Operation Kitten

Just in case anyone who reads this blog has any chance of thinking I am a normal, sane person, I’m going to explain my latest hair brained scheme “Operation Kitten”.

So… you all know I have two crazy black dogs, Maggie and Suzie. I am also a cat lover, although when I moved to the Nichols homestead 5.5 years ago, I gave up my cats because I have too many family members and friends who are allergic to cats and my neighbors were complaining about my cats scaring their children. Anyway, my last cat went to live at my parents farm then and I’ve been cat-less ever since. That also means my dogs don’t live with cats and do not have cat friendly manners. At my parents house, they typically scare the adult cats into the trees. And last spring, while the BOC were staying there for a long weekend, there was a tragic incident where several tiny kittens passed away (the details were unclear, but my 10 year old brother sobbing and telling me that my dogs killed his kittens was enough to break my heart). Anyway, when there are baby kittens at my parents (which is a lot of the time since they have fertile barn cats) the BOC can’t come over because we can’t risk another tragedy. Sigh. This sucks all the way around – my dogs love my parents house, I love that they can run around and wear out there, weekends away are easy if I can leave them there, etc. So this cat thing has to be solved…

What better way to train your dogs to be cat-friendly than to get a cat? Right??

Meet Killian (yes, named after the beer). She’s the runt of a current litter at the Cousino farm (one of Owen’s many kittens). I picked her for her adorable face, sweet and purring disposition, and because I’m usually mush for little fuzzy babies 😀 Anyway, she arrived at the Nichols homestead via Uncle Garrett on Saturday around lunchtime. I have a cozy haven set up in the downstairs bathroom – litter box, dishes, comfy box with rags, etc. The plan is to introduce the BOC to the kitty with a lot of supervision and a lot of time to get used to the idea to avoid any tragedies here at the Nichols homestead.

Saturday after Killian’s arrival, Maggie wandered around whining a lot… actually, it’s now Sunday night and she’s still wandering around whining a lot. She doesn’t like being kept out of anything and definitely doesn’t appreciate that there is a new inhabitant that she has no control over. Suzie is dying to play with this new fuzzy baby, but I still don’t trust her to know the difference between squirrel and kitten. Saturday I spent a lot of the afternoon working outside, so Killian slept in her cozy box in the bathroom, behind a closed door and gate, and the BOC napped on their patchwork pillows, with occasional whining bouts every time I peeked in on the kitten. Killian purrs every time she sees me, rubs along my ankles, and is generally winning my heart (which is tough, I know).

Saturday night I arrived home from a graduation party and figured we’d try a meeting between the two. I sat on the couch, kitten on my shoulder, dogs trying to get across me to the kitten. There was a lot of hissing from my shoulder and a lot of lunging and sniffing coming at me. After a few minutes, the hissing was subsiding, I kept the dogs a few inches away from the kitten, and I thought we were doing okay… until Killian jumped from my shoulder to the couch… and both dogs lunged forward for the cat… so, thinking fast, I grabbed the kitten, who sunk her sharp teeth into my finger several times, while scratching madly at my other hand. Awesome. I know she was just panicked because of the large scary drooling monsters coming at her… still it doesn’t seem quite fair. Killian went back to her haven in the bathroom, the BOC settled down again, and I cleaned out my scrapes and bites.

Today for the couple hours I was home, Killian hung out in the bathroom with the door open but gate up so the dogs could observe. And other than a lot of whining from Maggie, so far so good. We’re gonna take this nice and slow. Stay tuned…

4 thoughts on “Operation Kitten

  1. Actually, words don’t fail me, but they’re mostly comments on your mental state. Although I will admit I’ve been pestering Josh to let me get another kitten…Anne just got some, and yours is adorable. I think you should keep one, and get a few more to rotate through to get the BOC used multiple kitty personalities.

  2. She’s adorable! I miss our cat. Are you getting her good and used to the bathroom so that toilet-training goes easier in the future? 😉

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