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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Rosie and the Pussycats

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Monday, August 21, 2006

One of the kittens on the day the feline family was discovered.
Ok, here's the situation.

About two weeks ago, my son phoned me with a dilemma.

"Hey, Ma," the voice mail squawked, "I found a cat and four kittens in my garage and I don't know what to do."

The subsequent ma-launched investigation revealed that indeed, a mother cat - little more than a kitten herself- and four kittens were tenants of the garage. The feline family had taken up residence under a dark, damp stairway. My son discovered the cats while washing his vehicle; once we were able to get a good look, it was apparent that the kittens were about four to five weeks old.


"Mad Max" and a sibling on the day they were found.
It was also apparent that Mamma Cat needed some immediate nutrition assistance. Feeding four hungry babies was taking a toll on her own tiny body. We believe the cat was entering and exiting the garage through a broken window but just what, where, and how she was eating was impossible to conjecture.

So off I went to a local market, where disposable litter boxes, cat beds, food-and-water bowls, and kitten food were purchased. The original idea was to "furnish" the garage with the bed, the boxes and food and water but my daughter-in-law decided to bring cats and caboodles into the apartment she and my son share.

Special preparations were required because they already own two cats. The furry refugees were kept apart from them. But by the second day, it was obvious that the situation wasn't working.

What To Do, What To Do

The idea of contacting an animal shelter was bandied about but I vetoed the plan.

I believe that the kittens, in their fragile, cuddly bundle-of-fur states, would likely be "adopted" but I am equally convinced that the not so little, not so cute, skinny, long-haired Mamma Cat wouldn't be so lucky.

And I do not believe that the consequence of her detection should be her death.

So I again visited a local market, purchased a large "Pet Porter" and an abundance of other supplies, including toys and a nifty liquid food supplement fit for cats and kittens, and brought the cat clan to my house.

Did I mention that I already share my home with two dogs and one nine-year-old spayed female cat?

"Bear," Chief," and "Lily" have been housemates for about five years and have developed an understanding between them; more specifically, "Bear" and "Chief" get along as though they were littermates and if they are foolish enough to invade "Lily's" space, she beats them about the nose with her claws until they vamoose.

"Gizmo"


So for now, Mamma Cat [now named "Rosie"} and her four kittens [a coal-black brave heart named "Mad Max," two tiger grays yet to be named and the tiniest of the four, a hissing, spitting, ferocious, thinks-she's-all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips smoke-hued fluffball named "Gizmo"] are enjoying the safety and privacy of my step-son's large, vacant bedroom. They enjoy "room service;" food and drink are delivered three times a day, the two litter boxes they use are changed twice daily and room visits usually include about 20 to 30 minutes of human contact time. They are checked regularly for fleas [none so far] and "Rosie" is showing signs of weight gain and an increased energy level. She loves to be petted and brushed.

But she is an inquisitive mamma cat and she wants to know what exists beyond the closed bedroom door. And since I plan to keep her, as well as "Gizmo" and another sibling ["Mad Max" and the remaining tiger-gray are spoken for], I need to figure out how to introduce the newcomers to the established animals.

I am asking for reader help.

Advice or strategies that may be helpful [i.e. successful] would be most welcome. I like the cat. I want to keep her.

Because when you get right down to it, Rosie the Cat is just another single working mother trying to feed her family.

I'd like to give her a place to call home.

Susan Bush can be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com.
Your Comments
Post Comment
You most likely will be be able to find suggestions for introducing your new cats to the established residents by going to the cat website on about.com, accessing the forum as a guest, and asking for information. Also, your local library probably has books that can help you with this. There is actually a section about "introductions" in a book called "Cats for Dummies." (In quotes because I can't figure out how to italicize the title.)
from: Judith Anneon: 08-24 00:00:00-2006


 
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