Our Home-Grown Extortion Cats
Be careful, very careful, when you make new friends. When I first met Sarah, my one thought was to make her my friend so she wouldn't run away from me. Such a beautiful kitty, I thought, would make a wonderful feline friend. So I began to slowly get near her to take her photo, first with the zoom lens, and gradually without it. She would still run if she thought I was too close.
One day I had to get a book from the book shed, and Sarah was on her porch. I had something else on my mind and I walked right past her. On the way back, she tried to get my attention, so she let me approach her without running away. (She hates being ignored, and thought I needed to give her the attention she deserved.)I reached out my hand for her to sniff. And then I went to put the book in the house.
I went back outside with a cat treat in my hand and went back towards her. I held out the treat and put it where she could get it. Then she let me pet her. When I started to walk back toward my house, she followed. The first cat treat appears to have been a mistake. She now has developed an entitlement mentality. She expects cat treats when ever I'm around. She lets me pet her often now, as long she thinks there may be a treat in her future.
Garfield took a lot longer to stop runing away. Sometimes he still runs away. But he hangs out on our porch with Sarah much more now. He has learned it pays. I think she is his agent.
Here's what they've got going. They have figured out that we are no longer living near them full-time. They have our schedule down pretty well. They know we normally give them treats when we leave to go home, whether separately or together. They know who belongs to each car when both cars are there. This is what we see when we drive up.
Sarah often stations herself on the chair outside the door when I am around. She acts like a toll booth operator. She thinks she should get a treat for letting me pass.
Things get really bad when it's time to come back over here at night. Doesn't matter if it's 6 PM or midnight. This is what I see when I need to leave. I'm trying to get to the car, which you see is behind my reflection in the driveway. It's hard to pass unless I distract them with treats.
Sometimes it's even worse. That's when they just lie in front of the door where I will trip over them. But by that time I'm locking up. I leave them there hoping and go out the other door where I won't need to step over them. They have now become an extortion ring of two. I took this picture when only Sarah was doing this. Now Garfield lies next to her. I wonder when they will get the kitten to join them.
Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved
Image Credit » I took the photo and edited it.