June 16, 2009

Cats, Featured, Life

Koko the Kitten on the Deck

KokoNut Playing on the Deck

Yesterday at 8 am we left to drive to the city in search of kittens.  We had specifically decided that we wanted to adopt a brother-and-sister pair.

The first shelter we arrived at had no brother and sister pair (we thought).  There were some beautiful black and white kittens, but they were all sisters.  Each litter was in its own austere, steel cage.  If there was a single cat, or a kitten who was the last in the litter, the cat was alone in its own cage.  Come to think about it, I imagine the steel cages must speed up the adoption process.  It wrenches the heart to see all those cats and kittens, though well taken care of, living in steel cages, sometimes alone.

The first kitten I noticed when I walked into the shelter was a male, brown, tiger-striped tabby.  To be honest this is not my favorite color where cats are concerned, but in any case, his siblings had all been adopted.  I was instantly drawn to him but I reminded myself that I wanted a brother and sister.  When I put my fingers in front of the cage, he not only purred and rubbed against them, but reached his little paws outside the bars and began kneading at my fingers!  Alas, he had no sister.

I found a female kitten, a Siamese mix, from the litter next door and put the two kittens in the play room to see if they would get along.  At first it seemed fine.  But after a while, the little guy began to try to socialize with the girl, and she would have nothing to do with him.  She hissed at him whenever he approached.  But that didn’t stop him from following her around and persistently trying to get her to play.

The women at the shelter told me that they usually don’t allow kittens from two different litters to be adopted because the owners wind up getting fed up with the kittens while they are still learning to get along.  But, after talking to me, they were going to let me adopt these kittens.

The little male kitten had not been neutered yet.  After learning that we were only in the city for the day, they agreed to get him neutered right away so that we could pick him up that afternoon if we came back.  We left to see if we could find a brother-sister pair which might get along better, but said we might be back.

We drove around.  We got lost.  We found a bunch of adoptable kittens on display in the pet store, but the woman in charge of them was not there and they were fast asleep.  We drove some more, got lost some more, and arrived to the Humane Society.  No brother-sister kittens.  We picked up my nephew as we would be driving him home with us.  We reached the woman in charge of the pet-store kittens and drove out to meet her.  We were able to wake up and hold some of the brother-sister kittens.  They were nice kittens and they definitely got along with each other.  But something just wasn’t happening.  I tried and I tried to really like them.  There was nothing wrong with them.  I just kept thinking of the little tabby male I had first seen when I walked into the first shelter.

Finally, at the pet store, I asked my mom what I should do.  And, as she aptly put it, “you don’t look like you want those kittens.”  And she suggested I go back to the first shelter and get the kitten I had been talking about all day.  Moms are so good at that stuff.  After receiving much advice from the woman in that pet store, about disease, vaccinations, and the rest, we left.  I decided I didn’t really want the female Siamese mix that had been hissing at him so much.  I didn’t really like her attitude when he was trying to play with him!  I suppose this is to some degree a Siamese characteristic – aren’t they known for being a bit arrogant?

But, for a few minutes, while driving, it looked like we wouldn’t reach the shelter before they closed.  I thought I would never see that little kitten again.  But, with a change in the winds (or the traffic) it worked out.  My nephew and I were dropped off at the shelter.

I went in.  The little tabby kitten was still there.  The Siamese girl had been adopted – but that was okay.

Then I found that the other black-and-white Siamese mix girls had brothers!  They had been in the cage next door and I had thought they were a different litter.  I found a brother-sister pair that I liked very much.  Which was “what I had been looking for all day.”  But, this little striped tabby was still sitting there, alone in his cage.  I liked him so much!  I held the black and white male, I looked at the kittens, I thought about it for 5 minutes.

I had been so certain I would adopt a brother and sister pair.  But I realized I could not go home without the brown and white tabby.  I would never be able to live with myself!  There was “something about him.”

So, two women came out and informed me that adoption hours were closing and I had to decide.  I said, “that one.”  Little tabby was tested and came up negative for a couple of scary diseases, we completed the paperwork, and I left with a cat-in-a-carrier.

While we were driving home (a two-hour drive), little tabby took it surprisingly well for a while, but then began to meow.  I took him out of his box and held him.  He was happy with that!  Very unusual for a cat to prefer riding in an open car, but he did.  He gazed out the windows at the passing scenery, cuddled, purred, and slept in a variety of positions on my arm and chest.  I got very car sick for a while so my nephew held him in the front seat.

When we got home, the kitten accustomed himself to his new space in my bedroom, but periodically hid in any nook.  After I finished preparing his food and litter box, I pulled him out of hiding and pet him.  He came right out of his funk and began to purr and paw, explored his surroundings a bit and even ate some of his food, which he had not touched when we first arrived.  I tried to log on to check my email.  Kitten helped me type on the lower keyboard.  But he kept getting my passwords wrong, so I decided to try the upper keyboard.  Kitten followed my fingers, and helped me type up there.  Finally after many failed attempts, I managed to log in.

Later that night I returned from a few-minutes absence.  The door had been closed.  The kitten was no where!  We searched every nook in the room, every place he could be.  Even the dresser drawers.  He had vanished!  My mom and my nephew joined the search-party.  We imagined he had somehow gotten out of the room, so we searched the rest of the house.  He was no where.

Finally we decided he would reappear.  No one had opened an outside door, and he would be meowing if he were trapped somewhere.  So we decided he was hiding and would come out for food when he  was hungry.  I continued to attempt to stop searching, and then search anyway.  I said, “I am going to stop searching as otherwise I will go crazy.”  My mom said, “you said that twenty minutes ago.”

I did stop searching.  I went to sleep.  A bit later I was awoken by some commotion near by.  I turned on the light just before the kitten appeared beneath my dresser.  He had climbed up behind the drawers and been hiding there!  Probably asleep.

Mr Innocent came and slept with me the rest of the night, and woke me up in the morning to incessant purring and cuddling.  At breakfast we went over different name ideas.  I wanted to name him something that spoke of his personality and not his looks.  But when I said that his coat reminded me a little bit of a cafe late with cinnamon and chocolate sprinkles, my nephew said “Cocoa!”  We all stopped.  The name seemed fitting.  Even my dad liked it!  I thought about it for a while, and decided to name him Koko.  If I think of another name I might give him a middle name.  Again, so much for planning where the name was concerned.

So there you have it.  The kitten’s name is Koko.  I planned to get a brother and sister, and I planned to name him differently.  So much for planning 🙂  Koko has been sleeping happily on my lap throughout the time I have been writing this post, and I’m glad I got him out of that cage.

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About Anna

Anna Vera Williams is a poet, a photographer, a blogger, and a webmaster. Her photographs can be found at Anna Vera's Photography, and her books and photos can be purchased at Lulu.com. If you'd like to stay in touch, you can follow Anna on Twitter or subscribe to this blog.

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4 Responses to “Koko”

  1. Anna's Mom Says:

    This little guy is a very cool cat. Driving home (about 2 hours), Anna took him out of the cardboard carrier and held him in her arms. When I think of a cat outside a carrier, in a car, I have visions of a lot of fur and claws and panic, or of hiding behind the seat in a completely inaccessible area. But this kitten was very calm, just sitting with Anna. He looks like a tiny bit of fur and flesh, but he has great class.

  2. Dustin Says:

    Glad to hear you finally got the kitten! And I must say that I don’t think I’m all too surprised that he got a name different than any thoughts or suggestions you had before-hand 🙂

  3. Anna Says:

    Thanks Dustin! Gee … am I a little late responding to your comment?

    You might have noticed I changed the second name a few times too … she was hard to name. But our little nut has been doing great 🙂 She is actually in my lap at the moment, taking a bath and occasionally looking up at me in adoration. Haha. Koko is doing great too 🙂

    Mom – you are right. Koko is a born passenger. One could probably even hitch hike with him.

  4. Custom Motorcycle Says:

    What an adorable little kitten! Congratulations, they are a wonderfull addition to a family. 🙂

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