Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Three Little Kittens

When we rescued SheiKra the kitten from I-4 in Tampa, I thought we were only adding one kitten to our household. Little did I realize that we were going to end up with three little kittens...or rather, one genuine kitten and two sumo cats in their second kittenhood.
Out of our current brood, Tooncinator is 12, Stitch is somewhere around 10 (we adopted him as an adult so we're not sure), and Farquaad is almost 7. We got Quaad as a kitten, and Stitch immediately adopted him and mothered him, as you can see in the photos below:

Now they're both old and crotchety, and we had no plans to add another cat to our household. But fate dropped SheiKra (literally) into our laps, so we figured we had to integrate him with the others. We didn't really count Tooncinator, since he hides most of the time anyway.

When we first brought SheiKra home, we limited his initial contact with the others because he didn't yet have a clean bill of health. He had the runs, worms, and fleas, and he hadn't had his feline leukemia test yet. The boys weren't too thrilled with him, even with limited contact. He ran right to Stitch, much as Farquaad had done years earlier. When Quaad did it, Stitch immediately started washing him and they were inseperable buddies from Day One. With SheiKra, Stitch wanted no part of him. I wonder if he sensed that the poor kitten was sickly (Quaad had been healthy when we got him, other than being half starved).

Many vet appointments and medications later, SheiKra was pronounced healthy. He had been living in the shower, but now we released him into full run of the house. Last night was his first night outside of the shower, and he spent part of it playing chase games up and down the hall with Quaad and Stitch before finally curling up with me.

I noticed that all of a sudden the oldsters were acting like kittens too. Not only were they playing with SheiKra, but they also had to horn in whenever I tried to play with him with a string or feathered cat toy or ball. My 20 pound sumos suddenly wanted to jump and leap and do acrobatics at playtime. I wonder if they were worried that one of them was going to be voted out of the household now that new blood had moved in. Or perhaps they had seen the Adams Family movie in which Wednesday convinces Pugsley that because there is a new baby, one of the current children has to die (Grandmama reassures them, "That's just not true. Not anymore."). Tooncinator was his usual crazy self, but the other two reverted to full kittenhood. When I would open the shower to give SheiKra some out time, they would even sneak it and eat his Kitten Chow and try to shove their huge bodies into his tiny kitty condo.

Now that he was out and about, their kitten antics continued. SheiKra loved it, but he still wanted to befriend them for something more than just playtime. Not much more than a week ago he was no doubt cuddling with his mom and littermates. Now he was on his own, and he wanted the warmth of another cat. I doubted that would ever happen, but my husband insisted that Stitch's nurturing side would take over now that SheiKra was healthy. Sure enough, we came upon the following scene in the family room:

SheiKra was snuggling up to Stitch just as Farquaad had once done. As you can see in the first of the three photos above, Quaad stayed close at hand to monitor the proceedings. We even caught Stitch meticulously washing SheiKra.

It's rather exhausted having three (not so) little kittens...and one insane cat...in the household, but it's fun too. At least it wasn't hard to integrate SheiKra with the big boys, and it's fun to see their antics as they try to prove they're just as cute and loveable.

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