Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Stormy Blue - Adding Another Cat to the Household

 “Yes, we are looking for a blue eyed Himalayan sort of kitty. OK where can we come and see him?” I was on a pay phone at the library and this lady didn’t live too far away. The plan was to get a kitten so the “old lady kitty” could stay young.

“Honey, she said we could come and see him but they aren’t even showing him yet because he isn’t “socialized”, my voice was showing the excitement of finding a blue eyed “baby”.

We got in the truck and drove over to Lois’s home. “Have a seat in here and I’ll bring him out”
We both looked around. There were cats and kittens everywhere, in chairs, on sofas, on bookshelves and there was one older dog looking like a misfit. “But I was here FIRST,” his expression seemed to say.

“Here he is, can you just smell the fear on him, I had to get him out from under the bed with a vacuum cleaner wand.”

The only “fear” I smelled was, for lack of a better word, Tom cat pee. He was a five month old cream short haired Siamese type kitty with seal point markings and startling blue eyes. As Lois handed him to me, he grabbed my knee with both his claw-paws and clung tightly.

He really was not what I had in mind, being a short haired cat, but we stayed and listened to his story.

“You know the blizzard we had several weeks ago? Well, someone dropped him and his two sisters off at the vet’s on Friday, outside in a kitty carrier. By Monday morning they were nearly frozen. The vet couldn’t even get their temperatures to register on a thermometer.” Lois began to tell Elisha Blue’s story to us.

We were there about 45 minutes and the kitty finally calmed down and fell asleep clutching my knee in his claws. He might have settled but I was still sitting at attention and very alert. Even asleep his claws didn’t relax. Oh, my knee.

We told her we’d call her either way in a couple of hours to let her know and left her house.

“Well, what did you think? What would we have to pick up today if we were going to take him home. Oh, I just know you liked him and those incredible blue eyes.”  Hum, seems like my husband was in love with a cat.

“I don’t know, I really wanted a long haired Himalayan type kitty.”

“Oh, did you see the way he sat in your lap? We wouldn’t have to get too many supplies, would we?”

By that time we were on the other side of town going to hike in the mountains and there was a Pet’s Mart. For some reason the truck was turning into the parking lot all by itself, I am sure.

My hubby’s idea of cats when we married was “the only good cat is a DEAD cat…” He’d come a long way in 12 years but I could tell this kitty has captured his heart. Why, I didn’t know but decided, once again, to let him pick our feline companion.

“OK, guess we aren’t going hiking, maybe I should tell Lois so she doesn’t give him another home.”

“ I just KNEW you loved him the moment you saw him!” was hubby’s reply.

“Actually, he isn’t really what I had in mind,” by now my protests were subdued and we were inside Pet’s Mart.

Back to Lois’s pet rescue house and she put the partly grown kitten into a box for us to transport him home. We decided to let him out in the master bathroom.  Our older cat needed one more shot and three weeks to develop immunity before she could “meet” the new addition.

“OK, honey, the door is closed I am going to let him out.”

There was a flash of fur and the little guy climbed – straight up the wall in the corner and was hanging from his claws and the sheetrock.

“Whoa, guess this is a little more upsetting for him than clawing onto my knee…”

My husband is a builder and this was a “spec” home we were living in, the bathroom was 17 feet long and a great place for our blue eyed boy to calm down and get adjusted. We cleared out most of the items from the linen closet and placed a German shepherd sized cage in the closet  bottom complete with litter box, rug for a bed, water and “crunchers”. Up top we left a pillow and some toilet paper rolls and a few other soft bathroom things on the shelves.

When we were in the bathroom Stormy Blue (as we renamed him) scurried for the shelves of the closet behind the pillow and toilet paper rolls. We knew he came out when we weren’t there because food disappeared and the litter box was being used. For which we were mightily thankful!

“Let’s get one of those jungle bell balls and roll it across the floor for him”

And we’d each sit at opposite ends of the bathroom and roll that ball back and forth.  One night he actually came off the shelf and onto the top of the dog cage to watch.  That’s as far as it went.
Stormy got so he’d play with a “swizzle stick”, the wand for cats with mylar shreds on one end.  You had to have a toilet paper roll between you and him and put the stick through the roll first. No direct contact with that cat. I did put on leather gloves and take him out to sit in my lap several times a day… and we repeated the clawing onto the knee routine.

A week went by and then two without him coming into the bathroom proper while we were in there.

He really perked up when he heard the thumping of the swizzle stick and would be ready and alert, behind the toilet paper roll, wanting to play. If you tried just the stick he’d run behind the pillow and hide.

What other trauma must this beautiful boy have endured before we rescued him?

About 2 ½ weeks after bringing him home we were on our tall captain’s bed. I had the kitty wand and began thumping it as my husband and I talked.

“Don’t move! Stormy Blue is on the floor in the bathroom!!”

Pretty soon the little guy came running across the bathroom floor and the carpeted bedroom as he jumped up with us. The kitty wand swizzle stick had become irresistible and he was actually on the bed chasing the stick and playing. Nowhere in sight was that toilet paper roll!

Mitzi, our older kitty would stick her paws under the bedroom door with much hissing and growling.  Stormy wanted a friend and we never heard a hiss come out of his little mouth.

Finally came the day to place Mitzi in an enclosed area and allow Stormy to explore a little more of the house. Oh, the stealth, and caution but he made it to the living room and sniffed all over the place.

“Well, maybe it is time for them to meet face to face….” My husband, always the brave one.

The living room seemed like neutral territory. Mitzi was posturing and fluffing and puffing and hissing and growling. Little Stormy said nary a meow and just sat looking at her.

Several days later the only thing which had changed was that Stormy went up to her trying to touch her with his paw.

Mitzi was having none of this partially grown kitten and four months later was still smacking him to the ground when he got too close and speaking only with hisses and growls.

We’d gotten Stormy to keep her young and she looked like she was ready to have a heart attack.  Stormy had come a long way but her continual rejection was not helping him to settle in.

What could we do? We called Lois and found another blue eyed baby to play with Stormy. After Katy Dancer came upon the scene Stormy had a buddy and Mitzi had her peace and quiet once again but she never did get her house back.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.

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