Friday, September 22, 2006

a tale of three kitties

this is our new houseguest:


i call her "hissy".

she has a slightly inflated sense of self....

okay, to start at the beginning:

last week, mona took in these two little hooligans:


she found them outside the elderly housing complex on her block, a notorious flophouse for stray cats. the mama was still in the picture—mona had even seen them nursing one day—but these kittens were clearly on the fast track to feralville. so even though she had reservations about dragging them away from their mama and her milk too early (always an especially touchy subject for us nursing moms), she scooped them up. she took in black kitty (they're still working on names) first, thought about giving him away, decided to keep him, decided that if she was going to take in kitties she'd rather have two, and went back for stripey. the two of them are crazy, spazzy, adorable, noisy, lovey, and okay with wile and gwen picking them up. stripey likes to climb up the leg of your pants when she wants your attention. they sleep on top of each other then wake up and play kitty death match. they are the perfect kittens.

yesterday we—me, wile, mona, and gwen—were walking past the elderly housing complex and saw hissy. she was wedged in between the glass and the exterior gate of a basement-level window, and she looked....well, we couldn't decide. was she stuck? was she sleeping? it looked like she was just sleeping, but.....maybe not? we decided she was okay and left. this morning we were walking by again (the e.h.c. is on our route to the park) and there was hissy, still all jammed up between the window and the gate. hmmm.

"if she was stuck," mona said, "she'd be crying, right?"

and right on cue, hissy started mewing.

so she went in to the complex and tried to extract hissy, who just wedged herself in furthur. we decided that there really was plenty of room between the window and the gate and that she could get out if she wanted to, and that we'd check on her on our way home from the park. when we made our way back...there was hissy. still outside, 24 hours later. and evenif she could get out, where would she go? out on the sidewalk? i went in this time, and managed, after some fancy maneuvering, to extract her. as i pulled her out, i saw her mama inside the window, which was shut tight.

we stood around deliberating for a couple minutes, then saw a resident of the e.h.c. going in through the main gate and asked him if he could get a maintenance man to come open the window and let the poor baby in to her mama. he seemed sympathetic and told us he'd take care of it. a couple minutes later a maintenance man comes out, we ask him if he can help us, and he says "oh, that's the super's window. those are his cats. he's trying to get rid of the kittens, he's got like 7 cats in there." he's trying to get rid of them by...locking them outside? grrrrr......

then out comes the resident we spoke with, another resident, and the super. we ask the super if this is his kitten. he says yes. we ask if he knew that she was outside, separated from her mother. he said that they go in and out all the time. "yeah," i say, "but it's hard to go in a closed window. can you open it so she can get to her mother?" he tells us again that they "go in and out all the time", which i took to mean "i'm not opening the window, why don't you nosy white women leave me alone." then the other resident starts talking about how they have so many cats living in the complex, cats cats everywhere, always kittens all over the place.... to which mona replies, "well, why don't you get them fixed? there are places that will help you do it." none of them appear to hear her. we end up asking the super again if he really plans on just leaving the kitten out on the streets, and he asks if we want it. we say no, we want it to get back to its mother. he says the kitten's fine and can get in to her mother anytime. we look at the closed window that no kitten i've ever met could get open. we tell him we're taking the kitten. the men all walk away, and we can hear the super saying "...don't know what they're so fucking worried about..." oh, i know. we're just overreacting. i'm sure she'd have a great life on the streets.

and so here i am, with hissy sleeping in my lap.

i still don't know if we're keeping her. she's definitely warming up to me, but not so much to trucky and lulu. she's met both of them, and had the same reaction both times: hissing and yowling and puffing up, like she's some big ol' tom cat who's going to take them down to chinatown. trucky and lulu, contrary to all of my expectations, are fairly chill—more than anything, they look really confused that this little piece of fluff is stepping up to them.

and even if they all get along, we really don't need three cats.

on the other hand, there's this:

hissy: mew! mew! mew!

me: the kitty is sad because she's just a baby, and she's not with her mama.

wile: kitty miss kitty mama?

me: yep, she misses her mama.

wile: [after a little deliberation] wile share mama kitty?

if wile wants to share me with this baby kitty, who am i to say no?


Lesterhead said...

I haven't owned a kitten since I was 10, and am obsessed (since then, it's been adopting adult cats). I cannot wait to see and play with hissy tomorrow!!!

LuLu said...

Maybe you would like to adopt her. Love LuLu

Lesterhead said...

Cleo and Mallow would kill me.