The first few weeks with the kittens, they were terrified of me. I would sit in the room with them for hours, watching movies, working or reading, but they’d still panic if I got too close. I had tie the curtains up to stop them from climbing them, I took the legs off the bed so they couldn’t hide under it. I was constantly finding new hiding spots and having move/remove furniture to block said spots.
I knew food was my greatest weapon, so I bought them canned food and only let them eat when I was in the room. I also discovered via the Tough Love videos that kittens LOVE baby food. That is, actual baby food for human babies! I found a brand that had a variety of meat flavours, and even in their most feral state I could get both kittens licking the baby food off my fingers. It’s like crack cocaine.
There were really tough days. Days when neither of them had eaten and I would be in tears worrying that they would starve. But they didn’t. They won’t. Domestication is better than starvation, but some days I felt like a terrible person for not feeding them.
Maverick was the first to come around. She was always a guts when it came to food, so she’d always be the first to crack and come to me for a meal. In late February we had a huge earthquake in Christchurch, so I was stuck at home for a few weeks while the university was closed. I used the time to work even harder on the kittens. By now I could pick them up (sometimes with thick welding gloves, provided by none other than the Engineer). Maverick scruffed easily, so I could pick her up and sit her on my lap. Goose, however, would twist and squirm so he could still scratch me. Ouch.
Because I was able to handle them, around this time I managed to worm Maverick, plus flea-treat and collar both of them. They looked gorgeous in their new collars, and how can you be angry at kittens that jingle as they run about the room? I started feeding them only when they were on my lap; once again Maverick took to it quicker than Goose. In fact, I think she kinda liked her cuddles.
The time had come to take them on their first vet’s visit. One morning I packaged them both into a carry cage (they were unimpressed) and took them to the vet to be desexed. They were only there for an hour before I got the phone call to collect them because they were “freaking out”. The lovely vet had done my babies first so that they could go home quickly; I had them back recuperating by lunchtime. All said it was fairly uneventful. Maverick had dissolvable stitches so she didn’t have to go back again, and Goose didn’t need stitches at all.
After the big earthquake in February, sadly a bunch of animals went missing. The SPCA’s response was to provide free microchipping for all animals. Too late for those that went missing, but perhaps some insurance for those of us who still had pets. I took both kittens in for free chipping, plus another cat I was fostering at the time (Beast, an adult torti whose family had lost their home after the Februrary ‘quake). Maverick, again, did well but Goose ran around the vet’s room and I had to catch him with the welding gloves on to get him to sit still long enough for the chip to be inserted.
But then they do this, and everything is okay again…
Now they were both desexed and microchipped, I could start thinking about letting them outside. And add about ten years to my life….coming up next post.