Another week gone, and I’m still not convinced this kitten we have is the same one we bought home. Ilona has become a bit wilder again, eschewing human contact most of the time. Not because she’s going feral or anything like that, but because she’d far rather be chasing a toy around the room than having snuggles.
We have introduced her to our own cats now. They are relatively tolerant of her, though there has been some hissing. Mostly from Lola, but on a couple of occasions from Elvis too. The thing is, Ilona doesn’t seem to realise that the older two don’t necessarily want to be involved with her lunacy. She doesn’t care if they hiss at her. She’ll still follow them around. And steal their food…
She’s eating really well and has put on more weight – 300g in the past week. We still haven’t seen her drink very much, but she never seems dehydrated, and her litter tray visits make it obvious she’s getting hydration from somewhere. We’re not particularly concerned.
Her eyes and nose have completely cleared up now. She is still a little sneezy occasionally, but nothing major. Sometimes it’s quite amusing when she sneezes because it sounds like the bark of a tiny dog. Judging by her level of activity and cheekiness she certainly seems to be healthy. We did consult with the shelter about getting her a general health check, but they were of the opinion that it was unnecessary.
As I said above, Ilona has been introduced to the larger cats. This has the added benefit of meaning that she no longer has to be confined to the bedroom. Which is a very good thing, because as you can see in the above picture our daycover has taking quite a battering since she came to live with us! She now also has the run of the hallway and the kitchen, which gives her a lot more space. She does seem to prefer staying in the bedroom most of the time though. She’s not allowed in the living room for two reasons. Firstly, we thought the older cats would probably appreciate some space where they could be quietly, without being terrorised by a little furball. Secondly, the living room has far too many nooks and crannies she could disappear into, and we’d rather not be having to spend all our time hunting for her!
In order to keep her out of the living room, and not having a traditional baby gate, we have a large wooden board that fits across in front of the doorway. This was made for similar purposes when we got Maisi and Lola. It does have ‘feet’ to keep it stable, but we’re not sure where they are. So instead of the feet we’ve requisitioned one of the kitchen chairs for the purpose. The board leans against the doorway with the chair supporting it. The older cats seem to like the chair, because it allows them to peer over the board and check what the noisy kittens are up to. It also gives them an easier way of jumping over into the hallway from the living room. They would be able to jump over without the chair obviously – they’re perfectly capable of doing so from the other side. But there’s no harm in having a leg up.
We’re not sure how long the divider will continue to be an adequate solution. Little Ilona has already made several attempts to get over it into the living room. Her most successful attempts haven’t got any further than her clinging on to the top of the board wondering how on earth she’s meant to move without falling off. Some of the attempts have been nothing more than a thump, rattle, and the sound of claws sliding down the board. Bless her. She tries her best, despite it being off-limits. I think we’re going to have to work out a way to make the living room a bit more kitten-safe in readiness for the inevitable moment that she succeeds in her endeavour.
There was an exciting moment this last week. Ilona was visited by some potential adopters. She gave them mixed impressions. Being in hyper-kitten-mode at the time they arrived meant she was more interested in hiding under the bed than being cuddled by cooing strangers. S and I managed to tempt her out but she still had no interest in being prodded by them. We’ve not yet heard whether they’ve decided to reserve her, but it’s only been a couple of days so we’re not too worried. There’s still two weeks until she’d be old enough to be ‘released’ so plenty of time for her to win someone over.
In some ways I hope no-one wants her – that would mean would get to keep her for longer. But she needs, and deserves, a forever-home, and it’s not practical for us to give her one at the moment. No matter how much I’d love to.
Plus we’d be failures as foster parents if we kept all our foster babies!