Coaxing #Felines To Trust--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith





This week I feel we took another step forward in our relationship with our outside duo, Bonnie and Clyde. They have been visiting us for over a year, and last February after we lost Sunnybud, our other daily visitor with whom I had developed a special relationship, their visits became more regular and we began the long journey of developing a trust relationship with the sibling duo. They had clipped ears, which meant they had been captured, neutered and released. But that experience had apparently deepened their mistrust of humans. 

Through last summer, Bonnie and Clyde came daily to our outside feeding stations and eventually to a feeding spot inside the basement door. We slowly acclimated them to enter through a cat door (with the flap taped open) and through early winter, they came twice daily for their meals. But they were extremely skittish and ran at the slightest movement. Slowly I managed to pet Clyde and now he likes a daily rub while he is eating, but Bonnie still will not tolerate human contact. Ironically, other than that, she is the more social of the two. 

As the cold winter months arrived, we began closing the basement door behind them during the evening feeding and they spent the cold nights in our heated basement. At first they were slightly wary of the new arrangement but they returned each night for their safe shelter. I spent time with them in the morning before opening the door to give them the option of staying or exploring their outside world. They often remained inside and sometimes even returned for an afternoon nap. However, they still displayed a fear of human contact.



A week or so ago, I began leaving catnip toys on the basement floor to occupy them during the long night. Our trail camera caught photos of them playing with the toys and, in the morning, the area rugs were often crumbled from their playtime antics. This week, I decided to try a wand with a colorful streamer to encourage more direct interaction. Clyde was somewhat hesitant to engage, but Bonnie immediately took to chasing and playing tug of war with the streamer. Clyde watched from a distance, then joined in as well.

I also tried a pet light, which is a small flashlight-like toy that projects an image on the floor. Both cats immediately chased the mouse and the paw around the basement. This engagement seems to have marked another step in building trust. Now they hop through the door each evening not just to eat...but to play. Often they play before they eat. And in the morning, they often return to the basement when my husband cleans out their liter box, wanting to play again. 

But...

Regardless of how engaged they are in our new interactions and how close they will scurry to capture the mouse light, they (especially Bonnie) still shy away from our hands and our touch. Sometimes we feel we are so close and yet so far from that relationship of total trust. But then we look into Bonnie's big green eyes and we realize how far she has come and believe, with patience, she will eventually accept our offer of protection...and safety...and love.   
      

 *******************

FOREVER IN HER EYES
Search For Love series, Book 9





The Search for Love romance series includes:



SEARCH FOR LOVE series website 



****************

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 97th novel will be released in 2017.
Karen and Paddy

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens.  And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 



©2017 Karen Rose Smith











Continue >>>

#Felines Exploring the Bathtub--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith




One day this week we had a scheduled home maintenance appointment which involved a repairman who would be in and out of the house during his visit. Since I always try to account for the whereabouts of all of my furry family, I knew the safest thing to do was to gather them all up and take them to a safe room away from the temptation offered by doors opening and closing. 

Paddy exploring behind
the curtains in the
guest bedroom.
So we went to the guest bedroom which is usually off-limits for them and settled in for a morning of exploring and adapting to new spaces. 









Interestingly enough, after an initial circumference scan of the room, Paddy, Halo and Zoie all migrated to the guest bathroom and seemed intrigued by the tub. So I snapped some photos of their frolics to share this week.  Enjoy!      
 
Halo asks Paddy if it is safe to go in there.

Halo declares it safe and Paddy
awaits Zoie's arrival--to share the
new space or to claim it as her own?

Zoie arrives and she and Halo confer about
whose space it is.

Obviously Zoie got the message and Paddy
and Halo plan their next move.

But as soon as Halo and Paddy vacate the
space, Zoie decides to make it hers!
As soon as the repairman left, everyone was quick to return to familiar territory and sniff out any unfamiliar scents that were left in his wake. Gradually everyone returned to their favorite afternoon napping spots and were soon dreaming of their adventures in the guest bathtub. I settled in my easy chair and pondered how cute all of the cats still are even out of kittenhood.  They made we want to explore new places too! 

 *****************

NOW AVAILABLE


Wendy Newcomb, director of the Kismet women's shelter Sunrise Tomorrow, is thrilled when the shelter receives a legacy.  She hires Caprice to decorate the mansion to serve women who need more than an overnight port in a storm. But in her drive against domestic violence, Wendy has made enemies and is murdered. Caprice finds herself in danger once more as she asks questions and even calls on St. Anthony for inspiration to solve this murder mystery.


SHADES OF WRATH on Barnes and Noble


****************

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 97th novel will be released in 2017.
Karen and Paddy

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens.  And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




©2017 Karen Rose Smith











Continue >>>

A #Feline Dream of Summer--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith




The weather in the northeast has been crazy! Yesterday near record high temperatures had us grabbing the spring jackets from the closet, dabbling in the garden and enjoying a walk. 

Bonnie and Clyde, our outside siblings, spent time on the deck outside my office soaking in the sunshine and tussling with each other. Then overnight everything changed. 
We awoke this morning to snow and wind. My husband had to shovel the patio and paths to the outside feeders before I opened the door to let Bonnie and Clyde choose if they wanted to venture outdoors...or stay in the warmth of the basement. Yesterday's reprieve was just a memory and today they had only dreams of lazing on the summer grass and basking in its lush cushion. 

Unlike the day before when the temperatures were abnormally warm overnight, last evening Bonnie and Clyde were waiting in the basement for their evening feeding and ready to settle in the basement for the night. It was like they had their own barometer and knew the weather was about to change. 

The big question this morning was whether or not to open the door and give them the option to come and go as they wished. So while my husband shoveled and assessed the outside conditions, I provided Bonnie and Clyde with catnip toys and just watched them play. They tugged at the toys and engaged with each other on the carpet, although all along I know Bonnie was chomping at the bit to make the decision herself where she wanted to spend the day. 

When my husband declared that it was safe to open the door, Bonnie was the first to the cat door.  At the opening , she stopped abruptly, realizing her outside world had been altered while she slept. Clyde eventually migrated to the door and it seemed that together they decided to venture out. But over the next couple of hours, whenever we checked the basement, Bonnie and Clyde were inside. At one point, Clyde was napping on a chair, no doubt dreaming of the warm weather that can only be a few weeks away...I hope! 
 


****************

FOREVER IN HER EYES
Search For Love series, Book 9





The Search for Love romance series includes:



SEARCH FOR LOVE series website 



****************

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 97th novel will be released in 2017.
Karen and Paddy

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens.  And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 



©2017 Karen Rose Smith

Continue >>>

#Felines Outside Looking In--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith



A typical photo of our furry family often involves one or two felines perched on a bench or condo, looking out the window observing the world beyond the confines of the house. Sometimes a leaf blowing across the deck, other times birds at the feeders, attract their attention. They are mesmerized by falling snowflakes as well as by unusual activity in a neighbor's yard. 


I have snapped photos of a face peeking through the hole in their condo, observing the antics of one of the other felines in the same room. I often see Clyde, one of our outside duo, sitting in the entrance to the igloo shelter, staring across the yard, perhaps watching his sister Bonnie or waiting for a squirrel or bird to attract his attention. 


But this week, I observed the opposite...cats outside looking in. Last fall my husband installed a cat door in the storm door that led into one section of our basement with hopes of acclimating Bonnie and Clyde to come inside during the cold and inclement weather of the upcoming winter months. They were already used to coming in when the storm door was propped open. They quickly adjusted to the smaller opening...as long as the flap was taped open. They easily jumped through for mealtimes and promptly followed the same path to leave. But, as soon as the flap was lowered, they refused to come through. We tried taping cloth strips over the opening, hoping to make the transition to using the plastic flap, but all of our attempts were futile. 

Not wanting to discourage them from using our lodging, we devised Plan B...leaving the flap open during the day and when they were inside for their evening feeding, promptly closing the basement door. They quickly adjusted to their inside accommodations, finding comfortable and warm spots to sleep through the night, even using the litter boxes we supplied. In the morning, I rise early to feed them and then open the door to give them the option of spending the daytime hours wherever they wish. Our camera captures them coming and going during the day and often napping indoors when the weather is wet or blustery. So while the cat door wasn't entirely successful, we have devised a workable plan to help them feel safe and protected while giving them the independence they still want.

I feel good when I capture photos of Bonnie and Clyde sitting outside the cat door, looking in. Knowing that they know where to come for safety and warmth is as comforting as watching their faces surveying their safe zone and checking for fresh food. Seeing them pop through the door at the sound of my voice reassures me that, even though they are not yet ready to be domesticated, they have integrated me into their world. Their occasional "present" on the basement floor is a testimonial of their trust and appreciation. 


I am grateful that Bonnie and Clyde took the initiative to look "outside in" to allow me to extend my hand for Bonnie's sniff of approval or Clyde's acceptance of a gentle back massage. Perhaps someday they will decide to change their view of the world and join our other felines who are "inside looking out."            



 *****************

NOW AVAILABLE



Wendy Newcomb, director of the Kismet women's shelter Sunrise Tomorrow, is thrilled when the shelter receives a legacy.  She hires Caprice to decorate the mansion to serve women who need more than an overnight port in a storm. But in her drive against domestic violence, Wendy has made enemies and is murdered. Caprice finds herself in danger once more as she asks questions and even calls on St. Anthony for inspiration to solve this murder mystery.


SHADES OF WRATH on Barnes and Noble


****************


USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 97th novel will be released in 2017.
Karen and Paddy

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens.  And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




©2017 Karen Rose Smith








Continue >>>