I’m a cat person. Plain and simple. Actually, I love all animals, but there’s something genuine that I can relate to when it comes to cats. Call me a cat lady, I don’t care, I truly believe they’re my spirit animal. They’re constantly grumpy, independent yet still dependent on a select few, always asking for food, lethargic but sometimes wild.
Recently, my boyfriend and I adopted a frisky little stray kitten.
So starting from the beginning, my boyfriend, Marc, and I saw some cats by his place. We would lure them with an abundance of treat trails that would slowly inch them closer to us. Eventually, we created a relationship with the skittish kitties. It could’ve been purely because we had tasty food, or because they actually liked us, you never know with cats. They were 2 female cats that we named Bub and Turf. We began investigating these cats, and discovered from a neighbour that they were strays, and that he had been feeding them as well. They’re the sweetest two cats and they seemed to enjoy our company.
Bub is sassy, and her face describes her personality so well. She has miserable looking eyes that replicate her sassiness perfectly. Seeing her interact with other cats (besides Turf) is hilarious, because she’s so small, but will let you know if you’re crossing any territorial lines.
Turf would be the perfect companion to anyone (if she felt comfortable indoors). She’s super talkative and loves being shown love, and she’ll reciprocate it through furry headbutts.
Anyways, we noticed that Bub was looking like a bowling pin. We thought maybe it was worms or something, but she kept growing and her belly was so disproportionate to her petite frame. We came to the conclusion that she was pregnant! Our little Bub was going to became Momma Bub! As time passed, she disappeared and didn’t frequent our house as much as she had before (if at all). About a month or so later, Bub started coming back around, but she had a little fellow tagging along with her. This small cat was her one and only child that had survived out of her litter (unless she only gave birth to one cat, which is unlikely). This little guy would soon be called Jarvis.
When we first met Jarvis, he was very lethargic, and sick; with a face full of snot and his eyes so goopy that they had crusted over and were practically shut because of it. Strangely enough, he was relatively quick at becoming comfortable with us during their visits. He would stomp his way into our house and fall asleep on the couch as if he owned it. That was the day when we decided that we had to do something to help him out. So the next time we saw him, we couldn’t see him suffer anymore and wanted to get him to a vet, which we did and got antibiotics for him. Even when he was sick, he still mustered enough energy to play with a toy, it was a pink football, and that’s why we chose to call him after a football player (Jarvis Landry).
We kept him inside in the basement, in quarantine away from my boyfriend’s cat, Jonsi. After only a few doses of the medication, we started to see the little guy start rejecting it from us, and becoming more hostile whenever we’d feed him the medicine. This was a good sign! Jarvis started gaining some spunk, and was becoming a kitten that we had hoped he would become.
Our experience with keeping him in a basement was hard, as after his round of antibiotics, he became a rowdy one, a typical kitten at about the age of 4-5 months. He was scratching all the furniture, playing with every toy, and eating all the food he could (and peeing in every secret spot he could). This is always the time when people reconsider their new decision in getting a pet. But we’re parents now, you can’t give up on an animals just because they’re a bit of a nuisance at times. And I had hope in him, he was a child to me and simply needed to be taught the proper ways of life.
We eventually introduced him to Jonsi, slowly. We created positive association by letting him smell Jarvis’ pheromones (a cloth rubbed against his cheeks/whiskers area) and gave him a treat every time that happened. Then they would have feedings with each other on either side of a door. Jonsi was constantly growling and hissing, but out of fight or flight, he’s definitely a flight kinda guy. When the two were introduced, we kept them in a room together, but not with the door closed, we wanted Jonsi to have the option of flight so he wouldn’t attack baby Jarvis. It took a few days of this. But soon enough we started seeing the two cuddling together!
Weeks later, I still wouldn’t say they’re best buds, but they get along well enough that they aren’t hurting each other (besides Jarvis’ sudden secret ninja attacks towards Jonsi). When Jonsi is annoyed of Jarvis, he’ll let him know with a deep growl and a clean swat to the head, and the little one will (slightly) calm down.
Why am I telling you all of this? I don’t know really. I was speaking to a coworker and she encouraged me to explain my adoption process, and all the funny perks of seeing a kitten grow. It’s been a whirlwind trying to control this new component of Marc and I’s lives, and it’s been so rewarding. The importance to me about adopting a stray cat, is being able to give the guy a new life, because his chances of survival were little to none. With the condition he was in, and winter almost approaching, I think it would’ve been difficult. And while he’s still young, he would be able to adjust to being an indoor cat (who can still see his momma time to time).
The last thing I want to say is, if you’re thinking about getting a cat, please realize that it is an animal you’re introducing to your home, but with a little encouragement (and treats), they can always learn to become a great and loyal companion. Also, please adopt if you can, strays are difficult as you don’t know anything about their history, but even through adoption shelters, there are many cats that need loving homes and are spending their lives mostly in tiny cages. So remember, adopt! Don’t shop!