Pet-Peeves: Having her brother, Tanner, pounce on her when she's sleeping.
Favorite Toy: Anything covered in catnip.
Favorite Nap Spot: On top of her cat tree.
Favorite Food: Chicken hearts ...yummy!
Skills: She definitely has some magical powers - but she isn't showy about it.
Arrival Story: Olivia was a feral kitten, born under my office building. I had seen her mother (and her mother's sister) around for several months prior to her being born, and would leave food out for them and try to gain their trust, but had not gotten to the point of setting Hav-A-Heart traps to try to capture them. Then I noticed that one of the two, Olivia's mom, who was a beautiful brown tabby with lots of white, was looking pregnant. My co-workers and I watched for a few weeks, as I tried to plot a way to trap Mom without stressing her or her unborn kittens. Then Mom disappeared for a few days and when she re-materialized, she no longer looked pregnant. I began scouring the area around the office for any place a nest of kittens could be hidden, and even took to staying late after work trying to hear kittens mewing, or follow Mom from the bowls of food I left out for her back to her nest. No luck. After three weeks or so went by with no sign of any kittens, I began to think that perhaps they had been stillborn, or had died shortly after birth.
Then one Monday morning, I arrived at the office to something horrible ... a horrible stench to be exact. Now, it is worth noting that the company I work for has its office in a historic old home that was converted to office space. It has high ceilings, lovely stained glass, and many of the wonderful features commonly found in homes built circa 1920. It also has a sizeable crawl space underneath of it, and we had had possums, raccoons, and such breathe their last underneath our floors in the past, usually in the heat of the summer. This was the first week of May and already quite hot, and when we arrived to this unpleasant surprise, we figured another wild visitor had chosen our comfy crawlspace as its final resting place, and going on this assumption, called a wildlife removal company we had used in the past to come out as quickly as possible. No sooner had we done this, however, than I began to hear, through the heating vents in the floor near my desk, the faint but unmistakable sound of crying kittens. My heart sank. I now knew that what the trapper would find when he arrived would not be a deceased raccoon or possum, but the mother cat I had been watching anxiously for the past several weeks. Immediately, a co-worker and I went outside to attempt to figure out how we could safely gain access to the crawlspace and rescue the kittens.
As we did so, I noticed a filthy dirty tabby and white kitten, the image of his mother, wobbling dazedly in the bushes a few feet away. I grabbed him quickly (he hardly put up a fight), and rushed him to the vet. I could tell he was in terrible shape, and I just told them to do whatever they could for him and to call me as soon as they knew something. An hour later, they did, and the news wasn't good. He was so anemic from the flea infestation and had so much else stacked against him (including a hideous eye infection that almost completely obscured his vision and which had allowed me to grab him so easily), that they felt the kindest thing to do would be to euthanize him. I tearfully agreed.
I have no idea how many kittens there originally were in Olivia's litter, but only two survived (another brother, who was also the spitting image of Mom, was rescued by one of the girls in the office next door, and lived happily ever after). Of course, this still doesn't explain how Olivia came to live with me ....
After her brothers had been rescued, one, of course, meeting a much happier fate than the other, Olivia was the only kitten remaining, and after the trapper had come to remove her mother's body, she was beside herself. Still only about three and a half weeks old, she was not ready to be weaned, and she would meow for hours on end, while we either tried to capture her or sat inside listening helplessly to her piteous cries. The trapper had left a Hav-A-Heart trap, which we stocked with tuna, watered-down canned food, and water, but she refused to enter the trap. One co-worker spotted her in an open area (she usually hung close to the building) and tried to grab her, but got bitten for her troubles, and did not even have the satisfaction of capturing the kitten. In addition to constantly freshening the supplies of food and water in the trap, I began to put food and water everywhere outside the building, and even lowered some down into the crawl space to give her easier access ... if she wouldn't go into the trap, I didn't want her to starve.
Day after day, for five long days, Monday through Friday, she held on. I'd see her, I'd hear her ... I'd get so close to her, and then she would be gone. I even took to lowering myself down through the crawl space to try to corner her, but all advantage went to the tiny, unbelievably swift kitten, who could move much faster than I could, and who was far more at home in the dark, stinky, spider-infested crawl space than I was.
Finally, late on Friday afternoon when it had been several hours since I had seen or heard the kitten, I heard her again, and went outside to see her perched unsteadily at one of the crawl space entrances. I enlisted a co-worker to keep her attention while I snuck around behind her to another opening, lowered myself into the crawl space, and by some miracle was able to corner her against the wall and capture her in a towel. When I finally had her in my hands, I couldn't believe it. She was tiny even for four weeks old, barely the size of a baby squirrel. She was skinny. She was filthy. She stunk. She was, quite literally, crawling with fleas. My co-worker drove me to the vet's office, where I told them, "Listen ... I know her brother didn't make it, but she can. She's tough, and I know she can pull through this. Do whatever you have to do, no matter what it costs. Just don't let her die, and call me in the morning to let me know how she is."
They did, and she had made it through the night just fine and was ready to come home. Of course, I hadn't planned on adding a kitten to my family, but there was no way I could give her up at this point ... I had too much invested.
I drove to the vet's to pick her up, and was surprised to find, rather than the filthy, bedraggled mess I had left there, a gorgeous calico and white stunner with gleaming fur and a sparkle in her green eyes. "If you're unsure about keeping her, I'd like to take her." the vet tech who brought her out to me said wistfully, giving her soft fur a last stroke. "I think she's a good one." "Sorry, but I think she's a keeper." I said, and I took my new kitten home.
Good afternoon, Catster Cats. I must say, it's been awhile, and I hope you have all been well. I do keep myself busy enjoying my life of leisure, bossing Tanner around, and keeping myself looking fabulous, but I could not keep quiet about this latest development.
Now, before I fill you in on what's been happening, I know that some might say I only use this blog to complain, caterwaul, and otherwise air the occasional grievance, but really my friends, that is not the case. I assure you that my disposition is really quite charming most of the time, but my patience is, it's true, sorely tried by that pesky younger brother of mine, who is always trying to use his brawn (I'll give him this - he sorely needs it, because he certainly doesn't have many brains to speak of, unlike some other stunningly gorgeous calicos I could mention ... but I digress) to push me around. He just does NOT seem to understand that I am a LADY, and what's more I am a CALICO, and as such, I do not enjoy roughhousing, bug hunting, or any other such common behavior. Frankly, it's enough of an insult to my finer sensibilities when Mom insists on serving me my meals on a regular plate instead of that fancy crystal dish the Persian on TV uses. Some cats get all the perks, I guess. The point is, I have enough to deal with without my brother trying to entice me to engage in his decidedly plebian pursuits.
So ... my news....
A few weeks ago Mom came home smelling ... well, disgusting, to put none to fine a point on it. She smelled like ... KITTEN! Stray feral kitten, to be exact, a smell I recognized instantly, as I once, a very long time ago, had smelled exactly the same way, though I shudder to recall it now. I was, understandably, put off by this stench, and looked anxiously about the house to see whether Mom had brought the source of the stench home with her. Fortunately, she had not, but each day she returned home from the place she calls work ...
Sidebar: I used to go to work with her when I was a baby, and quite honestly from what I could tell it looked like all she did was talk on the phone all day and tap her paws on the keyboard. It didn't look all that hard to me - I can't imagine why she says it stresses her out so much sometimes?) ...
... smelling like KITTEN! As the days went by the feral smell decreased, so Mom must have given him a bath. And I heard her talking on the phone about what to do with this kitten, as I anxiously peeled my ears for any word that she intended to bring IT home. Therefore, I was elated one Friday evening a few weeks ago to hear her telling one of my aunts that she had just come from driving IT to ITS new home. I breathed a sigh of relief at this news, and relaxed my vigil, but just a scant two days later, she arrived home not only smelling like IT, but actually CARRYING IT in a carrier bag similar to ... no exactly like ... MINE. In fact, it WAS mine!
Which, of course, was inexcusable enough, but it didn't stop there! She THEN proceeded to rearrange the sunroom which is by far my favorite room in the house because HELLO!!!!! it gets lots of SUN!!!!! ... and make it into a sanctuary rooom for this interloping little good for nothing that she was calling by the name of Finn and cooing to like an idiot. When she kissed it on its pointy little nose, I actually coughed up a hairball in my mouth!
I could go into further detail about how she took such care to arrange the room for IT - er Finn's - comfort, and took out of the rustly plastic bags all sorts of new toys and a cardboard scratchy thing that had catnip sprinkled all over it and then shut him inside there and shut ME out! But ... I won't. Well, ok, I just did. So sue me.
Now fast forward a couple of weeks later, and though my perfectly pink little nose was decidedly out of joint for a few days, I have reconciled myself to the inevitable. I even ... dare I say ... somewhat appreciate the little wretch, as Tanner has apparently decided, thank goodness, that Finn is a much more willing sparring partner and insect-hunting companion than I would ever deign to be. Yesterday we touched noses. Ok, I admit - he doesn't smell all that bad anymore.
As you know, I am loathe to complain ... and yet, I feel I have no choice but to cry foul. (Or fowl, as the case may be.)
For the most part, I approve of the way Mom cares for me, and I know that she tries especially hard to make sure that I, and my brothers and sister, get yummy things to eat that are also as good for us as they can possibly be.
She also likes to make sure that we get enough variety, so that we don't get bored with our food. So recently, she ordered us this new food which I won't say the name of in case that would hurt the food company's feelings. But it is a grain-free food (not Evo, I like that one a lot!) and Mom got a variety pack in a few different flavors, like beef, chicken, quail, salmon, tuna, and turkey. Mom normally doesn't let us eat too much fish, even though we like it a lot, but she thought since it was in the variety pack she'd let it slide. We haven't had any of of the fish flavors yet, but Tanner and I both despise the quail, turkey, and chicken, and we rarely agree on ANYTHING! I was polite enough to take a nibble or two, but Tanner wouldn't eat even a bite, and he will usually eat anything that isn't nailed down.
Frankly, I don't hold out much hope for the tuna or salmon, either, but I'm trying to keep an open mind, because Mom is disappointed, because she thinks the food is really good for us. The dog siblings eat their food all the time and they love it. Of course, dogs will eat all sorts of things that I would never dream of eating, but that's another story.
I sure hope Mom doesn't buy us that food again. I've tried to be polite, since it was an experiment, but if she tries to make us eat that all the time, I may have to take matters into my own paws. Tanner, actually, has already done this -he just pushes both of our bowls off onto the floor, and then the dogs scarf it down and Mom has to feed us something else. Not exactly the best table manners, but definitely effective.
Actually, I feel pretty all the time ... and I AM stunning, (just ask anyone - except maybe my bratty little brother, Tanner, because he might not tell the truth!) ... but I feel especially pretty right now, because on Saturday I had a spa day.
Now, I know what you're thinking ... cats don't like water. And, my feline friends, I am generally no exception to that rule. However, I do enjoy being pampered and fussed over, so I put up with the water part as a necessary evil. Plus, spa days only happen once every two months or so, because Mom doesn't want to dry out my delicate skin with too much bathing.
First, though, I get a pedicure. Mom trims the sharp points off my tootsies so that just in case I would do something unladylike, such as trying to scratch her, I wouldn't hurt her too badly. (Just for the record, I have never scratched Mom - at least not on purpose. If you accidentally dig your claws in when you are soaking wet and getting lifted out of the tub, that doesn't count!)
After my pedicure, I get in the bathtub and sit on a plushy towel (I am far too delicate to sit or stand on the cold, hard, not to mention very slippery, surface of the bathtub). Next, I am carefully wet down with warm water (not too hot, and CERTAINLY NOT TOO COLD!) and then gently washed with my special shampoo. Some special drops for my ears, and I'm ready to rinse. Then comes the part I like best ... being wrapped up in a nice, warm towel fresh from the dryer. After I am toweled dry, Mom wipes out my ears with a cotton ball and makes sure there is no water left in there ... I HATE having water in my ears! A nice warm (again, just like Goldilocks, I like things not too hot, not too cold, but JUST RIGHT!) blowdry on low speed just to take the chill off and I'm ready to spend a leisurely afternoon grooming myself, and once I'm completely dry, Mom brushes me until I'm shiny.
I won't even DISCUSS the part where she brushes my teeth, but for the most part I love spa days!