First time parent ... to a kitty
I came to the realisation today that I have been a parent for exactly two months! A little while ago, I started feeding a stray cat who roamed our property during the evenings. She wouldn't let me anywhere near her, but after a few months of patiently sitting at a safe distance, she did eat around me and start to trust me.
One day, I noticed her just sitting a little bit away from the food bowl outside and thought it a bit odd. And then I looked closer and there was a tiny mini-me of her in front of her with his little head in the bowl. I must have made too much noise while I was excited and they both got a fright and scattered, but not before I saw the baby's little face!
A few weeks later and mumma cat wasn't showing up any more. I refused to give up though, and just sat outside with my book, waiting for her to come back. One day, Zak and I were outside on the verandah having a chat. I noticed a little flurry of movement by the stairs, and I hissed (yes hissed) at Zak to be quiet and not move. He stood still, and the little tiny cat ran passed us and slinked up onto the verandah behind Zak. He hid for a second, but then I ducked down and quietly called him. Since I was already waiting for mumma cat to visit, the food bowl outside was stocked. The little guy didn't need to be called twice and he slinked his way straight to me for a smooch. Quickly followed by a lengthy stay at the food bowl.
And now, let me introduce you to Buddy (or Lord Buddy the Second) ...
Now, that was a wee while ago. He was a tiny little critter back then, and he disappeared and left us for a month or so. But on July 26, he came waltzing on in the front door, and he hasn't been far away since.
I'm a big scaredy cat (ugh, pun) around animals, but you'd think I'd be fine with a kitten. And most of the time I am, but I still get a bit concerned when he follows me everywhere around the house. Or when he sits next to my chair while I'm writing, just staring up at me. But I'm growing used to having a little buddy around after work every night. And I get so excited when he meets me at the gate when I walk home from the train station.
I feel like I've gone through all those same trials that fur baby parents deal with — but I think Buddy was actually a breeze! We put a kitty litter box in the corner. He used it straight away (with maybe one mishap...). We got him a covered over kitty bed. He used it straight away (after Zak trained him to sit on the cushion that fits inside it ... he may or not have gotten so cosy on it that he fell off the chair during training mode. I went through the concern period of "are we feeding him too much?", "should we feed him more?" that most people do. And of course there's the times when I realise we've gone out and he's outside in the rain — I feel like the worst parent in the world.
Although Zak and I talked about getting a pet, and we roamed the SPCA a few times, and made regular visits to Animates, we never quite put the plan in action. So with Buddy choosing us, we feel pretty damn lucky, and super stoked with our smoochy little mate.