Since I first wrote about clicker training in June, one month after my first equine workshop with Alexandra Kurland and Cindy Bennett Martin, the boys and I have been brushing up on our clicker routine every day. Cindy visited yesterday and was so kind as to take this video to show you.
Cindy explains it: “Who says you can’t train cats? Wonderful job teaching Barney to high five (party trick), spin (party trick + helpful for crate training), and to self-load in his carrier. No frantic, frustrating attempts to stuff the cat in the crate. He even waits to be invited out when the door is opened.”
I think it was Cindy herself who suggested building the spinning behavior outside the crate. You can see how well it worked. Barney went from going straight in the crate and presenting his tail to the outside world, to the polished and elegant nose-front behavior you see in the video. (The occasional background banging was caused by photo-bomber Bugs batting at the screen door, demanding to be let out onto the Catio. Yes the front door was open. It was 60º F. In December.)
Barney is happy to accept your kudos.
Bugs can also do the crate-trick thing. He’s just too much of a dude to brag about it.
The book is by Maeve Binchy. It’s A Few of the Girls, a collection of stories full of the feet-on-the-ground wisdom and good cheer I have come to expect from Maeve, who, alas, has since passed over. I was so happy to find a story in the voice of a cat named Audrey. Maeve had a cat named Audrey. Here’s a picture, Maeve with Audrey or maybe somebody else. Of course Maeve loved cats:
Here’s where I got this pic.
In the waning days of 2016, filled with dread for the coming year(s), I hope all who need refuge find it. Maeve and I will be joining the boys in their crates.