Saturday, 21 May 2011

Fretting

Am I worried about moving house? Yes, a bit.

I worry that my sale might break down before completion.
I worry that I won't be able to buy the house I want.
I worry that my friends won't forgive me for moving away.
I worry that they will grow distant with time.

But mostly, I worry about Hamish. In the 17 months that he has lived with me, he has never been picked up, let alone placed in a carrier and taken to the vet for vaccinations and microchipping. I swear he can read my thoughts ("Hamish is asleep on my bed; his collar is next to us both. Maybe I can get his collar on... no, he's just sprinted down the stairs....")


Even being looked at through the window is enough to make him flit out of sight.

How I am going to catch this most wary of little cats in order to travel to our new home is something that keeps me awake at night.


So we're back to last year's preparation for entrapment: Hamish's bed inside the puppy crate. He still flees if I get too close.

Next step will be to cover it with a blanket, then to  close the door a little more each day till he is used to a narrower opening to get in and out.


And then,  Heath-Robinson style, I will rig up some kind of door-pusher so that I can close the door at a distance... I will need to practice when he is outside and can't see me, but I bet he will know....

Edit: Some of you have mentioned sedation. It's possible, but my vet insists on examining any animal before he agrees to sedating it. The problem with this is obvious. (And I hate the idea of it.)
Rescue Remedy will certainly be tried, although it hasn't worked before. 
Feliway will also be used.


But I fear that Isabelle's suggestion of Low Cunning and a degree of ferocity of spirit is going to win the battle.... I just hope I'm on the winning side.

26 comments:

frayedattheedge said...

There's no point in saying 'don't worry' ..... worrying at such times is quite normal! I'm sorry I can't offer any advice for what to do with Hamish, never having owned a cat!!

judy in ky said...

Your Hamish sounds just like our Tiger. We took him to the vet when he was a kitten, in order to have him neutered, but we haven't been able to catch him since. It looks like you have the right idea though... keep working at it, and good luck.
I understand; that's exactly the kind of thing I would be worried about too!

judy in ky said...

I looked up Heath Robinson and saw some of his "contraptions". I love it! In the U.S. we have Rube Goldberg, with a similar imagination.

Marie said...

You are a good and patient lady. Poor Hamish.

Isabelle said...

I'm sure you'll manage. Low cunning, that's what's needed. Woman versus cat. Still, I sympathise with your worries.

BumbleVee said...

how 'bout a string tied to the door ...then draped through the bars nearest the door opening and draped across the floor...to where you will be sitting ... a long string of course...and when he finally gets in there and quiet...pull the string bringing the door closed. No...he won't be happy....but, it'll hafta be done....

failing that.... something in his food to make him sleep?...or a dart with sleeping potion on the tip?.... it may have to be something seriously strong to put him right out for an hour or two... oh, poor you and poor little Hamish....

the veg artist said...

Do they do little doses of cat sedative?

Sherri B. said...

There is an herbal/holistic product called Rescue and there is a formula for pets and one for humans, we have used it on our dog with good results. It calms them down and the drops could be put it cream or milk or maybe tuna..whatever would work. Here is a link with info.
http://www.1888pressrelease.com/rescue-remedy-pet-natural-stress-relief-for-pets-available-i-pr-u2nk24f85.html

jabblog said...

That would worry me, too, but you're approaching the problem in the best possible way. What a beautiful little cat Hamish is.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

The Hamishes of this world are always a worry . You're doing all you can .
Take everything very , very slowly and ignore any moves towards whatever you're trying to "promote" and be endlessly patient....
All the things you're doing and planning to do , in fact .
Occasionally I get this sort of two year-old and , not planning to transport them hundreds of miles , but just into the classroom with the others find a mixture of inconsequential chat and no sudden moves works .
But Hamish is older and wilier . Still it'll work in the end . After all , he's already getting in the crate .

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

I know nothing about cats, but would a vet come out and sedate him somehow to avoid the trauma, or would they not get near him??

So pleased for you though, that the move is several crucial steps nearer. xx

flwrjane said...

OMG I miss one day of blogging and look what happens, you sell your house!!!!

Rachel, I am so happy for you. One day at a time and all will work out. maybe you can get some sedative for skittish kitty?

xo Jane

Arthur Ransome said...

Dear Rachel - I'm going through a very similar worry but I have 5 (FIVE!) ex-ferals whom I can't handle enough to put into a carrier. The most fearful, Tuppence, is almost a dead-ringer for Hamish. Later this year I'll be moving but, very luckily for me, it's only 2 doors up the road so I can take my time with the whole procedure. I too am at the getting them used to sleeping in the puppy crate stage and am wondering if I'll need 5 crates. Would a trap be the answer? I'm considering getting my old trap out and getting them used to going into it.

Since you'll have to travel with Hamish, maybe doping his food might be an idea but in my experience vets can be a bit iffy about giving you the necessary pill and it's very distressing once the cat's taken the tranquilliser as their adrenalin kicks in and they try to fight the drug and run about as it takes over. But, once they're under the influence they sleep for about 24 hours, which is very handy.

Moving is hard enough without timid cats, isn't it? I'm currently waking up in the early mornings to get a few hours extra worrying put in and it makes the next day quite a tired one.

I hope you hit upon a good solution for Hamish. Any suggestions would be gratefully received here.

Dan said...

Hi Rachel. Poor Hamish - the timid and sensitive type! We sometimes use Dorwest Herb's Scullcap and Valerian herbal tablets for Bobby's epilepsy, but they are also good for anxiety and travel sickness too - may be worth a try?
Try not to worry too much about the sale - you got a sensible offer, I'm sure they want your house very much - still it's a nerve-racking time!
Dan
-x-

lovethosecupcakes said...

Hypnotism? "Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, my eyes, my eyes, you're under..............Three, two, one, you're back in the room".

Mary Ann said...

Cats and moving:) We had one that completely disappeared on our moving day which was really strange as we lived in an apartment and there was no where for it to hide???? All the furniture and stuff was gone and we still couldn't find her. I was heart broken.Anyway two days later I got a call from the landlord. He had found our cat...behind the fridge. Silly cat:)

The Wanderer said...

What about Catnip?

Rattling On said...

First of all Well Done with the house sale... at last.
My little dog hates the car and I'm afraid I go for the brute force approach and manhandle her in. She's fine once in there and I haven't the time for dog whispering. Not so easy with cats, though. Again, mine are ok once in their carriers, and prefer being squashed into the same one if at all possible (but then you can't rely on the handle). Good lick.

chinecats said...

Yes, cat nip. Fresh if you can get it, crushed in your hands & wiped all over a blanket inside the cage. Good luck!

Karen said...

I meant to comment on the previous post--Oh yaay! Yaay! Though I'm mostly a silent lurker, I've been following along and keeping everything crossed--hoping that it would work out. And it has! I refuse to take my mind to the possiblity that the sale will fall through again. Nope. Not going there.

As for sweet, sweet Hamish--I have no suggestions to offer. I'm just going to put in a request to the Universe that somehow that will easily sort itself out.

Catherine said...

I'm going to cross my fingers and send good thoughts that you can catch kitty. Good luck on getting everything complete with the sale of your house so that you can get moved and settled. Moving is always a daunting task, but it will feel so good once it's all done!

Best of luck!!
xo Catherine

Lesley said...

Oh, don't some timid souls make life so hard on themselves and others where more robust creatures just blunder on through?

When we bought our first house the previous owners' cat went missing before she could crate him. She left a basket and a description and asked us to leave food out and try and coax him in and then call her.

My ex did this while I was at work one day. In fact, very proud of himself, he seized the cat while it was sunbathing on a wall and bundled it into the basket. Trouble is, when the previous owner arrived, all relieved, it was the wrong cat, same colour but about 10 years older and most put out!!

Luckily though, she spotted the right one while she was there so red faces were averted!!

Marcheline said...

Congrats on all the new developments, and good luck with every thing you need to do between now and posting to us from your new house!

Frances said...

Just back from a weekend in Chester/Liverpool to find your great news re the sale...good luck, I hope it all goes smoothly. Can't wait to see where you will buy.....and you will have so much new stuff to tell us about..if you have time that is!

Pam said...

Wow Rachel! Congratulations on the house sale. I don't think the worry stops until your moving man latches the lorry doors and says "That all then?" There is something very satisfying about that moment.
Having just done the cat-crating this morning I can sympathize. Last time it took four adults to get the cat in. This morning it was only me, and I nearly cancelled the vet appointment in tears as the cat quivered, unreachable, under the bed. Got there eventually with lots of prayers (thanks St.Francis!)and a big soft enveloping towel to ease the transition, which didn't work last time by the way.
The best of luck with everything.

Anonymous said...

I feel for poor Hamish, we have an equivalent Bristle and have resorted to Heath Robinson contraptions to get her in her box for the vet. The sedative was a nightmare, made her absolutely manic, I don't recommend that route. Feliway has helped and so has Zylkene. I suggest Hamish has all his food in his crate from now on. He might not want to eat there initially, especially not if you're looking, but he'll get hungry! Also if he likes to play chase games using a string/cord/feather make running in an out the crate fun, and he'll be too distracted with the game to notice you're close. This worked a treat with Bristle - Once! Good luck!

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