Friday, May 8, 2009

A Baby in the House

Everyone who has had one knows that a new baby in the house can be fun, interesting, and exhausting, not always in that order. It's been nearly 2 weeks since my new baby, Dusty, entered my life, and as often happens, the new arrival has taken over the household.
This is Dusty the day I brought him home from the shelter, called Rightway Rescue. It's a no-kill shelter located near here, but until 2 weeks ago I'd never heard of it. Two Fridays ago I attended a benefit spaghetti supper, auction and sale at my church, put on by a bunch of high school kids who have formed an organization they call MAD for Animals. They are doing all kinds of things to raise money for Rightway, the county Humane Society, and an area wildlife rescue operation. I think it's a grand idea, and wanted to support them. However, I had no intention of adopting another animal that night, and didn't even know there would be animals present who were up for adoption.
There were several cute dogs, but this little guy was the only kitten. I was told it was a female, and I made the (fatal) mistake of asking to hold it. Adorable doesn't begin to describe this (then) 8 week old Himalayan mix with fluffy fur, huge blue eyes, and a playful disposition. After thinking it over, I decided to adopt, and filled out the application on line that night after I got home.
This shot gives him red eyes, but trust me, they are sky blue.

I had to wait until the following Monday to pick him up at the shelter. When we arrived back at the house, I put him in the back bedroom, which was prepared with food, water, his own personal litter pan, an old bath mat, a pillow and a tee shirt of mine on the floor. After playing for a while, snacking on his kitten kibble, and exploring the room, he curled up on the mat and took a nap. So far, so good.
Like babies sometimes do, he often fights to stay awake, afraid he'll miss something. Here he's just about to plop down with his head on the mouse, a common sleep position for him.
A few days after he came home with me, he was checked out by my vet and pronounced healthy and a fine fellow. By this time, of course, I knew "she" was actually a "he". After a bit of ruminating, I decided on "Dusty" for his name, since he reminded me of my lamb's wool duster. I kept him isolated from the other cats for three days, but he finally wore me down wanting to go out of the bedroom. It took him about 10 minutes to make the rounds of all the rooms, find the "big kids' '" water bowl and litter boxes, and decide he approved of everything. He also demonstrated he was perfectly able to go up and down the steps to the garage, thank you very much!
His favorite place has turned out to be my computer desk, probably because I spend a lot of time sitting in front of it. He's a real "Mama's Boy", and wants to be near me--on me, actually, if he can. I don't mind, except he has one annoying habit--he likes to "nurse" my ear lobe! I'm aware he was separated from his mother and littermates at a very young age, and evidently needs the comfort of "nursing", even if no sustenance is forthcoming. So, even though it tickles, I let him nurse" for a few minutes every day. He purrs loudly into my ear, pumps his little front feet up and down on my neck, and slurps away. This has resulted in Dusty having to spend the night in his own bedroom, where I tuck him in when I'm ready to go to bed. Otherwise, he's up in my bed, slurping away on my ear and purring like a tiny buzz saw! Not conducive to sleep for me!
Dusty is a big fan of Hoyles Card Games, and tries to "catch" the cards as they move around the screen. Here he is "watching" a game of "hearts".
Everyone who has met him has fallen for his sweet face, funny antics, and cheerful disposition. The other cats are doing well with him, and Buttercup, who I thought might present a problem with jealousy, has adopted him as her chief playmate.
I mentioned his "little" feet, but actually they are large for a kitten. The vet tells me he's likely to be a large cat, so I keep warning Buttercup she better take it easy, or one day he'll whip her butt! She gets the upper hand in their play now, and occasionally he squeals when she kicks or nips him, but he shakes it off and dives back in for more, so he must enjoy it. I monitored their play carefully for the first few days until I was certain she wouldn't really injure him.
We go back to the vet next Wednesday for the next baby shots. Just like any baby, he has to be vaccinated and get regular health care. In about three more months, it will be time to have him neutered, but he'll keep his claws intact, since I don't have any of my cats declawed.
Right now he's napping on a dining room chair cushion, another favorite spot. Like all babies he sleeps a lot. It's a dreary, rainy day here, so it's a good day for cat naps. I may take one later myself.


Ang said...

He's absolutely adorable and I want to cuddle up with him and listen to him purr...Enjoy the company of the new baby

Fat[free]Me said...

Oh, he is scrumptious. Want.

(love your paintings and your other cats mentioned in previous posts too)

Caren said...

Hi Vennie!

I'm visiting you from Ang's blog. Congratulations on being her first "blogger or the week!"

Your kitten sure is a cutie and that's coming from a "dog person" The picture with the solitaire game is my favorite. My mom used to have a cat who did a similar thing with Vanna White on "Wheel of Fortune." You might want to let your kitty watch that for some extra entertainment. ha ha!

Your paintings in you previous post are lovely btw, I'll be back to read again soon. Have a great Monday!