Sunday, April 15, 2012

And That's How I Got 5 Cats

Coal Porter, about 6 months old. He looks big in the photo because of the perspective; he's actually a wee lad.
Jackie-Julep, 2 years old, very pregnant
On Monday April 2nd, Craig and I brought home Jackie-Julep, pictured at left. A friend of ours had encountered financial trouble and wasn't able to care for them any longer. What I didn't know is that they had been put outside full-time for several days before we got there. Their owner left early Monday, so Craig and I decided to try to catch them that evening.

Jacqueline (formerly named Alice White) was easy to catch. Getting her in the crate was another matter. She wasn't having it, and none of us wanted to force her since she was (is) pregnant. We put her in the backseat of the car with the crate and a can of wet food. After eating my husband coaxed her into the crate.

Her son, who we've named Coal Porter (formerly Kepler) ran from us that evening. I don't blame him. He had been confined to the outside after being an indoor-outdoor cat, his owner was gone, and some strange people just took his mom. We tried again Tuesday. When he didn't come again we arranged to meet with the owner to see if he could coax him. The owner backed out at the last minute, so my Dad and I went over there by ourselves, but we didn't see him at all this time. Our friends who lived next door to the cats offered to befriend and catch him for us, something for which I am incredibly grateful.

Two weeks passed and I wasn't expecting much. Since we hadn't seen him on Wednesday, I thought something had happened. After all, he was about 6 months old, outside by himself. There was food and water available at all times, but he could have been caught by a predator or taken in by someone else. Part of me was somewhat relieved, because 5 cats is a lot, but I was also worried.

Jackie-Julep hid under the couch a great deal when we brought her home. She'd peep out to eat and cuddle, then retreat. I have never met such an affectionate cat. All she wants to do is cuddle, and if she notices one hand isn't touching her, she'll go find it. My husband had a hand behind a pillow, and even though he was petting her with the other one, she went and dug out his other hand and forced her head into it. Today she's lying on the couch and like a queen, awaits for her loyal subjects to shower her with affection.

We have an alcohol theme for our cat's names, so we bandied around names like Bailey. We were about to name her Julep when my dad came in and commented that she looked like a Jack Rabbit. My husband, in a stroke of inspiration, said, "Jackie-Julep" and it stuck. And Jackie can also stand for Jack Daniels.

Thursday, April 12, my husband and I were out to dinner when we got a call from our friends that they had confined Porter to a room in the owner's former house. We went home to grab wet food, and headed over. Armed with flashlights, we went into the house. My husband put down a can of wet food. As Porter eagerly ate it, he kept pushing it towards the cat carrier, so my husband took advantage of the opportunity and pushed it further in, and we caught Porter.

We named him Coal Porter because Porter is a type of beer, and Coal because of his black nose. And obviously it's a pun on the name of the songwriter Cole Porter.

Porter had a terrible flea infestation, so we've treated him with Revolution flea drops. He is also terrified of the outside. I opened a window in his room and he hid under the bed until I closed it. When he's downstairs and we open a door he runs far away. He's a survivor, but clearly his time outside traumatized him.

He's as affectionate as his mother but far more playful. He is not fond of the other cats at all, and we're going to have to make slow introductions. Jackie is currently fighting a respiratory infection and pink-eye and is due to give birth any day now. Unfortunately Jackie was not excited to see her son, so we couldn't keep them in a room together.

And that's how I got 5 cats.