Saturday, June 22, 2013

Say Hello to My Little Friend

Chantilly TabbyCat ("Tilly")
Meet Chantilly TabbyCat, who will be called "Tilly".  She's a lovely little girl, about 6 months old, who came into my home Thursday evening.

Here's how it came to pass:  those of you who know me remember that I was devastated when my mini-dachsie, The Infamous MeggieDog, passed away after a long and happy life.  I honestly didn't think I'd ever have another pet because it caused me such heartache to lose her.

Several friends and coworkers had offered me cats and dogs at one time or another.  I always replied politely that I appreciated their thinking of me, but I just wasn't ready for another pet.  "Maybe when I retire," I'd say.

Then last Tuesday one of my coworkers came to me and asked if I'd ever gotten myself another pet.  I told her I hadn't, that I just hadn't been able to do it yet.  She told me that her son and his girlfriend had adopted four kittens, all under a year old.  Then his girlfriend's cat allergy became so bad that they needed to find homes for the kittens.  My coworker had taken the cats into her home until forever homes could be found.  She already had four cats of her own, so having EIGHT in the house was really more than she could deal with.  She asked if she could bring photos over for me to see.  I had grave doubts, but agreed to look at the photos.

There were 2 girls and 2 boys.  All four were perfectly adorable, but I kept being drawn back to the photo of this little gray tabby with gorgeous eyes.  I learned that she was about six months old, had all her vaccinations, and had been tested for feline leukemia and feline AIDS (which I didn't even know about!).

So, I agreed that I would take this little sweetie and give her a good, loving home.

She arrived in my office late Thursday afternoon, just before the end of my work day, in a pet carrier.  She seemed a bit bewildered by the strange surroundings but quickly calmed down.

As I drove her home, she actually fell asleep!  I'd already prepared one of my bathrooms for her with food, water, litter box, and a bed.  I opened the carrier door; she stepped out, looked around for a moment, looked at me, then hopped in the litter box and made use of it.  One hurdle out of the way!

She nibbled a bit of kitten chow and sniffed her water dish.  Another hurdle.

I left her in the bathroom while I had dinner, then let her out to explore her new home.  Everything was going really well; she would check out a new area, then come back by my recliner for me to give her a quick stroke down her back.

It occurred to me that I should check to see how much slack was in the collar she was wearing, so I slipped a couple of fingers under the collar and leaned forward to take a look.  What I'd forgotten was that my recliner makes a bit of a banging noise when you lower the footrest on it.  It banged, and the next thing I knew I was holding an empty cat collar and bleeding from a two inch scratch on my hand.  Poor baby!!

She'd run under the couch, so I just left her there, speaking softly to her from time to time.  When bedtime came, she was still under the couch, so I went to bed and left the bedroom door open in case she cried so I'd hear her.

About 12:30 I heard my Roomba start running (it was against a wall in my bedroom).  The poor kitty had apparently come in and decided to check it out, stepping on the start button!  I turned the Roomba off and settled it back into its dock.  The kitten was nowhere to be seen.  I crawled back into bed and went back to sleep.  During the night I woke up a few times when she crawled up onto the bed to see what I was doing.  As soon as she saw that I was awake, she'd hop down and go under the bed.

The next morning, she was doing fine but still wouldn't get close to me.  After all, she thought I'd tried to kill her with a recliner!  Luckily, by the time I got home that afternoon, she was allowing me to pet her again.  She was still a bit cautious, but at least she wasn't under the couch.  She quickly warmed up to me, though, and slept next to me in bed that night.

And so we have become great friends.  :-)  She was up early this morning, playing and watching me with great interest as I went about some household chores.  She helped me make the bed and fold a load of towels.  After a few hours of busy play, she decided it was nap time and disappeared.  I let her get settled in and went to see where she was napping.  She's under my bed, catnip mouse at her side, happily sleeping.

I hope you all have as good a Saturday as Tilly and I are having.  :-)

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