euphoriafish: Avar photo I took in Japan of the Great Buddha statue in Kamakura. (Default)
[personal profile] euphoriafish
For the past few months, our neighborhood has been invaded by two kittens. One tabby-n-white and one grey soft tabby, both female, would sit out on my car every day and go into our across the street neighbors' garage at night. As the weather got colder and colder, it wasn't enough to be on the car anymore (they wanted inside it...when I was going somewhere) and it wasn't enough to say hello in the driveway (they wanted to wind round my legs and crutches all the way to the front door which they would enter as I was trying to manage my bag or Mom brought groceries in).

So we were enjoying them as sometimes cats but thinking they belong to someone we would always kick them out after they had come in and eaten some of our cats' food. They were an adorable nuisance and I called them the Wyrd sisters like I'm not a cat whisperer at all and they're just magically attracted to our perfect garden with a frog pond in the back yard. I also named them Winner Winner Kitten Dinner and The Mousing Most because it amused me and I didn't want to get too attached to Not My Cat. But it kept getting colder and aside from that there was a tom cat singing to them outside. They weren't old enough to get pregnant but it was only a matter of time.

Then it got really really cold and finally Kentucky's typical mud winter of discontent gave way to actual snow and near zero temperatures. My mother couldn't stand seeing little kittens wandering around in snow up to their shoulders, so she collected them and brought them inside. This is the sort of madness my family subscribes to regularly-- we feed raccoons in the spring and then stop when they get big and ugly until next year, we feed opossums, we have three bird feeders, two hummingbird feeders, a suet block and sometimes a squirrel feeder. Mom gardens and dug her own pond in the back yard and planted bamboo around it. We routinely attract and care for local wildlife and suburban critters.

If these kittens belonged to anyone, it certainly didn't look like anyone was taking care of them, and even though they have fur coats, their toes and noses are exposed to the cold and they could lose their sense of smell which would endanger their lives, we thought.

Winner Winner Kitten Dinner has the annoying habit of sucking on my hand any time she gets the chance. She was probably taken from her mother too soon, and she has an anxious, hyper personality anyway. She also comes across as super smart and clingy like Shadow, my molly cat [citation needed, as Wikipedia tells me molly means spayed female but needs citation also though it just sounds right!] who looks like she could be her mom. She is braver than Shadow though, and I'm afraid she had a run in with that tom cat already because she growls and attacks both Odin and Kishou, our gibs. Shadow, unfortunately, is not friendly and has been frightened by the kittens and hides upstairs until they invade her room and she has to chase them out again.

The Mousing Most is a sweet little cat with bunny furwho is not as adventurous as her sister. She doesn't attack our cats but is aloof around the gibs and avoids Shadow entirely while Winner Winner Kitten Dinner is curious about Shadow and has growl-offs with her under my bed when she follows me up there late at night.

All this cuteness aside, were we doing something wrong? They seemed well fed so surely they belonged to someone. Our across the street neighbors let them in every night, so we were worried we had stolen their daughters' kitties and they might be worried. We're shy though, and I had a project deadline, and there's a lot of snow and ice on the ground so we let them out in the day time when they wanted to but also let them back in at sundown before it got too cold. Eventually it got too cold in the daytime too, and they mostly just wanted to eat or sleep in a chair during the day and wrestle or knock stuff over at night.

Worse were the stories we were making up in our heads about the way people treat animals in this community. It has seemed to my parents over the years that people on farms think of cats as rats and give them free run of a barn but don't treat them as pets like we do. We don't expect them to cater to them with clingy attachment like we do and feed them canned food twice a day with dry kibble in between for snacking. But it breaks our hearts when they're not vaccinated for rabies at minimum and worse when they're not spayed or neutered and have kittens that are subsequently dumped on the highway. If they ARE dumped on the highway near our neighborhood they always find our yard because our yard is cat heaven with all the birds and frogs they can eat and some suburban shelter from the coyotes out in the farm fields and neighbor dogs across the highway. What kind of people lived in our neighborhood? Did they kick cats or hit them with brooms or just never ever let them in the house or kick them out as soon as they grew and had kittens?

Finally, Mom went over there and spoke with our across the street neighbors who are not monsters at all and in fact have three chihuahua dogs and an elderly tabby gib upstairs. We found out they had been watching these kittens for another neighbor down the street who didn't want them, and our across the street neighbors couldn't take them because of all their dogs and their tabby didn't like the kittens either.

So hooray! The kittens are ours, much to our own cats' chagrin. There haven't been any huge fights though. Lots of growling, and the little grey one swats and hisses at Odin and Kishou. The worst fight was caused by the grey kitten swatting Odin, who didn't retaliate against the baby but went straight upstairs to take his frustration out on Shadow. My poor little old kitten cat lost two or three tufts of fur in that fight and seemed a bit sore the next day. And she's chased the babies out of her room a few times. I'm hoping they will reconcile eventually and Shadow will take naps with a bitty kitty that looks plausible as her own daughter, but they're not related so that scenario is rather improbable. Kishou mostly avoids them and they mostly avoid him.

Since they are going to stay here, they get kinder names and I get to be as attached to them as they've been to me. Winner Winner Kitten Dinner is now called Gina, and Chi is named for the title character of Chi's Sweet Home for reasons that are obvious if you've ever seen that anime. They like wrestling each other, tossing fur mice around, and checking in with me periodically with a nap, an obnoxious suckle off my knuckles from Gina, or wrestling my hand from Chi.

The cuteness is palpable as so much bunny fluff.

Gina and Chi


euphoriafish: Avar photo I took in Japan of the Great Buddha statue in Kamakura. (Default)

November 2015


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