Wednesday, July 18, 2012

and then there were 7.......

multiplying like rabbits.....
Once upon a time there was a Mommy and Daddy who lived with two baby boys and two puppy dogs. Life was pretty full to the brim and with a 36 week old baby girl tucked away in the mommy's tummy things were set to take a turn for the busier any day....

On a freakishly foggy summer's morning (last Saturday) Daddy and the boys set out for a walk with the dogs, taking their usual trek along the dirt driveway of our neighbor's expansive property.

It wasn't far away from Daddy's scorpion saga POW POW POW site that they first heard the soft cries of baby kittens. Daddy was all set to follow the mews but of course our dogs were ahead of the game, and having already marked their prey they made chase.

Within seconds the dogs 'treed' what turned out to be a lone black kitten.

I didn't hear about this tale until much later on that day. Daddy didn't rescue what he referred to as 'wild kittens'. He had his hands full, what with the dogs and the boys.        

I was worried about their safety - roaming around Texas Hill Country with all the potential predators. It wasn't too crazy to think a possum or a hawk - or even a snake could gobble them up.

Still, common sense dictated that it wasn't strictly our problem, and if we wanted to set out in search for stray cats to save, sadly, we could find a million mangy minxes in need of a loving home. There was also a slight reticence to the word 'wild' which daddy had used to describe them. I didn't want to risk rescuing rabid cats!

It soon became our problem when the tiniest bit of black fluff brazenly made its way onto our land, in spite of its earlier run in with our safely penned would-be predators. Even with the dogs woofing wildly at the enticing little creature, it stood its ground from a safe distance crying out to us, "Help! Help! Help!".

What was a Momma to do? I set out a small bowl of water and a jar of Gerber baby chicken puree (from the same baby food stash that pulled our parvo pup back from the brink last winter) on our driveway and waited a wee while, then I tried to approach stealthily - but how much stealth can an eight month preggo Momma pull off?

My slow waddle was never gonna cut it, besides my paranoia of contracting a harmful baby bump disease was a major debilitating factor. Instead a nimble footed Daddy was nominated to snare the stray kit. He eagerly rounded on the wee wild one and before long he had her stashed in a big cardboard box that had formerly housed our outdoor grill.      

It crossed my mind that there was only one, and Daddy had thought he'd heard a pair. Well, this one was obviously the wilier one of the two - a hardy survivor of this treacherous territory. Hopefully hardy enough to hold its own with two mutts and two toddlers...

I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to adopt it. Of course it wasn't a good idea - it was a terrible idea, but Daddy was already in love with the wee beastie. I remember hearing tales of newborns being suffocated by cats snuggling up tight over their milk mouths, and that cat poo was potentially toxic for an unborn child. Not such a shocker then that I harbored doubts and yet still my heart was already inclined to give this kitty a fighting chance in our family.. blasted pregnancy hormones!

Mommy did a bit of online research on possible diseases that the wee waif may be carrying and although there were mild risks of human contraction (minimal risk of rabies) - the only real risk was to unborn baby from ingesting cat poo. 

Well that was settled then. No matter how peckish preggo Momma was feeling I would refrain from snacking on Kitty-Kat litter contents!

We did a little (little being the operative word) investigative work in the neighborhood, just in case someone was missing their much loved kitty cat. OK, we asked one neighbor - the one whose land Daddy was walking on when he first spotted the runaway (the same land that one of our pooches got a bullet in the butt). It didn't belong to them.  

Surely that was already going beyond the call of duty? Hadn't we searched enough? Perhaps we should have posted signs up on our road....

Ah well, i
sn't possession 9/10 of the law? Finders keepers, right? In all likelihood the poor thing had been abandoned so I didn't feel too bad about not aggressively searching for its rightful owner.

In this case one man's trash was definitely another Daddy's (and two little boys') treasure!

Our youngest loving on his 'Uh-Oh'
The kitty was a hit with the baby boys from the get-go, especially our 16 month old, who has nick-named it 'Uh-Oh'.  At least that's what he calls to it repeatedly whenever it's roaming free in the cabin. I think he thinks it's escaped - or is in danger - and needs to be safely returned to someone.

He follows it around calling "meow" and signing 'cat', before picking it up and handing it back to Daddy or Mommy or big brother. He repeats this over and over, and strangely - as fast as that kitty is, and as unwittingly rough as our 16 month tot may be - it's seemingly happy to let baby boy pick him up and handle him... 

The eldest is obviously captivated too - but not to the same extent.

The cat hasn't hissed once at the boys, or lashed out a claw. She hasn't, however, extended the same courtesy to the dogs. We let them in last night to meet and greet family member number 7. Instantly - and unprovoked - we saw our feline friend turn feral for the first time. Perhaps she remembers her earlier encounter with the ferocious animals when they ungraciously chased her up a tree.

We gated the cabin so the dogs and cat were separated but still able to watch each other warily - I'm not sure who exactly we were protecting though. The dogs eyed up our black fur ball much like they would a rawhide treat. 
Pup barked a couple of times and kit hid under the couch. 

It could have been worse. It'll take a few more meetings before they're snuggling up together on the rug!   

Once again Daddy is cat-happy. We've had two cats cross our paths in the past - never before a black one - both of which we fostered briefly before our inevitable departure overseas. 

Admittedly Daddy's predilection for petting pussy has conjured jealously in the past - but finally Mommy is in that place of utter fulfillment (and sheer exhaustion) to finally let some of other willing creature lavish in the loving hands of papa bear. More guilt-free time for Momma to blog!!

Now we have to think of a name for the wee 'beastie' - which Daddy already threw out there. Our eldest has tried it out on his tongue a couple of times, but it hasn't stuck tho. 'Uh-Oh' is also a contender, and 'Kitty Kat'. 

I generously offered the name Eponine - the little waif and stray from Les Miserables (Daddy's favorite musical and top of his 
baby girl name list) - as there's not a cat in hell's chance that our little girl should be so lucky!

The name just lends itself to such ribbing and ridicule (Epi, panini, punani to list a few) besides which her literary character is not so endearing as her musical counterpart - no matter how well she can belt out a tune! 

But I figure for a cat that will stay largely within the family home and not have to attend school or ever worry about getting a job, the name Eponine surely can fly. Admittedly it was only Momma that thought up the barrage of nasty nicknames - so perhaps poor 'punani' the pussy is not safe from ribbing and ridicule after all.... 

We are open to suggestions (bearing in mind we still don't know for sure if she's a girl or a boy). What would you name our newbie family recruit? 


  1. I would have to name him/her "Lucky" What a cute family to have find her! Love the pic of your little man holding the kitty. Be well! -shellybean

    1. Ooh, I like that.. especially as she's the 7th member too! I'll have to pass that one by the boys....