So while we are all ooooo-ing and aaah-ing about the latest Balloon-Juice adoption, our very own WereBear had a spell cast over her by these two little sweeties. When I read her blog post I asked her if she’d share it as a guest post here. I thought with all our cat adoptions recently, it would be nice to remind people we have a ready resource for those pesky cat and kitten questions. I was also wondering if you guys would be interested in her doing guest posts a couple times a month, maybe answering your burning cat questions?
Meanwhile, here are the latest members of the extended Balloon-Juice pet family. From WereBear
Yes, two Beta Cat Type boys. The smallest Cat Social Unit.Which is how, and why, they came to live with us yesterday evening. Because it was a rescue.
offer I couldn’t refuse
These kittens were part of the shelter system. They were in no immediate danger.
I was so not in the market. Mr WayofCats had been very sick, which dragged me down from exhaustion. Finances were even tighter as a result.
When Tristan kept scratching his head and making Owie! sounds, I got him into the vet’s as soon as they opened. Then this happened.
These two kittens, working as a team, moved in the big cage to get on the shelf nearby. Then, still consulting each other, they stuck their paws out or made facial expressions of concern. The sides of this carrier are made of mesh. They and Tristan could see each other.
I said, “See, Tristan, they are worried about you.” But I’d already seen enough to know I was in trouble.
They were a bonded pair.
Cat Social Units
Tristan’s problem was cleared up with an exam and two shots. But my problem continued. These two kittens needed to be adopted together.
But it would also mean they would have to wait, growing up in cages and playrooms, getting longer and leggier and (to the unenlightened) less-cute every day. Which was better than the alternative, which was to break their little hearts by separating them.
“They are so attuned to each other,” I remarked to the person in reception.
“The shelter wants them to stay together.”
Then we both made those quick sad faces. We knew that was a barrier to adoption.
Fresh Prince and MC Hammer, their shelter names, had an extraordinary connection for kittens so young. They were 3-4 months old, and had been rescued from a feral colony.
At the beginning of fall local shelters were often jammed by these successful strategies. Which was good. But so many competing choices set this pair’s odds of adoption back even further.
Watching them play and communicate like an Impossible Mission Force, I saw what the shelter had seen. These two weren’t twins, but there was a very strong brother bond.
Both Betas, but I figured Fresh Prince, with his abundant white from chin to tail, had more Gamma. While MC Hammer showed signs he leaned towards the Alpha side of the range.
I could not catch a break. They would be exactly suited to joining my Cat Civilization. Just when I was halfway through my upcoming book on that very subject, with proper choosing and introductions being featured prominently in it.
So I was looking at a future where I kept my mouth shut, and the entire time I’ll be writing a book about cat partnerships. I won’t know what happened to these little fellows. Or I can go by the shelter and see how they are still waiting for a home.
Writer’s block is hard enough. I caved and asked for an application.
essence of rescue
This wasn’t an immediate emergency. But the shelter, vet’s office, and I all knew this was a potential one. They had already, in a foster home, made great strides out of ferality. The best way to support their taming and max out potential was to give them a real home, soon.
When I talked to them, they drew near, even reaching for my fingers with their paws through the bars. They were coming along wonderfully, but all that effort could backslide if they didn’t get enough play and socialization.
All because people don’t understand how adopting two cats at a time is so much easier.
After a busy morning, the kittens seek out nap spots near me. MC Hammer has chosen a bookcase with a duffle bag under it, so all that shows is his paw. While Fresh Prince is in the open, but on top of a storage drawer set, with his back to a corner.
It’s going to be easier to tame Fresh Prince, who already lets me catch him and cuddle him, responding with a happy purr and relaxation. Since he is so close to MC Hammer, taming one will help tame the other.
The relationship doesn’t have to be close for cats to learn from, and translate for, each other. But progress will happen even faster in a bonded pair with such good communication.
They love each other. So they trust each other.
The vet tech said as the anesthesia took hold they hugged each other tighter and tighter until they went out. She said she almost cried, she was so glad someone was going to take them, together.
the reason why
For people who do not understand the lure of cats as pets, it can become a source of cognitive dissonance. This is when the brain struggles to reconcile conflicting pieces of information.
The only way Cat Skeptics feel comfortable with the cat myths they cling to turns out to be asserting that the problem is Cat Appreciators. How can they like an evil beast who is both too stupid to know their own name and brilliant enough to plot a human’s demise?
The problem is ignorance. The solution is more love.
That is The Way.
- Find out how our last cat adoption came about with Welcome, Mithrandir. (Hint: it wasn’t planned.)
- Funny thing, the adoption before that wasn’t planned either. I explain this emergency rescue in Welcome, Tristan.
Head over to her site if you have cat questions. She has free content and some content with membership here and it’s all a great help with those troubling cat questions. And of course, her books are available here.
Okay, hit the comments and squeeee away! I’m sure WereBear will be around if you have questions. Meanwhile, let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in monthly or twice monthly guest posts with maybe cat Q&A.