Friday, July 9, 2010

Franny

You may remember that in mid-March, my old boy Jake died of old age and kidney failure. I've been thinking since then about getting a third cat, a kitten, but I had a lot of trips planned and kittens require a lot of love, bonding time, and a watchful eye so I waited until I came back from retreat.

Tuesday my nephew Miles and I went out to the Humane Society and we brought home a little torbi (tortoise shell/tabby mis). Her name is Franny, she is a little under 2 months old and a little under two pounds. I hope to post a picture soon.

There is something so cute, so endearing about baby mammals, and especially kittens and puppies, I think, for their facial features and antics charm us. Members of the groups I lead here fall into two camps: those who love kittens and can't stop holding her, petting her, playing with her, and those who aren't animal lovers or are allergic and look on politely. My friend Pam, who grew on a farm with many barn cats (and kittens), was so entranced, I felt like I should search her bag when she left last night in case she'd tucked Franny inside. :)

Franny is curious, bold, feisty but respectful of the two older cats, who are mightily pissed off. Nellie hisses and growls and runs under the bed. Fortunately, she does not seem mad at me. She'll let me hold her, cuddle her, and she'll sleep right by me. But she runs away from the kitten. I don't think of her as a Fraidy Cat, but with Jake gone now almost 4 months, she has become used to being the only cat inside (with the advent of good weather, Reinie is living outdoors now). And of course there was no verbal way to prepare her for the advent of the interloper.

Reinie has shown little interest in the kitten, who gives him a wide berth. Reinie is gentle and loving but he is the alpha male in the two yards he presides over and Franny must know that for when he comes toward her, she huffs up twice her size and backs away..

She is taking more time than I remembered--she doesn't sleep all night and when she's awake, she wants company and says so in a high-pitched meow that is unmistakeable. I watch to be sure she eats enough (the vet says she's underweight, not surprising for a Humane Society kitten who must contend with bigger others for food). But she seems to follow my voice, purrs loudly when I pick her up, wants my attention.

Having a cat is a long-term commitment and how do you know who will be the right one? Gut instinct said yes with Franny. And she's darn cute!

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