Buddah is okay with sleeping on the big bed and stuff, but he loves being up high. And there are lots of high spots for him around here, like on top of the kitchen cupboards--the people don't keep anything up there just so he can be up there--and he likes to sit on the fake fireplace thingy in the other room.
He's on that thing a lot, and sometimes when a people walks by him they try to pet him, but he sometimes takes a swipe at them with claws out. If he's on the short tree by the front window and a people tries to pet him, same thing. Sometimes he lets them, but a lot of the time he doesn't.
A few weeks ago he was on the counter and the Woman picked him up to give him some cuddles and doods, he went apeshit crazy on her, bit her arm so hard that it drew blood (and she still has the marks) and he wailed at her. Even after she put him down, he was all flat eared and hissy.
He gets that way sometimes. He's also afraid of feet with new shoes on them, and has been known to just outright go after legs that are passing him in the hall. If he didn't use claws and teeth, the people wouldn't mind, but that whole bleeding thing gets to them.
For Christmas Santa brought us this new tree. It's taller than the one in the front room, but not as tall as the one in the office. It was supposed to replace the one in the front room, but Buddah seemed to like the spot where Santa put it, so it's stayed there. He hangs out on it a lot, so much that I've kind of given up the idea that it's ours; it's his. I only get on it to annoy him.
But the Woman noticed something. When Buddah is on top of it, he's pretty much at her eye level...and she can pet him without him getting all freaked out. If he's on the counter and she tries to touch him and he's not down for that, he can turn around and jump on it. She can even reach across the counter to give him some crunchy treats.
He's even been getting in her lap more. He's had this whole Commado Cuddle thing going on since he was a kitten, where he would run up, get held and petted for like 30 seconds, then he'd run off, but he's been plopping down on her (which makes using the laptop fun cause it seems like he always does it when she's using it) and getting skritches for a long time. Sometimes he even snoozes.
She figured out from watching My Cat From Hell last year that Buddah is a tree kitty. You know, some kitties are "bush" kitties, some are tree kitties. He's definitely a tree kitty. When she watched it last week she finally got it into her head that he feels safe when he's up high, and when he's at eye level and she tries to pet, he doesn't feel threatened.
He was a shelter kitty; during that whole time when he was supposed to learn how not to scratch and bite hard he probably wasn't with his mom-cat, and he was probably scrambling to get to the food bowl to get enough to eat (for a long, long time he looked over his shoulder when he was eating, like he was afraid I was going to take his food away...and I would have, so he eats on the counter while I eat on the floor...) and he might have missed some of the key socialization lessons.
So the tree Santa brought is definitely going to stay where it is, and pretty soon there will be more painting going on here, and when that's done stuff will be moved around, and part of the end result will be more high places for Buddah, and hopefully with better flow so he can get all the way around the front room while being up high.
No one expects him to stop being so bitey once in a while--heck, I bite, but I know how to not sink my teeth in, I do a I-could-if-I-wanted bite--but if more high places will make him happy, then they'll give him a few more high places.
I'm all for it if it means he'll leave me alone more. Plus, I wouldn't mind a few more high spots. Hopefully he'll share...