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Proof of Life

Gentle readers who have been here a few months may recall that Emmaline had four kittens. I managed to trap three, the fourth, Dreadnought, eluded me and when he stopped even hanging around Emmaline I went ahead and brought her in, afraid all the while that I had doomed Dreadnought to a slow death by starvation, or a quick and terrifying one by predator, or a slow and agonizing one tangling with one of the other adult cats. I’ve been pretty sure I’ve seen him a couple times since then, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I had definitive proof: the wildlife camera caught young Dreadnought coming up for a night-time snack. I was so delighted to see him there! And here, dear gentle readers, are the pictures for proof: two nights in a row the camera has caught Dreadnought snacking.

A grainy black and white infrared picture of the porch and feeding station.  Sneaking up behind the legs of the rocking chair is a small tabby and white cat, looking up towards the window where dogs are doubtless pitching a fit.  The time-date stamp reads 09-27-10 09:38:25PM.

Mostly hidden behind the waterer that isn't used because it's more trouble than it's worth, Dreadnought looks toward the camera.  Timestamp 09-27-10 09:39:49PM

Sitting under the rocking chair with body in profile to the camera, Dreadnought looks toward the end of the porch, over the camera's left shoulder as it were.  Timestamp 09-28-10 08:23:32PM

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I guess I know who loves me…

So Daniel and I were curled up on the futon watching Land of the Dead yesterday afternoon, as it was Zombie Sunday, on which we watch zombie moves. LotD has a few moments in it that reliably make me scream. The Dobes were on the futon with us, Zille was in various spots throughout the film, but every time I screamed, the Dobes jumped up and left the room with an air of “Oh god. There is nothing Dangerous here, and yet she is being loud. WTF.” whereas sweet Zillekins headed straight for me every time, all “OMG MOM ARE YOU ALL RIGHT!?” and asking for reassurance. What a good girl.

In other happy news, we saw Dreadnought Saturday! I have been worried to death about him since bringing Emmaline in, but it was definitely him, playing in the grass across the road. I am so thrilled he’s all right and have not lost hope in terms of catching him and neutering him, at least.

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Sunny days chasing the clouds away…

Finally, we had a day with no thunderstorms yesterday! Yay!

Badger is purring for me consistently, and approaching me although not as much of an attention hog as his brothers. The vet says they can get rabies/distemper vax in 2 weeks, and neutered at the same time. Huzzah!

Emmaline discovered the bed today and spent most of her day lounging on it. Tonight, she is in Roo’s room. She continues to adjust well to indoor life, and had a nice meeting with Roo today.

No new immigration news, dammit. Tomorrow morning I’m calling the London Embassy to find out what’s going on. Still no sign of Dreadnought. Astute’s home may have fallen through, I haven’t heard from them in days. Sigh. I remain hopeful for the Three Musketeers, though!

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The good stuff keeps on coming.

Badger purred for me yesterday! Oh, hooray! I will get the little booger yet.

Emmaline is doing well inside, laid-back and not too stressed until Braxton tried to sniff her butt. She even touched noses with the dogs! I shuffled her out of my bedroom and into Brax & Aida’s room for the night so Roo could sleep with me and also my cats could wander around and smell her scent, and she could smell theirs and enjoy the cat tree (where she slept).

Still haven’t seen Dreadnought and I am beginning to give up hope. I might still get him though, I have nothing to do but sit around lying in wait for kittens this weekend!

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Monday Morning Weekend Roundup

Saturday I relieved myself of kitten-catching duty for a while to go visit with my friend C at Blackthorn Kennel, taking both girldogs with me. And lo, there was socializing and I had actual conversation with another actual human being, and we snuggled puppies and played in the pool and topped everything off with an excellent dinner of Mexican food. Please observe this two-week old sable girl posing with my “Dog is my co-pilot” shirt. Yes, I am enough of a dork to wear it in public, what of it? At any rate, as usual I had a fabulous time and came home with Zille and Tink both worn out, and me for that matter since it was quite late.

Sunday I didn’t see Dreadnought at all, but I did see Emmaline as she stood on the table on my porch to look in the window and yell. Apparently what she wanted was to come in and see the other three kittens and where they’re living, but not actually interact with them. When Intrepid tried to approach her, she hissed and growled and swatted at him. Her opinion seems to be that she has gotten them to me and they are now my problem, not hers. Thanks, Emmaline. After that she wandered off to do whatever it is she does when she’s not sleeping on my porch. Her food consumption is WAY down now that she’s not nursing the hairy little monsters, and she seems much more relaxed. She was not at all worried about being in the house, so I’m hoping she transitions easily after getting a clean bill of health on Wednesday.

Also Sunday evening Tink gruffed at the window to say “STRANGE CAT ALERT” and lo, wandering nonchalantly off the property was a long-haired golden brown tabby tom. I had posited his existence from Badger and Intrepid; Emmaline is more of a grey tabby whereas their tabby stripes are on a golden brown background. I resisted the urge to run outside and yell “I HAVE YOUR CHILDREN DO YOU PLAN ON PAYING SUPPORT?” because my neighbors already think I’m weird.

And now it’s Monday and my leisure time is at an end for another five days. We’re hoping to hear from the London Embassy this week, giving Daniel an appointment time, so I know when there will finally be someone else to help me trap cats and whatnot. Fingers crossed, both in regards to his appointment and Dreadnought’s swift and painless capture!

Oh, and via Rinalia at For the Pitbulls, a fascinating article on The Value of Ear Scritches to Dogs in Shelters.

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Oh my god kittens.

I still haven’t seen Dreadnought this morning, and after much pondering have come to a hard decision: Emmaline is coming in on Tuesday whether I have him or not. He’s gotten independent enough to be running away from Emmaline when he gets startled, and if he’s doing that then having her out there isn’t really an advantage anymore. Plus I made a vet appointment for everyone to get FIV/FeLV checked and wormed on Wednesday; if I have to go in with Emmaline and only 3 kittens, well, that’s better than none. Dreadnought knows where the food is here and I’ll get him sooner or later, hopefully before he is irrevocably feral, but at the moment I have to save the lives I can.

Once he’s checked out FIV/FeLV clear, Astute has a home audition with an excellent couple who want to give him an indoor, no-declaw home which he would share with a resident cat and dog. Fingers crossed that it works out, they’ll be taking him for a week to see if anyone in the house is homicidally inclined toward him. If it doesn’t work out, no harm no foul and he comes back here.

Meanwhile, with three kittens in it my bathroom is a disaster. Seriously, kittens? Poop on the wall? Once everyone has been health-checked, the tamer beasties will be moving into my bedroom, where kittens will be able to play without creating quite so much havoc, and Emmaline will have a window seat to lounge on during the day. Since she’ll be staying, once I’m home from work we’ll be doing room exchanges with her and the other cats, and cautiously letting everyone meet.

Well, technically speaking, Emmaline could go to a new home. If Jesus Christ himself came down from Heaven with three personal references and an established relationship with a vet I approved of, I might let her go. Maybe. Probably I’d just try to pawn a kitten off on Him, though.

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Let us have a happy post this morning.

I have not yet checked to see if Emmaline has brought Badger and Dreadnought back. I’m kind of afraid to. So instead, we shall contemplate Astute and Intrepid McHissypants, safe in the bathroom.

Oh, what changes a couple days make! Intrepid is only maybe hissing now, and both kittens have learned about cuddling in my lap, climbing my legs, and of course the joys of playing with their jingly ball and their pingpong ball. Intrepid has also learned about being brushed with a soft brush, since being a long-haired kitty he will need to be used to that. He thought it was pretty good and purred about it. Both have wallowed around on their backs to get their tummies tickled enough that I am now confident in calling them boy kitties. They no longer hide when I go into the bathroom, but come looking for my attention. We’ve gotten through a good chunk of Jared Diamond’s Collapse by now, from the chapter on Australia, so these are going to be educated kittens, y’all.

But the best part is definitely the way they purr in stereo when I pet them. There’s something soothing about being in a small room filled with the sound of purring kittens.

EDIT: I HAVE BADGER. Dreadnought is the last kitten standing. I am currently debating bringing Emmaline in to keep Dreadnought from wandering off.