Sunday, November 22, 2009
Barnabas, obviously, is a black kitten, who now belongs to us.
Here is how it happened, paraphrased:
me: So, do you think you will want to get another cat?
dh: Yes, eventually, I think I'd like to. How about you? I mean, Prince was your cat for 18 years.
me: Yes. Eventually. Not right away. Probably after the holidays, so we don't have to worry about cat care.
dh: Good thinking.
me: Adult cat, young cat or kitten?
dh: Oh, cat, definitely. Don't you think? Kittens are a lot of work.
me: Yeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh, but. . .
dh: What, they're cuter?
me: Yeah, but I was actually thinking that a kitten would be easier to train to co-exist with Jonah. They are a lot more curious and a lot less set in their ways. We would have to worry less about a cat that has had experience with dogs, you know?
dh: Hm. Good point.
me: So, after the holidays, we'll look for a kitten? Doesn't have to be a baby, just under 6 months.
dh: Yeah, I'm cool with that.
me: Can we get a black cat?
dh: Sure. Why?
me: I think they are pretty. But also, they're harder to adopt out and a lot of places will just euthanize them, because they are considered bad luck and often targeted for animal cruelty.
So that was the plan. Get a kitten, after the holidays. I figured we'd have plenty of time to look, plenty of cats should be available after Christmas kittens were returned when it turned out they scratched furniture and required lots of attention because they like to play at 3 am.
And then, naturally, fate intervened and threw out our plans.
A friend contacted me because they had a friend who had a black kitten who needed a home by this weekend or the kitten would be going to a shelter. Basically, they found this kitten hiding by their house on Halloween of all nights. Not wanting any harm to come to it, they took it in.
Unfortunately, their dog considered the cat prey. Their neighbors agreed to take the dog for awhile while they searched for the cat's owners, assuming it was lost. They did ads in the paper, fliers around the neighborhood and called shelters. The only person who answered their ad was a creepy redneck dude who couldn't accurately describe the kitten - they think he intended to use it for target practice. Nearly three weeks had passed and their neighbor said they couldn't keep their dog anymore, so the cat had to go, and as mentioned, if they couldn't find a home for it, they were taking it to a shelter.
Apart from the difficulty shelters have adopting out black cats, there is another complicating factor, which is that a longer spell of warmer weather (thanks, El Nino!) has apparently led to a longer breeding season and there is a higher number of kittens being turned into shelters this year. Some shelters aren't taking as many or are euthanizing more quickly than they might otherwise.
So, of course, when a black kitten fell into our laps and was facing an uncertain future, we caved.
And that's how Barnabas came into our lives.
He is pretty cute.
So far, he has been largely contained to the bathroom, though we've let him into the bedroom as well. He seems pretty curious, but apparently the floor is lava. He hates the carpet. Whether it's a texture issue or the lingering smell of our departed kitty, we aren't sure. He certainly doesn't care for the spots Prince frequented, but doesn't seem at all bothered curling up in the same spot on the bathmat Prince enjoyed. Nevertheless, that little piece aside, he loves to play and enjoys being petted and held a great deal.
He's yet to meet Jonah, as he hasn't approached coming downstairs yet. Jonah is well aware of a new addition and has sniffed at us and is familiar with the scent and the noise and is not bothered. Barney has heard Jonah make noise and is alert to it, but not yet bothered by it. We know they will get to meet each other when we all travel to my mother's house for Thanksgiving, at least through their crates.
I do think that if we can get him over his fear of the carpet, he and Jonah could be good friends. Barney is quite a little energetic boy; I think they could be great friends.
Oh, and for good measure, here is Jonah in his new holiday pajamas. He thinks he's pretty cute, I agree.