Category Archives: Pets

I slept in and…

I slept in and…

… Well, the inevitable happened.

catfight

No, I am not a victim of (voluntary) domestic physical violence.

My cats are extremely active in the morning, having spent the entire night sleeping on my bed, under the covers, on my chest, and anywhere else that pleases them. And the one thing Allegra loves to do every morning is engage in a game of catch, which does fairly well to wake me up because all three of them end up chasing each other back and forth across the bed, and over my own body.

Then this morning, in her excitement and general disregard for anything in the house, Allegra ran over my face. Yes’m, she did. This is something she has done more than once, but on all the previous occasions, I was able to pull the covers over my head in time. This time, however, I was just barely waking up, so all signs of imminent danger — and disfiguration — did not yet present themselves in my brain.

It was extremely painful in the first minute that it happened, but I only really panicked when I took my hand off my face and saw blood on my fingers. And so, for the next few weeks, my concealer will be working overtime to hide the results of Allegra’s unchecked boisterousness. I always knew it was worth investing in good makeup.

makeup

It’s probably worth noting that if I had gotten out of bed when I was supposed to — a whole half-hour earlier — I could have avoided this entirely.

Baby makes three

Baby makes three

I don’t usually stop at a gas station past 9pm. My brother got robbed while getting gas some months ago and I’ve been paranoid of meeting the same fate (to be fair, it was supremely stupid of him to stop for gas at 3am when the gas station was completely deserted).

But on that one Saturday night, at 11pm, I was running nearly empty, and I wasn’t sure if I would be going out at all the next day. So when I saw that the Shell station just around the corner from my house was still crowded at that hour, I figured it would be safe enough to make a pitstop on my way home.

To this day I’m still not sure how I was able to hear it over the sound of so many cars, voices and the radio blaring over the loudspeakers at the gas station. But heard it I did: the squeakiest (and loudest) little mew. And as I looked around me, I saw, peeking from under the aluminum wall panels that separated the gas station from the enormous electricity plant next to it, a tiny little white face.

allegra

February 23: Allegra on her first night in my house

As soon as I had filled my tank, I drove across the station and parked as close as I could to the wall, where this little kitten was squeezing out from under the wall. She started stumbling about on the grass and mewing so loudly that I felt immensely sorry for her, so I ran into the station’s convenience store to buy some crackers to feed her with. But being a kitten and unaccustomed to normal food, she could barely eat any of it, so I did the only thing that popped into my head at that moment.

I took her.

I picked her up and dropped her into one of the eco-friendly bags I keep in my car, zoomed home to put down my shopping, and took her to the 24-hour animal hospital where I had first brought Offa and Costa when I suspected they’d ingested rat poison. The vet dewormed and defleaed her, and told me to keep her in quarantine for a week before bringing her for her vaccinations. So I brought her home and shut her in one of the downstairs bathrooms for a week, which I soon realized may have been a vast improvement from the wilderness, but also frustrating because she couldn’t run around as she pleased.

In all that time, Offa and Costa moved about the house in suppressed curiosity; they knew there was another feline being in the house, they could smell her, but they couldn’t see her so they didn’t bother themselves about it as much. Meanwhile, I paid enough attention to them that they knew they would always come first with me, even if a new kitten joined us and I had to take care of her. I was terrified that she would have some form of disease that Offa, with his FIV, would catch, and I wondered how I was going to find someone to take this new kitten in if I couldn’t keep her.

Finally, a week later, I brought her to the vet, where she got the shock of her life in the form of a needle to her thigh, and had her blood taken to test for FIV, FELV and FIP. Fortunately — and almost ironically, given that she was a stray — her blood work came back normal, and Allegra came home with me.

baby makes three

The first meeting

Yes, I named her Allegra. She has spent the past 11 days becoming acquainted with the house and the other two cats, and she seems to have settled in relatively well. She has an enormous amount of energy that I’m not used to seeing anymore, now that Offa and Costa have grown up, but when she’s calm she’s the sweetest little kitten to be around. I’m also trying to get used to having a female cat in the house now, as I’ve only ever had males. I’m in a constant state of trepidation that she may go into heat earlier than the average cat and I would miss my window to have her spayed before she ever gets the chance to become the village bicycle. It would be the absolute height of irony for all the neighborhood tomcats to come squalling outside my door, while my own two tomcats haven’t the slightest inkling of what’s going on.

the first night

March 3: Tired out from running all over the house on her first day out of quarantine

Allegra’s chances of contracting FIV are ever present, as she has already begun sharing food and water with Offa and Costa, but I’ll deal with that if or when the time comes. Until then, I will take care of her as best as I can and keep her happy. And if there were ever a need for more proof that keeping cats is just like raising children, I have it: Allegra officiated her first night out of quarantine by wetting the bed. My bed.

morning cuddles

March 10: One week later

 

The Second King

The Second King

We finally got Offa a friend.

Months ago we started entertaining the idea of getting another cat to keep Offa company, because we knew he probably felt bored or lonely especially when we were out of the house all day. At the time, he was showing signs of being territorial and unwelcoming towards other cats that happened to wander onto our balcony or outside the front door, so any plans to have another cat had to be shelved.

Recently we started thinking about a second cat again, and were on the verge of going to the SPCA or PAWS to look into adopting one. But then, on Saturday, I got a call telling me about two Scottish Fold kittens — brothers — who were up for adoption, so I took one. And that was how Costa came to live with us.

My Scottish Fold, Costa, short for Constantine. Taken with BlackBerry Bold 9780

At only three months and six days old, Costa — short for Constantine, a name I decided on after reading about the ancient high kings of Scotland — is the tiniest, skinniest bundle of energy. His build, the shape of his face and his markings make him look a little bit like a giraffe, so I hope he will fill out soon and gain some weight. While it was no trouble getting him accustomed to his surroundings, the biggest surprise was Offa.

I was initially terrified that Offa would not like this new addition, and was hesitant about putting the two of them together in the living room. And indeed, he started off a little apprehensive, especially when Costa decided to take one of Offa’s furry toys for his own, and when Costa started exploring places in the house that Offa has staked out for himself. It was also a bit of a chore having to take care of Costa and make sure that Offa knew we weren’t abandoning or punishing him by taking in a new kitten.

The first meeting. Taken with BlackBerry Bold 9780

But thankfully they’re both only almost exactly a year apart, because barely two days later, Offa appears to have more or less accepted that Costa will be with us from now on, and started playing with him a little more last night. I suppose it’s a little difficult for him to resist a kitten who walks right up to him to lick him on the nose.

Having Offa has made it much easier for me to know what to expect with Costa, even if he is so much younger. I’m realizing now more than ever that having a cat is not unlike having a child, as my mother has so smugly pointed out many times. And now that I have two cats, plus a boyfriend and a brother all living under one roof, it’s rather like having four children *, I’m happy to stop here. It’s enough for me to have one cat lying on my chest every morning and a new kitten clinging to my neck all day.

And kneading everything in sight, if he had it his way:

* Yes, living with men is like having children, and I dare anyone to say otherwise.