Moving Up

Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s been a trifle damp around here lately? If you missed it, the drought has been officially declared over, at least in this part of the state.

Such gains don’t come for free, however, and there’s always someone who suffers. In this case, that’s been the outdoor cats.

Mind you, they’ve found ways to stay, if not dry, at least not as soggy as they could have been. There’s a spot near where our furnace vents to the outside that’s partially sheltered from the rain, and both Tuxie and MM hang out there for hours at a stretch. MM also lurks under some dense bushes near the house.

And Tuxie figured out that the Rose Cottage is where it is for a reason.

It’s not perfect, but it helps.

Note, though, that I didn’t say anything about L. Rufus Alexander. The catio is thoroughly soaked–
–but that’s not his problem any more.

Y’see, back around Christmas, when temperatures dropped to within spitting distance of freezing, we decided it was time to deal with the politics and move him inside. It took a few days to gather the necessary equipment, but on Friday the thirtieth, he made the move.

We’re taking it slowly; he spent the first week in a cage to let him get accustomed to the new environment.

Large, but not anything close to his former palatial quarters. So we were all relieved when Rufus stopped spending the majority of his time curled up in the bed and showed signs of boredom. That sounds worse than it was. In truth, he didn’t spend the entire week in the cage. We gave him a couple of supervised exploration/exercise/cuddling sessions every day. And, to nobody’s surprise, he showed the courtesy and helpfulness that are his hallmarks, never trying to escape, and always returning to the cage at the end of a session–though, to be fair, we occasionally had to encourage him by tapping on his food bowl.

After the first week, we fastened the cage door open and allowed him free rein to do what he wanted. For the first day or so, what he wanted was to sit under the futon or in the cat condo, and keep a wary eye on everything that was going on.

But by the end of that weekend, he had relaxed enough to come out and make a new friend.

(If that stuffed scorpion looks familiar, it means you’ve been hanging around this blog too long. Yes, that scorpion was Sachiko’s favorite toy when she lived in that room.)

He’s also made friends of the human variety.

The person scratching his ears requested anonymity in order to maintain her reputation. But, reputation or no, Rufus appreciated her visit, and was in top buzzing, chirring form.

Oddly, it took quite some time before Rufus was willing to get up on the futon. Maybe he had a bad experience with a couch in a previous life. Maybe it’s just the way the cover crackles. But he did eventually adjust, and now it’s his favorite snoozing spot.

For the last several days, we’ve been leaving the door ajar–albeit on a chain–and he’s been exchanging sniffs with the herd. So far, all of the interactions seem to have been peaceful. Over the weekend, we’ll try more extensive introductions: a shared feeding time with a wire fence in the doorway between Rufus and everybody else.

We’re in no hurry, but the goal is to integrate him into the herd as much as possible, though, because of his special diet, we may need to isolate him at dinner time.

I don’t think he’ll mind returning to his current quarters every night. Aside from the food, the library has an unsecured, Internet-connected computer.

Remember: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a cat–but if they figure it out, they’ll worship you.”

4 thoughts on “Moving Up

  1. Won’t lie, I was sad watching the world-change today. But, then you gave me Rufus … Rufus, Inside! Rufus, Unbound!


    Won’t lie, I teared up a little. Because despite the bad things that might be ahead in the world … there are still good things. Little good things. Good things like Rufus and his story.

    And now, Rufus, Inside. Rufus, Unbound.

    Seriously. It cheered me up. Thank you for that.


    • Oh, darn! We should have named him “Prometheus”!

      I’ll pass your thanks along to Rufus, since he’s the one who really deserves the credit. He’s been making this incredibly easy (at least so far).

      He had his first exploration outside the library last night, by the way. A spur of the moment thing when I brought his dinner. Fenced off the end of the hall as we used to do for Sachiko, then invited him to take a look around. He stepped outside, looked at Yuki for a couple of seconds, then stared at ‘Nuki for a few more. Then he looked up at me, said “That’s enough for today,” and returned to the library.

      Such a well-mannered fellow.


    • He was grumpy Sunday night, so we’re going to slow down a little. Give him quiet dinner for a couple more days before exposing him to the other cats again. There’s no real hurry to get him integrated, after all.


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