My Foster Kittens
I'm feeling quite sad! I've just finished my four week term fostering three little kittens - a tabby girl called Hissy, a ginger boy called Percy, and a little grey girl called Lilli-Puss. They arrived here frightened and semi-wild, and are leaving smoochy and sociable. My kitten fostering has been a success!
My Foster Kittens
Hissy and Spitty
My friend Judith feeds a colony of feral cats. Three of the colony kittens were trapped when six weeks old, and at ten weeks they came to live in the Moosey office. They hadn't been handled, and were 'hissy and spitty'.
Right. I'm a cat person, I'm patient, and I have the time. No problem! And if I'm a little on the sentimental side, what does it matter? These kittens would be nurtured, and fed, and taught to get used to humans. Easy. I'd just be patient.
Percy the Ginger Kitten
Well, well, well. As a kitten fosterer I quickly turned into a self-deluded Mother Cat, desperate to see improvement. I'd leap upon any sign that showed the kittens were being tamed.
So there was that magic day when Hissy Puss purred for the first time, and Percy Puss let me tickle his tummy. Then Littlest Puss jumped up on my lap, and she purred too. Oh joy, oh bliss! Sweet reward! I took a friend's advice - 'She can't go through life being called Littlest Puss' - and renamed her Lilli-Puss.
At first their socialisation exercise ambled along at an excruciatingly slow pace. The kittens hid underneath a pillow in their cage for the first two days. Then I let them out into the room, and they hid in the top desk drawer. But after a week I was able to pick them up, and after two weeks there was much purring and playing with the Giant Mother Puss.
Hissy on the Office Chair
Three weeks - even more friendly fun and frolicking. Four weeks - they've become normal, loving, little cats - when it's just me! They follow me up and down the stairs, and even sleep on the bed!
Hissy the Brave
Percy the ginger boy kitten has became my loudest, best purrer. Hissy Puss has spunk and courage - she rubs in my legs like a proper cat, and loves a cuddle. She's the bravest. The name, unfortunately, stays - it still suits her! And Lilli-Puss loves to sit on my lap and have her head patted.
But I'm not in good shape. My legs are scratching posts (ouch), and my feet are two woolly sock monsters (ouch). I've spent hours talking nonsense to the green chair - the original safe kitten place for sleeping and hiding from scary visitors. But hey! I'm scarred but triumphant.
My Secret Feline Weapon
At first none of my big cats would come into the office except Mugsy. Ha! I thought - a secret weapon in the compulsory socialisation of the kittens. But Mugsy was ineffective. She showed no signs of inquisitiveness - she would eat their food, use their kitty-litter, and then curl up passively underneath the table and go to sleep.
Hissing Drawers and Growling Bookcases
Why did I bother? Has it been worth it? Some might not think so. But some isn't me! Their mother is a lovely cat, quite tame, and her kittens have been easily socialised in the past.
Hissy, Percy and Lilli-Puss have slowly learnt to trust people. I've had fun, though it's been quite an emotional journey - the early days were disheartening, and oh so much patience was needed. I did wonder why I was sharing an office with a hissing drawer and a growling bookcase.
But then, ever so slowly, we four started getting on. And now we are a team - they come when I call, they 'talk' to me, they jump on my lap and purr loudly, and best of all they smooch! I've enjoyed the challenge. Kitten fostering requires an odd mixture of sentiment and love - tempered with lots of good food, and soft, safe hands.
Hissy and Lilli-Puss
Goodbye to Lilli-Puss, Percy Puss and Hissy Puss
Lilli-Puss, Percy Puss, and Hissy Puss - I hope you've enjoyed your new start at Mooseys. I'm going to miss you all so much - maybe I'll see you all back soon! Nine Moosey cats? Oops...