Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We're Sending a Little One Out in the World for Christmas

Tori volunteers for a spay and neuter center in town, and about six weeks ago she brought home Jane, a kitten we were going to foster. Everyone thought, "Oho! You're in for it now John. You've got a cat."

No, no I don't. This is better.

Jane Austen
Tori named her Jane Austen, although you know about cat names. No matter what we think a cat's name is, we're wrong. She was about 8 ounces of fluff and orange dryer lint. She'd been found on a path in a swamp, so she was kind of scruffy, but a cute little thing.

Over the next three weeks we fed her and fattened her up, took her in for her shots and neutering, played with her, medicated her eye infection, shared the computer with her (she loved to jump up on the keyboard and "help" me write,) cleared up her ear mites, and took her back so that someone could adopt her.

That same day Tori came home with another kitten, Lucy. Hard to describe her – not quite black fur, because she has this sort of peachy/orange undercoat, and a peach streak that runs down the right side of her nose which gives it an odd effect. I'd have named her Schnoz, or Durante, if anyone had asked me, which they didn't.

We were told she needed some discipline, she was unruly, attacked and bit and was unsociable. Goodie. She had been found as a kitten on a boat, and was not at all happy with the change in accommodations.

When she came in, she was naturally skittish, and a little bitey, as kittens will be. But within a few hours she was out and exploring.

She turns out to be the sweetest kitten I've ever seen. I'm not a cat-fan, so I may not be the best judge, but she's pretty sweet. Except when she's doing the manic-kitten-running-around-the-house routine, which she does for about half an hour in the morning and again in the afternoon, all she wants is for you to hold her while she purrs. If you sit on the couch or recliner, she'll end up on your lap – well no, not your lap. She starts there, then works her way up until she has her head wedged under your jaw – and just purrs for the next hour or so.

So last week Jane got adopted, but the family doesn't want to pick her up until Christmas Eve. The spay center needs the space, and she's awfully cute so people kept asking if they could adopt her. The center asked Tori is she could come back here.

I took Lucy down and swapped her out for Jane. Lucy was not happy, growling as I put her in her cage – which was clean and full of food and kitty litter. I brought Jane home and she acted as if she'd never left.

The next day the center called and said Lucy was having trouble, she flat out hated everything about being there, hissed and howled and wouldn't let anyone touch her. So she came back here.

At first she and Jane hated each other. There was much howling and growling and stalking and hiding, staking out territory. That lasted about three hours. Now they get along fine, chase each other playfully, share the various toys and food bowls. Their favorite thing to do is wait until Tori sits on the recliner, then both jump into her lap and spend the next hour sleeping on her. They've done it to me too, but Tori's their favorite.

But now it's Christmas Eve. Time for Jane to go to her new home. It's a family with two little girls who will love her, and name her Mittens or Muffin or Whiskers or something, and have tea parties with her and all that stuff. She'll be a happy cat.

Lucy is more problematic. We've put her up on the spay center's Facebook page, because she just can't abide the center. Hopefully we'll be able to get her adopted that way. All she needs is a place where she's comfortable and she'll be the sweetest cat you'd ever want. So we live in hope.

We like the idea of fostering kittens for a few weeks, helping them get acclimated and find a home. That way we get all the fun of a kitten without having the long-term commitment of a "cat" and all that entails.

We'll see how it goes.

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