Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Domestic Partner and I have a new pet.
About mid-October, we heard the tiny mews of a kitten, outside, when we both came home from work in the early evening. I looked around the bushes bordering the front yard, but then the mewing stopped. I thought I had scared the tiny kitty away.
Several hours later, at 5:00 in the morning, we heard the mewing again, loud and insistent. This cat had pipes and stamina! DP was sure that the poor thing was trapped in the attic somehow (once or twice, cats have had their newborn litters inside the sheltered part of our family room's roof).
After finding the kitten on the roof, outside, DP put the ladder up against the side of house, in the backyard. The poor thing had been out in the chill, October air all night! The young feline was so desperate to be rescued, it ran straight into DP's hands and allowed itself to be lowered to safety.
Once on the ground, though, much hissing and arching of the back prevented us from touching it, again. DP put on some gardening gloves and threw a towel over the frightened and starving baby. She stopped the hissing almost immediately, once she realized that DP was not going to hurt her.
She must have been completely exhausted. Before going to work, we shut the grey and white kitten into the garage with old towels for bedding and a small dishes of canned tuna and water. The tiny baby seemed about four weeks old, and we didn't trust our dogs enough to leave it in the house.
When we got home in the evening, the tuna was gone, and the kitten was affectionate and purring. The two dogs were not too jealous. DP and I are more 'dog people,' but we are also bleeding hearts for any animal in need. We quickly arrived at the mutual decision to keep the kitten permanently.
Neighbors have told us that they've seen the mama cat with kittens that look like ours. We're not sure why the mama never came back to get her baby trapped on our roof. Maybe she's deaf.
After a week of considering different names, we settled on Cleo--her full name is Cleocatra (we didn't realize until later that Cleo is a common name for a pet cat).
She's very hyper and plays hard, chasing whatever cat toys we are willing to animate for her, otherwise chewing on our fingers and ankles. She also tries to chew on the pugs' tails and legs. She teases them mercilessly and aggravates them every day. The pugs, highly irritated, bark aggressively, and trap the kitten under their muzzles, as if to chew out her intestines. She thinks they're playing. We think the dogs are playing . . . So far, there has been no blood drawn among the three animals.
DP and I, however, are all over scratches and bite marks on our hands and legs, for six weeks, now.
Last weekend, we finally took Cleo to the animal clinic for her first shot. We figured she was well over two months old. She cried a little bit, but was very well-behaved for the most part.
The veterinarian at the clinic informed us that Cleo is a boy.