It was never our plan for us to be a multi-cat household. (In fact, Mr. Gryce has always wanted a dog.) In my case, however, had Mr. Gryce not come along when he did, I probably would have been doomed to become the spinster, cat-lady of the neighbourhood. Nevertheless, as cute as each litter of barn kittens were, none of the kittens really ever seemed like house-cat material. However, this year, one little gaffer won our hearts over...
This is Chester.
(If he looks familar, it's because you've already met him in another post.)
Chester's mother left him when he was about a month old. We never knew if he had any litter-mates; one day he just showed up in the barn. He was "adopted" by another barn cat who already had a litter of 4. Chester's exact age was unknown, but his new litter-mates were about twice his size. So, after a few weeks, his new mama grew tired of her large brood. At this time, Chester was taken under the wing of yet a third mama cat.
Then Chester got sick. Feline distemper (also known as the Feline Panleukopenia virus) is common in kittens and highly contagious. Chester and a few of the other barn cats contracted it. Between his sniffling, sneezing, runny eyes, and weight loss, he was pretty pathetic-looking.
I started feeding him extra meals, in order to help him overcome his illness. Another kitten had already succumbed to the virus and I hated to lose another. Research suggested lots of loving, fresh air and sunshine, plus plenty of good food would go a long way towards his recovery.
I frequently went to the barn to check on his well-being. He always greeted me with a squeaky "mew" followed by a loud rumbling purr and of course, half a dozen sneezes. Although he'd had no human contact for his first few weeks, and then very limited contact after that, he followed me around like a lost puppy dog and was absolutely delighted to be carried around in my arms.
Then he found out where we lived, and started hanging out on the front porch.
A couple times, he managed to get into the house when the door opened. He was absolutely fearless. Household noises didn't phase him. Neither did Charlie.
Much to Charlie's chagrin, Chester walked around like he owned the place and made himself right at home.
He quickly found the best seat in the house....
...and all the good toys!
Mr. Gryce was glad to have found a cat to keep him company while he watched TV...
...even if Chester has really stinky farts.
Mr. Gryce was smitten and asked, "Can we keep him?"
I was reluctant at first. Chester was not litter-trained. He would probably destroy our new leather couch. He was still sick. Besides, Charlie did not get along with other cats.
I had lots of reasons to say no, but how could I say no to this cute little furry face? And so it was, that two weeks ago, Chester came to stay.
I can't complain. He's a smart little whipper-snapper. After 2 accidents, he was fully litter-trained in one day. He hardly ever wakes us up in the night. (There may have been one incident where Mr. Gryce woke up to something gnawing on his nose...) :S He loves his big brother Charlie and play wrestles with him everyday.
Charlie has realized that Chester is here to stay--and even though he sometimes pretends not to like him...
...I think they will be best buddies soon enough.