1 - What the dickens?
This cute-as-the-dickens kitten was hiding from the rain under my roommate's car when she went out yesterday morning. Needing to get to church to teach a children's Sunday school class, she brought him to me. What could I do? I left a cellphone message that I'd miss church with family, but would meet them for lunch afterwards. In the meantime, this little dickens was exploring his new digs (interesting word) and thus totally annoying the two elderly cats who live here: Sammy, who is 13, and Kiki, who is 8 years old. You should have heard the deep-throat growling and spitting that went on! Sammy hid under Donna's bed, snarling whenever the little fuzzball appeared on her radar, but Kiki defended her turf, actively growling her "ERRRRMMM-mmmmm" whenever the hyperactive youngster cavorted too near the corner where she had retreated.
Surprisingly, this tiny fellow wasn't taking any guff from the big cats and would hiss right back at them. Once, having run from Kiki's hissey fit of snarling and spitting, he jumped into the litter box in the laundry room and said what I can only translate as "nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-NYAH-nyah ... hisssss!" Then he pooped, covered it with sandy litter, and pranced right back into the living room where Kiki sat, quivering with righteous indignation that we humans had allowed this ... this ... strutting white ball of fluff into HER home.
I left the kitten closed up in the bathroom with a bowl of water and went out for lunch and an afternoon of swimming with my daughters and Cady and her mom's friend Laura. When I returned late in the day, Sammy was still under the bed and Kiki looked frazzled from listening to hours of "mew-mew-meow" emanating from the other side of that door. When I released the captive kitty, I found that everything on the counter had been knocked aside and dusty paw prints decorated the sink. (Had he first conquered any dust bunnies hiding behind the toilet bowl?)
To make a long story short(er), I must say it's been an interesting 24 hours. I was awakened at 7:30 this morning by the new cat (yes, this kitten does look like he could be related to Nucat, doesn't he?), who was ardently waging a battle against my elbow with his needle-sharp claws and teeth.
I have printed out these photos of the little dickens who has already captured our hearts and have added this caption: "Did you lose your friend? Found under car in parking lot on Sunday. To claim this cute-as-the-dickens feline, call Bonnie (phone number)." But I haven't yet taken his wanted poster to the mailboxes at the entrance to the apartment complex because I'm afraid someone will claim him.
By the way, can any of you figure out what we've named him? (Naming him means we've capitulated to the lure of his compelling cuteness and may have to keep him, right? I was afraid of that.)
2 - Dickens is now Junie B.
Kiki, Sammy, and I decided the little dickens who moved in on Sunday could be described as "tiresome" or maybe "more energy than a dynamo" or even "make it stop"! The non-stop kitten drained us of our energy. Donna, who missed about nine hours a day of "fun with kitty" when she went to work, was off on Wednesday and finally realized we really cannot keep such an active kitten who took a walk in my oatmeal and likes to tackle the tails of elderly cats. So she departed with kitty on a journey to the brand-spanking-new animal adoption place nearby. Kiki was so relieved that she came and sat in my lap for close to 45 minutes, sighing and content. When Donna returned in about an hour, all three of us ... Kiki, Sammy, and I ... stared in disbelief as the kitty bounced out of Donna's arms and back into our lives! What happened? The new place takes only 30 adoptions a day, with the next possible date being August 5th, and asked Donna to "foster" the little one a few more weeks.
We did learn something, however. I had thought, upon examination, that the kitten was a girl; Donna was sure she saw a couple of things I had missed and said it was a boy. The adoption center confirmed he's a she. So the little dickens needed a new name. We were going for literary and tried every female name possible ... until Donna thought of Junie B. Unless you have youngsters in your life, you may not know about the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park, which even little boys enjoy. Junie B. is always into something, like in this "Sneaky Peeky Spy" story. Aha, just like our little dickens! And the amazing part is that the kitten likes "Junie B." and totally ignored "Dickens" when we said it. Maybe she was trying to tell us something.
3 - Up a tree
Tonight, I read an email sent to the neighborhood listserv, and then I clicked to enlarge the accompanying photo.
Hello neighbors,Aha! Frankly, I (Bonnie) think Junie B. Dickens is having fun with all the commotion around her/him. Speaking of which, the neighbor did say "he-his-him." Maybe Donna was right in the first place. I wonder what that neighbor named him.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions on how to get our cat down from the tree. Sadly, he's still in the tree, but now about 65 feet up (the absolute top). The fire department is not insured to get cats out of trees, that's only a thing in the movies and really tiny towns.
Last night we had a climber 50 feet up in the tree and we tried shaking food, wet and dry, spraying him with the water bottle, bursting water balloons above him. And just shaking the tree. There's currently a 5-gallon bucket hanging about 10 feet below him with food in it, but he hasn't come down to it. I called some tree services with no response and I have heard from the arborist I called yesterday.
His meowing's getting weaker and I called the vet and they said after 5 days without water we need to worry about dehydration. This will be his 5th night in the tree.
Here's the tree and the cat in it. There's a big pine next to it that might be of use, but it's not close enough just to reach, I think you'd have to swing.
As frustrated as I am at the stupid cat, I still don't want him to die. Any more ideas?
UPDATE (Tuesday, October 11, 2011):
"We've actually had him for 4 years. He does look a lot like the kitty on your blog. We got Optimus Prime and his sister Megatron (a black kitten) as a set about 4 years ago and they were maybe 6 inches long. He's just recently become an outside cat in the past two months, but he got spooked by a dog and then turned out to be afraid of heights. The good news is that an arborist went up and got him today (75 feet up) and when he came down he started purring and then wolfed down some food. So he'll be fine."