Scout has been with us a year. She’s now fourteen months old and doing great. Her head doesn’t even fit in my arms anymore.
This just doesn’t seem that long ago:
Last night I put all the cat stuff back where it belongs, showed Gabe where the litterbox really is and let him roam the night. About 3 am, I woke to a heaviness on my chest – it was Gabe, all snuggled down.
Gabe has taken to just being wherever Emma is. If she snarls or hisses, he stays all Zen, then curls up and snuggles down. It seems to be working.
This morning he tried the same thing with Zander. Zander remains unconvinced.
I’ve let him roam the house and do his thing, but at night I put him back in his room because I would like a good night’s sleep without any cat kurfuffles.
The dogs are another story…
After brainstorming with a few dozen people online last night, I’ve settled on Gabe (Gabriel Miles Evan) as his name. While I was traveling in Boston last week, I spent some of the rainy afternoons looking at my local shelters online. My thought was, I had four cats for thirteen years and just three for the last five and I was used to multiples. Three feels comfortable. So with Jake gone, it seemed the right thing to do would be to give another shelter cat a home.
Here he is protesting the baby gate. He wants to meet everyone
My goal was to bring home either the oldest cat in the shelter or the one who had been there the longest, or both. Continue reading
Ten years ago this month, I became the godmother of 5 one day old kittens and a very young mom, Missy. She was only 7 months old. She has lived with me since, as has Jake (he’s the one in the basket looking far and away). How Jake came to stay will become evident as you read further. They came to me from a house that, let’s just say, had too many animals and no one was ever spayed or neutered. Harley already lived with me and came from the same house. Emma was queen of my house, then, even though she wasn’t even 9 mos old. I also had three Great Danes, so five kittens and their momma made for a house full. But we coped and it was an experience I would never forget (or hopefully repeat).
At the time, I wrote a letter to a friend, telling him of my adventures. I’ve copied it below. When you get to the part about the little kitten who continually hid in my desk drawer (still not sure how he kept getting in there) know that little boy was Jake, and after all the other kittens were adopted out, it became obvious he wanted to stay. He ignored anyone who came looking to adopt and curled up next to me whenever he could.
From my letter (May 2004):
A soft heart and large home made me the likeliest candidate to take care of a young cat and her litter of 5 kittens, when her owner couldn’t. I won’t go into my spiel about spaying and neutering your pets, an unexpected litter of 5 kittens when shelters are overflowing, should say it all. Unexpected maybe, unwanted never, a daily, joyful surprise, always.
Since I’ve never raised kittens from birth (actually a day old when they came to my house with their not yet year old mom, Missy) I wasn’t sure what I’d gotten myself into. My beloved BJ, who died a year ago, came to live with me when she was only five weeks old and motherless, and my calico ball of spunk, Emma, arrived at 8 weeks last summer. So I suspected I’d have my hands full. I truly had no idea how full.
I thought I’d make list of what I learned while raising kittens.
1. Mother knows best. The first few days, when I was unsure of the care and feeding of 4-ounce fur balls, first time mom, Missy, made it clear she had everything under control: Would you please keep your big germ-y paws off my kittens…and could keep those big, slobbering beasts somewhere else, I hear Peoria is nice…I just got them to sleep, DON’T wake them up!
2. Great Danes make great babysitters. Missy and I both began to understand that regardless of their size, if the Danes were around, the kittens were safe and protected, wet with slobber, but safe.
3. Being the runt doesn’t necessarily mean you should panic. On their third day in the world, I weighed the kittens and was shocked to see one of them was at least ½ ounce less than the rest. I quickly rushed out to get kitten milk and proceeded to try and supplement Missy’s milk. Mostly I just wore it. By their fifth day it was obvious that, like his brothers and sisters, he was gaining an ounce a day and was in no immediate danger…except maybe from me drowning him. He’s turned out to be a charmer…small, but charming. And he always gets the girl.
4. Herding cats is an apropos description. Two weeks old and suddenly they were mobile, Continue reading