Wednesday, July 25, 2012


After Mungo died, it rapidly became obvious that our surviving cat, Percy, was not going to cope with being on his own.  He became increasing clingy and demanding, and for a cat who already thought he was the centre of the universe, that's saying something.  When he began getting weird about going outside unless one of us went with him, we knew we had to do something.  So I called our vet, and asked for his recommendations about what sort of cat would stand the best chance of integrating with Percy.  Our vet knows Percy well, having cared for him for 14 years, and he recommended getting a younger cat, about 4 months old: out of really silly kittenhood, but too young to look threatening.  And so I began the search for a 4 month old female kitten to join the family.  Of course, there were none.  I called every pound and cattery, all the reasonably local vets: no joy.  Older cats, younger cats, but no cats around 4 months old, of either sex.

Meanwhile Percy was driving us both nuts, and putting on weight because he was comfort-eating.

I dropped into the vet's office late one afternoon to pick up some supplies, and mentioned to the girl on the desk that I was looking for a 4 month old kitten, and she informed me that they had two out the back, who had been handed in as strays.  She went to fetch one, and came back with a little calico persian cross, who turned out to have a purr like a motor.  Then her sister was brought out, also calico, but short haired.  Short hair seemed calmer, so I said I would take her, took a photo with my iPhone, and arranged with the vet's assistant that they would call me when candidate kitten was ready for collection.

Went home.  Showed the photo to my husband.  Talked about it.  Called the vet.  Said we would take both.  Not quite sure how we talked ourselves into it, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  I picked the girls up from the vet on July the 14th, and we are still trying to convince them that we are not threatening.  They are getting better, but we've missed the crucial 3-7 weeks old window, when kittens are pretty easy to socialise.  They are both litter tray trained and very clean, so we are guessing that someone's pet cat had kittens, and these two didn't find homes easily: they've had some handling, but not enough to be comfortable with people.

Percy has not yet met them, though he has grumbled at them under the closed dining room door, and seen them through a window.  He's not exactly happy, but he seems calmer just because there is something else living in the house - he's not alone all day.

So here they are:

Matilda of Flanders, or Tillie for short.

And Florence Von Sass Baker, Flossie to the family:

Right now they are under my desk, behind the printer.  They've spent the day playing wildly all over the north end of the house, and they're probably exhausted.  If we can just get them comfortable with us, we can try introducing them to Percy.  Wish me luck!


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