Sampo instruction manual
- Cautious. Ignore her and she’ll come to within an arms length of you – stroking distance
- Companiable. She likes to be in the same room as everyone else, out of reach, where she can see and hear but not be ‘hassled’. She’s companionable in a cautious way.
- Picking her up. Not easy. She doesn’t like it. With me she’ll tolerate it for a few minutes. I’ll pick her up, stroke her then put her down before she starts to struggle. Best to pick her up when she’s dozing in a favourite place before she’s fully awake to run away.
- Toys. Her favourites are small balls, she’ll watch string and ribbons but rarely really goes to the kill
- Night singing. In the evening, sometimes at night. She will wander empty rooms ‘calling’ in a deep howling sound. As if she’s calling her kittens to her. I normally let her call a few times then call back. She reacts by running to me in an excited way then we have an intensive stroking session as if she’s pleased and relieved to have found me.
- Other cats. She is fascinated by them, likes to watch them. Is terrified when there is no ‘glass’ between her and them. One neighbours cat gave her nightmares and made her jumpy for days. She hasn’t learnt that her sheer size makes her scary. She doesn’t chase them off, but she runs after them when they’ve runaway from me!
- Tail wagging. She uses her tail to express her emotions. Very cute, almost like a dog! She chases her tail when she’s bored or frustrated
- Chatting. When I come home after a trip she will ‘chat’, meow, for 10 to 30mins depending on how long I’ve been away. She also chats when she wants me to go to bed or something is happening (another cat in the garden). She’s used to this being a ‘conversation’ she meows, I imitate her… …feels good to me, I think she likes it too
- Food. She appears to have a poor sense of smell, she doesn’t react to catnip, cheese, fish or fresh meets. I’ve tried her on all sorts of cat ‘treats’ she doesn’t seem to react to any of them. Prefers dried food. She’s used to being fed twice a day (8am, 7pm) on dry food. She prefers her water to be placed on her normal house roaming route rather than by her food. In my house this turns out to be on the landing or in the hallway. She does drink out of the toilet if the lid is left up. She likes to eat spiders, flies and butterflies. Spiders are fun.
- Regularity. She’s fairly regular within an hour or so of eating. She likes to be fed around 6am but can be ignored
- Sight. Laser lights? She doesn’t appear to see them, don’t bother
- Sound. She is more sensitive to sounds than the average cat. Talk softly to her and she’ll warm to you
- Sheds. Loves to be brushed. Needs to be brushed. Moults more than the average cat. The sound of running your hand over the brush will normally bring her running towards you.
- Sleep. She likes me to go to bed around 10pm. She goes to my bedroom and starts calling me. If I ignore her she comes downstairs and starts walking on and around me. She’s used to sleeping on the bed with me at night
- 6 beds. I mainly use these to reduce the amount of cleaning in the places she likes to sleep
- Green chenille throw. Once it was nice, then she got her claws into it. When I put one of her beds on it she prefers to sleep next to her bed on the throw
- Scratching post. She likes to run to this, and around it. Its as much about being a toy as a scratching post
- Jute hall rug. Her clear enjoyment of lying on this has made it hers
- Clockwork feeder. Good for weekend trips away
- Continuous food dispenser. For 3 night trips
- 2 carry cases. One is the case she flew into Britain in. I find it too big for standard vets trips because she’s so heavy. The wicker basket works well to take her to the vet for her annual check-up
- Micro chips. She has 2 microchips in her neck, a USA and a European standard chip. They were used to record her rabies status, and the USA one is associated with a long since unused website that has my Seattle address registered as owner. Only a USA vet can change this. I’ve let her rabies vaccinations lapse.
- Balls. For fun, I’ll bring her current collection with her
- Brush. Only the one at the moment. Probably good to have a few. Always brush her outside because of the sheer volume of fluff generated
- Nail clippers. She actually bites her nails, keeping them short herself. This is a good way of her cleaning her teeth. I check them every now and then by stroking her when she’s next to me then quickly whipping out the clippers and doing a claw at a time. For some reason she seems to be fairly tolerant of this as if she knows it makes her life more comfortable