Funny Adventures in Cat Adoption, Part One

Hilarious account of what we did and didn’t do (but should have) when a five-pound bundle of fluff dropped into our lives.

Skeeter

Our new boy kitten.
Our new boy kitten. | Source

Cat-momming is my newly developing talent.  Having been allergic to cats for a good fifty plus years, logically I avoided them.  However, the new man in my life came as a package deal with two of the critters, so I adapted.  Thankfully, allergy medicines have advanced exponentially since the 1960’s, so I have half a chance of surviving. 

He lives with a tabby dominatrix about age five and her easy-going son, age four.  I fell in love with them and became conversant in wet and dry cat food, litter (and boxes), feather toys, catnip, scratching posts, and ridiculous cute collars.  However, their kittendom passed by long ago; thus the rituals of new cat orientation such as training, and establishing house rules were completed before I entered the scene. 

Then, in one of life’s little twists, over Presidents’ Day weekend, we suddenly accepted an abandoned cat.  Since the new kid came with no warning, we really blew it on some of the “Do’s and Don’ts” for bringing a new feline into an already cat-ified home.  Don’t follow our example of negligence if you can help it!

Keep new cat isolated from minute one, second one.

We didn’t, because we didn’t know this rule. And, it’s a very good guideline. As it is well known that cats take longer time to adjust to changes, for purposes of new family blending and acceptance, it is recommended that one keep the new kitty isolated completely for a week or more. By that time, the other cats are so thoroughly intrigued and familiar with the new scents coming from the isolation ward, they will have an easier time accepting the change in personnel. At least, that’s the theory. I can tell you how acceptance went for us without the isolation period. Our mom-cat spent a week running past the kitten hissing, dropping the cat equivalent of the F-bomb, and growling like the Hound of the Baskervilles. Her son, usually fairly laid-back, succumbed to following her lead. It took much patience and copious treats to abate the hate campaign. Additionally, health reasons support keeping the old and the new felines apart at first. Can you imagine exposing your feline family to rabies, feline leukemia, or other nasties? Unthinkable.

Sample cat mug
Sample cat mug

Schedule a veterinarian check-up ASAP.

OK, to me, this is a no-brainer, so we did it. However, it is an expensive no-brainer, which substantiates why the animal shelters in our area deserve the $100 plus they charge families adopting a cat. It’s because they do all the initial veterinarian work-ups, vaccinations, and neutering for you. So, pay the shelter or pay a private veterinarian. In our initial vet visit, we were able to learn the age of our kitten (actually close to age one judging by all the permanent teeth), his general health (starved: that’s one of the reasons he looked like a kitten), his gender (we couldn’t tell if the twin bulges under the tail were impacted anal glands or those other tidbits), his disease state (thankfully, no rabies, leukemia, or worms--- but a big affirmative to fleas.) We also learned what we needed to do to protect his “brother and sister” from flea infestation.

Win the lottery to pay for all the vet expenses.

 Alas, we didn’t.  It would have come in handy for the vaccinations, initial and follow-up exams and the imminent surgery.  What surgery?  His double bits of business look like they belong there under his tail – permanently.  It is hard for me to risk reducing his playful energy and activity level by committing catsnippery to his genitals.  However, under our loving care, he is gaining weight and approaching the shape he should be in.  This means, as a feisty healthy Tomcat, he started enhancing our rooms with “the smells.”  Marking his territory with urine. 

To be continued.


Copyright text and photos 2011 Maren Morgan


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Comments 9 comments

Ghost32 5 years ago

Oh, this is hilarious. My wife and I are total "cat people", but never ever ever would we dare hold off on the "catsnippery" (great word coinage!).

Our recently catsnippered Gato still has more than enough energy--has in fact earned a second name, i.e. SPINOUT for the way he frequently zings stuff from the top of my desk onto the floor.

Super-awesome photo you've got here, too.

Voted Up and a bunch of stuff!


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Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for the encouragement! We take our boy to the vet this afternoon for pre-surgery bloodwork. I like the name SPIN-OUT.


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David Alderson 5 years ago from Cat Lovers, Indiana

I have adopted 3 cats over the last 3 years. The last cat came from a local shelter. This calico cat had been there almost a year and mothered all the kittens that came in. She has turned out to be a better cat then the other 2 we adopted from a friend.


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Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

It is all a game of chance -- with cat kids and humans; one never knows what one is going to get.


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Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Ghost and Dave --- you aren't going to believe this: I won the lottery in a manner of speaking. After I wrote this and the next several episodes, I won a gift certificate to Petco! See http://hubpages.com/hub/When-I-won-a-Major-Award.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for a lovely photo and a funny hub. We have two cats that we bought and one rescue cat that we later adopted. Luckily they all accepted each other very quickly - we had an easier time getting a happy, blended family than you did!


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Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Alicia, I am glad to hear that. I continue to chronicle our life with three cats - I hope you'll read the subsequent parts. AND - this is unbelievable - I advised that someone getting a new "stray-ish" cat to win the lottery and several months later I won a BIG gift certificate to Petco!!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi Maren! Well, I read # 8 first, and now I am going to start from this one; #1 which is so cleverly written w/humor and a big dose of understanding our cat friends. Love it! I'm so glad the medications are helping so that you can share your life w/the original 2 and now...the new one..we had one like this...we named him "MR. B!" You can kind of imagine what the B stands for...now, of course, he is "Mr. B-free." Thanks for a fun read and I shall read more and follow you, too because, as you know, we cat people must stick together! ;D


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Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Yes we must. Skeeter is now B-free, too, as you will find out.

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