March 22, 2005

Creature Comforts

Today we added a new kitten to our cottage home. His name is Caesar and he is an adorable black short hair with little white flecks sprinkled through out his coat. Caesar (formally known as baby kitty) was a stray that landed on our front porch shortly after the Christmas holiday. His mother, a lovely white and black spotted Tabby, gave birth to two black kittens sometime in December. The first we noticed them was when they peered out at us through our Honeysuckle vine in the front yard.

We are not strangers to stray animals. In fact, over the past 40 years, I have had 10 cats (stray cats seemed to know we are a feline-friendly home) adopt us. This one was no different. After about a month or so, we noticed only one baby kitty following the Momma cat in the evenings. We are not sure what happened to the other one, but have sweet thoughts that a dear family down the lane adopted him or her and that he or she is safely lounging on some comfy chair or sofa. The Momma cat is quite feral. She will not come up to our house but will stay within 10-15 feet of us and any wrong look will send her hiding under the neighbor's bush. The baby on the other hand has taken to us like glove-in-hand. He has adopted my husband and allows only him to pet and stroke him. He is not too sure of us yet and we have spent two months trying to socialize him to the point where we could scoop him up and carefully bring him inside.

Today seemed to be a good day for such a manuever. We had noticed some warming signs the past few evenings. He would allow my husband to sit near him and would return several times for strokes. He would eat some kibble while my husband's hands carefully tussled his ears. So this afternoon, after some discussion on how we would actually do the deed, we decided that I would be the front man and do the scooping and rescuing. I should mention that we already have one other cat, a black short hair named Zachary. Zachary was a stray way back about 15 years ago - we rescued him and his tiny sister from under our front porch. Zachary is what we affectionately call our "psycho cat" as when he was younger would turn on a dime and swat you just for looking at him the wrong way. He has mellowed with time and is quite loving now. The problem, however, is that shortly after the Christmas season, our very beloved 16 year old cat, Peanut, passed away from Liver cancer. Peanut and Zachary were buddies, sleeping, eating, and just hanging out together. Being the solo cat has proved difficult for Zachary and we have been thinking for some time that a friendly feline might just perk him up.

So to make a very long story short, we did it. We rescued Caesar today and while he doesn't seem very grateful right now, I know that in several weeks (when the weather starts to turn hot), he will be very, very happy to be inside an air conditioned home and lounging on a comfy sofa or chair.

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