Thursday, November 20, 2008

Studio Cat in Training

For the past week and a half Puck has been a Studio Cat in training and I'm happy to report that he's coming along nicely. Considering that he's been on his own for a while, I would have to say he's a very well behaved cat for the most part. The things he must learn in the studio is where he's allowed to go, and where he's not. The workbenches and the top of the kiln are off limits, but anywhere else is fine. The first day I brought him into the studio I caught him up on the far end of my workbench tickling his whiskers on some glass stringers I have in a vase, but he hopped down as soon as I scolded him. He was able to get settled in for a few days before his first day of real work. This is pretty much how this week has gone.....

Day 1

Off to a very rocky start. He didn't appreciate the sound of my vent fan and concentrator. He meowed for two hours straight and paced from one end of the studio to the other. It's not that the noise is horribly loud, because Harley and Jamaica usually nap on the cat bench right next to my concentrator. At one point he thought he could escape the madness through the window. I was in the middle of a bead when I looked up to see him standing spread eagle on the window ledge. He looked like one of those little stuffed cats that people stick to the inside of their car windows with suction cups. I tried to console him but to no avail. Finally after meowing himself into exhaustion, he retreated under the chair for a nap. Or at least I think that's what he was doing under there. Perhaps he was plotting his revenge. I worked for about 4 hours and shut down early due to a "meow induced" splitting headache. Because of Puck's pacing and going behind me where I couldn't see him, I decided to set up a visual barrier for the "No Puck Zone" with a little fence made from masking tape.

This is the "Puck Zone"

This is the "No Puck Zone"

Day 2

Started off with a few meows and then he spent the day under the chair.

Day 3

Now that his fear of the noise is gone, he's developed a real interest in the whole bead making process. Several times he would sit at the corner of my workbench, looking up at the edge like he wanted to jump up. I would tell him "NO" and he would just scowl at me like I hurt his feelings and not go away, so I had to enlist the help of my little "No Puck Zone Enforcer". A little Gothic dude, that when squeezed, makes a blood curdling scream scary enough to send a curious cat packing. I've only had to squeeze him twice so far. Now I just keep him on the edge of the bench as a subtle reminder.

The "No Puck Zone" Enforcer

Days 4 through 10
Now we're getting somewhere! No more meowing or hiding under the chair or threatening to jump on my workbench. Puck's a happy little camper just snoozing on the couch all day while I work. He's a very smart cat and I knew it would only be a matter of time before he caught on. Last night I took down the barrier and invited him over to the cat bench on my side of the room. Now he knows if he crosses over to my side of the studio he better get on that cat bench or he'll get chased back to his side of the room. Yay Puck! You're a Studio Cat Graduate now....good boy!
Oh, and don't tell him I told you this, but Puck has an appointment at the vet for "snip-snip" on December 2nd. After a few days of recovery he will be allowed supervised access to the rest of the house. As soon as I'm sure there aren't any problems between Puck and the two resident felines, Harley and Jamaica, he will have full-time home access and won't have to stay confined to the studio anymore. He's going to make a fine addition to our family and I think Harley is even looking forward to having a playmate that's closer to his own age.

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