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Ginger's Fuzzy Friend

is now another of our semipermanent feline houseguests. If you haven't seen pictures of him yet, you'll find them in gingy's journal or in estherchaya's journal.

I left work, picked him (and his formula and litterbox) up from Corrine after work. We then drove through hellacious rain to the vet. He got out of his box a couple of times. I was usually able to put him back, although once he was so insistent that he stay out that I put him in my lap. Of course, after a moment's thought, he climbed up my tie and onto my shoulder so that he could watch traffic go by. I kept thinking, "If I slam on my brakes, he'll go flying, go splat, and then Corrine will kill me." Eventually he got tired of fighting my returning him to the box, and that's good, because we had to get him to the vet.

The vet's technicians made him cry like a baby...which, conveniently, he is. He's negative for FLV and FIV, and too young for any vaccinations. The vet gave him some deworming medicine, cleaned his eye booger and medicated him for it, and pronounced him well hydrated, with a good heart, lungs, and ears. (no mites) I brought him home, set him up with his formula and litter box, and went shopping.

Karen came home while I was out. He finished his formula while I was gone, and was extremely cute (and apparently extremely allergenic) to Karen. I think much of it has to do with the fact that we don't clean the room he's in very often (it doesn't get very messy, except for the cats dandering it up) and not him, personally...but time will tell.

The vet said that he's got enough molars, so it's okay to start him on kitten food. I took a quarter-can of tuna kitten food and put it in his new bowl. When he came out of hiding, I put him in his litterbox. I'd bought him a new litterbox, but I'd put his old one inside it. That way it would be familiar to him. I'll toss the old litterbox later this week, and hopefully by then he'll be accustomed to climbing into the new one. He used it for its intended purpose, which is always wonderful. If you gotta have a baby, it should know how to use the toilet, right? I took him out and put him in front of his wet food. He attacked it ravenously. I was worried that he was going to eat too much, too fast, and barf, so I took him away from it after he'd eaten for a bit. He spent a lot of time cleaning his paws (he'd been standing in his food) and licking his face. Good kitty behavior. He tasted his water and wasn't impressed. I cuddled him and scratched him and praised him for a bit, and then came downstairs.

Tomorrow may be busier even than today. I'll post more about this week later, if I get the time tomorrow.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
fheyd
Sep. 29th, 2004 02:50 am (UTC)
Congratulations! Kittens are so wondermous - at least unless they start attacking your toes while you sleep ;)

I did some checking after talking to Karen the other day, and apparently since the kitten is so young it might be best to go ahead and introduce him to your cats. Something about him being young enough that he'll quickly bow to the others, and hopefully your cats will see him as small enough that they'll nurture and teach him instead of fight him. It might take awhile - it did for our two guys - but I'm sure it'll work out beautifully. Good luck with everything!
estherchaya
Sep. 29th, 2004 04:02 am (UTC)
We showed him to each of our cats separately. Our two big cats haven't stopped hissing and that was a couple hours ago. Sigh.
bitobear
Sep. 30th, 2004 02:11 am (UTC)
You need a high bathroom door...
Stupid Cat Introduction Tricks...

Rather than introduce a cat to other cats a-fiat, it is often best to use a "high" (typically a bathroom or connecting) door (if you have one). That is, a door with a gap between its bottom edge and the floor that is big enough to reach a paw under.

It is especially useful if that door is in a prime part of the resident cats' common territory. Prefereably a central door rather than one at the end of a hall that the cats don't like. Extra preferable is a door that is "usually open" and the space behind it is considered home territory to the existing cats.

The closed door, the new-cat smells, and the small new-cat sounds behind it will attract the resident cats. All parites will have limited interraction under the door gap, where they can poke and feel and sniff at eachother but cannot really read signs of agression (ear and tail movements) or effectively fight.

And since you, the onwer, have a significant social role in the cats lives, you should handle your resident cats before you go into see the new one. You should also get the new-cat smell all over yourself and then go "be with" (but don't "pick up") the resident cats. Let the resident cats come to you, check you out with the combined you-and-new-cat scent on you, and come to terms with your exceptance of the new cat.

Giving the cats the chance to deal with eachother at their own pace, and under no pressure, before the face-to-face meetings will make things go much smoother.

One of the most common kitten vs adult-cat communication problems is that the ears-always-forward curiousity of the kitten "confuses" the adult, especially if the adult has never dealt with kittens before, as ears-up-and-forward is an "dominant posture". An adult that is un-used to kittens will invariably mistake this for a (confusing) territorial challenge.

Never hold the adult cat and aproach the kitten, or close the adult cat into a small room to present the kitten to it. This makes the adult cat feel limited or trapped and they will respond negatively to everything, let alone a new cat. You ever close your cat up in a room (e.g. like when you have house maintenance people comming over) and then try to play with it? They wont have any of that. Same bad mood and negative reactions to the small-room-plus kiten.

The resident cats will need more reassurance than the kitten. Cats get jealous _real_ easy. "Relating too" the adult cat while the kitten is ignored is good for their little cat minds.

Not that you asked...

Some Random Friend of Seth... 8-)
(Deleted comment)
sethcohen
Sep. 29th, 2004 02:23 pm (UTC)
George of the Jungle
I did not name him George. I considered "Trouble" or "Ebon Menace" (although that one's actually taken by someone I know) or "Houdini" (same thing). I don't think Karen would go for "Chewbacca", and he's the wrong color, anyway.
jeannegrrl
Sep. 29th, 2004 03:17 am (UTC)
If you gotta have a baby, it should know how to use the toilet, right?

hehe - I'll agree with that! ;-)
cellio
Sep. 29th, 2004 03:29 am (UTC)
Same here. I was so happy when I got my first (and so far only) kittens and found that they already knew what that box was for.

(My third cat came to me as an adult. Part of what clued me in that she was a former pet rather than wild was that she, too, knew what to do with the box.)
estherchaya
Sep. 29th, 2004 04:03 am (UTC)
Most cats, from what I've read, pets or not figure out a litter box pretty much immediately so long as you show them where it is.
gingy
Sep. 29th, 2004 11:33 am (UTC)
I was so surprised when I found out that they come that way! I haven't had a kitten around for almost 30 years (I'm very allergic), and what a surprise!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )