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The cat could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.

— Doug Larson

Stanley’s Ads

One Change Once Becomes a Routine for My Scottish Fold.

“Outside?  Open the door?”  Yep.  It was clear my Scottish Fold was asking to go out!

It all began with the indoor grass.  There wasn’t any, or should I say, it hadn’t yet sprouted and Stanley wanted a nibble. 

It happened to be nice out that morning, so I picked up my Scottish Fold and carried him out to the patch of grass in the back yard, saying, “Outside”.  It took some convincing, but he finally ate some of that outdoor grass and even began to explore a bit right at my feet as I dangled them off the low wooden deck while I basked in the sun. 

Part of that exploration included ducking under the wooden deck just enough to where his tail was still showing.  I jumped up on the deck and stomped around right above him, saying “no”.  He quickly shot his head around and peered up over the deck at me with his golden eyes even wider open than they usually are, then snooped around on the grass for a bit longer.  However, it didn’t take long before Stanley was up on the deck and headed back inside.  Noticing this, I said repetitiously, “inside”. The Scottish Fold asking to go outside

Stanley’s usual morning routine includes checking out the dry food in the utility room, using the litter box, nibbling briefly on the indoor grass in the breakfast nook, then hopping up on a stool in front of a breakfast nook window.  So, it was no surprise that he followed his self designed protocol . . . until he reached the indoor grass.  Having discovered there was still no grass, he went to the back door and let out a singular, short “meow”.  That was a surprise.

I happened to notice, so said, “Open the door? Go outside?”  To which he replied another singular “meow” as he turned his head and lifted his chin, then pointed himself toward the door.  He learns fast, this Scottish Fold. 

The Scottish Fold outside by the front deckSo, I opened the back door, then the screen door.  The back door has a glass pane nearly to the floor and swings inward.  It took him a second to figure out how to get around the back door.  Once out on the patio, he had a decision to make:  left or right.  He chose to head to the right – the direction we were the previous morning.  After a bite of grass there, he jumped back up on the deck, crossed the patio, and explored the other deck.

And thus was born another addition to his morning routine. 

The Scottish Fold hiding in the rose bush jungleTurns out Stanley prefers that back deck to the left as you head out the door.  At first he only got as far as the rose bush by the back deck.  But, now he goes to the very end of the yard, around the corner of the house.  There is long grass there sticking through the chain link fence from the neighbor’s yard.  He likes to lay in that corner on the bark near an evergreen shrub.  Unless the neighbor’s small black dog, Mister Miller, is out.  Mister Miller likes to yip at everything breathing.  The first time Mister Miller saw Stanley, the incessant yipping began.  Stanley froze, hunkered down to the ground staring at the noisy dog.  He stayed poised staring for quite awhile, then finally made a mad dash for the back door, hissing all the way.  I didn’t realize he could still move that fast.  Poor guy.  I comforted him, but he is now more reluctant to go out to his favorite spot.  He cautiously peers out, then makes his way out with a watchful eye.  Unless Mister Miller is out or it is wet or raining or extraordinarily chilly that is.

The first time I didn’t go outside with Stanley, he came back in to get me.  He found me sitting in the living room reading the morning paper and insisted I follow him . . . through the dining room and outside.  He kept looking back to be sure I was still perched on the edge of the deck, every so often coming back to rub on me and purr, then venture out again.  Since then, if I’m not going out with him, I sit on his stool by the window in the breakfast nook and talk to him when he looks up looking for me.  He seems fairly content with this arrangement.  I train well.

Every time Stanley goes out or comes back inside I’ve said the same words.  A couple of times I’ve needed him to come inside before he felt he was ready.   So, by repeating, “Inside”, so far he has obliged – even if he did complain about it all the way in through the back door.  He’s even hissed at me once inside as he marched off to his favorite leather chair in the bedroom. 

And just to be clear, Stanley hasn’t attempted to go under the deck again.  At least so far . . .

And one more thing.  I’ve wondered why it isn’t as easy for me to create a habit.  Just think:  exercise once and I’m exercising about the same time every day . . . unless Mister Miller is yapping away or it’s wet or raining or extraordinarily chilly outside . . .

Maybe Scottish Folds do have it right.

May 2012 to date.

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