Thursday, March 08, 2007

Watching The World Wake

The boys were out for an early morning run.
The sun was coming up and the dew vaporizing.

The brothers explored.

T looks to the west

Uschi surveys his domain.

Tanji's tail was swishing from side to side
as he watched the world wake around him.

Something of interest catches his eyes.

It was Uschi looking back and

then approaching, which

got Tanj running.

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Anonymous said...

Seeing the boys outside makes me wonder... how did you become comfortable with them off the leash? Was it a gradual thing, or did you bring them outside the first day and felt perfectly fine letting them head out?

I'm so paranoid about going out with Dax (granted I live in suburbia, not your awesome landscapes!! So he can't go off leash due to cars and such)... I'd be so afraid they'd run away and I'd never find them again! (But I am a natural worrier :) )

Do they/did they always stay relatively close? Do they wander too far but come if called?

Your environment is so different from mine, it's facinating to see the boys out and about...

Anonymous said...

We also envy your braveness to 'let the boys run'. None of our cats go outside (Theo-Bengal, Dharma-Siamese, Max-17 year old Siamese). We have eagles, wolves, and other preditors and we live in east-Seattle with the inherent traffic stream.

The pictures are stunning and I keep thinking I should learn how to use my cameras better. But it's well down on a list that starts with work, band, family,... :o)

Thanks for sharing.

Tanj,Uschi&Vladi said...

The boys being off their leashes was a gradual process. We are very paranoid about their safety. They have always worn their harnesses at all times when outside and started with their bright orange leashes attached also. For the first few outings they stayed on their leashes and never strayed from our sides. So, we took their leashes off, they stayed with us. When outside the boys continually check in with us, and we give them lots of praise when they come up and rub against us. We also, try to keep them in sight at all times. We are constantly talking to them also.

We were motivated by some friends of ours that have a cat that walks with them around their suburban neighborhood. They also take the cat with them in the car on extended trips. One day, before we adopted the boys, they brought Bree to visit and we walked around the property. Bree stayed right with us out in the field. So when we got the boys, we wanted to be able to enjoy these adventures also.

We always carry their leashes with us and I typically start my walks with them with the leashes on.

Outside time is also limited to <1hr/day so they don't get too comfortable with it. When they are a bit stressed they want to be with us. On longer outings we can see it in their eyes and they start to ramp up their distance. It is time to put on their leashes. This instantly focuses them and again keeps them closer. Typically, this sparks a new chase game of catching the brothers leash.

Occasionally, Tanji gets overly interested in something and will get out of sight, typically right next to me but hiding under a tree. When I can’t see him I start to stress, so I pick-up Uschi, which makes him cry EVERY time. “DaaAAaad,… I’m being good,… I’m USCHI !! ”,… This brings Tanji running and meowing. No one messes with his Uschi.

When the boys get scared they come straight to us, or run directly back to the house where they anxiously sit by the door waiting to be let back in. This year the neighbors have sheep in their grass fields. Tanji is scared of the vicious sheep, when he sees them, he flattens down and then slinks at high speed directly back to the house, even from ~300’ away. Yesterday, Lesley was out with the boys and the neighbor was headed out for a run. Their driveway is about 800’ long through the middle of their field. Tanji saw her and headed right to Lesley and flattened down.

As you noted, a huge luxury we have is our 10 acre relatively open fenced yard. The boys could get right through the current ~4” grid “livestock” fence if they wanted but it kind of defines the property line. Our neighbors to the W and S are just big (20+ acre) grass fields now so that is a nice buffer. To the E and N are roads, we always leash them when near there, b/c it scares us way too much.

We have similar predators locally. For this reason, when we are out there we keep a close eye on things going on around us. We watch for large predatory birds (eagles and hawks) especially.

This is also why the boys do not get to be out in their kennel during the night. The mesh is only a tough polyethylene. A future kennel will be made of chain-link fencing with concrete footings.

I'm glad you enjoy the pictures of the boys outside, we thought our opportunity was kind of unique, and something we never found when researching Bengals in the beginning. So, we think, having these posts is kind of a service for all those Bengal owners out there that do not have the luxury of our large safe yard, for their Bengals to play in. It is such a treat to see them open up their strides and go, amazing!! Tanjiro has such a beautiful stride on him, when he is in full flight I always get a huge proud smile on my face. I have to get some videos of this to post!