Thursday, October 14, 2010

Newbie in the House

I am currently at the desk, trapped beneath a 2.8 pound 12-week-old sleeping kitten.

We lost our bird to illness. She didn't die, but we did send her to a rescue where they are more equipped to deal with her condition than we are. 

And so, quite literally having an empty spot in the house, the family went to the pet store to pick up some dog treats and we saw an adorable kitten. Curious, spunky, but not obnoxious. I've never had a kitten; I have adopted an adult cat, but he knocked a screen out of the window while we weren't at home and was gone. (We adopted him sans claws, so I worried about him being out. He's chipped, but we've never gotten a call from the shelter, so I hope some family snagged him up and he's got another home and didn't meet a bad end. )

I've really missed having a cat around.  Plus, the local animal shelter is doing half off adoptions on cats for the month of October! Dave gave in and we went into the adoption area to look at the cat and she immediately jumped on his shoulder and lied down. He was sold. ;)

Having a baby cat is a new experience for me. It's like having a toddler; although she's already potty trained, she has to be told over and over where she is allowed to roam and she is curious about EVERYTHING. 

I plan on clicker-training this cat in case, like our other cat, she manages to escape the house. Hopefully that way the clicker will be a signal to come. I got some moist treats and a clicker, and every time she responds she gets a treat. We are doing this several times a day. 

Connor, Genna and Aileen are very good with her; they all know how to act around an animal and they actually burn up each other's energy playing with one of those string on a stick toys. 

Fortune, our Great Dane is a 'mommy dog.' She calmly lays in the floor and waits for the kitten to approach  her. 

Out Pitt, Kona, is another story. She is extremely well behaved usually. She follows commands well and is very food motivated, making her easy to train. She has only two obnoxious behaviors; one would be the uncontrollable urge to jump our fence which results in her being on a lead in a fenced yard. (sigh) The second would be the new stupid behavior of apparently thinking she should chase anything smaller than her, ie the kitten, who planted herself on my shoulder (I've got the claw marks to prove it) and as soon as I yelled at the dog, she stopped... But she sits on her bed and literally SHAKES when the cat comes into the room. She mostly controls herself out of fear... She's difficult to discipline because Kona, also adopted, was beaten by her previous owner. Any disapproval on our part results in cowering. In fact, I believe she was specifically beaten with sticks, ect. It took me a month to get her to realize she wasn't about to get a beating when she saw me get the broom to sweep the kitchen. 

I suppose I should just let the cat open her up once. She play-jumped at our bird one time and got a good bite for her trouble and never, ever so much as looked at the bird after that. Unfortunately, I don't feel comfortable letting the cat take care of business until she is bigger, so we're going to be in for a few months of closely watching Kona. 

Ah, well. I'm rambling. 

Here's a pic of the newbie:

I know, not great, but try getting her to hold still while awake. ;)


USA_Admiral said...

An adorable cat. This makes me really miss my old girl too. I had her 19 years. I got very attached.

Did I miss the cats name somewhere or am I still suffering the effects of pravastatin?

WomanHonorThyself said...


Brooke said...

Ah, USA... I forgot to mention it! LOL!

The cat's name (so far) is Spot, after Data's cat on Star Trek TNG.

It is very easy to get attached.

Angel: Thanks! I sure am!

cube said...

Was it Jack who ran away? :-(

You named your kitty Spot? How cool is that. They won't let me name any more animals after Trek since our German Shepherd, Dax.

Any animal can be corrected to any behavior but it takes consistent correction as you well know because you have multiple animals.

Time and patience.

Once Spot gets old enough, he will show the pitt what for and the pitt will ease off. They are smart dogs and don't want to mess with the claws.

cube said...

BTW I thought I was at a different site when I first clicked over here. Wow!

Linda said...

We have 'feral' cats that we feed, and they are as close to pets that we have now. When the kids were still home we had dogs and cats, but not anymore.

Yours is a cutie, though!

Brooke said...

Cube: Yes, it was Jack. (sigh) I hope wherever he is, he's doing well. Like I said, he was chipped so he never made it to a pound.

Yes, time and patience. The bad thing is a firm NO results in Kona's cowering and acting like I'm going to beat her. Of course she responds well to positive training, but it's kind of hard to correct a bad behavior with a treat. :S

I did change it up a bit. I got tired of the white type on black. This is a bit easier to read... I would like to insert a custom back ground but I think I'll have to ask hubby for help w/that one.

Brooke said...

Linda: oooh. Feral cats can be cool to watch, but I'm all about spay/neuter. Cats reproduce like rabbits!

You clearly need a pound cat. :)

Linda said...

Ah, Brooke, we live in the country. No self-respecting pound cat would stay around. It seems like they reproduce a lot, but by the next season, we see new cats. They have been fun, and once in awhile we can catch one or two of them, and love them up. Then, they come back for more and more.

beamish said...

I love cats but they don't love me. I'm allergic :(

Brooke said...

Ah. In a small township the houses are close enough together that outside cats can be a pain. There are two big white ones that hang out in this neighborhood. The bad thing is they like to climb on the car hood when it's cold, so I have to buff out claw marks every now and again.

Plus, one of them pees under the car and that can really stink.

Still, it's cool because they keep the pest population down.

Country cats are neat. Watching them hunt is a blast.

Beamish: Aw, I hate that for you! At least you've got that cool little dog.

Maybe you should try one of those wrinkly hairless ugly cats? ;)

cube said...

I'm sorry to hear about Jack.

My daughter's teacher had two sister kittens that she was trying to find homes for and we ended up adopting them both. Turns out they were feral, but because of my reputation as a cat charmer, my girls were convinced I would get them to stop hiding under the table.

Their first night at our house, I lied down on the floor by the table and pretty soon they both came out and were climbing all over me. Cats don't like to be pushed into anything; it's got to be their idea.

Steve Harkonnen said...

She's adorable.