Tuesday, April 05, 2005

And Mischa Makes Three

I've got to do more frequent updates to this site...

It's been more than three weeks since we added a new kitten to the household. Her name is Mischa, and she's another Siberian—a beautiful little girl, only seven months old (born on September 1st). We got her from the owners of Anna's parents; in the intervening weeks since I last wrote about Anna, we did a little detective work and tracked down the folks who had owned Anna's parents. It turned out that they had several other kittens fathered by the same male Siberian as Anna; little Mischa caught our attention immediately, and the owners were willing to let us add her to our household.

The woman who owned her, Mrs. Draper, is a true cat lover; she had thirty cats in her house, and the entire house was virtually one enormous cat environment in which people were allowed to co-exist. Cat trees everywhere, toys, furniture modified for cat purposes... all the things that we eccentric cat people do, multiplied. Naturally, when Mischa got to her new home where there were only two other cats, she was overwhelmed; for the first two days, she lived in the basement, behind the television set or behind the sofa. On the third day, she ventured upstairs very briefly, then scampered back to her "safety zone."

By the end of the third day she was learning to recognize us as the ones who kept bringing her food, and that helped. Finally, on day four, I was able to entice her into coming upstairs with me... and that was akin to inviting a vampire into the house. Once she learned that the upstairs was also cat-friendly, she lost all fear of the household; since that time, she has approached every corner of the house with that same "know-no-fear" seven-month-old-kitten attitude.

Tisha adjusted to Mischa almost immediately; after having spent so many years with Asia, Tisha had been incredibly lonely for the six months that she was the only cat in our house (if only we had known that she missed the companion of other cats!...), so having yet another companion didn't bother her at all. Oh, she gets a little aggravated when Mischa gets right in her face, but Mischa seems to recognize Tisha's refined nature and her age and she gives her respect.

Anna... well, Anna seemed to like being the only baby in the house, and she took to Mischa with a little trepidation. After a few days, things got better, but she's still not accustomed to the fact that Mischa doesn't respect anyone else's food bowl or anyone else's territorial rights, and she really hates to see Mischa play with any of the toys that Anna thinks of us uniquely hers. But now they get along tolerably well, with the only friction coming when Mischa wants to play after Anna has decided that it's time to lounge about, or when Mischa insists on chasing Anna's feathered toy before Anna is through with it.

I don't know that we'll ever get to that point where Anna and Mischa are absolutely comfortable with one another the way that Tisha and Asia were—but we also brought Tisha and Asia into the house on the very same day, and they were within a week or two of the same age. All considered, I think that Anna has been quite accepting of Mischa thus far... although Anna still treasures those late-night moments when everyone else has been put to bed for the night but Anna gets to come upstairs and laze about on the bed with us as the evening winds to a close...

No comments: