(Perhaps I am a sister to
who cope with Winter
by making a very long
Welcome, March! Welcome also to FLOWERS, actual true-real FLOWERS.
On How A Bear Copes In February
Well, I admit, coping with deep mid-winter is a challenge. One has to keep one’s eyes open for any opportunity to add a few spoonfuls of playtime, love, and joy into one’s life.
For me, rather than wander the wild backwoods in search of joy, I took the expressway right to the station.
First this happened:
After that, it is possible that this may have occurred:
From there, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to the inevitable outcome.
Because You Have Questions
Mr. GingerKitten was about
4-5 months 6-7 weeks old when he arrived at our house. (Turns out the original age estimate was waaayy off. He’s a pretty sturdy little guy!) GingerBoy had been found in a parking lot outside an office building by the husband of our vet. VetHusband saw a second kitten in the bushes nearby–however, Cat the Second invoked Kitten Teleport Technology and got away before VH could grab him. (We hope he is OK. VH checks the area regularly.)
Since Prince Ginger had been found on Valentine’s Day, the vet staff chose to name him “Valentine”. (Aawwwwwww.) Valentine was cleaned up and checked out, given shots, and proceeded to steal the hearts of a half-dozen techs in addition to the vet’s. Now, I adore our vet and the staff, and for the most part, they have thus far proved themselves to be perfectly stable, sane, reasonable adults. These are people who are Kitten Pros. They have certificates and degrees in Kitten Wrangling, Kitten-Human Negotiation Skills, and, of course, Veterinary Anti-Adorable ness Shields allowing them to give a tiny, fuzzy, adorable being their booster shots without being swayed by big trusting eyes and tiny mews. Cheryl, the clinic’s Adoption Co-Ordinator, and Dana, the vet with the kitten-finder husband, were determined that this little Special Guy was going to go to a very Special Forever Home.
So they called me.
By the end of February, Valentine was enthroned on a lovely cushion, lord of all he surveyed, at my house. I found the name “Valentine” to be a bit fancified for the likes of our humble ways, so after the usual rounds of Name auditions, I named Kitty chose to recognize himself in human-talk as “Ben”, as in Gentle Ben, as in BenBear, as in HoneyBearBen, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Settling In…More or Less
Ben, being a kitten, made valiant attempts to play with his new, older, siblings. Dusty, age 12, genially let him live, even allowing the young upstart to play with his tail. Zoé, also age 12, not-so-genially allowed him to use the litterbox, eat, and sit on any cushion that was not hers. (Hard to find a spot under those conditions.) And then we held our breath as six-year-old Tim tried to figure out what the heck was going on. Originally, Ben was intended to be a playmate for Rowdy Cap’n Tim, who was getting a bit too eager about playing with the adults, who responded with much hissing and growling.
I had wanted a kitten as a companion for Tim, so I watched with fingers crossed. Tim sniffed from across the room, then from the other side of the sofa, then from a few feet away, and I could almost hear him thinking: “They keep calling this…this creature…a kitten. But he’s not a kitten, I am The Kitten. For there can be only one…Take this impostor away, and bring me my after-lunch Greenie.”
Tim was clearly Not Impressed. Ben, all ready for a glorious romp or two, was clearly puzzled.
Thus I came to recognize that I had made Le Grande Mistake in kitten acquisition, violating the First Rule of Kittens: Always, always, bring them home in pairs. It’s good for the kitten(s), good for the older cats, and an excellent way to live with multiple cats and still have peace in your home.
Clearly, this story has a Part the Second.
I know I have
pimped written about my friend Kim Werker here previously. I am pointing you in her direction again because she’s now a camp counselor for grownups, which sounds like the neatest idea ever. Check out her crazy creative doings on her website. Also: I cannot recommend her newsletter more highly (other than it is one of the very few I actually read the day they hit my inbox). Engaging essays on the crafty creative life, and links to her own form of “chispas”.