Old Dogs Do Learn New Tricks
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Old Cats Do Learn New Tricks

category_bug_oliver Well, Ollie isn’t really old yet; his second birthday is not until August. But he has his little habits and now they are changing in our new home.

All cats dislike closed doors, but there weren’t many in our New York apartment for Ollie to complain about. Now he’s got plenty of them. A couple of days ago, I investigated a new sound – thump, thump, thump. It was Ollie trying to open the coat closet door.

The same thing happened at different times with the closet doors in the two bedrooms. But then I heard a different kind of thump, more of a deep rattle, rattle, rattle in the study. A fact-finding mission disclosed a cat with his tail wrapped neatly around his front toes looking as big-eyed innocent as a newborn babe. No source of the sound was evident.

A day or two later, I was already in the study when the same, deep rattle, rattle, rattle occurred. Turning around from the desk to check it out, I spied Ollie trying to open a door on the sideboard and these, unlike closet doors, don’t latch so he was having better luck.

So far, he’s got the knack of pulling the sideboard door toward him, but his little, walnut-sized brain hasn’t figured the next step of sticking his head in to wedge it open and get the rest of his body into the cupboard. He's been practicing, for the past couple of nights, at 3AM which makes the deep rattle sound more like booming thunder. Fortunately Ollie's attention, like that of most cats, can be easily redirected.

Sometimes there is no explaining the wonder of cats. In the past, I’ve used paper toweling under Ollie’s food and water bowls to make cleanup of stray food easier. But the towel looks particularly messy in the new kitchen, so I had a little chat with Ollie who gazed into my eyes with what appeared to be real understanding as I spoke:

“I’d rather skip the paper towels,” I said, “so perhaps you could make an effort to be tidier at mealtime than you have before. I don’t think it would be hard to do. Why don’t you give it a try…”

In the four or five days since our talk, I’ve picked up one crunchie from the floor. Go figure…

[EDITORIAL NOTE: I know, I know. As several of you have pointed out, photos are in order. It wasn't just the cable I didn't have during the move; it was also the camera software which I hadn't loaded onto this new computer before I packed the disc with the rest of the computer peripherals. It's now unpacked and soon photographs will be flowing forth.]


Don't waste your time with pictures - NOBODY CARES!!!

First of all, "I" care, "I" care, "I" care and I'm really looking forward to those photos, when you get a chance.
Ollie is brilliant....just like most cats. Glad to hear he's complying with the tidiness. I'm so caught up in your move, etc. I found myself thinking about you on my walk this morning....wondering if you were out and about in your new neighborhood. I'm so happy things are going so well for you and that you and Ollie are settling in so well. Enjoy your Saturday.

Luckily, I've never seen a mean comment like the first one, above, before on the two-plus years I've followed this blog. However, I've seen enough of these unkind "trolls" or "lurkers" on other blogs to recognize a pattern:
These people are always anonymous, never coming out into the light; and they always choose the point of highest enthusiasm or vulnerability to strike, seemingly set off by a writer's joy or emotional investment. They use all-caps and multiple exclamation points to stand in for god-knows-what, and you wonder if it's a cry for help. What a pity.

Well I am anxious to see the photos as you get time to share them. The cat stories are funny and so cat-like :) With their love of exploring, he has to be in heaven.

Brain the size of a walnut? Sure Ollie's is larger than the average cats. Exploration is a healthy sign, so he must be settling in nicely.

I have a question I am thinking about
putting in a cat flap so I can put his litter box in the garage. Raja is 6 years old, I wonder if he would
use the flap or be afraid of something new? I don't know if it will be worth tearing up my door or not. Thanks for any info.

I would be interested in pictures.

Anyway, I have always been fascinated by cat behavior. They seem to live in a different universe than we do. Ollie seems to be adjusting to his new digs well. I'll look forward to more adventures.

Ronni Dear,
I enjoy Ollie immensely, and as I told Claude re Mounir, but only from this distance. Of course I'd love to see more pictures. (Last month's packing box sequence was a classic.)
Oh, and I was supposed to find out if Ollie is a Bengal.

Ronni, of course we want pictures!!!
Both of the place and of Ollie.
Ollie makes me think of Mounir, when he first moved in here. He was still quite young but managed perfectly to hide in our closets with sliding doors, in such a way as we always thought he had escaped somewhere. Ollie will find more hiding places no doubt ;)

goldenlucy: Ollie is a Savannah cat - a relatively new breed that is part Bengal and part serval, a wild cat native to the plains of Africa. Here is some more information with Ollie's baby pictures. Ollie is 15 percent serval and did not grow as large as those that are 40 and 50 percent serval.

I would love to see more pictures of your Ollie. He is such a gorgeous cat.

Ronni. I too can't wait to see more pictures of Ollie as he explores his new home.

One suggestion....put a double lock on the refrigerator so Ollie can't help himself...;)

Seriously, just make sure there is no spot where Ollie could get into and find himself stuck...

PS: Word to the wise here

"Don't feed the trolls"

I'm trying to figure out why I look forward, in such anticipation, for your posts on Ollie and cats (or dogs) in general. Ordinarily, I avoid blogs of people anxious to inform the reader of the antics of their pets - it's like being forced to listen politely to a stranger go on about something you care very little about, if at all.
You write so well, but it's something more than that. I am there, with you, in your new home, and I am happy with your obvious anticipation and delight in dealing with your new environment.

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