Over the next several days, I continued to visit her with cat treats, in a bag I would crush for sound. Eventually, the crinkle of the bag and my voice brought her running. She was definitely a food hustler, a helpful trait for training purposes, but also enjoyed the attention and a little petting now and again.
I continued to feed her twice a day, always in the crate, which kept her comfortable with confinement (her next round of shots was due shortly) and allowed me to close the crate door and open the big garage door for an hour or so. She was not only acclimating to her new shelter from inclement weather (our garage), she was also getting use to the sights and sounds of an even bigger outside world, our yard.
During week 4, we installed the cat door while Skittles was taking a break in the crate (door closed). We have raccoons in the area, so I initially looked into an automatic cat door triggered by a imbedded microchip. Our door, however, leading outside was metal, which meant the cat door might not function properly.
I settled on a basic door that could be locked four different ways (my magician Snickers can unlock it though, go figure), and I would take the food bowls up after dinner. As I mentioned earlier, both cats are on a dry-food-only diet. Smelly wet food that could attract other animals was not an option. The cat door installation was a piece of cake, perhaps a 20-minute job. Training was planned for week 6.
Skittles was just about ready to explore the yard, but I was getting nervous. Had she bonded enough with me and her new home? Would she run away? She and I had invested a lot of time and energy into this project. I needed it to work. My yard needed relief from destructive critters.
Welcome to my journal. For over 20 years I've created original landscape plans to help homeowners increase property value and really enjoy their yards. I approach every project as an unique opportunity to develop a work of living art, one that will require minimal care and age beautifully with time. In this journal, I will share some of my field experiences and tricks of the trade with you. Feel free to email questions. Thanks for visiting.