The purpose of this page is to keep my friends and family updated on my experiences with the new kitten I've adopted. If you've also recently acquired a kitten, or are thinking of adopting, you might enjoy reading this as well. For the background on the whole story, See the first entry.
Click the small pictures to see a larger version.
Marco likes his dry cat food, but avoids the moist food. I was making a salad a couple of days ago, and Marco started howling like crazy when I started chopping up the cucumber. I gave him some, and he ate it right up. He seems to like it, so I’ve been chopping a couple of slices for him every day. I also microwaved some chicken, and, after it had cooled a bit, cut some into very small pieces. He likes that too.
I’ve seen him climbing the screen door a couple of times, which is not a problem. He has also tried using the curtains as a play-toy. This is a problem. I got him with a snootful of water from the spray bottle today when he was going places he shouldn’t and he didn’t even blink.
He seems to be OK with other humans; I have had a couple of other people visit, and after a few minutes he has warmed up to them nicely.
And now, further pictures:
I've let Marco out of the bedroom to roam the house. The only problem now will be to keep him out of the upstairs bedroom where my housemate lives. Jeffery doesn't much like cats, especially kittens. Luckily, Marco's fur is becoming less “spiky,” which makes Jeffery less anxious around Marco.
He is absolutely fascinated by the printer; when I print, he's up on the table trying to figure out where the noise and movement is coming from.
Marco has divided the world into three categories:
Unfortunately, the buttons on my shirt appear to be in either category 1 or 2.
Here are a couple more pictures of Marco.
Marco and I are getting on quite well; he has begun joining me while I sleep. He doesn’t appear to eat a lot, but I guess that’s because he’s still rather small.
He's also quite a jumper; he can jump directly from the chair near my computer to the bed, a distance of 1 meter. It’s all quite amazing.
I’ve decided on “Marco” (as in Marco Polo, the explorer) for the kitten’s name, since he is indeed quite the little explorer. It's also very clearly a male name. I think it will work out fine.
Marco spent the night in the bedroom with no problems. When I woke up he was sitting next to the computer monitor; he seems to like it there.
Tonight is the big test; I'm going to let the kitten stay in the main bedroom overnight. We'll see if he joins me, or retreats to his cardboard box.
Below are some kitten pictures from yesterday. The first one shows the coloration of his ears fairly clearly; the second one is blurred as the shutter speed was very slow. One interesting photographic note–my digital camera's autofocus can't seem to get a fix on an all-white cat.
The experts were right–if you play with the kitten and tire it out before you go to sleep, it will not wake up in the middle of the night. I woke up at 5 AM to hear some crunching noises; I was glad to see that the kitten does, indeed, eat dry cat food. I played with him for about forty minutes, and also let him out in to the main bedroom area.
In case you’re wondering, I keep the cat confined in the bathroom at night and when I’m out. The bathroom doesn’t have windows, but I don’t want to leave the light and fan on all the time. (The cat doesn’t like the fan very much.) I decided to leave the bathroom door open and block off the hallway with a pet gate. To stop the cat from climbing over it, I put a cardboard overhang on top of the gate, as shown in the picture. By the time the cat figures out how to get around the problem, it will have had enough experience being in the bedroom that I won’t need the gate any more.
I am letting him in the bedroom while I am working at the computer this morning. He meows quite loudly as he investigates the room, but quiets down when I pet him. The cat has something to say for himself: “6555555ooooytxxvccccccccccc,lc.ooo” He typed this as he walked across the keyboard.
Once finished exploring, he retreats to his cardboard box in the bathroom, probably because it is now familiar territory.
One note: other cat owners tell me that I am particularly fortunate with this cat. Many feral kittens will hiss and attempt to scratch and bite unfamiliar humans while being socialized. This cat has been receptive to touch from the beginning, and lets me pick it up without protest. Further, he took to the litterbox almost immediately. I followed my mom’s suggestion: put him in the litterbox and gently drag his paw through the litter, and the cat will make the connection. Things have gone spectacularly well for me; your mileage may vary.
The cat is still in nocturnal animal mode; he woke me up at 3 AM. I had a very nice twenty-minute play session with him. He chased the cat toy, purred very loudly as I petted him, and literally climbed all over me. I had bought some chicken and gravy baby food because a website said that kittens go wild over it. (If you do buy some, make sure it doesn’t have onion powder in it. Onions can be toxic to cats.) The website was right. I spoonfed him some of it, and he loved every bit.
He’s quite the explorer; he has climbed into the bathtub, and has tried to get past the pet gate that’s keeping him out of the main bedroom area.
This afternoon I gave him some food and he ate while I was petting him. I’m amazed that a cat can eat, meow, and purr simultaneously.
You’ll notice that I haven’t told you the cat’s name; I’m not sure what it should be. When Tom captured the cat, he didn’t know what gender it was, so he and his wife called it “Snowball.” It’s a good name for a white cat, but everyone hearing the name immediately thinks it’s a female name. I’m trying to figure out a good name for the cat; I’m sure it will name itself. I was toying with the idea of naming him “Butch,” but that may be overdoing it.
My friend Tom has a shed in his back yard. Last year, a feral mom cat dropped a litter of three kittens under the shed. Tom was able to trap the kittens, and he decided to adopt them. He couldn’t catch momcat.
This year, momcat returned with one kitten. Tom was able to trap them both. Momcat has been spayed and will be returned to the wild. I have adopted the kitten.
The kitten is a male flame point Siamese mix. That means it is white, with apricot-colored markings on his tail and ears. (The picture doesn’t do it justice; it was taken with poor lighting.)
As of this writing, I’ve had him for 24 hours, and he will let me pick him up and pet him. He doesn’t want to sit on my lap, and if I enter the room when he’s eating, he’ll duck back into his cardboard box and hide.
Last night was hard on both of us; he yowled almost continuously for two hours in the early morning. I finally turned off the night light in the bathroom (where I have him confined until he gets used to being with humans), and he shut up. Of course, that was at 5 AM, so it didn’t help much.
I took him to the vet today (6 June 2002); his health is OK and he got the first of his vaccinations today. He doesn’t like riding in the car.
<< See entries from 24 July–30 Oct 2002