It is all change in our household as we now have a new home. It has been a very busy and stressful few weeks but we have managed it, with the help of some truly wonderful friends, and we are now located in our new address.
Utter gratitude goes to the wonderful friends who gathered on the day. Without them and their amazing efforts, it just would not have happened. It was a Herculean task and I can barely believe it was managed in the timeframe. I am truly humbled by how hard they worked and unendingly grateful to them.
The fur ones were dispatched to their 'holiday home' at the cattery a few days in advance of the move to minimise distress to them and brought home two days after the move. Before they left they had both learned two new phrases - "watch out, sweetie/Red/Magic" and the more strident "Out the way" which was usually used when carrying something heavy or unstable.
On return, as could have been anticipated, Magic took it in her stride and set to work casing the new joint, assessing the dangers, layout and generally taking stock. Red, also reacted true to form, in so much as he spent most of the first day saucer-eyed and shuddering under the bed. All conversations with him had to be carried out lying prone on the carpet while peering under the bed. He did come out eventually and I think that seeing Magic and the humans being very relaxed and calm seemed to rub off on him. He is getting better but remains hyper-alert and bolts at any unknown or loud noise - no change there then!
The new abode has a garden and patio doors. The intention is to see if they would like go outside.I've bought harnesses as a possible means of gradually introducing them to the world but have yet to try them on them which will no doubt take some getting used to as they dont even wear collars. I've been encouraging them to smell the new smells at the windows and settle into their location. I'd planned to keep them in for a month or so before begining the gradual introduction to outside,
If I go near the patio doors Red bolts out of the room in terror, but Magic remains and appears quite anxious when I go outside to hang out washing. She stares at me through the glass and I suspect she is unhappy she cannot be there in her role as my protector. So, on one of the last washing runs, I held the door open for her to see what she did. I just chattered away to her as normal and she very delicately stepped outside, sniffing around and wandered around without going down the couple of steps. Unfortunately after a very short time I thought I heard a car in the driveway and in fearing the gate would be opened I lost my nerve and gently picked her up and took her indoors. My fear rather than her's.
This was a good start very early on for a housecat who has never been outside. I also reckon if I start trying to train her on a harness she will freak at the indignity of it so I am tempted to play it by ear with her as she is such a sensible little cat. Red on the other hand I will harness train, if possible, as he is a complete liability. The first loud or unfamiliar noise will cause him to bolt and, given his athleticism, he'd be entirely likely to start hurdling the neighbours fences till he got himself even more lost and scared. I also wonder if he will actually ever want to go out or whether he'll reject the chance to tootle round the garden and lie in the sun. Time will tell.