Last night we found what looked like pee on one of the pillows in the crate… it turned out to be puke from Mitsy.
It looked like bile, not like a hair ball of any kind. All cats puke sometimes, there is not always a reason. But on that day it freaked us out a little bit, if only because we have a lot on our plate right now with our resident cat Suzi, who seems to be having some new health issues. Argh!
Fortunately today Mitsy did not puke and in fact was very happy and affectionate. We spun all sorts of theories about the puking, just because we are master worriers 🙂 . One was that she might be drained with the constant care-demand of her 6 kittens; food is just flying through her, resulting in an empty stomach. That sometimes causes puking and heartburn. So we tried an experiment at lunch. We crated the kittens in the room, and left Mitsy out in the room on her own.
It was no problem for her, although it was clear that she noticed this was a break in the usual routine. We brought in her food, and, before the kittens could steal it from her, put them in the crates. To their huge displeasure of course, loudly voiced and demonstrated 🙂 by climbing the walls of the crate and practicing their cute meows…
We figured it might give Mitsy some well-deserved ‘me-time’. She did enjoy it, lounged on the floor for a bit, while looking at the crazy kittens. And sat on the windowsill for a while. It took most of the kittens 15 minutes or so calm down and go for a nap. Mitsy did not walk up to them so we figured it was OK. After 1.5 hours I let the kittens out and saw a nice family reunion. When I looked in on them a bit later, to my surprise, they were all drinking from Mitsy! That was unexpected, as I had had the impression that her milk was drying up. Apparently not!
The moment of truth
We did not do a lot of extra play the rest of the day, which brings the energy levels of the kittens up instead of down, so we thought we would be in for an easy night.
Expectations are premeditated disappointments, I once read. So true. Mitsy decided that she did not wish to be crated anymore for the night. We could not entice her in, not even with a nice snack. So it was decision time. Were we going to leave all of them out for the night? I think the room is ready for it… But then I thought: cannot give in to Mitsy now. This is the moment of truth. I decided to put to the test if she really has made progress in terms of being touched and directed by humans. It was a bit of a risk, and an impromptu one at that. I got some nice food, warmed it up a bit in the microwave, held it in front of her. She was definitely interested, just not in eating it in the crate. But when she was just in the right position to put my hands around her belly, I decided to take the plunge, lift her up and drop her in the crate. I did it decisively and quickly. There is a new fluffy pillow in the crate and I simply helicoptered her over and dropped her on it. Took less than 1 second. I could feel her muscles starting to bunch to wiggle out of my hands, but I was quicker. Phew. Then closed the crate door, waited for a second to see if she would lash out or hiss, but nothing like that happened. She looked a bit puzzled. I alerted her to the bowl of yummy food that I had put in the crate. Locked it and that was that. She started eating it. And my heartbeat took a while to slow down…
I think it went well, all things considered (see video below). But I also know that this will probably not work tomorrow… She is no idiot!
I don’t like forcing anything upon Mitsy as a general rule. It is more important to me get her to trust us and be in a cooperative state. We are not in a hurry with her. Tonight was really the first time that I wanted to assert myself. Luck was on my side. It is important for her future that we are able to do things like this. If only to get her into a carrier when she needs to go to the vet.
Anyway, I thank the Universe for the good outcome. As things are, we feel blessed that the kittens are so fond of us – they learn from their mother who to trust and we are obviously the good guys to them. We can pick them up, play with them, touch them, they are curious and gentle, there is not a feral hair on their body. Which means they can look forward to bringing a lot of joy to their forever adoptive family. Which we hope to find in the weeks to come!