Back in May, on the day before our daughter's wedding, no less, we came to be possessed by a kitten.
She was not in the 'plan'... not a chosen kitten, but one of the creatures that 'happen' to us from time to time.
I was not ready for another kitten, especially a bottle fed one. I still miss Clancy...
Some days, you don't get to choose. You only get to choose how you react.
Anyway, the ensuing 4 months, I've alternated between truly enjoying the kitten and contemplating finding her a different home.
Luckily for her, and for us, I guess, our marraige dynamics are such that we give and take rather well, deferring to the other with an ease that is borne of living together for several decades. When one of us has been frustrated with her growing liveliness and full scale destruction tactics, the other of us will have had a nice quiet evening with her on our lap, purring loudly and soothing away the cares of our day.
My husband, who will at times profess to hate cats, and who is allergic to cats (proven now by medical experts), has fallen for the kitten. The man gets up on mornings that he's home and makes her scrambled eggs! (Ok, so I get scrambled eggs too, but really, folks, she's so happy to see him come through the door that it's comical!)
We've done the normal 'hand-raised kitten' things.
Pitiful, huh? As a mama cat, I refuse to do the whole grooming thing, except for a good daily scrub in the bathroom sink, until such time as the young one takes over the job. This one figured it out pretty early and thankfully, as she is mostly white, she does a good job on that front. She also litter trained early and well, with little nonsense on that front either.
So, she began to grow. She got her shots and stole the hearts of everyone at the vets office. (This was about the time that I discovered my gender identifying mistake and learned that she was a girl!)
And we began to train her for the job that we expect a house cat to do. We got appropriate toys and as humans tried to teach her to hunt like a cat should.
(This is where you should stop reading if you do not wish to view the results of what you have to have figured out by now is about to happen!)
We live in a house that is more than 100 years old. There are nooks and crannies and cracks where in the autumn of the year, the outdoor creatures attempt to join us for a nice winter's vacation from the elements.
As much as I love most creatures, I'm not a fan of mice in the house... I'm sure that I don't need to explain that!
So, it's that time of year... several mousetraps have been set, because late of an evening, we have been joined in our living room, by a mouse...
"Did you see a mouse?"
"Where's the cat?"
"Go get her!"
On several occasions, we have put her right on the mouse and after a sniff or two, she prissed off to look for scrambled eggs...
The last two weeks, we've noticed and commented on her new found juvenile-ness...
Yes,,, she is extraordinarily lovey... and her meow has reached new proportions of yowling...
... that distinct warning to all human parents of cats that you need to make an appointment
at the vets office!
"Honey, the cat is loving the couch!"
"Yes, dear, I know"
"She needs NOT to find a tomcat!"
"Yes, dear, I know... I'll call the vet ASAP"
And for the last two days, looking both quizzical and strangely wise, she's sat upon the ledge on the wood heater, watching THE hole...
oh, yes... she has.
And this morning, as I made toast and coffee,
as the teenager charged around in full force searching for jeans,
as the husband showered...
she bolted through the kitchen in hot pursuit.
Could it be?
What she was chasing was not a jingly ball, nor the cricket that has been entertainment recently...
Nope... this morning, she earned her place as a working cat and secured herself years of scrambled egg breakfasts...
After a period of growling and hissing, less we should attempt to eat her prey...
she left it for me, beside my shoe.
This is normal... she's trying to provide for us and teach us to hunt.
Her instincts are soundly in place and now we'll tolerate the nonsense in exchange for a rodent free home.
Now, we seriously have to find a name that suits her (and us) and I need to call the vet!