Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Exploring.


The holidays have been insane. Now that all the activity in the house is starting to slow back down to the norm, Hawk decided that he can start stretching his legs in new areas of the house.  Lately he has taken a shine to a cozy spot in between the furnace and his litter box.  It must be worth sleeping next to the litter box because he is there constantly.  But he surprised me today.  I came home to little Mister sound asleep in the chair that sits at my computer desk. We sat across from each other for about an hour until he fell asleep (and so did I).  He decided enough was enough when I reached for the remote to watch the news.  Apparently Hawk hates the news...

And don't worry- he's still rocking the pirate eye...
 

I hope everyone had a happy holiday and I promise to get better at keeping you all updated on Hawk's first year in his new home.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hawk(ward)

   
As mentioned in previous posts, Hawk's new-found love of following me from room to room often leads to awkward encounters.  Don't worry, he quickly assumes the 'safety position' within a few seconds of realizing I am there:


Friday, October 8, 2010

Come out and Play!

I've gotten in the habit of grabbing my camera when I head downstairs, especially after work.  Hawk loves his afternoons full of sunlight and naps.  
After I snapped a few not  interesting photos I filled up their food bowl (because if they can see the bottom then it is automatically grounds for lots of meowing and fake fainting spells).  Hawk has gotten in the habit of coming out and peeking, but this usually happens when I'm filling the food dish.
As you can see, he is NOT starving.  He just thinks he is sometimes (especially compared to Bandit. . .).  Unfortunately the minute I tried to get closer Hawk ran.  


FUN STORY: When Hawk runs, Bandit assumes that he's playing.  This only makes Hawk run faster and poor Bandit just doesn't get it.  Hawk runs to hide and Bandit assumes that he is hiding to ambush her.  Here's right before Bandit tackled Hawk:
I imagine that Hawk would be Inspector Jacques Clouseau and Bandit is Cato.  

 (At 3:21)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Anti-Early Morning Ritual Sit-in.

We're not sure how well Hawk hears yet.  Sometimes it seems like he hears everything and sometimes it appears that he just doesn't hear anything.  I have some theories about selective hearing (just like another black and white cat that shall remain nameless...), but in general it feels like we're doing a lot of sneaking up on little Hawk.  Maybe it's because he is starting to venture out more so we're having more encounters with him.  There have been numerous times where I have walked into the hallway or the bedroom and he's out and about, doing his own thing, completely oblivious to my presence.  Naturally this ends in a slow realization that someone is there watching him and a flash of black disappearing under the bed.


Whether his hearing is up to par or not, he's started to shadow me when I'm downstairs.  This is poor decision making on his part because if I walk into a room and he walks in behind me he is always startled when I turn around to exit the room.  However, he is tenacious and will follow, freak and repeat until I grow tired of scaring the hell out of him and retreat upstairs.  There's that old saying "curiosity killed the cat," but I'm not willing to test the health of his little kitty heart.

As much as I believe that his hearing is poor, I find that I seem to wake Hawk up every morning with the noise I make (I am far from graceful at 5am, trust me).

Fun Hawk Fact: He is NOT a morning cat. 

This doesn't surprise me since he and Bandit are up running the stairs, climbing the laundry rack, taking hits off the cat nip sock, and doing God knows what in general between the hours of 10pm and 4am.  So it seems to make sense that Hawk is irritated with noises being made when he's trying to sleep.  I wish I knew what it was like to be almost asleep and be bombarded with the noisiest of noises. . .  I wonder if he dreams of selling me to a carnival just like I did that one time he and Bandit were in the middle of a highly involved game of "chase me, chase me" and Bandit tricked him into jumping up onto the bed while I was in it, nearly asleep.  I felt his moment of realization of where he was when he dug his claws into my calves and catapulted off the bed using his new-found footing as grips.  Precious little creature. . .

Anyway, Hawk isn't a morning cat and doesn't appreciate being disturbed and shows me by coming out and hunkering down in the doorway to the bedroom.  This new daily occurrence looks something like this:
The tiniest of grumpy morning faces leering away from the bright light of the bathroom in a most annoyed fashion, Hawk sits patiently and watches me get ready for work so he can get back to sleep.  Really, he must be tired from being up all night.  I don't know how he couldn't be because I'M tired from him being up all night.   And even though I say good morning to him, I usually get this is response:
He does not seem to appreciate my getting up at 5am Monday through Friday.  These little silent kitten protests are not in vain, however.  Bandit (the brainless follower) is on board with Hawk's anti-early morning ritual sit in:


Four little sleepy eyes (three if you don't want to count Hawk's pirate eye) sleepily look at me as if to say "What in the HELL lady?! C'mon!" 


Unfortunately, my boss won't allow me to create a work schedule that revolves around the wishes of my cats (which I think is ridiculous!), so Hawk's going to have to get used to it. Sorry buddy cat!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quick photo update.

He's been doing well- him and Bandit are still thick as thieves.  He's getting used to the idea of having people around but instead of being afraid it seems like he is more annoyed (yanno, like a normal cat).  I'm almost positive if he could roll his eyes when someone walks into the room he would. 


 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hawkstar!




Every day I come home and walk down these stairs and find my little pirate cat looking back at me.  He has found his very favorite spot on the corner of the bed where he can see people come and go and still has the option to leave whenever he's uncomfortable.  You can tell it's his spot by the thick coating of hair... Like I said, I brush my bed every night before I crawl in. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010



A common sight


Peas in a Pudgy Pod



It's getting to the point where not only do we stumble into Hawk lounging at the window or on the bed multiple times a day, but him and Bandit have become thick as thieves. At night they play together, chasing, running, fetching toys, etc., and during the day they nap, and this is their favorite spot.

Generally, Hawk likes to sleep on the very far corner of the foot of the bed, nearest the door so that he can see when people come downstairs, but he definitely sleeps and we have tried hard not to startle him (whichs actually works about 15% of the time, poor sleepy mostly deaf cat).

It's yet another big step in the growth of our shadow cat. He's gone from hiding in the shadows to being Bandit's shadow.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The many faces of Hawk

It used to be that I would go downstairs and count the seconds I got to see Hawk, but now that he's discovered the bed- memory foam in particular- I am now counting the trips I take downstairs and back upstairs without Hawk running away. 

Hawk's face is magical. He has so many expressions! Like sometimes he's all "Really? I mean, really? Fine, I will give you Blue Steel once..."

And other times he's all "Have you ever wondered if there's more to life then being really, really, really ridiculously good looking?"



 

And most of the times he's all "WINK!"
 

But it usually ends up with Bandit getting all huffy about Hawk getting his photo taken:

Oh adorable Hawk and his (seemingly) one good eye. Bandit is still a pudgepants, though. Sorry Panda :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brave boy


Brave boy, originally uploaded by emu82.

So I'm watching The Road, by myself, trying not to cry and I see a flash of black. I turned around and Bandit was laying in front of the door (like a slug, per the norm), and then I realized it was Hawk.

Brave boy came up and checked things out, always staying near the stairs. He ended up plopping down and falling asleep :D

He did run away when I got up, but after Jer came home and we started the movie again, here came Hawkman.

So we got off one good picture and couldn't be more impressed with him and his brave steps forward.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cat naps

Sometimes I come home and run downstairs to get something and as I'm walking by our room, I see a cat on our bed.  Most times I think nothing of it because I just assume it's Bandit (since her and Hawk are almost identical), but on Friday I did a double-take.  Hawk was on our bed, on his back, sound asleep.  So naturally, I sneak back upstairs and grab my camera only to sneak back downstairs and realize that he's heard me.  I did get one shot before he reluctantly got up and crept back under the bed.  I need to just start grabbing my camera when I go downstairs.
 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Caught on Camera!

Remember that post about how Hawk could sense me peeking at him no matter what I did? Sometimes I catch him off guard:
video

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No fences

IMGP3405

Hawk has been coming out when we're at home more and more. Cautious and curious, peeking around corners and observing all that goes on in our little home. He reminds me of the farm pets I had as a kid. We had a great big yard but also dangerous roads, so we had to let our animals know just how far was ok, and when it was too far. So every pet went through boundary testing, learning where their invisible fence was (or not so invisible when it came to the horses, they had the electric fence), and just how they could go before getting stopped for their own safety. Once they learned that, they were free to run and play and frolic in their space, with the assurance that it was safe.

And our little shadowman is doing his own searching for a fence. Wanting to know just how far he can take this little world he's carving out. And the wonderful thing, the miraculous thing, is that so far, every time he has pushed out on his own terms to see if he hits that fence, he doesn't find it, and realizes that his world is bigger and his safety net is still there.

IMGP3417

I heard some commotion downstairs one evening when I was in the house by myself and I quietly crept down the stairs (I'm learning where the quietest parts of the stairway are for maximum sneakupability) with my camera and sat at the base of the stairs. In a few seconds, Hawk poked his head around the corner, watched me and promptly sat down on the ground and relaxed. So I did the same. I moved off the stairs to the basement hallway and sat against the wall snapping pictures of Hawk. He sat, not just comfortably but almost aloof like any other cat would. Soon Bandit wandered in and the three of us had some quiet bonding time as we watched each other, talked and listened. Bandit sat in one doorway, Hawk in the other and it was mesmerizing to watch Hawk as he observed Bandit, as if taking notes on how to be a pudgy playful kitten again.

Keep pushing, Hawk. There's no fences here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

(Way Too) Close Encounters

I’ve been bad about updating Hawk’s blog because he seems to have reached a plateau of comfort here.  He’s fallen into his routine of napping all day and exploring and doing normal cat things all night (like taking my loofa out of my shower and leaving it in the hall?).  His bravery is growing by the day, which is surprising since I was almost certain an innocent mistake on my part would surely set his progress back a few years. 

I came home from work and was calling for Bandit, who usually comes to greet me at the door.  When she didn’t come, I walked downstairs to see a kitty fast asleep on the window sill facing away from the door.  Without thinking much of it, I walked over and wrapped my arms around my precious kitten pie and gave a big hug and kiss.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t Bandit.  In an explosion of shock and fur and most definitely trauma, Hawk went flying forward (away from me, thankfully) and bounced off the wall and under the bed, taking a few picture frames with him.  Naturally, I screamed and whirled around to see Bandit peeking out of the closet like “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO HAWK!?”  

I immediately knelt down and lifted the bed skirt up to apologize to poor Hawk and was greeted with a very angry HISSSSS, which I certainly deserved.  In the midst of me explaining my honest mistake, he got up, turned a circle and went back to sleep.  Oops…

Other than that minor incident, we’ve crossed path on a fairly regular basis each morning when I’m getting up for work.  His curiosity of our daily activities has grown substantially recently.   He is usually out and about when I wake up to take a shower which ends in him running out into the hallway past me and me freezing so as not to scare him.  I also catch him peeking out into the hallway when I’m getting ready for work in the mornings and for bed in the evenings.  He hasn’t figured it out, but having a mirror that reflects into the bedroom is pretty nifty for spying on him peeking. 

Another interesting (and encouraging) thing I’ve noticed of him is that he rarely sleeps under the headboard anymore.  He’s moved out towards the end of the bed where he can see into the hallway.  Baby steps for him, but we’re very impressed with this seemingly small advance. 

He is still easily traceable due to the exorbitant amount of hair he sheds everywhere he goes.  There’s a tie between our bed and Abraham’s bed for where he likes to lounge when the house is quiet during the day. 

So far, he has yet to come upstairs when we are up and about, but Bandit is growing impatient with not having a playmate 24-7.  She has recently started coming upstairs and wandering around, calling to him.  Every once in awhile she will run back to the stairway and call downstairs to him, but the furthest he has come to climbing the stairs is sitting at the bottom and looking up.  She is working hard as an intermediary, and we thank her for her persistence, no matter how selfish her motives are.

In the meantime, we still get that 'wink' from him when we take his picture:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sometimes life is ruff


Sorry for the space in between posts. Bandit has been under the weather and it looks like we'll have to take her into the vet because I can't fix it. But she’s still truckin’ she’s fine. In fact, last night I heard Hawk “meep mew” to her and she jumped down from the window and then all I heard was nails catching on the carpet and Hawk FREAK OUT and run down the hall into the laundry room.  So she’s still got her wits about her to know when he asks her to come play it’s going to end in her getting tackled by him unless she acts first. And we all know how Hawk feels about forward women…

We agreed to dog sit the other weekend which was a trip.  I haven’t had a dog around in years and this wasn’t just any dog. This was a tiny creature created the sonic boom.  He puts the Road Runner to shame.  He is as adorable as a baby unicorn and was born from the waste produced when meth and caffeine are made: Butters.

And oh gosh do we love Butters. He’s a great little dog and he listens well and Abraham fell in love with him and his energy. Hawk on the other hand… Hawk probably knew Butters was in the house, but we kept the dog upstairs and let the cats keep downstairs where we sleep.  Butters is not a fan of solo sleeping apparently, so Jer offered to sleep upstairs on the couch to keep Butters from howling all night long. In a horribly timed decision, Hawk’s curiosity beat his fear into submission and he decided that it would be a good night to venture upstairs and  probably saw something along the lines of this:


Jer said he woke up to Butters flipping out, Hawk tearing down the stairs and a little sleepy eyed Abraham standing in the living room wondering what all the commotion was about.

Hawk didn’t go back upstairs after that. BUT BANDIT DID! Substitute Bandit for Hawk and subtract Abraham and add more frenzy to Butters and that’s the story of that encounter:


Other then the trauma of a dog, Hawk’s been busy enjoying the comforts of beds.  Granted we only have two beds in our house, there is a massive amount of Hawk-hair on both at any given moment.  In fact, there’s so much hair that I brush my bed each night before sleeping in it.  I should name the bed Whiskers.  Or maybe I should just try and brush Hawk… no, you’re right that’s a terrible idea. 

In time, Eve, in time. 

Aside from bed surfing he’s taken to napping and not caring who is in the room or speaking to him.  Jer experienced this the other day: sweet little nappy Hawky-boy who slowly peeked his eyes open to realize THERE’S A HUMAN RIGHT THERE!  And then calmly readjusts and goes back to not really caring.

Oh the indifference of cats :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

the adventures of the home life

Our little Shadow Man remains just that, but there have been some highlights in his days of adventure here at his new forever-home. 

I try to refresh the kids water and food daily, especially since Bandit and Hawk have drinking contests every night- they can drink an entire bowl of water in an evening! I was in the laundry room with the laundry tub running to fill their bowl and I felt Bandit brush against my legs.  I turned around to give her pets and there was Hawk in the hallway, out in the open looking into the room like "Hey, I wanna see!". Per the norm, once he saw me, he turned around and went back to his Hawkcave.  I'm always so surprised (and happy!) when he comes out during the day or when people are up and about. It's like he remembers being a "normal" cat- he remembers being able to travel freely and not have inhibitions, but the fear from his past consumes him and forces him back into hiding.  The good thing is that his memory of a better life is coming through stronger then those fears and he's starting to open up. 


I can see this happening when I see him come out at night.  I had gone to sleep and heard him slink out from under the bed. I half sat up in bed (so he wouldn't catch me!) and saw him walk down the hall and sit down in front of the laundry room door- half way between the laundry room and the stairs leading up.  He sat for a few moments just being out in the open and enjoying it, and then he heard Jer laughing from upstairs.  To my surprise he didn't run. Instead he looked towards the stairs and craned his neck around in that precocious kitty way.  Although he never moved his body, his ears and head told a story of wanting to go upstairs and see what was fun and what was happening. He must have sat there for a good 10 to 15 minutes looking and perking his ears- you could tell he was wanting to go up there, but again, his fears were holding him back.


All in all, Hawk has lead a long and very sad and horrible life.  But with that said, he's at least been given the opportunity to get to a place where he can have the ability and the choice to think about an option.  Hawk no longer has to accept the things that are happening to him, he now has the choice to choose what happens to him.  

And that is exactly the gift I wanted to give to him- the gift of choice.  And I believe in my heart of hearts, Hawk will choose to be very active in this new live he's been given. 



Saturday, May 8, 2010

The boldness of the Morning




Since we have moved into the new house, Bandit has taken to getting up on the bed and sleeping by our feet. At least, that's what she does when she's not running around and playing with Hawk in the middle of the night.

But this morning, I woke up late (because it's Saturday and I can) and looked up to see what time it was. On the bed, near my feet was not one but two black and white cats. As soon as he saw me, Hawk perked his ears and jumped back down to his Hawk-cave under the bed. I think that he was surprised and didn't realize I was still in bed. But maybe he did know I was there. Maybe he's just following Bandit's lead and is getting comfortable enough to chill out at our feet.

It's exciting to see him out and about, and relaxed. I think he is becoming more and more comfortable with his surrounding and with us, and that's a good thing.

-jer-

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Affections Returned and the Watchful Eye of Hawk

Sorry, no photos with this post, I just wanted to share an adorable little exchange that I saw last night between Bandit and Hawk. Bandit has been the one I have seen acting affectionately towards Hawk, but last night Bandit was under the weather. I thought it might have something to do with the fact that we switched brands of food, but the cellophane wrapper on the basement floor and the semi-eaten caramel roll with no caramel topping I found on the counter lead me to think otherwise. Ahh, she lives up to her name almost daily.

Last night she was lying in the middle of the hallway like a slug, possibly sleeping off a caramel roll hangover. I had just crawled into bed when I heard the pit-pat of Hawk coming out from underneath the bed and walk over to Bandit. I sat up to peek and noticed that she didn’t lift her head from the floor, but she did “pur-meow” at him. Hawk sniffed her and then leaned down and licked the top of her head. It seems to me that the affection goes both ways in our house now.

Naturally this moment was ruined when Hawk picked me up on his radar, whirled around and locked eyes on me. No matter how sneaky or quiet I think I’m being, he spots me EVERY TIME! And just like every other time he’s found me out, he runs towards the bed, stops at the half-way-there point and cranes his neck out to see if I’m still watching (which I always am because I’m too paralyzed with the awkwardness of being ‘caught’). Then he runs over to the side of the bed, stops right next to it and does the meerkat thing where he again cranes his neck up so high that his front feet come off the ground and he sits on his haunches.

I swear, he has radar like the Eye of Sauron. He can be in the next room and come running out to catch me trying to peek. How does he do that!? At any rate, his eye may be ever watchful, but his vision seems questionable. He gets pretty close to see what I’m doing.

Okay fine, you can have a picture:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Of course Hawk's tired!


Of course Hawk's tired!, originally uploaded by emu82.

I came home to a sleepy pair of kittens today. It's no wonder since they were up all night!

I have no proof of this other than what I saw with my own eyes and the incredible amount of noise I heard between midnight and 5am. Last night, around 2am I witnessed Bandit and Hawk PLAYING in the hallway. I didn’t think Hawk knew how to play and maybe he didn’t, but our little Bandit cat taught him the awesomeness of a sock without a mate.

Bandit has always lived up to her name as we have multiple socks that are missing mates thanks to her. In fact we current have 4 or 5 in her cat toy cave that she acquired at the last place we lived that were moved with us. Come to think of it, I should give those back to their owners... Anyhow, she drug one of these stolen treasures out last night and I caught her and Hawk batting it around down the hallway- up and down and back and forth. They were jumping around like little kangaroos! Bandit even tricked Hawk into jumping on the bed (TWICE), but both times he realized that was not something he was ready for and promptly jumped down.

I really do need to start keeping my camera next to my bed so I can snap photos (or if I'm lucky, a video) of them in their midnight prowls, but most of the time it’s just black blurs I see zooming down the hallway and up the stairs.

Hawk apparently wasn’t done playing with the sock around the time I got up around 5am because I was in the bathroom putting on my makeup and in the mirror I see this tiny Pink Panther looking head peeking around the door, eying the sock that was laying in the hall. Naturally I was so shocked that he was out and about while I was around that turned around to look at him and that's when we both panicked. Hawk still is not a fan of being spoken directly to- most times we think it's Bandit and say hello only to realize it's Hawk by the astonishing speed in which he can get from the window to the underside of the bed. My brave little Hawk was probably thinking “Oh shoot I didn’t know she was up," and me, in my panic was thinking “WHY DID YOU TURN AROUND!? YOU'RE STANDING IN FRONT OF A MIRROR! LOOK AWAY! LOOK AWAY!!” So, in a more awkward moment, we sat for a good 30 seconds staring at each other until I whispered “Sorry Hawk, but good morning” and he backed out of the doorway and back under the bed.

There are a few times in my life where I wish I could record and play back for people what my mind's eye saw, and this was one of the times. I haven't been that awkward since high school.

I was telling Jer this morning about the rules of the Hawk/Bandit chase-me chase-me game and it appears that forward women frighten and confuse him. Hawk seems to be old fashioned in the idea of courtship and how “the game” should go. He really seems to enjoy chasing Bandit around, but when she turns the tables and goes to chase him he turns tail and hisses and runs back under the bed. Poor Hawk, Bandit is just too progressive for him. So Jer and I figured out that we have a reverse Pepe Le Pew situation in our house: we have a little girl cat who is very smitten with a little boy cat who is seemingly terrified of her. Unfortunately Hawk is going to have to get over it because Bandit doesn’t seem like she is going to learn how to play hard to get.

So even with Bandit’s scary girl tactics, she’s taught little Hawk to play which is pretty amazing to me since there was that one time that Jer rolled a ball at Hawk and you would’ve thought Jer was throwing daggers at him. I guess Bandit has found her niche in teaching Hawk what he should have learned a long time ago. Fingers crossed her crazy doesn’t wear off on him.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tender Moment



I've been so impressed with Hawk lately- he's adjusted to the move very well. Even though he hides, he is still out and about at night, but now he has a partner in crime. Last night sounded like the tiniest of NASCAR races- they were definitely running around- maybe playing? I don’t know, I didn’t think Hawk knew how to play, but maybe Bandit is teaching that old boy some new tricks.

Playing isn’t the only thing little Bandit has taught Hawk though.  It seems she’s taught him a bit of love and affection, too.  I knew that Hawk and Bandit were pals, but I guess I didn't realize how good of friends they've become in the short time they've been together.  Today, while I was peeking under the bed saying 'hi' to Hawk, Bandit came in and peeked under the bed too. Hawk didn't pay her any mind and then Bandit surprised me and scooted under the bed, crawled over to Hawk and started cleaning his ears and licking the top of his head. (Yes- the same ears that he doesn't like touched.)

Because he’s still a bit of a mystery to me, I assumed that he was just tolerating her nurturing, but Hawk closed his eyes, his necked stretched out, his chin lowered to the floor and Bandit went to work. After a few good broad licks across the top of the head, Bandit turned around and sat down next to him like, “So there!”, and Hawk’s one eye opened like, “Aw man…”.

I was really nervous letting these two loose in the house together because Hawk came from such a bad place and Bandit came from such a Bad Cat, I didn’t know what to expect, but to see this today was just amazing.  And sweet and reassuring and more then I could have hoped for.  I think Bandit is acting like a mediator between us humans and Hawk. I like to think that she is telling him all the cool things about being a cat in our house and all the things he can get away with and showing him how to have fun. I think she helps him come out of his shell a little each night whether it’s sitting in the window together or doing laps around the house or just accepting love and kindness from another being, I think she is teaching him that even though his heart was hurt in the past, it will never be again. Not in this place. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

sleepy Hawkman


sleepy Hawkman, originally uploaded by emu82.

Hawk has adjusted to the move well. To date there have been NO cat fights- Bandit is more smitten with Hawk then she is interested in fighting with him.

They are actually buddy-buddy. Jer said that they have been coming upstairs together after I go to bed. Hawk is still a scaredy-cat and prefers to hide and not be seen, but he's still cruising around at night. In fact, last night he and Bandit were in our bedroom window together.

I can't tell them apart, especially after dark. A lot of the time the conversation will start with "Oh hi Bandit" and then immediately turn into"Oh my gosh, sorry Hawk" as he's running away because I scared him by talking to him. :) Ah, my little twins.

You can see the interview I did with Best Friends about Hawk here. Much love and appreciation to all of those people who are supporting Hawk's journey.

poor Hawk...


poor Hawk..., originally uploaded by emu82.

He had a long day and it shows.

We moved Saturday and he "willingly" got into his kennel to get him home. And by "willingly" I mean not so much. It took an hour to kennel him and Jer ended up with a pretty solid bite mark in the palm of his hand. All in all, we got Hawk kenneled and he moved to his new home quietly.

Here's the one photo I have of him where he DOESN'T hate life:)

An Open Letter to Hawk


An Open Letter to Hawk, originally uploaded by emu82.

Hi Hawk. I see you back there under the bed... It's me, that lady that is constantly peeking at you and talking to you.

We have some things to talk about. First of all, I apologize for taking your fort out from underneath the bed- I didn't think you would miss the empty boxes and luggage, but apparently I was wrong. Secondly, kudos to figuring out where the center of the bed is. You've made it extremely difficult, if not impossible to pet you. You maneuver well under there.

Unfortunately, this will be your last night in this room, under that bed. Tomorrow we're moving... yes you're coming with us (and so is that crazy girl doppelganger of yours).

At this moment, I have little to no idea how to kennel you short of a bass net and a hazmat suit, but we're hoping it doesn't get to that point. However, with your new-found talent of centering yourself under the bed I think it will come to taking the bed apart.

Fortunately for you, I have one trick up my sleeve: Ham flavored baby food.

This stuff makes me gag, but I've watched our office dog, Bella devour cans of it, so maybe I'm just a picky eater. And even though you've shown me little to no proof that you're actually a food motivated feline, you have eaten the treats I've left for you in the window sill. Yeah, that was me. You're welcome.

So, my little Hawk, here's the deal: you're going to play fair and nice and I'm going to play fair and nice. You'll eat the baby food and I'll get to kennel you and take you and your "mini-me" to the new house where you can find all the hiding spots you want. There will still be treats in the window sills, but your job is to get them before Pudge does.

Deal? Excellent.

Love,
That Lady Who Peeks and Talks to You

spots of blood lead to PROOF!


spots of blood lead to PROOF!, originally uploaded by emu82.

But here it is! Proof that I did, in fact, touch the cat that I have been talking about for the past 3 months!

I TOUCHED HAWK!

Here's the story: I went into my bathroom and there were two perfect spots of blood on my bathroom floor. Now I'm not a fan of seeing blood anyway, but when I see it on my bathroom floor, I get worried, especially when I know it's from Hawk.

So we start rearranging furniture, like ya do , and we get the Hawkstar under the bed. Jer grabs the light to see if we can see where this blood is coming from- not the mouth, not the... opposite end- we just couldn't see where the blood came from. The only thing we could figure is the day after he came home, we had to vacuum and moved the bed and Hawk went into the bathroom. Jer walked into the doorway to get the dirty clothes and Hawk must've felt cornered and used Jer's shoulder as a launching pad and tried to get on top of my medicine cabinet. Didn't end so well for Jer's poor shoulder.

ANYWAY- in the process of jumping off of Jer's shoulder, Hawk cut his chin and bled a bit. The only thing we can come up with is that Hawk was scratching himself today and took that scab off and that's where to blood came from....

Which leads me to the main point of the story- I GOT TO PET HAWK! !!

Yeah, yeah I know- not the first time, but this is the first photo proof, so yay Jer for being quick with the camera! And yay Hawkman for looking like a normal, annoyed, uninterested cat! Good job guy! That's what we're shooting for (kind of).

So the big deal about this is that, while cleaning and packing, I removed Hawk's "fort" (originally Bandit's fort which consisted of 4-6 toilet paper tubes, a pair of shoes, 2 empty Amazon.com boxes, a folder of music, and some sort of shoe box full of socks... ask Jer...)

So with all of that gone, Hawk had two options: #1 and #2 ... and guess what he did- HE STAYED!

He stayed and was oh so patient with his eyes that read "I'm an annoyed cat, why must you torment me??"- our little Hawk stayed, I couldn't be more proud.

I ran my hands around his mouth (photo above) and found nothing, but did not feel the scab that was there the night before.

SO- mystery solved! Hawk's fine, he just needs a claw trim... which will more than likely lead to more blood shed....

/sigh

The point is, here's my proof- my hands on the Hawkman- THE UNTOUCHABLE CAT- and how brave is he?

Answer: Very. Very, very brave.

Told you we wouldn't let ya down, kiddo.

little tuft of proof


little tuft of proof, originally uploaded by emu82.

Our little Hawkman is still camera shy, especially with the commotion of packing stuff up for the move.

But even with everything going on, we're still making an effort to push him a little every day. This usually involves moving furniture around and getting him out of his hiding spots to his other hiding spot which is under the futon. He sits under there and peeks when people move around and is always within arms reach. Arms reach= therapy (for us and him) because this is where he learns that hands are kind and soft and won't hurt him. We awkwardly lay on the floor and let him see us and then, with his permission, we can pet.

Petting Hawk is kind of like playing catch with a porcupine- you're very aware of where your hands are. Note that he has never bit or hissed, but man those eyes will tell you when you're too close to his ears or where his "no pet zones" are.

With that said, I found his sweet spot. There's a place between his whiskers and ears that if I touch, his chin comes up as if to say "not there, lower." And if I scratch under his chin, his neck comes out, and then his head tilts to the side and then those big eyes shut and his chin lowers to the floor.... and the photo above is the only proof I have that our little Hawk is growing. :)

Handsome Boy


Handsome Boy, originally uploaded by emu82.

I just love that shock of white that goes up the side of his nose. I imagine that when he and Bandit are loose in the house together that will be one way that we tell them apart. I would say size, but little Bandito is still packing on the pounds, so she might catch up to him soon! :)

Hawk's doing well. He's hanging out in his Hawkcave and peeking (sometimes I see a little white chin and nose from under the bedskirt. He's still up all night exploring, making noise, talking to everything and rearranging furniture... just being brave. And we're proud of his braveness.

The Hawk Cave


The Hawk Cave, originally uploaded by emu82.

I don't know how many nicknames this guy has already (Hudson Hawk, Hawkey Socks, Hawkenstein, Hawkalot, Hawksey, Hawkman, Hawkmed, Hawkeye, SparHawk ... you get the picture)

Anyway, he's livin's baby! He found his cave and hangs out there most of the day, but the minute the lights go out he's in it to win it. He's up on the futon looking in the mirror; he's all over my computer desk (paw prints are his mark) and computer; he's in the window, talking to the moon; he's ON THE BED (briefly); he's in the bathroom; he's playing "catch my paw" with Bandit under the door- he's cruising!

It's funny though- when I hear him and wake up, I always say "goodnight Hawk" and he stops, lowers, and slinks back under the bed and sits there for 5 minutes and then he's right back in the game.

And the best part of all of this? He looks relaxed. He's not freaked out with us popping our heads under the bed to say hey. He just blinks and looks at you (the way cats do) like "oh, I was expecting something ... else..."

The bathroom *was* clean when I left at 6am...

Unfortunately there is litter across the room, in the tub (?!), and on the counter (??!?).

I can see Hawk and Bandit have a lot in common...

Hawk's First Day Home


Hawk's First Day Home, originally uploaded by emu82.
Those of you following this story know that Hawk is a very special cat. He's been through some rough times, but today, after leaving Vegas and landing in Houston at noon, then leaving Houston at 6p and landing in Minneapolis at 10p- at 1030pm today, Hawk found his way to his forever home:)

We got him in the house and let him sit for 5 minutes or so, and little Bandit came bouncing into the room and then stopped dead and mustered a measly 'hiss' until I grabbed her and we sat in front of Hawk and let them see each other. Unfortunately, for the time being, Bandit is banned from the room to give Hawk the space he needs to get some rest and get a feel for the house. As I type this, Bandit is on the other side of the closed door scratching and possibly pulling the carpet up in order to start a tunnel into the room... God speed kitten.

We opened the door to the kennel and after a few minutes Hawk put one foot in front of the other (because he's brave!) and slinked out of his kennel and around the back and sat down under the coffee table and watched us for a good 5 minutes until he slinked back behind the kennel, under the futon and under the bed. And he's there at this moment. Video.

Lynn Dolan (who is the adoption coordinator at Best Friends) and I have been emailing back and forth for over a month working out the details to make this day happen. Lynn had told me that the staff at Best Friends had asked if I would keep them updating on how Hawk is doing. Jer and I had talked about starting him a blog or maybe (if he let us) his own Flickr set to document him (and hopefully how he progresses). Jer had said that Hawk's Flickr set, at least in the beginning, would consist of a lot of photos of our furniture with an arrow pointing, labeled "we think he's under here!"

Hawk


Hawk, originally uploaded by emu82.
(Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society)

Here he is. This is Hawk. Lynn Dolan, the adoption coordinator at Best Friends was kind enough to send me a photo of him.

I've been talking with Lynn for almost a week now about Hawk and where he came from, and after a lot of conversation and some tears (sorry Mike!), I filled out the application and Hawk should be flying to us mid-March.

This was a really difficult decision and at the same time was an absolute no brainer. There is something I see in Hawk every time I look at him that captivates me- his face is kind, but it's hidden behind the trauma of his past. Maybe he'll come around, maybe not, but I see something in Hawk that tells me that I have to give this cat a chance.

Here's my email to Lynn after Jer and I sat down and hashed out the pros and cons:

Hi Lynn.

I did speak with Mike yesterday and he gave me a lot of information on Hawk and ‘where he’s at’. I was a little confused yesterday from the conversation with you and then the conversation with Mike as I initially thought that you felt that Hawk wouldn’t be a good fit or be ready to come live with us, but then Mike was saying that it was ultimately my decision.

That raises the question of what you and Mike’s wishes are? You two know Hawk better than I do obviously and I want to follow what you think is best for him. In talking with Jeremy last night I said that I was in a tough position because I felt like I was either being selfish or being a quitter. I feel like Hawk is doing okay where he is now and it would be selfish for me to want to take him out of that environment, but at the same time, if I walked away or went with another cat, I would feel like a quitter. I want to do what’s best for Hawk because he deserves it.

You had asked me on the phone yesterday what my intentions were with a cat as damaged as him. I’m fully aware that we may adopt him and he may end up being a shadow in our home for the rest of his days. However, like you and Mike said, he may just come to us and hide for weeks and then become curious and come out to see what we’re all about. It’s a crap shoot because you just can never tell. I’m fine with having a cat that isn’t in your face or always present. Before our cat Carl died, we had just gotten Bandit and since she was a kitten she was always in the foreground, always in your face, and always around. Since Carl was older, she was able to stay in the background and relax and sleep. I liken that situation to what I may be like with Hawk- nothing is going to change Bandit because she’s just a young, energetic kitten who thinks she’s a dog and likes to play fetch with my son. But even though she would always be seen, it’s still just having that extra presence in the home that is comforting to me.

Jeremy asked me last night what I would feel if Hawk never came around to us. My thinking is if that happened, then at least we gave him to best chance at being comfortable and learning trust. And if he ever did come around to us, then that would be wonderful. I’m not looking to adopt Hawk because I feel like I can save him or turn him into an outgoing and social lap cat- that’s unrealistic at this point because his heart is so hurt. I am looking to adopt Hawk because even though his home with you is good and comfortable, I want to give him a chance on a home life with a loving family.

After Jeremy and I talked last night I didn’t feel anymore dissuaded from wanting to bring Hawk into our home. If we adopted Hawk and the only thing he ever let us do is put our hearts around him and grew to learn that we’re there to protect him, then that alone is worth the world. There is a draw to Hawk that I have yet to put my finger on- there is something about him that I feel a connection to. I can’t explain it, it’s just something I feel.

I guess where we’re at is, if Mike thinks that Hawk could handle living in a home, and if you think Hawk is ready to take this journey, then we are willing to take him in with open arms.

And as if that wasn't hard enough for me to write without crying, here is Lynn's response:

Hi Eve,

So after reading your email and crying and having others read it as well and watch them tear up, we are honored to adopt the magnificent Hawk to you and your home.

Please fill out the application and email it back and we will take it step by step from there. I will order an adoption exam for hawk and request a home visit and work on finding him a way to his forever home.

I am going to copy you email as it was full of such compassion and love that if every adopter could care like you do this world would be a better place.

Thank you for your interest in adopting and especially thank you from Hawk.

Lynn

I got that at work and shut my door and cried my eyes out. Then I emailed everyone and told them that we got Hawk:)

This will be a ride and I know that Best Friends and Lynn will be there for me every step of the way. And I thank them dearly for that AND the opportunity to give Hawk the chance that no one ever thought he deserved.

We won't let you down, kiddo. Cross my heart.