Image

Cats (Not the Musical)

Hello everyone! Apologies for my absence from Blogging Land. I have all the usual excuses – laziness, too busy, no time, life got in the way etc – but I also have a REALLY GOOD EXCUSE too… I got kitties! Yay me! I had been procrastinating about it and kept finding reasons why I shouldn’t get furbabies right now, why I needed more time, why I needed to organise myself better, why I should wait… But, eventually, it became apparent that there would never be the RIGHT TIME and I was just putting it off due to anxiety and fear of making a mistake.

So, one day, I went along to the Cat Haven, with my Mum in tow, to have a look – just a look – at the cats and kittens available. Why did I think I might be able to go in and not leave with a furry friend that same day? Duh! There were so many lovely kitties needing a home – all ages, colours, shapes and sizes. I did have in mind that I wanted perhaps a ginger kitten and a black and white one, but what were my chances of finding a pair like that, that were the right age too? I definitely wanted two – so they would have company when I’m out – and had originally wanted them to be boys, but that had changed over the preceding days. I didn’t care what sex they were in the end. I just wanted a little furry friend to love.

My Mum actually spotted them first. A bright and bouncy 6 month old tabby kitten, leaping about, trying to get attention – smooching on the glass of his cubicle and generally being adorable. The sign on his door said “My name is Ryan – how can you resist my chubby little face?” And, indeed, we could not.

Hiding away in the back of his cubicle, was his little sister, Oakie. She was obviously terrified and just wanted to make everything go away. When I reached in to stroke her, she cowered but did not hiss or run away. I felt so sorry for her. What a frightening world for her. The only comfort she had was her big brother who, bless him, tried to protect her by putting his arm around her. They had to be homed together as a bonded pair. We were sold.

So, now two months later, I have a pair of gorgeous, crazy, entertaining and affectionate kittens. Introducing, Atticus and Harper! 🙂

Atticus (AKA “The Toad”)

Harper Louise (AKA “Poppy”)

Atticus is a big boofy boy. He is a bit of a bully to his delicate and timid sister. In the first few weeks, I was quite concerned about his behaviour because he just would not leave her alone – she was getting beaten up constantly. Play-fighting is absolutely normal, of course, but Harper is so much smaller and, especially in the early days, she was in poor condition and not feeling well, and couldn’t defend herself. She took a long time to get over her desexing operation, and spent most of her days curled up on my dining room chair, looking miserable. Her appetite was good, however, and she seemed to trust me so I took heart that she would eventually come out of her shell.

I have to supervise meal times, otherwise Atticus will eat all of his own food and then Harper’s as well. She eats about a third of what he consumes (or should I say inhales) and tends to dither about. I can’t leave the food out for her to graze on – it will be gone in two seconds flat if Atticus is anywhere near it. I swear I got jipped and actually adopted a dog – he eats like a dog, plays like a dog, carries things around like a dog. He even chews on my shoes! But, despite his naughtiness and never-ending energy, he is adorable. The sweetest, most loving little guy. He enjoys a cuddle (on his terms) and just likes to be wherever I am. He ruled the roost from day one.

Harper is a tiny little lady. She is about half her brother’s size and is delicate and slight. She has a permanently worried expression on her face but is a happy girl most of the time. Initially, she had a very rough, almost crinkly, coat, and her hair was falling out in clumps. But, as she settled and recovered from her surgery and early experiences, her coat improved and is now quite soft and smooth – a pale, pinky-silver tabby. Still very timid, she will hide from everyone except for me. I am hoping this will change, but it may just be how she is – there is no way of knowing what her previous experiences with humans has been. She too is very loving and enjoys being stroked and talked to. She will roll on her back and let you rub her tummy and she has a special little voice just for me that warms my heart. She and her brother talk constantly – chirrupping (as I call it) and calling for one another when it’s playtime. They also groom one another quite violently, which generally leads to fisticuffs but, as long as Harper is not getting hurt, I leave them to it. She initiates quite a lot of the fights now and gives as good as she gets. I do have to separate them from time time, though, when Atticus forgets himself. When I first got them, they were showing signs of perhaps behaving a bit incestuously, and I am pretty sure Harper may have been pregnant. It took a couple of weeks for things to settle down in that way. Hormones get in the way of everything!

Atticus is very handsome. I think he knows it too. His coat is like silk – thick and shiny and so, so soft. He is much darker than Harper, and I think he is going to be a big boy, if his enormous feet are anything to go by. He is growing at a rate of knots and I have to keep an eye on his food intake, because I think he could easily be a bit of a fatty 🙂

I have had to have an unwanted trip to the vet with Harper. Poor girl got her ear torn by her boofhead brother, and so we had to go through the trauma of her needing medication on the wound twice a day. It healed quickly, thankfully, and didn’t need the full course of drops. She hated me doing anything to her and it made her take a few steps back in terms of her social development and feeling secure, so I was glad to be able to leave her be. She soon forgave me and didn’t hold a grudge.

Atticus likes to suck on his blankies. This is normally a sign of kittens being taken away from their mothers too soon. He will suck and knead for ages, any time of day. I have special blankies for this – he only likes the soft “minky”ones. Often, he will be having a suckle session while Harper gives him a good tongue-bath. I think it comforts them both and I’m always happy when they’re they not bashing each other up.

They have the run of my house, except for my bedrooms (gotta have a couple of rooms free from hair, y’know!?) but are not allowed outside. I am planning on reinforcing my outside patio and enclosing it, so they can also have that room to play and explore. I have a two-story house so they get lots of exercise running up and down the stairs and they like to sunbathe by the upstairs windows, where they can also spy on the whole neighbourhood.

I love them so much. I don’t know why it took me so long to make the decision to get cats. I have missed having a pet, and cats are the best option for me, given I work full time. They are pretty self-sufficient and, provided I give them lots of exercise and play times to prevent boredom, they are pretty well-behaved. I have covered all my couches to prevent little claws shredding them, and also have a variety of scratching posts and mats. They have a selection of toys and I make sure we play at least every afternoon until they are ready for a rest. This keeps them happy and stimulated, and less likely to get up to mischief. Before I brought them home, I removed all plants from the house that might be toxic and moved any remaining ones to higher spots that the cats can’t access. They have their own room – my laundry – and they go to bed every night in there. No fuss – I just call them and they happily trot in and settle in for the night. They have toys and an enormous cat tower in there, as well as their litter trays and food/water bowls. They also have blankets and little cat igloos. So they’re pretty well sorted. I have no room for anything, but they are fine 🙂

So, expect many a kitty-related post from me in the near future. They have pretty much taken over my life (and bank balance – when did cat food and kitty litter get so expensive!?). They make me laugh so much and it is so nice to have someone to come home to. They are ratbags sometimes, but full of love and affection too. Watching Harper slowly blossom has been so wonderful, and Atticus puts up with so much harrassment from me – it is so nice to have a cat that will let you cuddle and kiss them (albeit begrudgingly some days 🙂 ).

Thanks for dropping by. Happy New Year to you all. May it contain as many blessings as you can handle xxx

Advertisements