Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I'm a slow learner...

but I don't forget. I'm having some considerable trouble learning how to do this. I DID manage to get a picture in (which is, of course, perfectly evident to you) and will Consult my Guru for details on things like, oh you know, putting them where you want them and with captions, stuff like that there.

In the meantime, (per request) here are my babies, Evangeline on the left, Lilliane on the right. Their cat trees are in the front window where they can keep an eye on the workings of the world which, without their ministrations, would surely crumble and fall. This is a rare moment, by the way (especially since Lilly is on Evangeline's Place).

To continue about Lilliane: the Kind and Friendly put Evangeline on a diet. No longer the skinny long-tail, she was .... she had .... she matched the family. Horizontally-advantaged. Mommy-wobbles. So I was going out to buy her prescription dry diet food. (I was tempted to try it myself, but -- naww.) It had occurred to me that my treasure might be lonely on the weekends we were off playing at being in the 18th century, even though the Lovely Daughter was stopping by for food and snuggles; I thought she might miss her own little kitties.

So when I got into the office of the Kind and Friendly to find a cage with four teeny Available Babies, they caught my eye. (C'mon now, you'd have noticed them too.) They were brown tabbies, born there in the office to a mom rescued and taken there. Three had little blue collars. One had a red collar.

I've read cat books, talked to cat people, knew the deal: "If you get a second cat, be sure to get the opposite sex of your resident cat." I knew that. But -- it was the kitty with the red collar who scrambled up the side of the cage and snagged my pinafore as I walked past. When I bent over to disengage her she gave me a big open-mouthed silent miaouw.

Did I grab my bag of diet food, pay me my monies and get the heck outta Dodge? When the Wicked Girl at the desk said "Would you like me to take her out so you can play with her?" did I demur politely and refuse like a Sensible Person? When I sat down on the floor and she crept into my lap and started purring - did I plop her right back in the cage and go home?

I did not.

I spent a half hour rubbing, snuzzing, hugging, romping and playing with her. Finally with admitted regret I said I'd "really have to ask the Boss" and I slunk home. I gently broached the subject to the Husband, who inhaled and said two cats???? But he did agree to go back to the office just to look at the kitten. JUST TO LOOK. We took her out of the cage and she climbed up his shirt onto his back and snuggled under his ponytail. She crept back down into his arms and looked up with her kitty eyes and made teeny mewlings. He signed the papers. He paid his monies. We had to leave her for a few days, during which we could set up a room for her and begin talking to Evangeline about it. And in time, we brought her home.

She spent a couple of weeks in her room with Evvie slinking past the door hissing and swearing; we opened the door a crack so they could see each other - she looked curious and Evangeline, my victorian lady of a cat, used language never bounced off these walls before, in spite of raising two boys here. Eventually we put Evvie in the basement and let Lilliane prowl and learn her house, then traded places so they could become accustomed to each other's scent. (I read the books - although, of course, ignored the part about not getting the same sex.)

After about three weeks, one evening when we were home, I said "You know, this is ridiculous." and I carried Lilliane out and dropped her on the floor. I figured if Evangeline was going to eat her, it may as well be sooner than later. Let me put it this way: 1) she didn't remember ever having babies of her own; 2) she didn't eat her. Time went by, eventually we dared leave them both out when we left the house, and - as you can see - they're both still alive.

A few months ago we had a Terrible Dust-up (details upon request, but suffice it to say that they had a real show-down wild attack fur-flying moment). Against all wisdom (do you see a pattern here?) I got into the middle, pulled Lilly out and shoved her downstairs and shut the door. We were back at the beginning but worse. A call to the Brilliant and Blessed Cat Whisperer at the Shelter led me to release my despair (eventually) and put in a Feliway diffuser. After two weeks (I feared it would take two years) peace was restored! And it was better than it had been. Of late they're found sleeping back-to-back like croissants, and while they don't snuggle I have seen Lilliane deign to a brief face-washing from Evangeline. When I learn how, I'll show you more pictures.

And as I write, Evangeline is actually sleeping in the odd misshapen kitty pi I knit! (With a tip of the sunbonnet to Crazy Aunt Purl, who led me somehow to the pattern!) Note to self: learn how to put all the blogs I read on here too and all the other neat stuff. Check.


Jane said...

Oh, I loved reading about your fur babies. I love cats, but sadly have been catless for quite some time now. The spousal unit says we should get a big, mean one to live in the garage and kill the rats, but I say no. Any kitty here will be indoors only. That street out front is too busy!

Joy said...

Yay, pictures of the fur kids!

I ignored the "don't get the same sex" rule too. Actually, our cats mostly did it as they kept finding and adopting us and they were all female. At times it felt like we were running a halfway house for felines. And Pearl, our eldest who died this year, would routinely beat up and chase off any male cat that came around and the other cats listened to her. So all girls it was for many years.

Chris said...

I love reading tales of how people acquired their cats. This story sounds awfully similar to how I ended up with May... I guess I did ok on the opposite sexes thing, but not so good on the slow introduction. Hello! We have 637 square feet here! :)

Have you discovered yet? You can "subscribe" to the blogs you want to read through bloglines. Then you can go to bloglines and have all the blogs nicely listed - plus when there are new posts, that blog shows up bold, with the number of new posts noted. Very, very nice. Sanity preserving, actually.