day hiding behind the couch. He seemed to be doing well yesterday, he relaxed when I read to him and responded well to playing with a new toy I bought him. It is a big feather toy that looks like almost like a little bird. He played with that a little, picking it up in his mouth and shaking it a few times. He swatted at it a few times as well. I was able to touch him a little bit, both with my hands and the wand. He seemed to be at a point where he was comfortable enough with me and his surroundings that I could let him out.

He finally darted out of his cage and ran around looking for some place to hide. He found a little corner to hide in, behind some bags of cat supplies and sat there meowing pitifully. At one point he was left alone, at which point he went to hide behind the couch. This was fine for yesterday. I figured that last night and overnight was fine for him to hide. He has yet to come out of hiding though. At least while I am around. Overnight he came out and used the litter box, ate some food and possibly snuggled on the soft blanket next to the heater.

I was hoping that with a little TLC today–just some reading, talking and playing–he would come out. That did not happen. He wouldn’t come out for food. I put it by the couch so he could eat without actually coming out today. He like that, but when he saw me near by, he stopped eating. My poor guy. He has both hissed at me and given me blinky eyes, so I am not sure where exactly we stand today.

So this is the point where I become frustrated and start to question what the heck I am doing. I know it is going to take time for him to come around and to understand he is safe. But part of me can’t do anything but worry about him. He won’t use the litter box during the day, even when he was in the cage. This can’t be good for him. He played a little with the feather toy, but it scares him. The best way for me to attempt to play with Marius is to lower the toy behind the couch, so that gets a little scary for him. In addition, when I check on him, the only way I can do that is to peak down at him from over the edge of the couch. This must seem very predatorial and terrifying to him. After all, friendly creatures don’t generally look down on you when you are cornered. Worst of all, in the basement we can hear all the squeaking of the floors above us. So every time someone moves through the house, we hear the squeaks and creaks down here. I think it terrifies him. 

My doubts just get the better of me and I worry so much. I am sure this doesn’t help him stay calm. I want to do right by him. I want to do right by all the cats I care for, and I always get to a point that I feel I am failing them. It is always about this point, when they start to get comfortable with their living situation but not comfortable enough with me to get over that hump of socializing. My poor friend.

I know socializing takes time and patience. It doesn’t happen in a week. Yet, I can’t help get discouraged. If he doesn’t come out tomorrow, I am going to have to chase him out from the couch to a place where I can more easily access him and play with him. Encouragement and support would be great right now. Updates as they come!



4 thoughts on “Discouragement

  1. Janet@TheCatOnMyHead says:

    It is so sad about Marius. Instead of chasing him out from behind the couch (which will scare him even more), can you get someone to help you move the couch out from the wall? I would leave the couch away from the wall and try to eliminate hiding places you cannot access. But still provide some areas for Marius where he can feel safe. How about an upside down, large box with a hole for his entry? You can just lift box off of him if he won’t come out. Also give him some things of yours with your smell on them so he can lie on or snuggle with them and get accustomed to your scent when you are not around. If you have tried these things, I don’t have any other suggestions right now, but I am sure others will come up with some more ideas. Please don’t give up on him. Purrs and hugs, Janet and the kitties, Lily Olivia, Misty May, Mauricio, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

    • Katie says:

      Thanks for the great suggestions. Yes, chasing him out will be the absolute last idea, I don’t want to give him a fuzzy heart attack! I will make sure he has some place safe and secure to go if I do. Just know that in the past kittens I have tried to socialize have made HUGE strides once they were prevented from hiding under/behind things. Fortunately, right after I posted this Marius ran out from behind the couch and hid next to the cage. He sat behind the couch meowling for a few minutes, then stuck an eye out, then popped his head out, figured out the best route and ran past my dad and me. It’s a start! 🙂 Just keep reminding myself I can’t undo two years in five days.

      • Janet@TheCatOnMyHead says:

        Sounds like you are making progress. All good things come to those who wait. Sometimes it just isn’t too easy. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

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