a stepping-stone to adoption for abandoned furballs





about 50K

Checking In


We got a call yesterday afternoon from Betty, who along with her husband Mark adopted two of our Drifters kittens (Hudson and Hannay) in June. I expected to hear a question about spay/neuter or a behavior issue, but instead Betty said she and Mark had been feeding a stray kitten in their neighborhood, and they had just succeeded in trapping it. They’d been inclined to take it to their local shelter but were having second thoughts.

I told Betty that if they took it to any open-admission shelter, there was no way to predict with certainty what would happen to it. Its fate would depend on its apparent health, its level of socialization, and whatever immediate constraints the shelter faced.

She said the kitten appeared to be healthy and had been eating canned food, and they guessed it was about four weeks old. I offered to take the kitten from her and assess its health. If it was sick, we’d treat it. If healthy, we’d try to socialize it and integrate it with another litter. We were pretty sure Homeward Trails would accept the kitten into the rescue network.

Betty thought that sounded good, so she packed the kitten (still in its trap) in her car and drove to our house. The kitten came right out when we released it in the bunkhouse. I told Betty we’d send her daily updates.

In case the kitten was chilled, I put a space heater in the bunkhouse and didn’t offer food until the room was almost 80 degrees. But the kitten discovered it could climb the baby gate and leap to the counter, where I had set a bowl of dry food aside. Soon it was munching away.

It was also quite squawky, which I decided later was hunger, since the dish of canned food I offered was licked clean within minutes. So was the second serving.

So as of last night, we had a hissy, hidey, athletic black kitten on our hands. I didn’t try to sex it until it got momentarily stuck after climbing our decorative wooden ladder to the top. Then I scruffed it and checked. Male.

This morning Martha made a breakthrough while getting dressed for work. She picked him up and held him, and he purred non-stop, not wanting anything but to be held. Since then it’s been more of the same. He still retreats when I reach for him, but he doesn’t flee, bite, claw, or even hiss. And as soon as I pick him up, he purrs.

I e-mailed Betty to ask for a name, and she suggested Cassady. He weighs 1 lb, 12 oz, and we’re guessing he’s 7-8 weeks old. I’m taking him to the vet for his blood test tomorrow. If he tests negative, we’ll probably try to integrate him with the Angels, since little Cassady is definitely starved for companionship.

As a bonus, Betty sent us a few pix of Hudson and Hazel (formerly Hannay), and an update:

They are comfortably settling in to their roles as alpha male and female. They spend most of their time playing with each other, but when they wake up from one of their (many) naps they tend to approach me, give me a single meow, and flop onto my foot. Then nothing gets done until they've gotten their 10 minutes of head scratches and belly rubs.

I've attached a picture of them observing the world through the back door, which is never used and now treated like a floor to ceiling window. I've also attached one of Hudson having fallen asleep in the middle of grooming Hazel, and one where Hudson is using Hazel as a pillow.

Best of luck with the kittens!


Meanwhile the Angels are winging around the villa, chasing each other in figure eights, slapping the stringball, and hopping onto the futon to greet us when we enter the room. This is not a lazy litter.

As of now Ursula ranks as the most peep-oriented of the pack. She likes to crawl onto our chests and face-nuzzle us while purring. After a minute or so she rejoins the scrum, at which point Farrah is likely to take her place for some peep time.

All the Angels are easy to pick up now, and Hope also enjoys being held and stroked. But if her sisters are immersed in fun and games, Hope will squirm her way out of our grasp and back into the action.

Which brings me to Ariel, our smallest and most independent Angel. So far Ariel would always rather be chasing, climbing, leaping, or ambushing than sitting on one of our laps. We expect her to gradually gain an appreciation for peep time, but for now she’s a little rock-and-roller.

Hopefully she’ll get a chance to welcome Cassady into the villa’s fun and games later this week.

filed by: TS



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