Kitten Update

Long past time for an update on the kitten. My life has been really busy this year if you haven’t noticed. 😛

The kitten has been named Strider after the Lord of the Rings character. He’s this mysterious kitty, with mysterious origins, who was found in our garage and there’s a wooded area near that part of the house.

When we took him to the vet on July 9th he weighed 3.5 pounds. They said it was over twice the weight he was last time. Apparently he was actually about 1.2 pounds when we first found him and brought him in! O_O!!

Strider has since proved himself to be scary smart. We put two barrier gates in the hallway, one on top of the other. It only took him a couple of attempts before figuring out how to get over them. We moved a foam mattress into a hallway and put it on its side. Strider figured out he can climb on top of it, walk around up there, and peer into other rooms from on top of it.

He also loves this puzzle cat toy box we have. It has holes in the top and sides for putting toy balls in it.
wooden puzzle box
He bats them around to fish them out. I put the balls back in, and Strider is after them again.
Strider playing with the puzzle box.

Just today I saw Strider playing with a catnip toy. It’s the first time that a catnip has interested him. So hopefully he’s starting to react to catnip now.

The other cats are still getting used to him. Our oldest cat Kit continues to avoid him completely. Crystal (our 2nd oldest) tolerates him, which is interesting since she too was a feral kitten. Emily, now our middle child, does not like Strider. Emily makes a point of trying to smack Strider from time to time, which is an improvement over hissing and trying to strike. *Sighs.* The youngest, the brothers Kero & Boo, like to watch Strider with keen interest. Once again it’s interesting since they are the only other boys we have. Boo has taking a bit of a liking to Strider. You may recall Boo was the one meowing down the stairs, making Strider cry out in return while he was in the garage. They’ve had an interesting relationship so far. There was a time Strider would instantly come running to Boo the moment he heard Boo meow, or Strider would meow in return. Kero did not like Strider and hissed a lot. He’s become a little bit more tolerant of Strider now, to a point of course.

Strider still gets frightened of things. He’s been getting better. He used to jump or run away when you tossed a toy near him. He was also afraid of the food bag. Strider still runs away and gets startled easily at times. I’m hoping he’ll get up his courage soon.

The other problem is that he still have fleas. The vet gave us some flea treatment, but Strider still scratches. The other cats have started to scratch too. I’m also covered in flea bites on my lower arms and legs. (My husband is unscathed. Lucky.) Strider is due for a re-treatment and we bought flea medication for the other cats. So hopefully this will be finally dealt with soon.

Other than that, Strider likes to meow a lot. I guess that’s what we get for having 3 cats that are part Siamese. Strider probably thinks this much meowing is normal. Heh.

Stowaway!

So on Friday morning, while I was packing my food for work, I started to hear a repeated meowing. I followed the sound to behind a door that leads to a stairway that goes both to the basement and the garage. I thought one of our cats got caught behind the door. I opened it while pondering how they snuck around us when we got home. No one was there, but the meowing continued. I walked down the stairs and found it was coming from the garage. Even worse a neighborhood cat somehow got stuck in our garage last night!

I walked into the garage and heard the meowing coming from under my car.

“Hi kitty!”
“Meow!”
“Hello kitty!”
“Meow!”
“It’s okay. You can come out.”
“Meow!”

The cat was content to stay put and not come to me. I tried to call my husband who was upstairs on his cell to tell him the news. He didn’t answer. So I walked back upstairs and yelled up the frantic news. Giuliano told me to just open the garage and let it out. (I was worried it didn’t have food or water all night!)

When I got back to the garage, all was silent. I called out and no meow. I opened the garage door, but I didn’t see anyone run out. I left the garage door opened, left the room, and went to finish packing my food. Maybe it needed time alone to feel safe to flee. When I was done packing my food I told my husband to please check the garage again before he left work to make sure the cat was gone. I went back and I looked all around my car. I looked under it. Nothing. I looked over each tire. Nothing. I put my stuff in the car, got in, rolled down the driver’s side window, and did the slowest reverse you have ever seen. No meows. Nothing. It must have got out. (I found out later that my husband forgot to check the garage before he left home for work.)

So I did my day of work, thinking of the poor cat and its poor owner that missed it! I felt so bad. When I got home I peered into the garage before slowly pulling the car in. Nothing. I closed the garage door and walked up the stairs. When I opened the door to the main floor I noticed Emily there. She ran down the stairs and was very interested in the basement door. That didn’t seem like a good sign. I called my husband with the news. We agreed to have him park outside and we’d both look in the garage. We did, and we didn’t find anything. Cat must be gone.

Forward to Saturday morning. For some reason my biological clock thought sleeping in was giving me an extra hour. I woke at 6:15am. Thanks I grumbled to myself. I listed to some music on my iPod as I started to plan out my day. As I did I swore I heard Emily meow. I lifted off my headphones, but didn’t hear anything. I didn’t see her down the upstairs hallway either. Now worried I decided to check downstairs. I paused in front of the door that led downstairs. I swore I heard meowing but at this point it could have been my imagination getting away from me. I slowly turned the knob. It was definitely meowing. The same meowing. Now I’m in a full panic. The poor cat’s been in there since Thursday evening! I run yelling to my husband Giuliano again and having him get up and help me find the cat. Meanwhile I grabbed some food and water for the poor thing.

When we got down the stairs and turned the knob, I heard something scamper away. Again the meowing came from under my car. Giuliano looked under it with a flashlight. We didn’t see anything. Worried now I asked him to open the hood, hearing in the past that cats like to hide there. I didn’t check it Friday morning and now I feared I took the cat for a ride! He popped it and I lifted it up. He looked around with the flashlight and we saw a tiny bundle of gray. A kitten! Oh my God. It was under the hood. Giuliano reached for it but it ran away to the other side of the garage. I went over there, got a bit of a hold on the kitten but it ran away. We tried to get it there, but it went back under the car’s hood. Then it ran to the back of the car over the muffler. Back and forth. This was a losing battle. Any grip Giuliano got on it, it got away.

At that point I suggested getting Emily down there. She was interested in the cat the previous day. Maybe she’d help us find it. She didn’t really help. Our cat Boo did. Every time Boo cried behind the closed main door for us, the kitten mewed back in return. Finally we chased it to the stairs. My husband ran after it, shutting the door behind him. Emily was on the stairs and “pointed” out the kitten to Giuliano. He finally got it, but was scratched and bitten in the process. I grabbed the small cat carrier and Giuliano put the kitten in it. We brought the carrier and kitten upstairs.

Some of our cats went to see the visitor. And yes some of them hissed. Others ignored the kitten like it didn’t exist. Kero just stared and stood like a statue from a safe distance.

We waited for the vet’s office to open at 9am. While we waited Giuliano went and got some cat’s milk we had and a dropper. He fed the kitty and it lapped it up! Yay! A good sign.

At about 9 we left and told the story to the vet’s office. I told them my nickname for the kitten: Little Mousie. Cause well the kitten’s gray and it ran around everywhere hiding like a mouse! So they put down Mousie on the kitten’s papers. Heh. I swear it’s a nickname only! The vet says the kitten is 6 weeks old, a good age, about 2 pounds, and a boy! He got his first shot and was tested for leukemia and feline AIDS. The test was negative. But they didn’t get a fecal sample to test for anything else, so until then we have to keep him apart from our other cats. They gave us some flea medicine and gave him a sample of some canned food. Boy did he eat! I’ve never seen a cat so hungry. The vet plopped the can in the carrier with the kitten and he ate and ate like crazy. More good news!

So we took him back home. He’s been shaking a lot. He’s still very scared of everything he’s been through. He has no idea what humans are. He likes to hide and meow, probably hoping his mom will find him. Poor thing!

We have to keep an eye on him. If he gets sick, we have to take him to the vet. Giuliano was bitten, as was a tech assistant at the vets office (probably when they drew blood). So we’re hoping the kitten doesn’t have anything that can pass to people.

We’ve been giving the little kitten a lot of love. We also set aside one of our bathrooms for him. A bed, a box, a litter box, food, water, and a place to safely explore. If we let him into the house we’d never find him!



So here’s the thing I need from my visitors. This kitty needs a name! One major stipulation, the name can’t start with a K sound. We already have a few cats with names that sound like that. Japanese names are welcome since he hid under my Subaru. (In romaji please. And not Neko. I’d rather not name a cat “cat” in Japanese. Not Subaru either. ;P ) We don’t have anything to offer other than our thanks, and a scared but sweet boy to carry the name you picked.

Bad luck comes in threes…

      I’ve heard that bad luck comes in threes. I just didn’t want this to be the third..
      Yesterday I made the final decision to put my first cat Muffin to sleep. (I got her 18 yrs ago when I was in the 4th grade.)
      For quite a while now Muffin had been getting thinner and thinner. She doesn’t eat much. Even then sometimes she throws it back up or has loose bowels.
      My parents are leaving, as I am, to my brother’s wedding this weekend. They’ll be gone 5 days. They worried that by the time they got back, Muffin would already be dead.
      So when my mom first told me all this on Sunday night, I had to decide if I wanted her buried or cremated. Among all my tears and sobs, I had to make a decision I have been dreading for years.
      When I was last at my parents house before my move to Georgia, I hugged Muffin and said my goodbyes then. I knew I would probably not see her again. I thought that would help heal my pain. But it didn’t. I wish I could be there now, today, when she finally gets put to sleep.
      I had decided it was best to put her to sleep and end her suffering. Muffin isn’t getting any better. Also we wouldn’t be wondering if she’d still be alive when my parents returned home.
      I also decided to have her cremated. I had promised Muffin that I would show her my first house years ago. I had to break my promise because by the time I was about to move into this house, Muffin had gone deaf and she was already starting to get thin then. At least up in CT she had a home she knew and a vet who knew her. I figured that was for the best for her. But if I had known it would be less than a yr later that this would happen.. I may have thought twice about it. So anyway I figure this way I can bring Muffin’s ashes to my house, give her a spot in it, and keep my promise to her.

      This whole thing has wracked my emotional well-being all week long, like giant waves crashing into a cliff. I’ve been sleeping poorly, and my work is starting to be affected by it all. I’m having a difficult time keeping tears at bay.
      The worst part is that Muffin has been holding on all this time. I wonder if maybe she thought I was coming back home. She always did follow me around the house and outside the house. If I was crying she came up and comforted me, even if we were outside. She was my friend when I had none. Maybe if I came home she would have gone in her sleep, content.
      Yesterday while talking with my mom and making the final decision, Muffin was sitting in my mom’s lap. She put the phone to her and Muffin was purring. That just killed me right then and there. She has no idea what’s coming.

      There’s so much more I can say about this and about her, but unfortunately I have to head to work now. I just wanted to type something up about her before I knew she would be gone forever.