September 23rd, 2010

Dorothy Kitten, Dorothy On Scratchpad

Dorothy Kitten

We acquired a fourth cat at the local gaming convention over Labor Day weekend.

There was a gray kitten hanging around the hotel parking lot, approaching cars and people (possibly looking for her people, who either lost her or -- more likely, given the lack of habitation in the area -- dumped her). A bit reluctantly, since we already had three cats including one fairly recent addition who was only just learning to fit in, we decided that if nobody else took her, we would. Several people at the convention were willing but unable for various reasons, so we started making preliminary plans.

We heard unconfirmed reports that someone had decided to take her in, and she wasn't hanging around as usual Sunday night, but we swung by the hotel Monday after dance-group practice to be sure. Within a few minutes, somebody near the Outback steakhouse pointed the kitten out to starmalachite, and we got her stowed away in a duffel bag that was emptied into my suitcase to serve as an impromptu cat carrier. We got her home, set her up in a walk-in closet isolated from the other cats, and did the decontamination routine of dumping all clothes right into the wash and showering.

Fortunately, the vet found nothing worse than some fleas and a nasty ear mite infestation (she had a punctured eardrum, but no apparent damage to her hearing); we were apparently successful in keeping them away from the other cats. After getting a clean bill of health and a spaying, she was introduced to the other cats. Heidi generally ignores her (she was an only cat for years, and tends to be a bit reserved toward either humans or felines). Vir bonded with her easily, playing tag and wrestling (a good thing; the vet says he could stand to lose a bit of weight). Kimba hissed and growled at her for a week or so (he was probably feeling insecure, having barely settled in himself), but is getting more tolerant. The kitten takes all this in stride, including being growled at by a cat three times her size.

Everything is going smoothly, with a couple of minor difficulties of feeding her kitten food without letting the older cats (especially Vir) get into it and keeping her inside. She got out at 5 AM Sunday when starmalachite went out to the car to retrieve something and led us on a merry chase around the neighborhood until I caught her. We're trying to get her to accept that she's an indoor cat now, but she's stubborn.

After a bit of dithering, we decided on the name "Dorothy". I'm sure the experience for her was not unlike being dropped into Oz. :-)