Sunday, 12 April 2015
Since long before our doomed venture into pet fish, the kids have wanted a pet. Zali has wanted a dog but Jett didn't really care as long as it was something he could pat. I'm not a fan of dogs due to their tendency to maul people, and we don't have a fenced garden anyway so that was out. However I quite like cats (yes yes despite their threat to the environment and in particular the local birds). We grew up with a succession of cats and each one was quite unique and I liked them all so I was quite amenable to the idea of a pet cat.
So months before we went to Norway we agreed that the kids could get a kitten once we got back. Of course settling back into life after Norway took a few weeks and then it was almost Easter so we had to postpone our adoption until after we got back.
So finally last Friday - i.e. 2 days ago, we picked up our new kitten from the local cat rescue centre (which is someone's house). We had gone over to there 10 days earlier to choose the kitten and as just as we'd arrived at the suburban address, the rescue lady arrived home in a flap and said she'd just had to take her house dog to the vet because her outside dog (a rottweiler) had just bitten right through the house dog's jaw (thus emphasising my point about dogs). It does beg the question as to who keeps rottweilers AND kittens (and children), it does seem like an odd combination but anyway.
The cat rescue person seems to be endlessly receiving kittens (often dumped on her doorstep while she is at work, or at the shops), getting them fed, vaccinated and house trained, then adopting them out, much to the disdain of the rest of the family (and in particular, by the looks of it, the teenage daughter). While we where there it was impossible to know exactly how many kittens there were (as they kept popping up behind bits of furniture), but we were able to settle on our favourite. I must say it was also a bit of a lesson in the dangers of having too many pets. Aside from the infinite number of kittens there were also at least three grown up cats who had apparently been freed from 7 years in cages as breeding cats (which made me a bit happier about not getting a Norwegian Forest Cat, as we would have had to get it from a breeder, rather than a rescued cat).
So having just returned from Flinders Island, and with Zali away at a girl guides camp until hours before pickup time, we felt less than prepared for the kitten's arrival. We had no cat equipment and we didn't even have a name, well, that wasn't true, we had many names, we just didn't love any of them..
So it was up to Jon and the kids to source everything that we needed between leaving work and picking Jett & Zali up at 4pm and picking up the kitten at 6:30pm . And they did a great job. By the time Clare and I arrived home after our commute, the laundry had been transferred into a kitty playroom, complete with all manner of kitten toys and all the other boring (and yukky) stuff you need.
But the piece de resistance was something that Jon had bought for an unrelated reason. You see on Thursday night both our cars had been broken into. Ok, 'broken into' is a bit of an exaggeration given we never lock them, but they'd been ransacked for small change, Jon's fake ray bans, and our blue tooth connecter. Luckily they'd left my fake Gucci's behind (the robbers had no taste obviously), and even more luckily, they hadn't stolen my expensive Xootr scooter from the back, which I use nearly every day I don't cycle to work. We were a bit dissappointed by the decline of the neighbourhood (the police said it was most likely kids just looking for supermarket change) so Jon decided to get a security camera system for our driveway while they were out getting the cat stuff.
And so we have KittyCam… we've temporarily installed the new camera in the laundry with a monitor so we can keep an eye on the kitten when she is in there. Without it we would be constantly disturbing her with visits or fretting about her, but instead we can see that she's either happily playing, or sleeping. Yay. It's funny that if we hadn't been broken into we wouldn't have thought of that.
And what does our new cat look like you ask? Well I've found that I can't take a decent photo of her - here are some attempts..
although these couple were ok..
And the name? Well it didn't end up being Tako or Freya or Loki or even Jett's favourite, 'Milky Way'. On her first night at home I suggested Pinto, and it has stuck. Pinto is Spanish for 'painted' and is used for a particular type of multi coloured horse, so her funny splodges of colour and pattern (no doubt due to her loveable yet scoundrel street cat parents) mean the name sits really nicely with her.
So far Zali has taken on most of the kitten care duties, playing with her when she's out in the living room but also making sure she's put back into her room for quiet time (as per the kitten care websites) regularly. She's settling in really well so far. Just like having a new baby, she doesn't know that we are complete amateurs at pet care so she seems to trust us. Luckily she doesn't now how many fish we murdered.
BTW anyone want a not-very-well-used fish tank and all the stuff for it? It's free!