Before we go into the story behind our new fosters – to make the story telling easier – first, I’ll tell you their names. The dilute torti mama is Kristi and was named after Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi. The black mama is Katia, named after Olympic skater Ekaterina Gordeeva. Their kittens will be named after Olympic athletes (not necessarily skaters), and I’ll lean toward older names, most likely. Suggestions are welcome!
So, as I mentioned yesterday, I was expecting to get pregnant dilute torti Kristi as my next foster. It turned out that Kristi wasn’t going to be so easy to catch, so plans were made to trap her as well as several other cats. Last Friday, while they were trying to trap Kristi, Brittany told me I should let her know if I knew anyone who wanted to take a second pregnant cat. It took me the better part of a second to tell her that if she thought they’d get along with each other, I’d take them both.
They weren’t able to catch Kristi on Friday, so resumed trapping on Monday. Very late Monday evening they trapped Katia, and at nearly midnight, Winnie delivered her to me. We took the carrier up to the foster room, I opened the door to the carrier, and Katia went WILD. She jumped up to get as high as possible, got up on the very top shelf of the built-in shelves, and then fell. She looked desperately for a safe place, and every time she caught sight of us or we moved or spoke, she growled. At one point, she was literally climbing the wall – I have never seen anything like it, it was awesome and scary.
Before Winnie left, we took down most of the big stuff on the shelves, Winnie disconnected a lamp I’d put on the top shelf, and I opened the door to the under-cabinet shelves so Katia could go in there to hide if she wanted to. Winnie left, and I kept checking on Katia via the Dropcam. After we left the room, she settled down and spent the next hour or so prowling the room, growling under her breath. Finally, she sat on the counter next to the basket of teddy bears, and about an hour later she climbed into the basket. When I checked on her a few hours later, it looked like there’d been a teddy bear explosion, with teddy bears all over the counter and floor. I guess she’d decided she needed more room!
I didn’t sleep well at all Monday night, thinking “Oh good lord, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!”
It’s possible I didn’t actually… MENTION to Fred that we were getting a second cat. My brilliant plan was to kind of sneak both cats into the room and then be like “SURPRISE!” when he realized there were two of them. Getting just Katia was certainly going to make sneaking a second cat into the house a problem.
When I got up Tuesday morning, I told him. He was less than pleased, but mostly resigned. He decided to go in and see Katia, and I just KNOW that he was expecting to waltz in there and have her climb into his lap, but nay. Katia wasn’t having it, and she growled at him to let him know.
I got word from Brittany that they were back out there attempting to trap Kristi, and that Kristi was being a pain in the butt. (It cracked me up when, the night before, Brittany told me that Kristi had caught a mouse and was walking around with it in her mouth meowing.)
They had to use a drop trap to finally get her (“What’s a drop trap, Robyn?” It’s a propped-up box or cage with a string attached; when the cat is fully under the box/cage, you yank the string, bringing the box/cage down to trap them), but I got word in early afternoon that she’d been caught, and Winnie was bringing her to me. I could hear Kristi’s voice as soon as Winnie opened the car door, and Kristi howled all the way up to the foster room. We let her out, and Kristi started exploring, singing the entire time.
I had taken everything off the shelves and removed the shelves themselves so she couldn’t get up high and possibly fall and hurt herself, but while she was interested in checking out the shelves – and in fact sat up there for an hour or so – she wasn’t wild or frantic the way Katia had been.
Katia, by the way, had crammed herself under this couch first thing in the morning, and didn’t seem to see any reason to leave her safe space.
I was gone for a couple of hours in the evening. Fred went into the room to hang out with Katia and Kristi, and reported that Kristi’s got a big mouth (which I knew) and Katia didn’t come out from under the couch, which didn’t surprise me. Neither of them had eaten anything, and I was starting to get a little worried about Katia, since she hadn’t eaten since I’d gotten her. Where they’d been living, the people had been feeding them people food – pasta, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets and french fries were apparently a favorite; they caught Kristi by baiting the trap with nuggets – and I told Fred that if they didn’t eat overnight, McNuggets would be the next thing on the menu. I left a plate of chicken baby food and ham, and a plate of canned cat food, and by yesterday morning they’d both eaten, and both plates were cleaned off.
By the time I went to bed, Kristi was hanging out on top of this cabinet, and Katia was still under the cat couch.
When I woke up yesterday morning and checked the camera, I was pleased to see that both cats had been out exploring the room and hanging out together.
Oh, I forgot to mention up there: Kristi and Katia are not sisters – Katia is Kristi’s daughter. Kristi is 7 or 8 years old (I weep to think of how many kittens she’s birthed in that time) and Katia has had at least one litter of her own. Kristi’s last litter was 5 kittens, and Katia’s was 4, so I’m expecting something along those lines this time (though smaller litters would be better for us all!) They co-mothered their last litters, so I expect they’ll do the same this time.
Yesterday morning, Fred went in to visit the girls, and said that they had both crammed themselves under the cat couch. I told him to go ahead and take it out of the room. He did, and when I went in there a while later, Katia was behind this purple seat thing.
And Kristi was in the back of the birthin’ crate (don’t get excited, she wasn’t giving birth. I probably would have led with that.)
When I went in a few hours later, this adorableness was going on.
They stayed in the crate together like that until after dark, when they came out and started exploring again. I think it’s safe to say that Katia LOVES her mama, and Kristi is at least willing to put up with Katia. I like that they have each other as comfort, and I’m looking forward to seeing them co-mother.
So far I’ve only touched Kristi, and only briefly. They both looked so calm in the crate that I slowly reached in to pet her. She cringed a little and tolerated it, but the instant Katia realized what was going on, she had quite a lot of hissy words to say, so I didn’t push it. I did get a few slow-blink Eyes of Love from Kristi, so that’s promising.
To answer the question I’m sure many of you have: yes, we’ve been fooled before by “pregnant” cats who turned out to be fakers, but I believe they’re both pregnant. They’re not letting me get a close-up view of their bellies, but Kristi looks like she swallowed a beach ball, and Katia isn’t much smaller.
In case you wondered what Kristi’s voice sounds like. It really carries, as you can imagine.
2017: Squirrel yoga.
2016: “LADY. Come on! You’re late for nap time!”
2015: No entry.
2014: And then Mariette grabbed up the Straw Cylinder and said “MINE.”
2013: “Halloooooo, laydeez!”
2012: Okay, drama queen, dial it back.
2011: Fingers crossed!
2010: No entry.
2009: I wish they didn’t get nervous and run back upstairs if I run into their general direction, like they think they’re in trouble.
2008: No entry.
2007: Smackdown at the Anderson Corral.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.