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My last YABCU ended on a down note. That was almost two months ago.

Well, apparently someone stole the old cats and replaced them with exact replicas, only with different personalities. :)

Lucy turned into a pet from the get-go, as I related earlier. She has now started talking to me in that little warbly meow that they do when they want something. Usually that something is a can of food. She's very concerned about where, precisely, her next meal is coming from, and when. The "where" is "in the little cans" and she is very aware of this. The "when" is "NOW." :)

More importantly, she has discovered Cat Crack™. That is to say, she has become a complete and utter convert to the joys and fascinations of The Electric Blanket™, Long May Its Heat Radiate, Amen. :)

When I broke the blanket out when it started turning actually cold and not just chilly (I should also mention that my getting the foam mattress hastened this because that sucker is cold!), I put both cats up on it to introduce them to the joys of it. Neither of them were the least bit interested.

A couple of days later, I came home from work, went upstairs, and found Lucy sprawled out on it as if she were trying to make sure every follicle got an equal dose of glorious heat. That has become her new sleeping spot when I'm not home or when Matt is with me downstairs.

When telleestmavie stayed with me for a night the weekend before Thanksgiving, I thought it would freak out the cats. Matt stayed hidden for the most part, but to my surprise, Lucy not only came into the room with me and telleestmavie, she jumped into my lap, nestled down, and started purring as I petted her.

Now, let's move on to Matt. Here, the transformation is much more amazing.

Matt still isn't likely to win any 'friendliest cat of the year' awards, but his recovery period after I have Evil Visitor Taint™ in the house is down to hours instead of days. After telleestmavie left, he was fine by the time I got home from work.

When I approach him, he doesn't run. He still poises for flight, but doesn't actually run. When I bend down to pet him, he still flinches his head a little, but he doesn't cringe and slink away. When I pet him, he leans into it and closes his eyes.

But in the last few days he has been demanding to be in my lap. He hates The Shiny because I pay more attention to it than him. Toward that end, he jumps up and stands on my chest right in front of my face until I pet him. The other night, he lay down behind my neck and put his head on my shoulder and purred as I watched video on The Shiny. Last night, he spent most of the evening while I was home lying on the back of the chair behind my head, purring.

The other night, though....

I mentioned this on FaceBook because it was so momentous.

The other night, I stepped on a mouse toy I had tried to tempt Lucy with. She would have none of it. Lucy is a Great Tabby Hunter who catches real mice, thank you very much, and those rabbit-fur-stuffed-with-sawdust monstrosities are beneath her contempt. I bent down and, on a whim, showed it to Matt by shaking it.

He followed it with his head (it rattles) and when I tossed it, his body language was something like this: "Oooooh! Interesting! It's moving and making a noise and now it's stopped moving and making noise and is boring. NEXT!"

Totally disinterested. Then, about 30 minutes later as I was meeting with friends on Second Life, I heard a distinct rattle. I looked over and Matt was playing with the mouse toy! Actually playing with a toy.

I don't think he has ever had a toy, much less played with one.

These guys started out as feral, were sort of half-tamed by my grandparents, and lived for sixteen years half in and half out of the house, preferring to spend most of their time outdoors where they could catch small furry/feathered things and eat them raw. My mother and a sequence of caregivers culminating in Catherine also took care of them.

At some point in her early years, Lucy was injured, taken to the vet, had her leg put in a cast, and the vet told my grandparents not to let her out until the cast was ready to come off. They did, anyway. (My grandparents were in their eighties at the time and not all that spry. If a determined cat wanted out, no matter how much the vet may have said 'don't do it,' they got out.) The cast got wet and disintegrated, and the leg, now gangrenous, had to be amputated. Lucy didn't let that slow her down. Still a deadly hunter, she would bring home all kinds of game, and Matt would eat it. No one really paid them a lot of attention other than food and opening doors.

And now they've just blossomed. Neither of them has shown any inclination to want to go outside, other than if I don't feed Lucy on a tight enough schedule (her: every 15 minutes; me: twice a day), her attitude is, "Fine. You won't use your thumbs to open a can, I'll go outside and find my own damned food. Outta my way, thumbs-boy." Being more spry than my grandparents were, I'm able to prevent her needless escape. :)

Unfortunately, of course, there's the negative side of them becoming much more trusting and friendly. Lucy is now quite territorial over me. If Lucy's in my lap and Matt decides he must be in my lap, when he hops up there, she hisses and spits and wails like a bansidhe. "Dis my lap, yella-boy. Back off!"

Matt has shown no signs of territoriality at all. It's all Lucy.

Matt no longer hangs back in the morning when I give them their "breakfast." He comes in and begs for it, too.

Oh! And Matt has also started talking to me. Just a little, and it's faint. He has a tiny, whispery meow. Well, when he's not doing that "OMG I CAN'T FIND YOU WHERE DID YOU GO I'M ALL ALONE" wail when he can't find me at night.

So that's my latest report. Much more upbeat than the last. I'm so delighted in the changes in Matt, I can hardly express it. Not that I didn't just try. :)


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( 3 hisses — Hiss at me! )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 9th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad to hear it! sounds like you're going to have a snuggly winter with your kitties. aww!
Dec. 10th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
Go, Matt, go! Yay!
( 3 hisses — Hiss at me! )

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