The Household's Newest Occupant(s)
We've been holding the line at four cats for the household (our three -- Gremlin, Tia, and Bastet, and our housemate Kay's one --Shadow).
However, when Hilde and I were over at her brother and sister-in-law's house last month to help Greg install a new swamp cooler on the roof, Hilde was sitting out in the front yard when a small, incredibly friendly, young cat came up and started rubbing against her legs and purring. Greg and Deb said it had been around the neighborhood for several weeks, but apparently didn't have owners. They hadn't taken it in because of 1) their large dogs, and 2) one of their closest friends and another frequent visitor are EXTREMELY allergic to cats.
So we ended up bringing the cat home, right? Wrong! We were tempted, but we gritted our teeth and kept telling ourselves "We already have four cats, we already have four cats..." and went home without it.
So a few days later housemate Kay goes over to visit Greg & Deb, and comes home with...
...a small, incredibly friendly, young cat.
Cassandra was kept in a separate room for several days, until we could get her to the vet and checked out for feline leukemia or other diseases. The vet said she was about nine or ten months old, and gave her a clean bill of health.
Well... if you don't count the part about being pregnant, and probably due to drop several kittens in 1-2 weeks.
""We've been suckered!" I cried when Kay told us the vet's news. "Again!" responded Hilde. (Back in the early 80's, a small white cat, mewing piteously, jumped up on the kitchen windowsill while I was getting ready for work. We took her in, and several weeks later Bridget gifted us with five kittens.)
This actually explained a lot. Cassandra had obviously spent a lot of time around people and other animals, and not that much out on the street. So apparently her original owners, when they realized she'd been knocked up, drove her to a different part of town and tossed her out to live or die on her own. Which is how our household eventually ended up with such a sweet-tempered cat. (So thanks a lot, you fucks, you shits, you goddamned walking pieces of moral filth! Thanks.)
Rather than 1-2 weeks, it turned out to only be one day later before Cassandra produced...
...a white & dark-grey tabby-marked kitten. (There was a second kitten, but it didn't survive. It may have been laid on by its mother and suffocated; this happens sometimes, particularly with first-time litters.)
The kitten's slightly over two weeks old now. Both mother and kitten seem to be doing fine. Our friend Anne has expressed interest in adopting Andy when he gets old enough.
The other cats, and the dog, seem to be adapting well to the new cat. (I'm not sure they've realized the kitten is there yet, since it's only been out of its nesting box a few times, for a few minutes.)
Well, for some reason, Gremlin does seem to feel a bit insecure about his place in the household...
We are not recycling any of the cats, honest.