Posted by: christinelaennec | March 2, 2014

Update on Tilly

Some of my readers will be wondering, “What about Tilly?  How’s she doing?”  Very well, I’m happy to report.  She has thoroughly settled in to our new house.  It’s been interesting to see her develop new habits.  For one thing, she’s very much more talkative in Glasgow – just like the people here.  Must be something in the water!

One of her favourite places is on the upstairs landing, where her favourite scratching post, brush and toys are.  She’s begun meowing at us at certain times of day for a brushing.  And we’re happy to oblige.  Who can resist?

By her scratching post, holding on to her slicker brush and with her catnip toy.

By her scratching post, with her slicker brush and one of her catnip toys.

Some things don’t change; she still waits in the hallway and puts a claw out to hook my or the Dafter’s tights as we pass!  She still loves the laundry baskets.  Here there are two:

Tilly in the washing baskets

Because we use the ceiling pulley to dry our clothes (especially at this time of year), the laundry baskets are often in the dining room.  This is also where my Granny’s rocking chair stays – and Tilly has laid claim to it.  We all like to sit in the rocking chair, but if Tilly wants to sit there she makes her feelings known!  She either goes to sit on our usual chair at the table, or stands glaring at us.  We often indulge her by moving so she can sit there:

Tilly on my Granny's rocking chair

Happy Tilly on my Granny’s rocking chair

Not coincidentally, the radiator in the dining room is one of the warmest in the house.

Very often the laundry baskets and the rocking chair are right next to one another.  What does Tilly do?  Take turns sitting in one, then the other, of course.

Rocker? or basket?  Tilly takes them in turn.

Rocker? or basket? Tilly takes them in turn.

She is still fairly shy about looking out windows – unless I’m in the garden, in which case she keeps an eye on me, or unless I am away from the house, in which case she is invariably in the front window watching for me when I return.  She will look out the Dafter’s window if I’m in the room as well.  She’s both intrigued and frightened by birds.

We’re hoping to be able to let her out into the back garden this spring, now that it’s safely enclosed.  I’ll need to discuss this with the vet.  We’ll have to think carefully about a very aggressive Bengal cat from two doors down who believes that our back garden is part of his territory.  He happily jumps down into the garden from the top of our 6 foot fence. We’ve been shooing him away, but this generally involves him sauntering nonchalantly past us on his way out.  Tilly ignores him when she’s inside (he sits on top of the fence to stare in at her), but an encounter with him outside might be a very different story.

Tilly is (we think) 9 years old, and has been a house cat since she came to us 8 years ago.  She was found lost and starving in a very snowy and cold Aberdeen winter, and we don’t know what kind of life she had before that.  She seemed to be very familiar with house rules from the minute she came home from Mrs. Murray’s Cat and Dog Home – never jumped on the table, was hesitant about jumping on beds until we coaxed her, and so forth.  I wonder if she might have been attacked by seagulls when she was wandering in the snow, hence her fear of birds?

I think she would only want to come out into the garden if we (and possibly specifically me) were there as well, and initially she would have to be well-supervised.  Possibly on a lead?  She isn’t used to a collar.  And she might choose just to stay in the back porch with the door open, which would be fine.  But it would be nice to give her the opportunity of a bit more fresh air.

Does anyone have any suggestions on taking this step?

Happy March, everyone!



  1. Tilly is just gorgeous and I’m glad to hear she’s settled so well! Isn’t it funny how they have such distinct habits and personalities?

    We have four cats in our little family – two of which are free to roam outdoors (and keep the mice away) and two of which are Ragdolls and very much house cats. The latter two have been coaxed into the garden on occasion, but have always proven rather skittish and make for the house as soon as they get the chance.
    I reckon that’s okay, though – even some of us humans prefer the safety of home 😉

    (Just wanted to say thank you very much for such a kind comment on my blog the other day. It’s appreciated xo)

  2. Aw Tilly, the agony of decision between the rocker and the basket. She is wee treasure, I’m so glad you rescued her and gave her such a loving home.

  3. Open the door, sit on the step. She may have a few steps outside. Repeat. Then you take a few steps out. Then further. Then go in and leave door open.I hacve used harnesses but not a good Iea at her age.

  4. Tilly is such a pretty cat. So glad to hear she’s adjusted to her new home. I think I would try the above too, one step at a time, and see what she does. Being 9 years old, she’s probably happy being inside and not too interested in the outside world at this point. I would definitely keep an eye out for the Bengal, as he may want to pick a fight, especially if he thinks your garden is his territory. 🙂

  5. Have missed your last couple of posts, Christine. Thinking about you all.

    No cat advice about Tilly – we don’t have a cat – but watch out for your neighbour’s cat leaving its calling cards in your lovely new garden. I am so fed up with our garden being used as a bathroom by neighbours’ cats! We have had some success with a high frequency cat deterrent unit fixed outside, and also a hand-held device which makes intruding cats move smartly away when pointed at them. You might like to investigate the latter to begin to shift the interloper from your garden.

  6. Christine, your home sounds lovely and cosy. I am thrilled to bits that you have a ceiling pulley. When we lived in Scotland for a short while, the farm house we stayed at had a wonderful pulley in the kitchen close to Aga cooker, causing me to have a soft spot for both and would love some day to own a pulley and/or an Aga of my own. I am sorry to say that I have no cat advice at all but I wish you much success in allowing Tilly to have a bit of a wander in the garden.

  7. Our cats disappeared if they dashed out our door, which caused us great anxiety until they eventually returned, but I have a friend whose cat goes to her leash around 4 o’clock every afternoon and hangs out there until my friend remembers it is time to go for a walk 🙂 Tilly sounds like she might be more like my friend’s cat then mine. I’ll be interested to know what you decide to do. xx

  8. Tilly is just gorgeous. She might like to venture into the garden when you are there. Our cat likes to be in the garden if we are working out there.
    Are you sure she couldn’t climb over the wall or fence, though? Cats are climbers, in my experience. We sometimes wake up to find Mango the cat outside our bedroom window – at first floor level.

  9. She is so sweet. She seems so happy in her new home and loves to talk about it! It is difficult to know what to do about letting her outside. I’m sure she would be very happy if you were out with her. She doesn’t seem the type to roam or go exploring, but then again, she did try to get up the chimney a couple of times! She has her own personality. xo

  10. Such a pretty cat, and love reading about her personality. She might be “talking” more because of her comfort level or it might be her age. I read that someplace that older cats tend to verbalize more. I have been hearing from our Tigee lots lately.

  11. Thanks everyone for your ideas about letting Tilly out. Karen, I had actually forgotten about the chimney episodes! I’ll let you all know how things go.
    I forgot to add in this post that she’s becoming quite an accomplished purr-er these days too. (She didn’t purr for the first year and a half she was with us but I kept encouraging her with my attempts.)

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