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the great outdoors

I tried out the harness on Nimiel this afternoon. It actually wasn't too hard to get it on her and she doesn't seem to take much notice of it. First I just tried putting it on her to see how she'd react, and the actual difficulty was getting her to stay in one place when I wanted to take it off again.

I went out and did errands and things, then when I came back, I realized I'd forgotten to check my mailbox, so I decided to try it on her again and see if we could go outside for a bit. That worked out somewhat okay. We just stuck to the front yard, I didn't try "walking" her anywhere like you would with a dog, and I don't expect to do that. A few times she dropped onto the ground and rolled in an odd way like she was trying to scrape the harness off, which she probably was. Most of the time though she was just too eager to be outside exploring things and eating grass blades.

Having her on the harness and leash does let me keep her from running into places I don't want her to go, though of course she's not used to it yet and doesn't stop trying to tug forward. It's more of a problem when she tries to run ahead and I have to make sure I keep up with her so she doesn't get tugged back unnecessarily.

The real problem though is when something scares her and she wants to run away, which is how our experiment ended. A guy was walking through the neighborhood delivering phone books, and when he came to our house she panicked. The good thing was that her instinct was to run back into the house, and I'd left the front door open so she could do that. The bad thing was that I was still holding the leash of course, so I had to scramble to try to get up the stairs while she was struggling to run as fast as possible back inside. She ran toward the back of the hallway, turned and hissed angrily at me, then ran upstairs which is when I dropped the leash for her.

I followed upstairs and let her back in the apartment, and she calmed down but wouldn't let me near her long enough to take the harness off right away - it took a few minutes. She settled down in a favorite spot by a window and promptly shed a bunch of fur. :-) The poor angry thing didn't forgive me for a while, it was literally three hours later before I heard her purr again, and normally she purrs a lot.

So, the experiment was a partial success. Hopefully next time will go better, but if she's going to take such fright at people, it just may not be meant to work. Of course, now that I've already jumped right in, I could take Zannah's advice and take a slower approach to the next outing.

Also today, I repotted my tree. It's now in a nice big 15"-diameter clay pot, which is big and heavy enough that she should not be able to knock it over. Of course, the problem is that it's so nice and big, it's even easier for her to jump up and stand entirely in the pot to nose and paw around. I continue to discourage her however, and in any case as long as she doesn't decide it's suitable as a second litter box, it'll be okay. And considering there's a tree in the middle, I'm hoping it's too awkward to appeal to her as a litter box.

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Comments

( 3 have written — Write )
(Anonymous)
May. 11th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
the tree
To think that there was a time that you wanted to give away your little tree! Now that Nimiel likes it, suddenly the tree merits repotting. Ha ha ha, my cunning plan worked.

Um, what was my cunning plan?
--A the G
philaros
May. 11th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)
Re: the tree
Now now, I'd been thinking about repotting the plant for a while because it seemed like it was outgrowing the pot. And if Nimiel liking the tree had any influence on the decision, it was that she could knock it over too easily in the old smaller pot.

And I did not want to give away "my" little tree, I wanted to return YOUR tree that you abandoned! :-P
(Anonymous)
May. 11th, 2005 11:50 pm (UTC)
Re: the tree
I saved that tree's life. I did not abandon it-- I gave it to you. A the G
( 3 have written — Write )

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