A Quick Update On Our CH Household
It’s only been four months since my little CH family moved into our new house, and it already feels like home.
Most notably, the biggest challenge was definitely the stairs. CG has taken to them like a pro, and Ellie has done her best, too. There have been a few incidents where Ellie has fallen down nearly our entire flight of carpeted stairs, but to our amazement, she has an unbreakable spirit and doesn’t let it her get it down. That said, I still have a tough time watching her climb up the stairs, simply because I don’t want to distract her and cause a fall.
The stairs have played a tremendous role in getting our cats in shape. For some reason, I had imagined that going up and down stairs every day would slim them down. On the contrary, the exercise has bulked them up! Ellie, who’s still on the smaller size, now has a strong core, which used to be like jelly! CG, too, has become more solid, and I’m glad he *loves* the stairs, otherwise he wouldn’t get too much exercise. (Maybe that’s why he loves them!)
You can only imagine our cats’ amazement when they learned that we don’t only have one flight of stairs, but two! The other, which is not carpeted, leads to the basement. CG was automatically intrigued, and I was automatically terrified.
One morning I woke up to find the basement door open (it can be easily opened if not latched properly) and found CG exploring down there. I escorted (carried) him upstairs, but I’ve since learned that he’s rather capable going down the stairs. It’s a tough line to walk, between allowing your cat to build his confidence/abilities and keeping him safe. Like with Ellie, I cringe, knowing that one day something will happen, but I really believe that him doing it on his own is a huge confidence builder. And I can’t deny him that.
The basement is now one of his obsessions. He’ll beg (cry and paw at the door) to go down, so we try to give him opportunities when he’s not begging. I’m hoping it’ll change his behavior (cut back on the crying and pawing at the door), but to be honest, it’s nice to see him passionate about something.
The only thing I would change about our home (for our cats’ sake) would be to have more windows closer to the floor. On the first floor, it isn’t too bad, but all of the windows on the second floor are far too high for the cats (even with the aid of a cat tree). But they’re good sports about that.
We’ve placed our cat tree in our front living room window that looks out to our small garden and the street. Ellie, who maneuvers like a mountain climber to get to the top of the cat tree, absolutely loves it. Some mornings I’ll find her there, just watching the world go by.
For CG, the front window shows a bit too much activity – too many people walking by, scary cars, and the like. Fortunately, he’s a fan of looking out our dining room window, which looks out to our backyard (and the alley, which can sometimes be scary, too!). This is where we hope to put up a bird feeder this spring. I figure he could use a source of entertainment as well.
While the cats are still my little shadows (they follow me nearly everywhere constantly), our slightly larger home with more rooms has helped contribute to greater independence, I think. Now, instead of *always* being by my side, I’ll sometimes have to go look for one or both. It’s nice, because I feel like they’re finding enjoyment and pleasure in their own ways, without me.
It’s also been fun to watch where our cats’ favorite spots are. One of the small bedrooms faces the south, and gets excellent sun (when it’s sunny). This is the room we found the previous owner’s cat sunbathing in when we first looked at the place, so Matt and I agreed it would be my office. I expected the cats to spend the entire day lounging in the sun in that room, but they’ve proven me wrong.
They do love the sunbathing in my office, but they have other favorite spots, too. CG prefers sleeping in our bedroom, which also faces the south, most of his days. Ellie’s really a toss-up. Sometimes she sleeps in my office in a cat bed, other days she’s with CG. Some days I find her under our guest bed – just hanging out – or under the sink’s cabinet in the bathroom. I don’t know what she’s thinking, but she seems to enjoy it!
It’s been such a joy to go through this time with our cats, and I’m eager to see what happens next.