Wussy (leash training my cat)

Jack isn't taking to going outside very well. And yes, I'd have included a picture with this post except that the batteries in my digital camera are dead and I'm too poor to buy new ones. We just came back from our third venture in the great outdoors. Here's a quick run through of my progress.

I didn't enter into this light heartedly -- I read a book and lots of websites on training a cat to walk on a leash. I followed their advice and let him become "acclimated" to the leash and harness. He just wanted to play with them. So I moved on to letting him get used to wearing the harness. He would just roll around drunkenly when I put it on him. I tried on three different occasions -- we weren't making progress. At all.

So the other day I decided to just jump drastically ahead. I put the harness on him and watched him roll around drunkenly before I took him outside and set him in the grass. This had the desired effect of making him forget about the harness. He was scared to death though. All in all, we stayed outside for about 40 minutes. He tried to climb trees and continuously fell back to the ground (can't get a grip with the caps on his claws). He hid everywhere he possibly could. He freaked every time he saw another person. This came as a huge surprise considering that until now, he has been fearless. I still considered it a success though.

The next try, I set him outside the door and stood in the opening with the door held open. I figured this way he'd feel safe because he could choose to go back inside or to walk outside. I just didn't think that he'd immediately choose to run back inside.

Today was try number 3. I took him out to the hallway -- he hated it. He just wailed and pressed himself against the apartment door. No matter how many times I took him away, he returned to our door. At least he knows where home is! I decided to jump the gun again and walked him out to a picnic table where we could sit. He just wailed and wouldn't leave my lap. And since he was shaking so much -- obviously scared, I didn't have the heart to make him stay out there.

We just came back inside and now he's acting like he's Mr Big again. He's just running around my room fearless... as long as he's in here. He went straight to the windowsill to watch the people passing outside. He loves sitting in the window, and if I am leaving he makes to run out the door with me -- so what's the hold up? Anyone have any experience with this?

On another note, I saw my RA (and while we were talking, another RA came up). He said he had received a memo about Jack. Apparently they sent one out announcing him as a resident of South East -- how cute!

Of course while we were talking he said something about his goldfish that was his best friend because he didn't have a choice. That made me feel kinda bad about having Jack. I can't help but feel slightly pathetic for getting a cat because I was lonely. It is so cliche, isn't it?

Though I have to say, getting him was a good choice. He's rather fun to play with -- and he keeps making me laugh. How can you not laugh when he fetches? It's a little cat FETCHING. Come on, thats cute.

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