Riker and Mara: The First 24 Hours

Both went into hiding instantly. Riker claimed the area under a recliner, while Mara bolted for a spot behind books on a shelf at ground level.

We checked in on both a few hours after moving in, and Riker decided to make a break for the bookshelf as well, then both cats moved into the corner where the shelves meet, somewhat exposed. We got out a can of wet food and Riker did take some off a spoon. Mara wasn’t interested, and her body language was screaming “scared”.

I set up a webcam connected to my workstation in the room, and fired up a program to stream the video, and send screenshots when motion was detected to e-mail. Just before we left, I was able to coax Riker out with a laser pointer. However, it appeared he was more interested in returning to the recliner. We left the cats alone and closed the door. Mara eventually joined Riker under the recliner a few minutes later, evidenced by the webcam stream.

At first I thought I had the motion detection configured wrong. We didn’t get any notifications all night. I went to work Friday and had the video stream on a monitor all day. No sign of either cat. All quiet.

On the way home around 4:30, I got a notification. Movement. Riker decided to crawl out, and Mara joined him a couple minutes later. Both checked out the food and water, the litter box, and did some investigating of the surroundings. This lasted for about half an hour, until I got home. They both heard me come in the front door and immediately returned to the recliner to hide.

Two new family members

Vinni, our cat of nineteen years, had to be put down last month. She stopped eating suddenly, and a trip to the vet confirmed our worst thoughts: ¬†she had some abnormal growths in her abdomen. Holly said she had been preparing for the day, but it obviously wasn’t easy on either of us. Vinni was a pretty wonderful cat, although she’d slowed down the last year or two, and the last few months were pretty much sleep and eat.

Whether or not new felines were to be introduced into our family was not a question of if but when. Holly did some searching and located a pair of cats that were available for adoption from a “spay and stay” organization. These groups take in wild or feral cats, get them fixed, and see if they’re interested in being domesticated. Ours were caught at the critical time where they could be socialized. Last Sunday we visited the Petco in Vernon Hills, where the Grayslake-based group had an adoption event, and we got to meet Riker and Minuet in person. Minuet spent most of the time in the cage, sometimes trying to sleep, where Riker was out the cage and wanted to run. The decision to bring them into our family was pretty much sealed at that point.

Flash forward to Thursday, and the foster mom brought Riker and Minuet to their new home. We put them up in our “computer room”, which is a second bedroom that has bookshelves and a workstation on two walls of the room. Litter box in the corner, a scratch-bed, basket bed, dry food and water bowls, and some toys were placed in the room. Both cats disappeared instantly, Riker hiding under a recliner in the room, while Mara (name change!) took up residence behind books on a floor-level shelf.