Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm not a cat lady, honest. I'm stopping at two.

Pulling into the driveway one evening after work about two weeks ago, I saw a small furry creature streak across the lawn and into the bushes near my front door. It was small, but it didn't move like a squirrel. The girls and I went over and peeked into the bushes, and a tiny brown tabby kitten looked at us fearfully for a fraction of a second and then took off running into the neighbour's yard.

Over the next few days, I saw the little guy twice more. Once I caught him peeking at me from the hedge separating our yard from next door. And once, alerted by Max staring fixedly out the sliding glass doors, I saw him up on the barbecue, which I had forgotten to close after using it the night before, licking the grill to get at the last remnants of stuck chicken. Both times he fled when he saw me.

We live in the country, sort of, and so do coyotes:


martens:


and fishers:

Oops, sorry:


All of which (except for the guy who married Carrie Underpants Underwood) would look on a kitten as a tender morsel about on par with popcorn chicken. Not to mention the fact that winter is coming, and we live a block away from a very busy road full of potential kitten-smushing traffic.

I was not going to let that happen.

I started leaving a bowl of cat kibble out on the back deck near the sliding glass doors, and soon he would show up for a quick bite and then would disappear. With some help and direction from my friend Lori, I read up on feral kittens, and began to plot the kitten's capture. I started putting his food inside a cat carrier, and calling to him when I put the food out for him. Last Sunday, when he was in the carrier eating, I slowly slid the glass door open, put my hand out, and closed the cat carrier. The target was acquired.

He's been given a clean bill of health from the vet, except for worms and ear mites, which are to be expected in a feral kitty, and he's been medicated for both. He needs to stay in isolation (in my ensuite bathroom) for another week before being introduced to Max. How the Evil Ninja Assassin Cat is going to react to having a henchkitten is anyone's guess. I am sure we will hear from him in the fullness of time.

Here he is, peeking out from behind my clothes hampers:

and here he is with one of my giant shoes for scale:


When we first caught him, he was too scared for me to check whether he was a boy or a girl, so Leah and Rachel and I made a deal: if the kitten was a girl, they could name her, if it was a boy, it would be called Angus. I've wanted a cat named Angus ever since I read Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. It turns out he's a boy.

Leah doesn't think he looks like an Angus, but I don't know, I think he kinda does:

16 comments:

  1. OH! he is adorable. I so miss having cats.

    And yes, he is an Angus, but I think he should be drinking 20 year old, just sayin'

    - Jazz

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  2. Och aye he's bonnie.

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  3. Jazz - I don't think he can afford the 20 year old.

    Jen - Thanks, hen.

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  4. awwww.... he/she/angus reminds me of one of my cats I had to put down last year. nice of you to give him a home. and of COURSE I look forward to his life with the ninja cat ;)

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  5. I'm a bit scared about ENAC mentoring Angus. :-)

    I love the name Angus!

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  6. Very, very cute. And well done you in rescuing wee Angus - I am all in favour of non-squishing for kitties.

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  7. Welcome wee Angus! Blue tartan suits him nicely. I wouldn't leave him the full bottle lest he take too much of a liking to it.

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  8. Holly - Sorry you had to say goodbye to a cat last year. I'm sure the ninja cat will have something to say about Angus soon. :)

    Jen - If ENAC starts calling Angus 'Grasshopper' then we'll know we're in trouble. I love the name too.

    Loth - Thank you.

    Pam - You're right, he's much too young for whisky. Though it might make him sleep at night instead of play with cat toys loudly in the wee hours.

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  9. There is not much cuter than a kitten. Glad you found lil Angus!

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  10. What a cutie!

    (Yeah, I think he's an Angus for sure.)

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  11. Very cute indeed. Angpuss, maybe.

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  12. My sister rescued a feral cat that she still isn't allowed to touch, fifteen years later. Good luck with that. Obviously I'm a fan of the name Angus -- he'd have to grow about ten feet, grow some goofy hair and make baseball-throwing motions during conversation to more closely resemble my Angus, though.

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  13. You’re such a softy... my daughter is also and she’s up to 4 cats. Nice of you to be charitable because Angus would surely not have survived the winter. Think of it as good karma. ;o)

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  14. Finola and Nat - You're right, the cuteness of kittens is hard to resist. And the cuteness of Angus particularly so.

    Isabelle - Angpuss! Perfect!

    Biblio - I was pretty sure you'd like the name. It is a strong good name for a boy, or a boy cat. And seeing as Angus will now flop on his back so that we can rub his belly, I'm not too worried about socializing him.

    Big Brother - Thanks. Your daughter sounds like a lovely person. And seriously, adopting the kitten has made the girls forget all about my promise to buy them hermit crabs. Win-win.

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  15. I am so pleased to hear about your new cat. I am not a "cat person" (highly allergic) but like most people, I do not like seeing animals in bad situations. Throughout this summer, my neighbourhood has had a feral cat population boom! It is with disappointment that I watch how good people (my neighbours), with good intentions, only antagonize the situation. You have done for Angus (LOVE the name!!!) what many good and responsible people will not or cannot do. Thank you. I can't wait to hear about all the crazy things that Angus will surely do!

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  16. Krista3:27 PM

    He looks just like Kitty when Kitty was that age. I'm so glad you were able to rescue him. Congratulations on the new addition to the family :)

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