Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Our New Buddy
Doreen and I have a new buddy: Buddy, a rescued Himalayan tom whom we adopted last week.
After Bailey passed away, we realized that we couldn't possibly have Dempsey as our "only child," so went looking for another cat. I know it hasn't been very long, but I like to think Bailey would understand: She wouldn't want our house to be a doghouse; it should be, at least, a dog- and cat-house. Or something like that.
Anyway, we fell in love with Buddy when we saw his picture on the Safe Haven of Iowa County Website. This is a cat with some attitude!
Of course, we didn't see any of his attitude his first day here, most of which he spent hiding under the bed. That night, he hopped into bed with us, though he wouldn't let us touch him: That's moving way too fast. Now that he's been here a few days, he's learned to relax and actually close his eyes.
Unbeknownst to Buddy, we have big plans for him. Now that we know a little bit about clicker training, we've decided to try training him. My first thought, since I'm all about ease and convenience, was to teach Buddy how to use the toilet, but I discovered after doing some research that this can seriously backfire.
Karen Pryor, the guru of animal training who developed many of the methods we use at Helping Paws, sometimes teaches cats to "play" the piano as an after-dinner party trick. This would be neat, except we don't have a piano. And there's also the fact that Karen Pryor is a training expert, and we are not:
I suppose there's a good reason why you don't see too many service cats. But Buddy, be warned: We're gonna learn you!
P.S. A big thank you to everyone for all the nice notes, comments, and cards for Bailey! We really, really appreciate all your kind thoughts.
Since Buddy's videos are pretty boring (so far), here's a video from the archives of Dempsey playing "Who's calling?" at the tennis court. The object of the game is to stay, until somebody calls him.