Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Enormous Accomplishment: The Puttikins are LEASHED!!!

It made me sad every time I looked at the harness and leash that I bought for Lionheart and which he never once used. Lionheart was rather feral, although he actually had been born in the house. I had persuaded his Mum to come inside to have her litter, but she was rather wild herself and broke the screen to get out, rather than using the litter box after her babies were born. I found homes for the others but kept little Lionheart, little knowing his spirit never would be tamed.

I loved Lionheart dearly but he fought me literally tooth and nail and often for no apparent reason. I had to refuse emergency treatment for a deep bite once because they wouldn't treat me unless I surrendered the address of the cat who bit me, to 'put him down'. Obviously I was not about to place Lionheart's life in the balance over a bite, however nasty. I purchased otc antibiotics and ultimately the swelling subsided and the hand healed.

Near the end of his life, I was able to keep him on my lap for half an hour sometimes, but when I attempted to give him the harness, he literally climbed the walls in a panic.

The Puttikins, on the other hand, are quite different. Himalayans and Persians tend to be very relaxed cats for a start. Even so, I had expected a little recalcitrance
from them when I first introduced the harness today... but there was none whatsoever from any of the four, even Mish Mish, who was a little terrified.

Cupid was the first to try the harness and leash and the first to walk on the deck outside the kitchen. He loved it! Actually, he was not much of a walker at all. He stretched out on the deck and played with the leash, a fallen leaf and a broken branch. It was scruffy little Leo who surprised me with his adventurous nature. He was everywhere, up the ladder, onto the deck chairs. He put his head outside the deck railing and I almost feared he would leap off the deck at one point. He had absolutely no fear. Tail waving proudly, he exhausted me quickly with his perambulations.

Mish Mish, my little Pumpkin (I don't know how one can be both a Pumpkin and an Apricot, but perhaps Louis who invented the Tranformer 3 in HoLV could demonstrate)did not enjoy his outing at all. It was he who surprised me with his terror. He is the most mischievous of cats in the nursery on his own home turf, but when I took him onto the deck, he began to tremble violently and wail piteously. I tried to encourage him but to no avail, so I gave his 'slot' to Adoro.

Adoro loves to sit in my lap on the deck. He has been outside in that fashion more often than any other Cat but never allowed to touch his paws to the deck floor. Although he rather enjoyed a desultory ramble, he was not that bothered. Secretly, I was pleased, as I have to have ONE lap cat!

The harness is very clever and I would recommend it to any one who, like me, never would allow a cat outdoors freely because of the dangers of traffic and so on. It is adjustable and although it fits snugly, distributes the weight along the back and stomach rather than the neck. Cats tend to want to take charge and they basically have YOU on the leash rather than the other way round, but you always simply can scoop them up into your arms if they won't be persuaded to take the direction you want them to take.


  1. Beautiful cats, beautiful pictures. You've accomplished a great feat persuading a cat even to get into a harness, much less walk about on a leash. Very impressive.


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