Annnnnd, I’m back! After some delays, my plane landed in Huntsville Tuesday evening, and I’ve been busy trying to get back into the routine ever since. I took plenty of pictures when I was in Maine (I saw Connie not once, not twice, but THREE times, and got to snuggle her foster kittens! I also met Jeanne of Random Felines and Kelly of Whiskers in the Window in person after knowing them on the innernets for years, which was very cool.) When I get the pictures sorted, I’ll post some of them, probably next week.
Two days after I left, Fred told me that he’d stepped outside early in the morning, when it was still dark out, and he thought a kitten had gone skittering off from under the Hydrangea near the side stoop. He told me that it could have been a raccoon, but it moved like a kitten, so he would keep an eye out. The next day (or maybe it was that night, I don’t remember), he told me it was definitely a small kitten.
He spent hours out on the driveway talking to that kitten, and the kitten would talk back to him, but never got closer than 10 feet. Finally, he got the trap out and set it up. The kitten was too light to set off the trap, and Fred was starting to get frustrated. He oiled the trap and set it out one more time, and this time the trap snapped shut with the kitten inside.
I immediately told him that the kitten’s name was Meowth (it’s a Pokemon name and seemed appropriate) and emailed Susan. I figured that the sooner she was made an official Challenger’s House kitten, the better.
The kitten turned out to be a girl, weighed just over 2 pounds, and was skittish but purring and would sit in Fred’s lap from the very beginning. She has clearly been around people in her past, and because sometimes I think the worst of people, I think someone dumped her. She had an abrasion on her upper lip and on her paw, though both are mostly healed now and don’t seem to be bothering her.
She’s still a little skittish, but loves to be petted, enjoys a good belly rub, and walks around with her tail straight up in the air. And she is FLOOFY.
She spends a lot of time hanging out in the window, watching the cars go by.
“Lady, this room is cool and I guess you humans are okay, but I’m bored. You’re boring. This is boring. Make it so I’m not bored.”
Wednesday, I took her to the vet to be tested. She came back negative, and I knew she needed friends. Luckily, another Challenger’s House foster mom, Winnie, had kittens who were just the right age. They’re a little older than she is, but close enough. Since those kittens were already named, I wanted to change her name to match theirs. They’re all named after evergreens, so initially I renamed her Hemlock (there’s a Hemlock at Random Felines, and the name makes me laugh.) But then the next morning, I told Fred the plans, and he told me that before he was able to trap her, one of her favorite places to hang out was in the privet bush over behind the blue coop. And privet is an evergreen!
(Apparently it’s not an evergreen everywhere, so it’s fortunate that we’re in Alabama, isn’t it?)
So Privet she is. Here’s what happened after I picked up her new friends yesterday morning and played a round of MEET YER NEW PARTNER!
She was sitting on the window sill, and when she realized there were other kittens, her eyes got wide and she started chirping. She got VERY excited.
She went hopping down to say hello.
“HI! HI! ARE YOU MY NEW FRIEND? ARE YOU?!”
And the kitten said ::HISS:: and Privet was all “WELL. There’s no need to be so RUDE.”
She retreated to the top of the small cat tree for a moment and watched the kittens check out their new living arrangements.
She watched the bravest of her new friends check out the ceiling fan.
She watched him use the litter box.
And he was all “A LITTLE PRIVACY, IF YOU PLEASE.”
So, meet the Evergreens.
Cypress is a boy. I startled him, and he hissed at me.
And then he was a little bit embarrassed.
Juniper is a girl. Isn’t she purty?
She’s a little nervous – they all are.
Spruce is a boy. He’s the most outgoing of the three, and do you see his white locket? At some angles, it looks JUST like a little heart.
And of course, you’ve met Privet, who is a girl.
When Privet first met the other three, Cypress hissed at her, Spruce poofed up, and Juniper just looked at her. When I went in a few hours later, Privet was growling at the other three. I imagine that in a couple of days, they’ll be racing around playing together like the best of friends.
(And yes, I will be putting collars on the boys, because I can tell who’s who in person, but in pictures I have a really hard time!)
So, we don’t know what Privet’s story is (aside from her showing up here), but we know that Spruce, Juniper and Cypress are the kittens of Willow, who is currently at Petsmart (see her on Facebook here). A Challenger’s House volunteer spotted the kittens behind her business (located on Willow Dr!) and called for help. When Winnie and Kathie showed up to do some trapping, they found Willow alongside her kittens. So they trapped the kittens AND Willow. As I mentioned, Willow’s at Petsmart now, and the kittens have a few more weeks to go before they’re ready. Winnie was kind enough to let me have them to keep Privet company, so it worked out well!
2015: Roundup: Roseanne.
2014: On Tuesdays, we leap.
2012: No entry.
2011: Who, him? Oh, just some cat. Nothin’ special. Corbie, I think they call him. ::shrug::
2010: He’s gotten past this whole “feral” nonsense at breathtaking speed.
2009: No entry.
2008: Kitten, mid-jump.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
Privet has already stolen my heart. Oh my. And your commentary about being bored made me laugh!!!
It is wonderful to finally meet in person someone who you have chatted with forever on the internet. Instant friends. It is really nice and there is always a hug involved. So glad you had a lovely vacation and an adorable surprise (Privet) when you got home!
Privet is pretty awesome! Something about her interactions make me think she’ll be the Stompers of this group.
She certainly is proving to be a bossy little thing! 🙂
OK, this says all about what we adore about Fred:
“He spent hours out on the driveway talking to that kitten…”
Welcome to Privet and her new family! And Mama Willow at Petsmart looks to be great fun – check her out on Challenger House’s Facebook page.
When he was trying to befriend Stefan, he spent hours out there in January, sitting on the driveway!
That was a great start to my Friday! I have no doubt Privet will make the Evergreens play with her soon enough. And really, how could they resist her? She’s their goofy baby sister, they just don’t know it yet.
In the picture, it looks like Cypress has no white, and Spruce has a lot of white on his chest.
Juniper and Cypress each have a dusting of white, and Spruce has not only a white “heart”, but he’s wearing a loincloth. When they’re more relaxed, I’m hoping to get better pictures!
Ooh! You can call them the firbabies!
Or the fir-balls
too funny….Fred has such adventures when you go on vacation. 🙂 Love the names….bet they are friends in no time
Do you think/have reason to believe that people dump felines near your property due to your reputation as rescuers? If that’s true, I’m concerned about what happens when you move…
It’s possible, but I really don’t know. We try to keep a low profile around here, so I’m not sure how many people know that we do rescue. Not long after we moved in, the people across the street told Fred that people have been known to dump cats and dogs in the field directly across from us, so we’ve assumed that that’s what it is.
Fred worries about what will happen when we’re gone, and we waffle about whether to move or not (had a long discussion about it this morning), but we can always make sure our neighbor two doors down (who also has rescued some of the cats and dogs who’ve shown up here) has our contact information.
Cats like Stefan & Archie probably wouldn’t have the life they lead right now if anyone else but you guys lived there. You’ve done so much good for the kitties who have strolled onto your property. I hope the new owners of Crooked Acres continue that most excellent tradition and are good/kind to all the furry travelers they find at their door seeking food or shelter.
Welcome back! Do you know the ages of all the new kittens?
Spruce, Cypress and Juniper are almost 12 weeks old (on Saturday, I think), and I’ve set Privet’s age as just over 9 weeks old. So (depending on space at Petsmart), they probably won’t be with us for a super-long time, just a month or so.
I’m so pleased that the Floufette passed her vet visit with flouffy colors and has some role models to tease and then emulate!
I’m so happy that Fred spent all that time and effort to rescue Privet.
My best friend had a cat named Juniper (actually Jennifer Juniper) but she was a tortoiseshell.
May the trio and the single cat become a happy quartet and may they end up in wonderful furever homes.
Adorable! Yippee to Fred for talking to Privet and to all of Privet’s new friends (who all have the most gorgeous eyes)! We can hardly wait to see them playing, and napping, together.
I would have to kiss Spruce’s white heart. A lot.
Eeeeee newbies, and oh my gosh Privet, you have me wrapped around your floofy paw already! What color is the floofy skittery purrball? In a related question, I gather that Spruce and Cypress are black with white, but what about Juniper? Oh, and as for Juniper, that cat’s going to be Jennifer Juniper in my head forever now, you know. Thanks, Shakatany, I already loved that song! 🙂 I’m a writer, and believe it or not, I have a character called Jennifer specifically because of said song!
Privet, you are so lucky to have found Fred! And the Evergreens are lucky Privet found Fred, too, or they probably wouldn’t be in your foster room right now!
Houseful o’ panthers!
Floofy Privet reminds me of our Han Solo with lots of (kids called it old man) ear hair. Although Han was a boy kitty…
Awwww…Privet could be Mr. Fancypants back in the flesh! Adorable and full of attitude, which is how it should be!
She shall always be floofface to me! 🙂