Kitty Chaos and Conniptions

June 7, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Posted in Life, Nature, Pets & Cuteness | 2 Comments
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Hey There!

Does this look like an extreme pet?

KittyQueen: Enough photos already!  I want cuddling!

KittyQueen: "Enough photos already! I want cuddling!"

Well, maybe not now, but she was; oh, she was…

It all started, oh, about eight years ago.

Feral cats are ubiquitous in our area. Some are so wild they seem like mini-wildcats.

Feral Cat (From Web)

Feral Cat (From Web)

Well, guess what? One day we discovered that one of those feral cats had kittens — on our back porch. Yep. Four little fluff-balls. We could watch them right out our window.

We decided to name them. Socks was black with white paws, and Marble had swirls of brown, black and gold; and the fluffiest one, Puff, was gray, with blond behind her ears. Then… there was Bashful. She looked a lot like Puff, but was scrawny and a very shy little scaredy-cat.

Puff Look-Alike (From Web)

Puff Look-Alike (From Web)

We peered out at this delightful family and marveled. We noticed Puff playing with little pebbles, batting them and chasing them around. And the mother (KittyQueen, as you know her) looked so regal, even when struggling to feed the four ravenous rascals.

Yet for all their cuteness, they were still quite wild. If anyone came within sight, WHIZZZZ!! Off they’d all go, including the kittens. We felt that we couldn’t just let these adorable kittens, with personalities all their own, grow up to be wild, mean, and scared.

We started putting food out for them; and very, very slowly they got accustomed to us standing nearby. Then we put out a wire crate and started putting the food dish near or in it. Little by little they started going in. We set up a system of strings and rigged it so we could close the door from the slightly open window.

When the trap was sprung, we were missing one wily kitten, little Marble.

Marble Look-Alike (From Web)

Marble Look-Alike (From Web)

We had been told by a seasoned cat rescuer we could socialize our kittens in a day. Apparently there was a misunderstanding about the age of the kittens. Some details blur, but one is crystal clear. It seemed to make the most sense to try handling the mellowest looking of the bunch. Bashful — the obvious candidate!

Mom managed to grab the selected kitten without the others escaping. But instantly the tables turned and Bashful found a secure grip on mom’s thumb, with her needle-like teeth. She hung on like a tiny pit-bull, dangling in the air until mom stopped screeching long enough to pry her off and commit her to the crate. Kittens: 1; Us: 0.

After that we were less reckless… and found some gloves.

There, some gloves!  (From Web)

There, some gloves! (From Web)

We slowly began socializing them, this time with no misconceptions of quick success. About eight weeks old, they were already becoming feral. We managed to catch Marble, who had become even wilder in the interim. We carefully handled them, staying well clear of their teeth and claws.

That is, until I had my turn with Bashful. She was wriggling, and the gloves were gigantic. I was suddenly afraid I would lose my grip. Without thinking, I put my other (ungloved) hand under her belly…

Cat Claws (From Web)

Cat Claws (From Web)

Needless to say, I got a good scratching and dropped her. She almost got away, as we were out on the porch. Mom just barely managed to grab her. I wasn’t actually hurt much (at least not with all the adrenaline pumping through my veins!). Kittens: 2; Us: 0.

After that experience we brought them inside. Poor KittyQueen yowled and cried out, searching for her babies. It was heart-wrenching, but we knew the kittens would be happier and safer in a real home.

From then on things progressed more, um, painlessly. Puff was perfectly adorable and exceptionally playful. Playing was compulsory for her. As soon as she awoke she began pouncing on or batting around anything handy. From her siblings tails to the sand in the litter box, anything was fair game. She soon had the nickname “Playful” before her name.

Feline Tug-O-War (From Web)

Feline Tug-O-War (From Web)

We played with them every day, and at last it was time for them to find their forever homes. At the clinic they needed to get their shots. We were waiting, signing papers (ugh!), when suddenly the nurse came in. She declared “Well, Bashful isn’t bashful anymore.” We were confused and intrigued. She explained that upon being stuck with the needle she promptly chomped down on the doctor’s thumb, the same treatment mom had gotten. I can’t say I blame her…

Yikes!!!!!!!!!  (From Web)

Yikes!!!!!!!!! (From Web)

We later learned all the kittens were adopted. Success!! (But I do miss them, particularly sweet, playful little Puff.)

KittyQueen was still living out in our yard. We managed to catch her and brought her to the clinic to get spayed. As much as we loved the kittens, we did not want another litter on our hands. She was not happy, but she eventually got over it.

We kept on feeding her, and little by little she allowed us to touch her head, then stroke her back, and so on. The first time mom gave her a little kiss, she recoiled in alarm and hissed. She had no clue what kisses were! But we patiently persisted, and eventually she grew to love cuddling.

KittyQueen lived in the basement at first, coming and going through a kitty door. After several years we brought her inside the house. She is now an indoor-only house cat, has even gotten used to the dogs, and is the sweetest little ball of fur imaginable.

KittyQueen: Zzzzzzz...  (Dreams of cuddling.)

KittyQueen: "Zzzzzzz..." (Dreams of cuddling.)

We absolutely love our extreme KittyQueen!

A big thank you to The Domestic Fringe and its Extreme Pet Carnival, along with the American Museum of Natural History, for sparking the creation of this post (almost a small book!). 😀

Until next time, farewell!

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2 Comments »

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  1. Cute Post!

    -FringeGirl

  2. That was such fun raising those kittens and seeing their mom learn to be affectionate!


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