:: Timid Tigger to the Cat Trainer ::
So I received an SMS from the "cat trainer" that I met during the cat workshop which I
Attended some months back, at Serangoon Community Centre. As there was good response to the
Cat training he offered, the trainer decided to conduct a "cat assessment" workshop, which was held
Over last weekend. I, like any proud parent, have the firmest belief that my cat is the most intelligent cat
Out there, and hence, when this opportunity manifested, I unhesitatingly replied, "Yes I will be there."
I would love to have Tigger be able to shake hands, walk on his hind legs, and maybe help with the laundry.
The week before the training, I wanted to get Tigger comfortable with some kind of a leash or a harness,
And hence, scouted around for a suitable harness so that I wouldn't need to have something around his neck.
However, Tigger was repulsed by both the harness and the leash, and hence I had to put it onto him for a few
Hours at a time, and it was only after about a week later that Tigger got more comfortable with the harness.
But not the leash.
In fact, every time I tried to have him on the leash, Tigger's temperament could change. He would
Scurry away into the confines below the sofa, and stay there for extended periods.
And obviously, when the day came, he wasn't too keen to get into his mobile cage
(which probably reminded him of his trips to the vet - bad memories I suppose?)
The cat assessment turned out to be a disaster of sorts for Tigger.
He was sooooo timid that he refused to interact with the other cats, and
In fact, he was reluctant to leave his cage. The trainer, perplexed by Tigger's timidity,
Suggested carrying Tigger to a high-ground.
"Cats like to be at a high ground as this gives them confidence, and allows them
To scan the new environment, and they get comfortable more quickly.".
Hence we carried a table onto the ledge and put Tigger there.
It didn't help. Tigger was perched on the table in the most guarded fashion
While the other cats strode confidently around the room.
For the entire duration of the session.
Hence Tigger received the award of the day for being the
Most Timid Cat of the lot. It felt like I was bringing my kid to school for the first time,
And he was just not used to the school environment, and with the other kids.
Does that mean I will let Tigger be? I guess that's where the parental joy continues...
Tigger's timidity could be easily seen as a liability; his weakness,
But if seen from another angle, Tigger has created a role for me, his parent to play.
It is then my job to get Tigger more sociable and adjusted.
And isn't that part of parenthood - to nurture?
I welcome any kitty companions to
Help socialize Tigger
Over a weekend.