My Children: A Tale of Two Kitties

Do I love my cats too much or just enough?  This time last week, I was making the final preparations on the apartment for bringing home a new kitten.  I had one adult cat already who had taken a while to warm up to people.  She was adopted at the PetSmart in Fort Worth after animal control picked her up off the street.  Her behavior and attitudes thus far have revealed to me some things about her past.  I suspect that she belonged to some people before, but that she was abandoned during a move.  We named her Seven, and she has excellent house manners.  Seven has never been curious to jump on bookshelves, she doesn’t claw furniture (just her tree), she uses her box just fine, and has no interest in people food.

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As the vet says, we have a “pretty good kitty.”

I felt bad for her spending time alone while we are away, but like me, it turns out she lives for her quiet time and is just not interested in entertaining small children.  So what did I do?  I brought a toddler into the house.

Enter Karai.

The first time around, we were looking for a solid black kitten, because my boyfriend had a dream of having a black cat named after a character from the ninja turtles comics.  Instead, we brought home Seven because she reminded me so much of my first cat.  This time around we were going to be more picky.  A coworker turned up with three pregnant cats at the same time, and from the first litter, seven kittens were born.  The father of all three litters is a black tom and all the mothers are all some variety of Maine Coon.  My boyfriend dislikes long-haired cats, because he suffers from mysophobia.  He has barely been able to pet our short-haired cat with his hands, because he doesn’t want to have to wash them again right away.  He had hoped that having a cat might give him positive exposure, but Seven isn’t a snuggle cat at all, so he doesn’t have to touch her unless he wants to.

So my coworker held on to a tiny black kitten for us.  Turns out she had a tiny tip of white on her tail.  We were determined, though, because we’d already waited for this kitten to grow up and be independent.  I arrived at work three weeks ago to see a note on my desk.  “Kittens are ready.  Should we deliver her tomorrow?”  I explained that Seven was due for shots, but after that we should be good to go.  Then the vet said we should wait two weeks for the shots to take full effect.  So we waited.  During that time, my coworker revealed to me that the kitten had a bit of white on her chest as well, but we’d already had him hold her an extra two weeks when they could have already found a home.

Two weeks went by and the house was ready.  I was all set to wake up early and pick up my new baby at work, but when I woke up I had a text on my phone: Kitten has some gunky eyes this morning, do you want to wait for that to clear up?  We planned to take her to the vet anyway, so we went ahead with the plan.  When she arrived, she was a tiny, scruffy, Oreo brown baby with wispy silver hairs poking out around her paws.  So much depth of color and texture!

karai

The vet did a fecal float, blood test, deworming and ointment for her eyes (she got poked and prodded and probed until she was worn out and just wanted to sleep).  The vet advised us to keep the cats apart in case the eye thing was viral, and to watch for sneezing.  Karai showed none of the above, but we kept her in a large plastic bin anyway to isolate her from Seven.

Seven hated Karai so much, the first night we thought she might murder her, and us, and I cried because I thought I’d betrayed my sweet Seven so deeply that she would never be the same.  It’s a look I’ve only ever seen in one other creature’s eyes: my last boyfriend when we broke up.  Angry, hurt, betrayed, heartbroken.  I know that look.  That’s the look of “I love you so much, why isn’t that enough?” and the instinct to lash out and hurt back in confusion.

The second night, while we were driving home, our town’s tornado sirens sounded.  Dark clouds were rippling overhead and my babies were home alone.  I love Seven so much, and we were having such a rough time that I cried all the way home and didn’t stop until well after I’d been able to give Seven a hug.  She hates being held, but she allowed it.

I meant to be more productive on my blog this week, but seeing to Karai’s needs throughout the day while keeping her separated from Seven has become a full-time job.  This weekend I ordered a kennel on eBay so that Karai would have a safe place during the day while I’m at work so she could get to know Seven without getting beaten up.  They are making good progress, but Seven still doesn’t like Karai much.  She’s very curious about the kitten, but the kitten is very brazen and has no qualms about charging up to the big cat and pawing at her face.  That move gets an instant slap from Seven.

Karai is in constant motion, so this was the clearest face shot I could get.
Karai is in constant motion, so this was the clearest face shot I could get.

So, to wrap things up, I’m sorry I have been neglecting my blog, but we’re having a difficult transition at the moment.  I will do my ipsy post when that arrives and my VoxBox review very soon.  Thanks for sticking with me 🙂

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