Progress report September 15

I told you I would probably be back to let you know how it was going with the kittens, and I should have been back sooner, because a lot has happened since the last post. Let me ‘splain… no, there is too much. Let me sum up.

First off, after having observed their visits daily for a week, we suddenly determined that there are four kittens, not three – not once did all four show themselves together in that time. It turns out the lynx point was actually twins.

The Girlfriend and I sat outside for a couple of evenings just to let them get used to our presence, and noticed that they seemed very fond of the back porch; even when we came inside, we’d see them poking around right outside the door. The next obvious step was to prop the door open and leave a little food just inside, and see what happened. Last Saturday night was when this experiment took place, and we stayed up late watching them, one at a time, venture in to snag a few treats. The Girlfriend was about to give up for the evening, way past her normal bedtime, when I spotted the calitabby well inside the kitchen and motioned her over to watch. We both got plenty of exercise in remaining motionless (um, whatever) over the next hour, as all four kittens came inside and, curiosity overcoming their caution, investigated the whole damn house.

This required them to walk past the two of us standing to either side of the living room doorway, whereupon two of them ventured down the hallway into the bedrooms, while one walked practically over my feet to check out the living room. On occasion, one of them would spot a movement from us and freeze, staring intently until it assured itself that it was a fluke. Up until one of the lynx points, returning from its investigation of the underside of the couch, was standing directly at my feet as I whispered very quietly to The Girlfriend. With growing horror in its eyes, the realization dawned that it was sitting directly underneath a towering Threat, and it literally did a quadruple take that nearly overcame my skills at suppressing laughter, before it darted for cover. The calitabby, however, became so fascinated by the sugar gliders (pets of The Girlfriend’s Younger Sprog) that she not only overcame her fear of us for a bit, she started ignoring our conversation, now no longer whispered. We wanted to close up for the night, and convincing her that it was time to go took more effort than we thought it should have.

At this point, The Girlfriend decided we should go ahead and trap them indoors at our first opportunity, since the neighborhood has a few too many hazards for little kittens out on their own, so I rigged the back door with a long string so I could close it from a distance, and over the next couple of evenings caught all four during their ventures inside. Since they’re still somewhat feral, this caused a bit of panic, and they secreted themselves in various crannies within the house, giving little indication that they were present at all. Now, as I type this it’s late on Wednesday evening, the 14th, but this will post on Thursday morning, so adjust accordingly. But after dinner this evening, The Grilfriend spotted one of the kittens sneaking around in the bedroom, so we fetched the roast beef lunchmeat and began trying to coax them out. This worked even better than expected, as can be seen from the photo – the calitabby and the flame point took very little time at all to learn how to take snacks from our hands, with the cali actually asking for more audibly. The flame point, less polite, would often snag The Girlfriend’s hand to keep the treats from escaping. As can also be seen here to some degree, the calitabby is noticeably bigger than the flame point, and indeed all three of the others – she appears almost to be older, though this seems exceptionally odd. The likelihood of four kittens from two litters, all Siamese mixes, appearing together at once without a mother, is rather slim.

After a prolonged feeding session, I got them both interested in a cat toy and spent fifteen minutes drawing them practically into my lap, but not yet close enough to start tickling. Still, that’s certainly a good amount of progress for one evening.

My computer sits in the corner of the living room, and as I unloaded the first images to begin this post, the calitabby and a lynx point both sat nearby and watched me, allowing me to talk to them without being very antsy at all. They’ve been both investigating and playing within the living room, so The Girlfriend and I feel that getting these critters tamed down as housecats isn’t going to pose much difficulty in the slightest. I just paused right there (it’s almost live-blogging!) and got out some toys, and it didn’t take a lot of effort to get the lynx point totally spazzed out. It’s been very amusing, and I regret having no decent way of obtaining video at the moment, or you’d be seeing more than still images.

So, is this better than bugs? ;-)