Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baby Adopts Three Kittens

Well, we haven't been able to get any people to adopt any kittens this summer, but we have been able to watch as Baby, who already had four of her own, apparently adopted three who were in desperate need at the park.  (God is good.)  Here they are, entirely adorable, if just a touch feral:


We first met Squiggles here


Rosie looks just like Sophie 

and Fuzz:

Fuzz is a cute little fuzzball

These motherless kittens appeared one at a time.  First came Sophie, days later, Squiggles.  Next came Rosie, and the last to appear was Fuzz.  At first they were all three trying to get the adult cats to warm up to them, without much luck.  But over the last two weeks they have made definite inroads, having travelled from being hissed at and batted, to being tolerated, to being accepted, to being played with, and finally to being protected.

The first cat to extend his paw in friendship was our youngest adult cat at the park, Mustafa:

We have known Mustafa, once feral, now our friend, since he was a tiny kitten

Mustafa is very playful and still learning good behavior.  We might even call Mustafa a little rascal in his antics.  Petey and the others are pretty quick to show Mustafa the hand. He will go running off when corrected by them, but he doesn't appear to get his feelings hurt too easily.  And when scolded, he will often dash just out of their reach (to annoy them), and then plunker down and devise a new strategy.

Mustafa seemed to think these new kittens were toys, and ironically that is how Baby started getting involved in their lives.


When Squiggles first arrived, Mustafa was trying to play with him, but Squiggles was pretty weak and skinny and desperately looking for food and a cat to call Mom.  Mustafa would bat at him like he was a play mouse, and poor Squiggles would squinch his face up and shrink back, and sometimes cry.  But then he slowly began following Mustafa around and trying to nurse off him.  It was the sweetest thing, but a most heartwrenching sight.  Mustafa tolerated Squiggle's attempts to nurse for as long as Mustafa could stand still, which isn't long.  But when Mustafa would try to play again, causing Squiggles to cry and scream, we noticed that it got Baby's attention. It was during Mustafa's one-sided play sessions with Squiggles, that Baby began stalking Mustafa.

Baby on the steps, in stalking mode.  Mustafa is hiding from her on the hill in the grass.  Strike is in front.

When Mustafa began trying to play with Rosie and Fuzz next, tackling them, causing them to roll around like a ball, or end up flat on their backs in terrifed submission, Baby didn't like it, and chased Mustafa to kingdom come and back:

Mustafa on the run from Baby

One time Fuzz became interested in climbing a tree after he watched his friends do it:

Squiggles, Fuzz's friend, went to climb this tree

Fuzz caught the bug

"Me, too."

Soon all three kittens were in the tree.

Here's a Where's Waldo? diagram.  (Baby's kitten watches from the ground.)

When Mustafa wanted to join the 3 kittens in the tree, Baby arrived to police the matter, and chased Mustafa clear away.

Baby chasing Mustafa from the Kitten Tree

Then Mustafa came and hid near me:
Mustafa takes refuge at my feet

But that correction was shortlived, when Rosie sashayed over toward the nearby food plate:

Tiny Rosie, in the bottom right, steps unknowingly into no man's land

Baby watches as Mustafa positions himself near Rosie's final destination

Mustafa left the safety of my feet, and positioned himself near Little Red Riding Hood's path like the Big Bad Wolf

Here the Big Bad Wolf creeps up...

...and tackles Little Red Riding Hood
Don't think Baby wasn't watching:

Baby, alarmed,  "Oh, that is the last straw!"
And she took off after him.

Rosie fled; Mustafa turned on a dime and climbed a tree.

Then Mustafa came down and went and sheepishly hid under the tennis table, but Baby wasn't letting it go:

Baby: "This ain't over yet, Grandma."

Baby confronts the wolf in Grandma's clothing

Several cats at this point tried make themselves invisible:

Mystery hid under the feeding table

Strike watched the whole thing wide eyed from the hill

Elder Petey came to make sure it didn't get out of hand

Satisfied that Mustafa is in good hands, Petey glances out to sea :)

We are glad to see these 3 motherless kittens have protection.  It remains to be seen how close Baby will become to them.

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