May 19th, 2006



The kitten is here!

She purrs extremely loudly. Purring was one talent she never demonstrated for me while I was picking her out last Saturday, but the moment I opened the cat carrier (while in my car in the parking lot of the animal shelter still) she started purring so you could have heard it from across a large room. I let her wander around my lap a little in the car, then put her back in the carrier so I could drive home. She was very panicked by being shut into the carrier, and mewed incessantly for the next five minutes - except she doesn't even really have a proper mew, or even a proper squeak, but more like a single extremely high-pitched note that she doesn't seem to know how to draw out into anything longer or vary the sound of. Anyway, I mewed back at her for a while, but that didn't seem to be calming her down any, so then I tried being silent for a minute or two, which also didn't seem to have any effect. Then I tried singing along with the David Bowie Reality CD, which really shouldn't have made any living creature happy to hear, because not only am I a lousy singer in the first place, but I still have laryngitis, and on top of that I punctuate every other line with a coughing fit. Yet the kitten became completely absolutely silent immediately when I started singing, and she remained completely absolutely silent for the entire remainder of the car ride, which took me a full hour because it was rush hour. Maybe she'd just worn out her little kitten voicebox already by then, but the silence was so prolonged and such a contrast to her initial behavior that I began to wonder if she had died of fright or something. When I got home, though, I opened the carrier and there she was, all curled up and looking really rather happy to stay in there.

I set up all her things in the bathroom for the moment, so she only has to get used to one room at a time. (I've let her explore the bedroom a little while I'm watching, but she's not entirely eager to go in there yet, and I haven't let her see the kitchen or living room at all yet.) I put water in her water dish and showed it to her. She sniffed it a whole lot, then stepped in it, and then leaped back out again. You would have thought she'd never seen a water dish before in her short life. But after stepping in it, she seemed to figure out that it was good to drink. She had much less difficulty figuring out what the dish of kitten food was for.

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