We’ve decided that Olivia is mourning the loss of Sophie’s presence in our house. The signs seem to indicate that Olivia misses Sophie and we agree that she seems depressed at times. So we’ve increased our time with her in play and general attention. We’re offering more enrichment to keep her mind and body active, and we’re distracting her with activities when she seems to be bored or wants to hide and sleep too much.
We might lift the blinds and open a window where she can sit safely and watch birds or people walking past. She gets real excited when a big truck rumbles past the house or a cat ambles through the yard.
We put treats among her toys to give her a challenge with a reward. We have brought out toys she hasn’t seen in a while, and we’re creating new games and new ways to play with some of those toys. We also lay her cat tree on the side occasionally, to give her something different to think about and explore. Is it working? It seems to be. It’s wonderful to watch her express so much joy when she gets involved in a game with us or just independent play.
I’m also taking more time with her—talking to her (she loves to talk back), petting her, massaging her, giving her chin and cheek and neck scratches. And she gets catnip treats, which she enjoys.
I believe our efforts are helping Olivia and this is an enjoyable practice for us, as well.