Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect!

Soooo ... Jed and the kids went to the shelter ...

filled out some forms ...

listed everyone we've ever known as character references ...

and released the veterinary records for our dear-departed Maggie as well as our still drinking from the toilet, sweet-old-incontient Maddy.

And today we got the call that we've been approved ...

to adopt a cat.

Well ... a kitten actually.

This black furry blur is Ariel

and she will be coming to live with us on Monday.

That is the name she was given at the shelter (probably why our cat person and appointed caretaker of said feline fell instantly in love) and Ittybit has no intention of changing it. I, of course, will be calling her 'Tempest,' as I'm sure she will be a tiny, whirling dervish only William Shakespeare could have conjured.

She's a playful one.

Now, friends, I am not a cat person. I like them well enough, but they seem to only tolerate my presence. (This could be a cat feature, I don't know.) I have owned ONE cat in my adult life and I believe it ran away to join the circus (or was shoplifted during a town-wide yard sale, whichever is a more plausable explanation for his wandering ways) about six weeks after I had him neutered and immunized). In fact my experience with cats is that they all seem to find a place that suits their needs -- say fish served nighthly at the neighbors' house.

So, aside from the fact that we've decided this shall be a house-bound cat with all her natural nails (because the proceedure to remove said implements of slicing torture seems cruel and with our luck she'll be wily enough to get out into the world whenever she wants to anyway) what else should we know that will make everyone's life easier? Especially the newest member.

Think: Geriatric, incontinent dog who's sweet but never lived with a cat before.

Think: Litterbox placement/maintenance.

Think: Training her to flush the toilet (I've seen Meet the Fockers) or make toast (after she washes her paws, of course).

We'll take any advice if it will make the house purr.

Think: Purrrrrrr.


Kcoz said...

Annabel has been wanting a kitty for quite some time....what gives?
I guess I'm asking how did she convince you die hard dog people to change the pet standards in your home?


toyfoto said...

I wrote about it a while ago in exiled: I've flushed my last fish.

Vanessa said...

Kitties are the best! Of course I'm biased, since I am a feline-specific vet. If you really want advice about adding the kitty in, I can give you some of my humble ideas.
My husband and I have a dog and cat household, and after trying LOTS of litter boxes, I think we have a favorite. It's called the Booda Clean step, and we use it in conjuction with fresh step unscented clumping litter. It has a little entry area which keeps our sweet dog from treating the litter like an hors d'oeuvres tray. It also, truly, doesn't smell. Truly. We've tried so many, and even the automatic ones weren't as good as this booda one. Of course, we have a litter box for each of our kitties and an extra for safety.
Start kitty off in one room, preferably the one where her litter will be located. It will help everyone adjust slowly. Praise your doggy when he is good to the kitty despite her antics. Give the doggy attention first and foremost. Your dog may come associate the kitten with getting love from you, which can only help the situation.
Congrats on keeping the claws intact, it is a good decision. Have your vet show you how to clip the claws so you can do it weekly, and give the little dervish a treat afterward so she will get used to it. We like the salmon treats from 3 dog bakery-the cats only get them after claw clipping. Finally, get that kitty on a preventative like Revolution. You want a preventative that controls intestinal parasites as well as fleas to protect your little ones. Some intestinal parasites can be transmitted to children. Just some suggestions-everyone finds their own best way to do these things. Let me know if I can be of any more help!

toyfoto said...

Thank you! I had gotten a Booda, but not the one with the dome. Rats. I bought the cheapy curved model, thinking I could put it in the downstairs bathroom. ... it never occurred to me that Maddy would see the little clumps as treats. *smacks forehead*

And Revolution sounds good *I'm not much for status-quo* and we should probably make a vet appointment. Not only will it be good for the cat/family, it will be good for our vet. Poor guy got totally flooded in the storm that didn't end. When I was there a week ago he was tearing out sheetrock.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Congrats on the kitten! She's a (blurry) cutie---maybe that's how fast she'll be moving through your house.

I agree on the claws-keep if you can. One idea while she's young: put her in a pillow case (with her head out!) and swaddle her like a baby and remove one limb at a time to clip her nails. I found this a much easier way to hang on to them than just sitting them in your lap. At some point, you will be able to forego the pillowcase and clip them in your lap.

Water bottle squirts are great to teach them where not to scratch---flat scratch pads that they can stand on are great---don't let the cat see you spraying them though---they should think it's a result of them scratching that object, not you spraying them.

And, one other thing: my beloved now-passed kitty Zack had to be declawed at 14 when he started scratching the kids (got my middle near her eye & my husband said it was declaw or get rid of him). Some better vet hospitals use a laser to declaw instead of cutting and seriously, Zack was up and walking around with no sign of ANY discomfort within the hour of waking up. It goes without saying that he was, and had always been a housecat and this was a last resort, but thought I'd mention it to you.