When we last left Georgie, he had gone to live with my parents just after Thanksgiving.
The first month or so was rough on both parties. The change of scenery didn’t go over well with George and he let them know it. He wanted to be petted while he ate (that was my fault… oops.) and at night he would howl until one of my parents woke up and went to reassure him. They started brushing him when his fur was short to get him used to it, but he wasn’t a fan and would bite them sometimes.
I was worried that we had made a mistake and that it wasn’t going to work out, because I was getting reports from my parents that Georgie was basically a giant pain in the ass.
After a week or two of refusing to pet him while he ate, Georgie adjusted to the fact that he just wasn’t going to get pets while eating anymore, but the biggest problem was the midnight howling. I was confused about the howling because he had never done that when he was staying with us, but my parents said it was happening every night. At some point during the night he would howl and howl until someone went and found him, and only then would he calm down for the rest of the night. It was super weird.
They took him to the vet (he had to have a checkup anyway to see whether his organs were still functioning properly) and the vet suggested that maybe his eyesight could have been affected by being so severely dehydrated, and maybe he couldn’t see in the dark. This would explain why he wouldn’t howl at our house. He had lived in a bathroom so either the lights were on, or there was a little night light in the bathroom that kept it dimly illuminated even when the lights were turned off. So they put up night lights around their house, and immediately, he stopped howling. So it turned out that the little dude was just getting lost in the middle of the night when he went upstairs, and then he couldn’t figure out how to get back down again – he was probably afraid he’d fall down the stairs.
The grooming was still an issue, however. He really didn’t like it when people messed around with his fur – the vain little thing. In all seriousness, he was probably traumatized from when it was matted and painful and then shaved off by the vet. When anyone tried to mess with his fur, he would bite. Hard. Considering how much attention was going to need to be paid to his grooming, this was a bad sign.
My mom made an appointment with a local groomer who gave them suggestions for how to discipline him by scruffing him like a mommy cat would do to her kittens. This gave them hope that his behavior problems wouldn’t be a deal breaker.
After four months of scruffing, grooming, and adjustments, his fur had fully grown back. It turns out, little Georgie is quite a beauty! The groomer and my parents continued to work on discipline with him and trying to calm him down when he had to have his grooming appointments. He also no longer bit when just being brushed at home. Georgie was now officially a member of my parent’s cat clan.
A year an a half later, Georgie now has a standing appointment with the groomer (he leads a rough life) who has helped my parents figure out the best way to deal with his issues of not wanting anyone to mess with his fur. He still has issues with his paws being touched, but they’re working through it.
He gets his tummy shaved for the summer because otherwise, he gets too hot and is kind of miserable. He’s not a big fan of the shaving, but – as you can see – he likes the result.
All in all, Georgie lucked out hard core by camping out in our driveway. He is as pampered and spoiled as any kitty can be, and after what he endured, he sure deserves it!
Reports also indicate that our innocent little Georgie is leading their other cat, Typper, into a life of crime. My mom walked into the dining room the other day to find them both up on the table, which according to her “Typper never did before George showed up.” Maybe he picked up a little something from my cats after all.