Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Gray Ghost

Things are a little tense here Chez Emrich. There is a new member of our household who is working hard to fit in and be accepted by the resident felines.

Two weeks ago a lonely "kitten" was seen on the front sidewalk, meowing towards the frontdoor. In the dark, I wondered if the cat eyes belonged to one of my own feline team. But going outside to investigate, it became clear that the eyes belonged to a new child on the block.

This baby kitty was hungry and I helped to fill his belly with some tasty cat food. He gobbled the food as quickly as possible before a possum crossed the street to investigate the source of food.

The next evening, the same kitty was on the porch meowing in request. He found another meal and welcomed a little scratching between the shoulder blades. This routine repeated each day with the exception of an increased desire to be pet and held. This gray ghost had obviously had a home in a prior life.

One week ago, poor little Oscar - see he had already told me his name - showed up for dinner with a severe wound on his tail. A large chunk of fur and skin was missing, exposing what I only hoped was muscle. Quickly discussing the situation with Rob I decided to bring Oscar into the house for the night. I wanted an opportunity to clean the wound and give Oscar a dry place to sleep.

We went quickly to the music studio in which I have a separate bathroom. Created a temporary litter box (which he used faithfully), provided more food and water, and folded up a fuzzy bathroom rug for a bed. Oscar purred and purred after he got past the shock of being in a strange place.

Oscar, the gray ghost, stayed in the studio for the following days so that I could keep an eye on his tail and so he could stay fed. On Saturday I finally made the decision to bring him to my vet to receive his shots and get checked out. To our surprise, Oscar kitten is estimated to be 2 years old according to his teeth. Wow, he is so small and behaved very kitten-like, kneading his paws while he receives affection and meowing with a kitten's voice.

It was last Friday that Oscar first came in direct contact with the lords of the manner, Miss Musette and Mister Pippin. Pippin seems very curious and will likely become a good friend in due time. However, Musette is furious!! She complains loudly any time Oscar is within sight.

Sunday was the first day during which all three felines were left loose within the house together. In the early pre-dawn hours on Monday, there was a kerfluffle. Musette was highly worked up and quick to start. Oscar couldn't be found. Since that time Musette has become increasingly less tolerant of the "intruder" within her territory.

Poor little Oscar has lost a bit of his kittenish joy and desire to play. He has much on his mind and at nearly every turn has the Queen of the Castle threatening bodily harm. It seems that Pippin will become a good friend to Oscar, if only Musette would calm down and leave them be. Her suspicion and angst is contagious, although Pippin has greeted Oscar with kindness.

A mother to this young brood, I desire peace and joy within the household. Hopefully with time the stress will dissipate and the anger and angst will prove to be useless. It has only been one week. Patience, Lisa, patience.


  1. I hope you have peace in your household soon. Poor Oscar just wants a family to love him. Good luck!

  2. No pressure, but you must be sooo careful not to favor any of the, er, your kids. They will come around after initiation period ends, maybe a few punks, and the alpha relaxs knowing there is one more servant for him/her. Oscar, great name.

  3. I must be the only MS blogger that isn't running a petting zoo? I'd better get a few head of dogs or cats, lest I be drummed out of the club!


  4. I have the same addiction. We moved into a farm house almost 6 years ago and since then we have taken in many little fuzzballs. I believe people just think "OH, a farm house they would love to have cats for the mice". Well, Yes, I hate mice but I also have now ended up with 5 cats. We have lost 3 over the years but have nursed many strays hit by cars or attacked by wild creatures.

  5. good luck with the fuzzballs.

    I am allergic to cats so I can't offer any advice on uniting them as a happy family. Now dogs I can talk your ears off about. LOL

  6. Thanks folks,

    So far there is still quite a bit of growling, hissing, and even spitting from Musette, the alpha cat. She is simply not happy about this.

    Oscar picked us and has found a good home, even if Musette is being a pain. He just wants to play something awful.

    Andy, don't worry about it. You've got big kids to enliven your home.

    Tara, one year ago in February my 19 year old orange boy died. He was truly a blessed cat who was lucky enough to be "Lisa's cat." It took awhile to even consider opening my home to new kitties. Then one of my piano student's cat turned up pregnant and I fell in love with a brother and sister pair.

    Bringing a third cat into the house is a big move for me. But Oscar was a persuasive guest on our front porch. He picked us.

  7. My sisters recall the day I was brought home from the hospital in mum's arms...much the same, I imagine! Eventually they got used to ME or at least tolerated me...sigh.

    I believe felines remain *kittens* until they decide NOT to be!