Friday, November 6, 2009

Taming the Wild Kitten

Last Sunday while we were installing windows in the barn, Nutmeg was barking frantically. When we investigated, we found she had chased something into a big brush pile in the woods. It turned out to be a little feral kitten--a feisty ball of sharp claws and hissy-fit. Cadence pulled it out of the brushpile wearing protective leather gloves and placed it in a big dog crate with a litter box, water and food. The kitten waswas nothing but fur and bones -SO skinny- and we were concerned that Nutmeg might have hurt her. It wasn't long before she began to eat, which we took for a good sign, although she snarled and hid in the corner of the crate whenever we came near.

Most of our cats have been adopted strays, but all have been pretty much civilized when we got them. I was skeptical whether we would be able to tame this wild thing, but I thought she might decide to stick around and be a barn cat, at least, if we supplemented her mousing.
We put the crate in my office, where it is quiet and can be closed off from the other animals, yet we can be around her a lot. Within two days she didn't try to bite us when we picked her up. By yesterday, she was sitting in my lap purring! She is still extremely skittish, but likes being held, or at least puts up with it. She has a stuffy nose so yesteday I took her to the vet for checkup before letting our animals come in contact with her. The vet was surprised to see she has an adult canine tooth--she is older than she looks, probably 6 monhts, not 3 months. She had a bit of a fever so now she is on antibiotics. When she gets healthy again we will test her for feline leukemia and get her immunized.

So, now that we have spent $60 on her, I guess we have a third cat. No name yet--any suggestions??


Anonymous said...

No name ideas, but you'll find one that fits.

I had a feral stray that turned into a lap cat too - - and the last stray (who was not in the least bit skittish) was to be an outdoor cat, but after we had her spayed, and then needed to keep her inside while she healed... well, then she's a family cat after all.


Rhonda said...

Cat lover, here. :) I'm thinking, since she was found by Nutmeg, she might need a spicy name to complement her doggy friend. But, whatever it is, the perfect name will come. ~~Rhonda

Barry said...

This story is similar to how our Magnolia (Maggie) came to us. Found as a wee kitten in the woods between the horse farm and Frost Bottom Farm. She hissed and yowled and bit a big, manly guy then was captured by my wife. We let her have the run of our room that night and woke to find her snoozing peacefully between our pillows.

The name will come.

Becky said...

Great job taming her so quickly. My mom saved a wild kitten when we were kids. She loved us but always ran when strangers were around.
Hopefully she's feeling better soon and will be ready to meet the rest of the 4 legged family.

What about "Ashes" since you found her near the woodpile"... or "Ginger" since Nutmeg found her... or "Autumn"...

katiegirl said...

She is very cute! And she's lucky you guys took her in before winter!

I don't know if I have any good name suggestions. How about Peekaboo?