A friend of mine, a fellow mama who I spend time with often, recently moved into a new house. With all of the new space, she thought it was finally suitable for them to get a feline. They purchased a Main Coon/Ragdoll kitten of 10 weeks. An energetic little furball of nosiness (as all kittens are). I went to play with her kitten on Tuesday. I'm sure many feline owners knows what usually happens when you do such a thing. Kittens are contagious. Very contagious. And I'm not talking diseases here. I'm talking about the cuteness and addictiveness being contagious. My friend, B, was telling me how nice it has actually turned out to be. The kitten and her daughter, who is 8 months old, sit on the floor and play together. So preoccupied with one another, in fact, that my friend can get chores done, such as dishes, while of course supervising them.
My first thoughts when I heard that? "Oh my goodness, I need some of that!"
Even so. I didn't really see what was going to happen less than a week later. I went home, and told my husband about how cute the exchange was, and how adorable it was to see Baby E observing and interacting with B's kitten. But my thoughts stopped there... until the next day. I started to think it might be nice to have another cat in the house. I am still very fond of our Manx cross, Jasper. But he isn't a particularly cuddly cat, and since my very first cat was a cuddly little thing, I missed my kitty snuggles. I'm sure any cat owner with a cuddly feline knows what I am talking about!
So, for the next few days, I casually (I am oh-so-subtle) mentioned to my husband, Jay, that it might be nice to have a kitten. I expected the first mention of such a suggestion to be met with a flat-out no, ending the topic completely. But, to my surprise, it was instead a, "Hmm, we'll see."
If it's not a no, it eventually turns into a yes. So after thinking about where it was best to get a kitten, and what type, I eventually decided to look for a specific mix between Ragdoll and Siamese. Although I was originally thinking of getting one from the Edmonton Humane Society, I was concerned getting a regular American Short Hair would result in a cat that doesn't have the temperament we're looking for. It was of the utmost importance to find a cat that would be good around Baby E. I ended up finding a farming couple with Siamese kittens that are 1/4 Ragdoll. After emailing back and forth, they seemed to have exactly the disposition I was looking for. Intelligence from the Siamese that would keep them from allowing themselves to be bullied, but gentle enough from the Ragdoll to be good with kids big or small. On Saturday morning, we picked up our little furball. I told you it happened fast.
Originally I had been hoping to get a female kitten, but apparently I am meant to be surrounded by testosterone. The last female was sold two nights before we could pick up a kitten, so we ended up with a boy. Just so we're clear on how much testosterone I'm surrounded by, including all males in this household human and otherwise, I'm outnumbered 6 to 1!
Jasper, our Manx, was named after Jasper National Park, one of the gems right here in Alberta. We wanted another nature-themed name for our new Siamese. I looked up lists of national parks in the US and in Canada without finding a single name suitable for our newest family addition. After thinking of other names of nature symbols, we thought of the Rocky Mountains. So, Rocky it was!
It appears Rocky was meant to be a part of the family. There were no rough beginnings as expected. Jasper grumbled and hissed for a few hours before getting over himself. Rocky was fearless from the beginning. It is always best to acclimate a new feline to a new household by confining them to a single room first. The purpose being to minimize stress. But as soon as I put Rocky into our bathroom with a fresh litter box, a bed, and water, he sat mewing frantically at the door. Reluctantly, I opened it, and Rocky boldly investigated our house. By the time he'd been home an hour, he'd mapped out the entire layout. Siamese are known for their attachment to people, and that is definitely true for Rocky. From the get-go, he'll meow when he thinks we've left him, and run to the door and meow in greeting when we come home from an outing. We've definitely had a few surprises, but life always comes with unexpected surprises! The biggest one being that he's a polydactyl! In case you aren't familiar, it means that he has extra toes. This is a very rare genetic characteristic of the Siamese breed, and it happened to show up with this litter of kittens! There's two pictures of his extra toes (which we've come to call "mittens," as that is truly what they look like!) below for you to see. As well as many other photos of the little furball.
Best of all? When Baby E is napping, he'll hop up on my lap, curl up, and purr. I finally have the cuddly lap cat I had hoped for.
How many animal companions are in your household? How did they come to be with you? What are their characteristics you continue to love about them every day?