Jun 22, 2012

Cat-Kitten Update!

aka spare sofa cushion
As you may remember back in January I took the children to the SPCA and the Cats Protection League and we came away with not one, not two but three new cats. Two little kittens and one giant moggy.

Toffee is the shorter of the kittens, but the wider. She has a round belly and a short tail. She's very cute in a 'make-you-smile' way. The SPCA told us to have kitty bikkies always available - that the cats would self-regulate their eating habits. Toffee doesn't self-regulate. Toffee just eats and eats and eats some more. In fact, we've amended her name from Toffee to Scoffee. She likes to lie about in front of the fire and look gorgeous.

Pop on the other hand is the longer, leaner of the two - and definitely the one with the killer instincts. she's the one clawing the kitten toys to death - along with any cardboard boxes that might be lying around. Nothing beats hunting insects in Pop's world. She's incredibly fast.


They're still great mates - playing together and curling up together. I scooter with the children to school and the two kittens bound along after us - almost to halfway there before they spot something interesting in someone else's garden.  

Toffee & Pop
Still very cute friends
They're very close to my eldest daughter in particular (the younger ones might still be a bit too enthusiastic in their cuddles!) - and spend most nights curled up on her bed. However, like many young creatures, they don't sleep through the night and around 3 every morning we hear the pair of them scampering up and down the stairs chasing each other.

And then of course, there was our older lady cat - the one that 'would have trouble finding a home'. Well, turns out there was a reason Curious would have trouble finding a home. Curious is the grumpiest cat of all time. Well, maybe I do her a disservice - she's not so much grumpy as noisy.

She has decided she prefers to live outside and only comes in for food (about five times a day). I was concerned about this as the weather is getting very cold - but she's got herself a spot under the house and when it absolutely bucketed down the other day, she came in for supper completely dry. And the fact is she doesn't want to stay inside. As soon as she's eaten she's at the door yowling and hissing (SO loud) to be let out. I figure she's having a better life than she would have done otherwise - limitless food and warmth and company should she want it (though she doesn't).

Cat dynamics are interesting. The kittens know Curious is boss - she eats first, they keep their distance. But she tolerates them - she might hiss but she doesn't lash out. There are a couple of cats on one side of us (Frankie and Tapioca) - and while Frankie might slither in to steal some food now and then, for the most part they stay away. 

The nemesis next door.
But there is one real threat - and that's Ruby from next door. Before we got the three, Ruby believed our property was a natural extension of hers. Our back lawn was her domain. Ruby is a beautiful big black cat. Ruby is a hunter. Ruby is proud.

So is Curious.

Yes, as you can imagine, there are fireworks going off round here! Often I see them squaring off. Just yesterday Curious was in the driveway blocking the (cat-sized) hole in the fence, yowling and hissing and crouched into full on predator mode. I peeked nearer and saw Ruby sitting there on her side - mirroring the malevolence, protecting her boundary. They yowled at each other for ages. I've seen them do a lot more than yowl too -  and had to break it up with a lot of shouting and arm waving. It ended with one of them rolling off the roof of the neighbour's house which gave me a heart attack. But its true that cats always land on their feet! And I think mostly their clashes are more about show and noise than real bruises and bites.

I confess I enjoy watching those two powerful cats and I'm looking forward to seeing how our other two develop. They're such magnificent creatures!

Curious, the Furious Queen
The one and only. 


  1. Natalie, it sounds as if you've got your hands full with your cats. It's no wonder with 6 of them in three adjoining houses, there are territorial skirmishes! Hope they sort it out peaceably.

    Lovely pics.

  2. Nat, I think you should write a kids book about the cats in your neighborhood!! They're all gorgeous - I love black cats, tuxedo cats AND tortise shells. (My very first cat when I was 9 was a tort called Tammy.) And they all have different personalities.
    We have a 6year old tuxedo who's loving - when she wants to be. I mentioned we bought a Birmin about 2 months ago. She is THE sweetest little kitten ever! I've heard lovely things about Birmins and Ragdolls (Helen L's got a gorgeous one!) But at the vet's the other day I say I beautiful one waiting in her cat's carry cage. I asked the owner just to make sure of the cat's breed. He confirmed she was a birmin, but he said she was the grumpiest, nastiest cat he'd ever known. Biting, scataching all the time. Wow.
    So guess you and I Nat can count ourselves lucky =)

  3. Oh, Nat, it's interesting times at your place! I'd love to see the daily school scooter commute. :-) Lots of fun, I'm sure.

    I have a soft spot for the cranky and curmudgeonly, and it has to be said that Curious is a fine looking cat. Thanks for the pics!

  4. Natalie ~ so far in my life 7 cats have shared my home at different times. Most was 3 at one time on a couple of occasions. They all have had distinct personalities.

    Thank you so much for the update.

    The farm cats that I know stay outside in -40C weather sometimes. They do have a kennel and have been known to join the dog in his kennel when it's really cold.

  5. Natalie, I loved hearing about your cats and how they've settled into your home. Like Michelle, I have a soft spot for cranky cats and dogs. And Toffee and Pop are just adorable!