Sunday, January 4, 2009

There's a New Commie in the House!

And his name is Karl. Yep, for Karl Marx. When Matt and I were discussing names we came up with Yurii (Andropov), Ernesto (Che Guevera) and then finally Karl (Marx). We totally didn't think until too late (it actually came to me while I was listening to NPR in the car) that we should have named him Raul (Castro) so we could have the Castro brothers! You know, Fidel and Raul Castro? Oh well, too late now. Luna already knows Karl by name and she is wildly excited to have a new kitty to herd.

How did Karl come to live with us? Well, I got a bug in my ear to start looking for a new kitty online. Of course I looked at P.A.W.S. first where I volunteer and I did find one kitty I liked, but he was front paw declawed and I don't think they were going to adopt him out to us since we had other animals in the house that had all of their fighting tools, I mean "claws," in place. I searched and craigslist. I emailed a few people and got a few emails back. But the one I was holding out hope about was a white cat from the Everett Animal Shelter named Fred. Yes, Fred! Here is the description that won me over:

Fred is a young cat, age 1-2 years, that loves attention! He is very cuddly, affectionate, playful, and talkative. His favorite place to sleep is right next to you at night. During the day, he will follow you around the house talking and purring away, making sure you are never lonely. If you are looking for a devoted and affectionate cat, stop looking because he here is! Fred came to the shelter with an infected wound on his back that required surgery. He went to a foster home after his surgery to recover in a loving environment. He repaid this kindness with complete and absolute love for his foster family. Fred is now healed and ready to find a family to call his own. He is used to cats, dogs, and small children, so a busy home, or a quiet home will suit him well. While Fred is nearly perfect, sometimes when he is feeling frisky, he will nibble on you. Substituting a toy for your hand or stopping playtime would help teach Fred how to handle his excitement. This behavior doesn't happen often, but we do want potential adopters to be informed.

How perfect! Not only did this kitty need a second chance in life but he had suffered some horrible trauma and needed a loving home to take care of him for the rest of his life! It warmed our hearts to know we would be doing something good for the not-so little guy.

I set up a time with Fred's foster mom to meet him at the shelter on New Year's Eve. I was nervous because we'd never been to the Everett Animal Shelter and was sure we'd get lost even with our GPS, which we did, and I was convinced that someone else would have scooped him up during the day while we were at work. We weren't' able to make it up there until 4pm after Matt got home.

Low and behold Fred's foster mom had kept him in the quarantine area so there was no chance of us getting there just to be disappointed. He came right up to the cage and greeted us! I asked her if he liked to be picked up and sure enough he does! Note: in order for a cat to come home with us they must like to be held. This was the first test we put Nikita through and he loved to be carried around like a baby in my arms.

He let us give him lots of pets and he gave us kitty headbutts in return. Matt held him too and realized what a big kitty he is! I asked Matt what he thought? Matt ALWAYS picks out our animals for us. He's become quite the expert in this area. His response? He's a keeper!

We took Fred home that day to introduce him to his new family.

A lot of people ask me how we go about introducing new animals to the resident animals. The way that has always worked best for us ever since we brought Fidel home to meet Nikita was to leave the animal in his carrier and let the resident pet walk around and smell the box. That way they can smell each other without anyone getting hurt. This is how we introduced Fred to Fidel, Vlad and Luna. I've never done this with a dog, but it seemed to work pretty well. I even videotaped their introductions for fun!
Fred has now been with us for about 4 days and he fits in just fine. He and Vlad run around the house tribbling at each other. Fidel has come to accept him and seems rather bored with him. They only had one staring contest on who got dibs to my lap. Fidel won! Luna has calmed down a bit. She's was BEYOND excited that there was a new kitty. Poor girl really does need a brother when we get a new place!

OK, I've rambled enough. I'll let you enjoy the pictures and videos of our newest fur baby, Karl.

Here are the links to the videos on photobucket:

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