Friday, November 20, 2020

A Roomful of Kittens

 Every cat from last week having been adopted, we started over with a whole new set of cats again yesterday.

Twelve new cats were due to arrive, one of whom had a change of plans along the way to go get fixed. So eleven cats actually reached us, all kittens (most four months old, one litter only three monts old).

Three kittens got adopted already, Pepper and George and I think Saffron, meaning that eight cats (four pairs) were ready to greet me when I arrived at noon today.

All were reluctant to come out, so I petted the various kittens in their cages as much as they’d let me, starting with Poppy,  and left all the cage doors open.  I also let them sniff some catnip sachets and spritzed catnip spray on some of the toys. They didn’t react to catnip as strongly as adult cats usually do, but they were definitely interested. I’d  brought some catnip bubbles, only to realize I cdn’t use them through the mask. 
I got various toys out, which attracted a lot of attention from eight sets of sharp eyes and alert ears.  After that they started coming out one by one. First was PAPRIKA (the orange cat in the big cage) and POPPY SEED (his grey & white partner). Then I lifted out the two adorable puffs of fluff OLIVE OYL and COOKIE DOUGH, the smallest of all our current kittens. They were reluctant at first but quickly got absorbed in all kinds of games, even joining in the bigger kittens’ pouncing games. It took longer, but eventually the all-black and the brown tabby pair (CHIA and SESAME, I think) came out in their own good time and started exploring, though they still avoided petting for the most part. The Presidents (Mr. LINCOLN and THOMAS), the two mostly black tuxedo cat, were the shyest of them all. I finally got Lincoln to let me pet him and got a string game going that drew in Thomas as well. It took most of the two hours checking on them every few minutes, but in the end they both let me pick them up and hold/pet them a little, welcoming petting by the end of the shift. 

It was hard to get Poppy back in the cage at the end of shift (he hid under the cat-stand and went all-limp when I reached in to drag him out. He seemed fine again once back in the cage. The kittens all curled up in pairs of twos and were all sleeping by the time I left.

Health note: one of the little fluff-puffs (Oyl I think) had a little crust in the corners of his eyes. Think I got most of it out, but he didn’t enjoy it.

Also: one of The Presidents (Thomas I think) has a distinctive kink in his tail, about a ninety degree angle. Doesn’t seem to bother him in the least.

Lots of people enjoyed watching the kittens through the windows. I wdn’t be surprised if some of them come back as potential adopters —because who can resist kittens? One woman asked about volunteering and took one of the flyers.

Here’s hoping the mooted adoptions in the works this weekend come through. It’d be nice for these little cats to be having their first smell and taste of turkey in new homes soon.

—John R.

UPDATE, Saturday night 10pm: just learned that five of the eight kittens have now been adopted. Only three to go. --JDR

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