Not much time to write today so I thought I'd just pull together a brief update on the Herd.
We're making great advances in socializing our new 10 week old ferals. It's only been a week since they had their first contact with a human, and they're both light years ahead of where Clove and Pepper were at this same point of their transition from bush cats to house cats. I managed to stroke Ono's head and neck on the second day after she came in the house -- her little gray angora fur is just as soft, maybe even softer, than it looks. She is a very calm little creature, while her brother Kindle is as hyper and skittish as can be. But even he has let me pet him every day since day four -- he even looks like he enjoys it a little bit, until he realizes exactly what's happening. Then he hauls tail away and calls it enough for this visit. Both Kindle and Ono are settling in nicely, and are definitely acclimating quickly to the rhythms of the house. They know when their new people daddy is delivering food, they've stopped napping a lot and are now playing the usual kitten games (like "pounce my sibling and eat his/her head", "attack the tail -- even if it's yours", and "smack the ping pong ball around its curved track as loud as possible at 4:30 am").
But best of all, they've become fascinated with the other members of the Herd and will run to see them and rub up against the screen door to the fully screened-in porch off of the master suite where they're staying (it's as close as you can get to being outdoors while inside) whenever one of the older kitties checks in on them.
All of our best efforts to trap the remaining kitten, Omai, haven't paid off (yet), but we have had a breakthrough of sorts with her. Right after her brother and sister came inside, on the day her Mama went to be spayed, little Omai went through a crisis of loneliness and spent the day screaming her lungs out. Let me tell you, that tiny little things has a pretty darn impressive set of pipes and stamina to spare. She figured out pretty quickly that Kindle and Ono were just out of reach behind the kitty-proof screens of the porch, and took up residence there to cry to them all day and night. (I believe I pointed out that this porch is attached to our bedroom -- oy.) Clever beings that we are, we took some of the cinder blocks left over from the renovations to our house and built her stairs to get up to the little tiny ledge at the base of the porch screen (inside and out). This ledge is just wide enough for the kittens to lay on, and to our delight she is coming up quite often to lay with her littermates, separated by only the thin screen. They're a lot happier and quieter, which makes us happier and better rested. Since food hasn't been enough to entice Omai into the trap, tonight we're going to play to her desire to be with her siblings by placing a towel that they've slept on, and hopefully drenched in their scents, plus a t-shirt that smells like the other kitties in the trap with some food. We're also going to cover the trap in the hope that making it look a bit more like a place to hide will make it more attractive to her. Wish us luck.
And for the last tidbit of the day, we finally managed to get a picture of the Puddy Tat that we've been trying to get for months to document one of his more interesting, and adorable, quirks. When we renovated our house, we put a roll-in show into the master bath, and the main shower area is separated from the rest of the bathroom by a 7' wall of glass blocks. As soon as Puddy discovered that this wall did not reach the ceiling, and that he could launch himself up to the top of it from the pedestal sink, he's spent the duration of almost every shower I take lounging on top of the wall. It was pretty obvious that he was at his most relaxed up there, and so we started referring to it as his Zen time on his mountain, which then led us to start calling him The Dalai La-Maow. Well, as you can see from tonight's photo, the Tat has taken Zen to a whole new dimension. It's worked out better for him to dangle his legs down on either side of the wall instead of hunkering down on top because he can actually go to sleep without falling off onto my head. I'd pay darn good money to be able to relax that much.
Everyone else is doing well, several cats have come in to tell me in no uncertain terms that it's time for bed. Besides, it's no longer Maow Monday, so I'm going to listen to them and call it a night.
Oh, before I go, my site traffic reports are telling me that there are a few of you out there who've taken the time to read my ramblings, so I wanted to say a personal thank you so much. I started this blog for me, but I have to say that it's pretty cool to know that somebody else has stopped to listen. And it's way, way, better to see that those nice folks who've dropped in are coming from all over the world, including Australia, China, and Turkey. If you're so inclined, leave me a little note back one of these days. I much prefer talking with people to talking at them.