So, the new girl. Here’s her story (here’s the story, of a lovely lady…):
On December 16th (Thursday), I was scooping litter boxes when Fred came through the door. He’d walked out onto the side porch, and as he did, a small shape ran down the steps and toward the front of the house.
“I think that’s a kitten!” he thought to himself. “Or maybe a small possum.” Then he followed the small shape to the porch at the front of the house. By the time he made it to the front of the house, the small shape – definitely a kitten – had settled in the heated cat house on the front porch. When she saw him come closer, she darted out of the house, paused at the other end of the porch, meowed at him, and then ran under the huge boxwood on that side of the house.
He came inside to get a flashlight and tell me about her, and I put on a jacket and followed him out. She was still under the boxwood, and we circled around the bush until we could get a good look at her. She appeared to be a little bigger than Marcia Brady, and we called and talked to her, but she was supremely disinterested in what we had to say. We couldn’t reach her, because she was so far under the bush.
Fred went off to find a trap, and I stayed and kept an eye on her. We discussed where to put the trap and what to bait it with (mackerel, of course). Finally, he set it on the front porch, put a big plate of mackerel inside, and we went to Blockbuster to rent some movies.
By the time we got home, she was inside the trap.
It’s my own personal rule that cats do not come inside the house until they’ve been tested, so Fred set up a heat lamp in the blue coop (the first coop he built, which used to be our chicken coop until he built the big one in the back forty), and we put food, water, and a litter box out there for her. She was one scared little girl, and kept going into the nest boxes to hide. The real trouble came when we wanted to put Advantage on her (I didn’t see any fleas, but that’s another rule of mine, and so far we seem to be flea-free in the house), and she was so wild we couldn’t get hold of her.
Friday morning, we got her in a carrier, put her in the garage, and dismantled the nesting boxes. We moved everything out of there so that when we were done, there was nowhere for her to hide. She seemed less frantic than the night before and allowed Fred to pet her a few times, but she didn’t really like it. When we went into the coop and sat down, she’d run over to the corner and glare at us. Fred went out there a lot and spent a lot more time with her than I did because he has a love for the intense, crazy-eyed girl cats (examples: Kara. Maxi. Stinkerbelle.) I wanted to get her up to the vet for testing, but Fred preferred that instead of traumatizing her, we wait a few days and I could take her on Monday.
By Saturday evening, she was letting Fred pet her.
By Sunday evening, she was letting him hold her for brief periods of time. I had Fred take the scale out to the coop and weigh her. She weighed 2 pounds, 11 ounces, which was only a few ounces more than Marcia. We guessed that she was probably 10 weeks old, or thereabouts.
Monday I took her to the vet and dropped her off for testing. The shelter manager happened to stop by the vet’s, and took a look at her. She called me.
“She’s six months old,” she said. She suggested I take a look at the Bradys’ teeth and then look at the new kitten’s teeth for comparison purposes.
When I brought her home from the vet’s office, we installed her in the downstairs bathroom. She stayed in there exclusively for several days, and then Fred started moving her to the guest bedroom – so she’d have room to run around – during the day, and then put her back in the bathroom at night. Last week, after getting the okay from the shelter manager, we introduced her to the Bradys.
It’s so hard to believe, given her size, that she’s more than twice as old as they are. She’s bigger than they are, but not by much. She doesn’t hesitate to wield the Paw o’ Doom if they get too close, and Cindy is a little afraid of her. The more time she spends around them, the more comfortable they all are, though, so I’m hoping that they’ll end up as friends.
I named her Alice Nelson because, well, we already had a Brady Bunch theme going on – she’s certainly not the motherly type, and I couldn’t think of any other Brady names (though I did suggest Kitty Karryall – Cindy’s doll – to Fred).
She’s still a tiny thing, but she’s got a definite appetite and loves her snack time. When we had the Bradys spayed and neutered last Thursday, Alice went and was spayed, too.
I took pictures of her introduction to the Bradys, of course, and I’ll share those in tomorrow’s post.
We asked around, and of course no one who lives around here has any idea who she is. Given her age, Fred thinks it’s likely that she’s from the same litter Martin came from. I’m pretty sure, given how quickly she came around and allowed Fred (and eventually, me) to pet her, she has definitely been around people before (Fred, of course, would prefer to believe that he’s a magic feral kitten wrangler, but I DO NOT BELIEVE that a feral 6 month-old kitten would come around that quickly. Ergo, she’s been around people!)
2010: I’m still not going to talk about it yet because I don’t want to jinx it into not happening, but I wanted to make sure y’all know about it in advance so you’re not caught by surprise!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: The boy – Moonman – was perfectly willing to get into the cat carrier, but the girl – Moondance – did NOT want to get into the carrier, and I had to chase her down and wrestle her into the carrier.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.