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Oscar's Journey- how a nervous newbie fell in love.

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Mrs Funkin, Mar 25, 2018.


  1. Mrs Funkin

    Mrs Funkin Human mother to Oscar

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    OK, I'm a notorious over-thinker and worrier, so perhaps adopting a cat wasn't the most sensible thing to do but here we go. As you might know, we rescued Oscar on 6th March and I just worry about him all the time. After the first morning when he bit me, we very quickly worked out that he doesn't want much petting - but he does often like to be in the room with us. He has been sleeping on our bed for the last four nights, after we decided to do that and not close him in "his" room. I've tried to start to introduce some better food but that's not going brilliantly - so today we are back to Felix Senior, which is fine, I am sure being 11 years old and never having had good quality food it might take a long time. He does go to the toilet most days (one day he didn't and went twice the next day), doing wees though. We were out last night and he waited until gone midnight to go to the loo, as he goes and then meows for us to come and clear it! He has only tried to cover a couple of times since he came to live with us, which i've read can be a territory thing. I wish he was a more cuddly "lap cat" - and yesterday he started to go to bite me again, which has made me all nervous again, which of course he must pick up on. He does let us touch him more now than he did (especially my husband) - and I keep trying to tell myself that he's not even been here three weeks yet and I mustn't expect too much! Ahhh! It's all spinning around in my head. I try to tell myself that he wouldn't sleep on our bed if he didn't feel safe, he won't sit next to me on the sofa now (he did a couple of times the first week) but he will come into the lounge in the evening but he does still do the chirruping greeting thing and he will happily groom in front of us. We are very lucky to live in a lovely house (but I think he gets lost and forgets where the kitchen is for his food if he's not eaten it all!) and there is a nice garden - my husband wants to let him out towards the end of the week but I am terrified! What happens if he just decided to go? I have been reading the tricks about getting him back in but secretly I'd like to make him stay indoors, but husband wants him to go out if he wants to. I can see that it would be good for him but I am scared.

    All you amazingly experienced cat slaves will be much calmer about this than I am, I know that. I just want to make his life happy and I worry so much that he's not. I have said before, I wish I knew more about his background, I worry that he was happy with his old family and he's been ripped from there and dropped here because of them having to move. I know nothing besides that and that the Vet told us he was underweight and out of condition. I think I'd find it easier if I knew he'd been mistreated, it's the fact that he might be sad and pining for his old family that makes me so sad. He had just under a month at the rescue - I see Facebook posts from other cat owners that have adopted from there more recently and their cats are all cuddly and lap cats already - and I must confess I am jealous.

    So that's me. Is there any hope for me I wonder? I think I am destined to worry about every little move he makes...I've had a knot of anxiety in my tummy since he came home. I just want him to know that he is OK here and we will look after him. Good grief...poor Oscar being landed with such a neurotic human mother ;) If you've got this far, thanks for reading.
     
  2. ChaosCat

    ChaosCat PetForums VIP

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    Dearest @Mrs Funkin
    Oscar has fallen on his paws. He does feel safe with you, he knows it’s his new home. I can see it from all your photos.
    He was a thoroughly lucky cat to find such a home at that age.
    Maybe he lets your OH come closer because he feels your anxiety. If you try to feel more sure so will he.
    But you are doing a really, really, really good job.

    Only don’t let him go outside just yet. Let him settle more first and most of all let him fill out a bit.
     
  3. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
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    I'm sorry you feel so sad. Concern about Oscar's old life is stopping you from enjoying his new life with you and from the photos you have posted he looks a very contented cat to me whatever his past circumstances.
    Some cats just don't want to be lap cats at all so I wouldn't worry over much about this - one day he may surprise you. Easy to say try to relax - perhaps there ought to be a Feliway for people ;)
     
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  4. Rufus15

    Rufus15 PetForums VIP

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    Firstly, well done on rescuing a golden oldie and giving him a loving home :)

    I think your nerves are honestly not helping the situation. All of his behaviour, to me, sound very normal of an elderly cat settling into a new environment, and he seems to be settling in pretty well.

    I wouldn't be letting him outside when you've had him such a short time, and if he's happy being indoors I wouldn't let him out at all. Being an older gentleman, he will find an outdoor life much harder than a young 'un, and I don't think it's worth the risk.

    It sounds very much like he wants cuddles on his terms, which many cats do, and it's just a case of learning his signs of when he's had enough. That will come with time, as you learn about each other and settle into your routines together.

    As for worrying about his previous life, please don't anguish yourself. Cats don't tend to pine when they're settled into a comfortable home with fuss. No doubt living with you will blank the memories of his previous life, either good or bad, and he'll be happy in his new life with you :)
     
  5. Mrs Funkin

    Mrs Funkin Human mother to Oscar

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    Thank you all. I know my being nervous doesn't help. I really do. I've always been anxious and a perfectionist. I've worried less about work since Oscar came, as I've been spending every moment worrying about him instead! I can give him a little stroke and he shakes his head, so I know that's time to stop (even if it's only been one little stroke). He's now lying in front of the fire, totally sparko after having seconds for dinner (he didn't eat much yesterday).

    19F43589-C6F9-46D3-BF1C-B5F5F6B21FEE.jpeg
     
  6. AmsMam

    AmsMam belongs to the crazy cat

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    Yeah, but ...

    When OH and I brought Ams home, she wasn't the first cat we'd had, but she was the first one we owned together as an adult and she was the first who was a grown cat when she came to us. It was a bit different to what we were expecting. So much so, that we did wonder if we'd done the right thing and if she'd be happy with us, for a while. Now we know her better, we're sure that we did and she is.

    It's been less than a month so Oscar is still settling in really but I'm sure he is very happy to be living with you.
     
  7. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    @Mrs Funkin
    Try not to overthink.
    Easier said than done I know:Cat

    Try to focus on other things besides Oscar and it will be easier.

    Probably by nipping he is showing you his boundaries, such as when he does not want pets or pets in a specific area. Watch for signs such as tail swishing that show he is becoming agitated and you may hopefully avoid the nips.

    Sitting near you and being relaxed is a good sign.
    As others have said not all cats are lap cats.

    Try different toys to see what he likes, play can be bonding with cats.
     
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  8. jadeh31

    jadeh31 PetForums Senior

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    It's still early days and you will both in time learn each others habits. I have a9 month old kitten and I'd love to spend all day cuddling him but I have accepted he's not that kind of cat. I have always had dogs before so was a big change. However he may not be cuddly often but he will come on occasion. He is also very loyal and is with me all the time - currently sitting at the side of my bath!
     
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  9. Mrs Funkin

    Mrs Funkin Human mother to Oscar

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    He has only actually bitten me once (that first morning), he grazed me with his teeth when he was eating a Dreamie off my hand but I don't count that (as he was excited) and if I hadn't moved my hand yesterday I think would have bitten me then. My husband said he reckoned that was because he was in "hunt the catnip platypus" mode when I came in from work yesterday, he's probably right. His favourite thing is a "palm leaf" - he had them in the shelter - luckily we have them in our garden. Husband cut him a new one this evening and as soon as he saw it he was in pounce mode :) There's a playful boy inside the little old chap still, of that I am sure.

    Thanks all, I'm finding this forum very helpful. I must try to remember all the advice I give my new mums when i go to visit them at home...easier said than done indeed.
     
  10. Emmasian

    Emmasian PetForums VIP

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    I might sound bats, but in some ways I think it's v similar to being a new mum. It was for me anyway. When I got Freya and Teddy in 2015 I hadn't been responsible for anything except myself for over a decade - great with me - and suddenly I had these two baby animals to keep alive. It gave me proper anxiety for the first time in my life to the point where I saw my GP and said I feel like I'm going mad. They also got very ill for months which made it a whole lot worse, but I think I still would have had a big shock.

    I found getting into a routine with them helped, and learning their likes and dislikes. I didn't have this forum then and made so many well intentioned mistakes, but they forgave me and I think they are happy.

    I think you need time, routine, and reassurance that you are doing so well. Senior cats often sit unwanted in rescues. Your boy has someone so concerned for his well-being that they are stressing about it. He's a lucky lad.

    We are here if you need us xx
     
  11. pfcpompeysarah

    pfcpompeysarah PetForums Junior

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    As others have said, I wouldn't worry about it too much, all cats are different and he is still getting used to you and your husband, and a new environment, its a big change for him.

    I had my last kitty for 12 years since he was a kitten and he was the most loving cat in many ways but he was not the cuddly cat type, he would be happy with me stroking him but only to a point and then he would go a bit crazy and the teeth would come out and then he could be proper scary, but I just used to move him into a different room until he calmed down and all was forgotten five minutes later, he also hated being picked up and used to struggle like a toddler to get free. On the upside he used to jump on my bed in the mornings and do the paw rubs as I call it and he would be purring so loudly and would dribble like a weirdo .. ha, it was just his way, cuddles and stuff were always on his terms and maybe your kitty is the same but it really is too soon to tell. My current kitty is the most docile kitty, my son is constantly picking him up and plopping him on his lap and he just takes it all, they really are all individual ... try not to worry, its early days and he is just trying to work out the lay of the land, luckily he has landed himself in a nice caring home with two people who love him.
     
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  12. Mrs Funkin

    Mrs Funkin Human mother to Oscar

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    So Oscar has been a bit loopy today and now we’ve just found him on a spare bed he’s not been on before, laid on the clothes I’ve been wearing today. He’s scared himself today with the curtains, a picture on the wall and a shadow of himself. He’s allowing me to stroke the top of his head quite a bit the past couple of days and when he frightened himself with a toy mouse yesterday, he came running to me. I’m trying to be more relaxed but every time he makes a noise, or walks away or (like tonight) when he doesn’t want to sleep with us, I get worried. I do wonder if he is getting lost in the house (we did when we moved in!), or used to living all on one level so it’s confusing. So there’s now our bedroom, his room (where he spent half the night last night) and now this new room...do you think he rules the roost ;) I analyse every move he makes, my google search is just cat stuff and I’m trying not to drive myself potty. Failing miserably but trying...thanks for all your advice everyone.
     
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  13. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    Cats are very independent creatures, not like dogs who do their master's bidding most of the time, cats just don't. There's much more likelihood of you bending to Oscar's will than him to yours. Just let him do his own thing and try not to get anxious, sometimes he will want to sleep with you then he will take himself off somewhere else. Cats are constantly changing their minds and are very inquisitive so I expect he loves exploring the house. Yes, sometimes they get spooked but, usually, they very soon recover. In a few months when you've got more used to how he behaves, you won't take any notice.
     
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  14. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    Sleeping on your clothes is a good sign. He can smell you on them, which suggests he’s getting some comfort from that. He must be feeling secure with you. As others have said, he may not be a lap cat, on the other hand, give him time and that might change. Wait until he is ready.
     
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  15. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    I have a multi Pet Home! The dogs will try to please me all day long, every day is a fun day! Yeah let’s go for a walk in a storm and 6 foot of snow, that will be fun, yeah let mum hose us down with freezing water because we have rolled in fox poo that will be fun and so on all day every day.

    The cats :rolleyes: I fit in with all 3 of them, never knowing what mood they are in, almost like hormonal teenagers!
    I have one who is always naughty and skips around the house always chirping away and sits on my lap any chance she can get, another who is very aloof very vocal and boxes everyone who goes within 1 meter of her, another who is very silent and deadly, she uses me for serving her food and that’s it, I am useful for opening doors etc, she has never sat on my lap once in 3 years! She may sit near me and has to be in the same room as me but no way could I call her cuddly!


    If you had more animals you would realise it’s the animals nature! It’s nothing your doing right or wrong! Enjoy every moment. He loves you I can tell, look at his face in the photos!

    Your doing so well :D x
     
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  16. SbanR

    SbanR PetForums VIP

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    @Mrs Funkin look out for all those stories we'll be getting very soon from @ewelsh when she brings her new puppy into the family fold!!!!!!!!

    It should be a barrel of:Hilarious:Hilarious:Hilarious:Hilarious:Hilarious:Hilarious
     
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  17. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Mrs Funkin - it sounds as though you are doing an excellent job settling Oscar into your home:) I am sure he is managing to find his way around your house without any problem. Cats probably have a far better sense of direction than many humans! :)

    Does Oscar play much with you, e.g. interactive toys such as Flying Frenzy, Da Bird etc, which you can use at arm's length? Play is very bonding - as Summercat mentioned.

    One of my cats is aged 10 this year and he is in the prime of his life, playful, mischievous, racing around the garden like a youngster. All my cats in the past have been like this until their early teens, when they began to slow down a bit. At 11 years old Oscar is not an elderly cat, he is only just at the portals of his senior years, and I am sure he will enjoy having playtime with you once he has settled in a bit more. :)
     
    #17 chillminx, Mar 31, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  18. Mrs Funkin

    Mrs Funkin Human mother to Oscar

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    @chillminx thank you, funnily enough, we had a good play session this morning with a shoelace, after he flopped on his side (which seems to be his "play with me" cue, at least I think it is). Often it's my husband who plays with him (it's back to the nervous thing again but he was not around, so it was down to me to play) and we were sent a present of Da Bird by a friend who has cats, as it's her boy's favourite toy which we will try tomorrow. I'm getting better with the nerves, he loves playing with his catnip platypus and mice (the husband has a little knack of making them kind of jump across the carpet on the landing, which Oscar loves). After we had playtime this morning, he decided he would go and finish his breakfast, so that was good i.e. "hunt" then eat. I know he was only hunting a shoelace but still ;) The favourite arm's length thing is his palm leaf, which we are very careful with, so we are trying to find substitutes for that, hence the shoelace. I think he might have a little run around when we let him out in a couple of weeks (I'm so scared about that), his gammy little front left paw/leg (from his younger days when he was hit by a car) might slow him a bit but we shall see. I do wonder if he never had any peace where he was before as he seems to enjoy just being in the room with us and resting/properly having a sleep in front of the fire. Funny isn't it, how a little four legged thing can cause so much brain and heart ache.
     
  19. Emmasian

    Emmasian PetForums VIP

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    With the sleeping thing, I think it's nice when they have so much choice. I never know who I will wake up with of my three - sometimes none, sometimes all, sometimes various combinations. Rafa likes to sleep amidst discarded clothes too, he seems to enjoy my scent!

    Great to hear you have a Da Bird. Try different attachments and fling it about getting him to hunt them. See which ones he likes best.

    Stop worrying and enjoy him. He obviously is pleased with his new home and parents and I'm sure he wouldn't want you worrying about him xx
     
  20. Mrs Funkin

    Mrs Funkin Human mother to Oscar

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    Oh dear. We tried Da Bird today. He did not like it at all! Within a few seconds he was hissing, so we took it away. I expected the pouncing and batting but the hissing was horrid and he ran into his little safe room. So back to the shoelace it is :) we’d had such a nice day and he’s come to me for love a few times today and now he’s a bit miffed I think...we weren’t to know he wouldn’t like it but still. Rats and double rats.
     
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