Thursday, March 27, 2014

Up and Over Part 2: Who Said Cats Can't Fly?

If you have read anything about Siberian Forest cats you will know that they are considered very trainable as well as great athletes. Often, they can jump great heights with hardly any effort. Apparently they are so easily trained that they are often used as circus cats, performing tricks.
Mr. K and I knew all of this when we settled on the Siberian. Sure, their athleticism was very cool as well as their trainability, but we mostly picked the breed because of its low allergen qualities in conjunction with a beautiful semi-long haired coat.  Most other low allergen cats don't have any fur and we really wanted fur. Also, most other low allergen cats require weekly bathing. This is not the case with the Siberian. So, the Siberian it was. As for our newest family member's jumping ability, there were instances where we thought it was impressive, but it wasn't until a few days ago that we found a new appreciation for just how well Rufio can jump.
I've been perusing different cat show schedules to see if there are any we could potentially enter Rufio in. I told Mr. K about kitty agility and we both had a good chuckle.
"What kind of cat would do that?" Mr. K asked. I shrugged. In the days since that conversation I think I know what kind of cat would do that.
As I've mentioned before, we have a baby gate blocking the living room from the rest of the house. It's to keep the dogs contained, especially when people come to the door. Nala has figured out how to jump over it quite easily now and so there's no containing her any longer. Thankfully, the other dogs haven't figured out, or just physically can't jump over the gate, but I think someone else has been watching. When we first moved in Rufio was small enough to squeeze between the rungs of the gate. Soon a little squeeze became a bit of a struggle and it eventually got to the point where he was just too big. He had to rely on us to get him in and out of the living room if the gate was closed.
If he wanted in he would meow until someone went and opened the door or lifted him over. He would do the same if he wanted out. He's a smart cat and figured out that making noise is the best way to alert us to what he wants. A few mornings ago his need for a human elevator ended. I'm not sure what prompted the change, but I was shocked when Rufio came sailing over the gate and landed in the kitchen.
I was in the kitchen getting the dogs some of the home made, dehydrated chicken treats I had made. Rufio likes them too and since the only ingredient is chicken, he usually gets one too. Apparently the dehydrated chicken was quite motivating because one minute he was in the living room and the next he was sitting on my foot. The gate is almost waist high on me. That's high for a cat to leap clean over.
At first, Rufio thought that he could only jump the gate from inside the living room and I had to keep letting him in, but within a day and a half he had figured out that he could leap both ways. He's even gotten to the point where he jumps on to the very thin top of the gate, balances there and then drops on to the other side. He's like a tight rope walker.
Show off.
The only problem now is that we had counted on that baby gate keeping him and his potential wife separated when not supervised. I think we're going to have to get a taller gate; perhaps a door?
If that's not a cat who can do kitty agility, I'm not sure what is. He's food motivated and athletic enough. He's already demonstrated that he's got some ups; further confirming that, to us, the Siberian Forest cat is the coolest cat.

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