One of my nephews has been keen for a while to get his grandmother (my mum) a cat. I knew she would love that, but I’d been adamant that our pet-owning days were over (all that effort and heart-break) and had the dog and cat doors removed long ago. The arrival of the hens is another story altogether.
Eventually, my nephew got us in a weak moment to agree that Mum would love a cat to sit on her knee. It’s her 94th birthday this week, and he got his family organised to visit the SPCA. They sent photos of the kitten they had chosen, and I had to speak to an SPCA employee to make sure I approved the adoption – and to ‘pass the test’, I’m guessing. She sounded pleased that I’d rescued my last cat, Skipper, from a skip. Come to think of it, all my pets (now called ‘companion animals’) have been rescued. This little one was found on his own under a pallet. His birth date is 9 October, though I don’t understand how they can be so accurate!
He arrived at our house on Saturday afternoon. He was already neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. He had his own sheepskin blanket and a toy dog. The family added a sleeping igloo and plush catnip balls (which he loves) – and cat litter, box and scoop.
We spent a pleasant afternoon watching the kitten settle in and explore. Following the literature provided in his adoption pack, we have kept him to one room for now. Even with the doors open during the day, he shows little interest in going further – so far.
Mum was very quiet and we hoped that he would prove suitable for an elderly person who might be nervous of scratches to fragile skin or stockings. Fortunately, he seems (so far) to be gentle and quite timid. We asked if she would like to choose a name and she quickly decided on ‘Felix’. His SPCA name was ‘Raindrop’.
Felix spent his first night with the donkeys.
It seems miraculous that a creature so small knows how to take care of itself. He came toilet trained (thankfully – only one ‘accident’ overnight) and is good at his ablutions before settling to sleep.
Yesterday, Vera stepped in to take a look at the newcomer and spent a while studying him. Both kept their distance. Felix was becoming bolder, playing furiously, then sleeping. I bought him a scratching post – choosing a solid, NZ-made one, no assembly required. Last night Felix slept again with the donkeys.
This morning, Felix played, hunted a fly, luxuriated in the sunshine and then, in a break-through, settled on Mum’s lap. Job done, everyone!