Bob and Kathy's Adventures with Ferals, Part II

July 13, 1998

Hi Everyone,

When we last checked in on Bob, Kathy, the Rude kitties and their 7 visitors, we found the following:

MsNoName was camped out in the second bedroom, playing like a maniac.

One ticked off Mama Kitty and her kittens were hanging out behind the printer in the third bedroom.

The Rude kitties were ready to pack their kitty knapsaks and go looking for better parents.

Bob and Kathy were thinking about having their heads examined.

Here's what's transpired since then:

On the following Saturday, MsNoName was behaving so well, acting all cute and cuddly, that Bob decided to bring her downstairs and sit on the couch and pet her. The Rude kitties were in the basement with me, supervising the sacred rite of litter box changing. (Yes, this is a 4 cat job.) After being lulled into a false sense of sleepy kitten syndrome, Bob loosened his grip on MsNoName, who promptly became wide-eyed and bushy tailed, and climbed up Bob, and down behind, and underneath the couch. (Did I mention that the couch was one of those recliner jobs, with lots of room for a small kitten to hide in?) Bob and I quickly throw our own dignity to the side as we desparately tried to find MsNoName before the other cats did. (Yep that's right, picture Bob and I, with our heads under the recliner/footrests of the couch, our rather large rear ends swinging in the breeze.....) At this point the other cats decide to come on the scene. We promptly told the older cats to stay away, which in cat means "I'm missing something really good over here, so I better get closer." Billie Jo was the first to venture in. She bravely stuck her nose under the couch with mine. However, she was looking at the side of the couch and didn't see the kitten. However, just to be safe, Billie let out a big growl and took a swipe at the recliner spring. Ghost was the next to venture closer. She made her entry through the drawer in the bottom of the couch that is between the two recliners. Did you know a rather large cat can fall through the drawer? We finally got MsNoName out with the help of a can of tuna fish. Score: kittens 1 Kathy and Bob 0.

In the meantime, we weren't making hardly any progress with Mama kitty and her kittens. It was too many together in one room. However, with MsNoName in the second bedroom, we were running out of rooms. So we moved two kittens (code named Goldie and Grey) into the powder room downstairs. We always wanted to get the extra exercise going up the stairs for those "nature calls" after all.

Goldie and Grey

Well, we caught two kittens and moved them into the powder room. Its amazing how far up a wall a 6 week old kitten can kick kitty litter. Its also amazing how many pieces a kitten can shred a roll of toilet paper into. Mama kitty however, was a different story. She went truely ballistic on us. She moved the remaining three kittens into her paw swipe range and hunkered down for battle behind the printer. We think she also has been logging onto AOL and secretly surfing for plans to build her own bomb to get even with us. At least why else would the printer be turned on all the time?

In the meantime, on the trap/spay and release front, we caught another female cat that we felt was Ghost's sister. And sitting right next to the trapped cat was MsNoName's mom, (one of the cats we wanted to catch originally) As we approached, she strolled off, tail high in the air.

That night MsNoName escaped from her room. Ran right into and over Ashley, Tia and Bob. Oh well, Bob really didn't need that skin on his legs that much. Score: kittens 2, Bob and Kathy 0.

Last Tuesday we let MsNoName out with the Rude cats. Afterall the Rude cats wanted to break into her room to get the kitten food. MsNoName wanted to get out to explore and rule the world. The Cats initial reaction to MsNoName was entertaining. Tia (ruler of all she knows) sniffed her, then popped MsNoName on the ears to explain who was boss. Ashley was out and out ticked and showed her displeasure by hissing at the kitten and coughing up a huge hairball. I guess the hairball was for Bob and I. MsNoName found Billie Jo to be totally fascinating. She started following Billie everywhere. Billie finally escaped by leaping on top of the china cabinent.

Tia Maria meets Maggie

Then came Ghost. Its hard to describe Ghost's reaction, only to say that this 16 pound full grown cat, who so fiercely pounces on her toy mousies, and so proudly bears her bigger cousin's tiger stripes looked pretty silly running from a 20 ounce ball of fluff. She looked even sillier when she ran into the wall trying to run one direction, while still watching MsNoName.

Back to the trapping scene. On Wednesday nite we caught what we thought was MsNoName's dad. At least we thought it was a male cat. If not here was a female cat on steriods. When we called the vet to say we were coming with the cat, there was one problem. The vet's office was being painted. The painters were supposed to be done, but they weren't. However, if it was a male cat, he could operate outside, only someone would have to assist. When we got there, the vet had set up a table outside. We confirmed that yes it was a male cat. Then it came time to help neuter the cat. I had to help hold the cat while Bob kind of stood there, with his legs crossed and a pained expression on his face. I guess its a guy thing....

Anyway, we put the trap out again last night, and MsNoName's mom came around. She ate the bait (roast beef) up to the trap, got to the trap, looked at it, turned around, and I swear she raised her paw with the middle toe extended. Then she ran off. Oh well, there's always next time.

In summary, this is now the situation at the Rude House:

MsNoName has been loose in the house for 5 days, without too many incidents. Even Ashley has stopped hissing and is only giving her dirty looks. Her name has been changed to Maggie Mae and she has been promoted to 12 weeks old. (Which means she's teething.)

Tia Maria, Billie Jo, Ashley and Ghost are starting to take great pleasure in whacking Maggie around and off the walls, she comes back for more, so I guess it doesn't hurt too bad. It also seems that Maggie has brought about several new partnerships between the cats. Now Ghost and Billie are scheming together to get Maggie into trouble, rather than Ashley and Billie scheming to get Ghost. We won't even discuss the tupperware incident.

Goldie and Grey have moved into the second bedroom. They are coming along nicely. Grey seems to figure stuff out first, then shows Goldie how to play. (Grey's a girl, Goldie's a boy, so it seems about right)

We've readied the powder room for the next set of kittens. We're not sure which ones that will be, but we're waiting for our kevlar gloves to arrive before we make an attempt.

If it weren't for the problem of no opposable thumbs, mama kitty would have probably found a way to do Bob and I in by now. We're not sure what to do with her. Although Bob may want to use her to help control several of the end users on the computer systems he manages.