The New Man in My Life!

Okay, he’s a little furry and has hair in his ears, but I love him to pieces anyway! Meet Quinn, our shelter kitty that we adopted after our recent trip to Hood Canal. It seems impossible now to think that we almost selected a different feline to take home…

As we stood in the entrance of The Oregon Cat shelter in Lake Oswego, we surveyed the various kittens that hadn’t been selected as Christmas gifts. (It’s big kitten season, apparently.) We were drawn to a little gray guy with lily white feet. His name was “Cruiser.” (This should have been a tip off.)

He was adorably cute, active, easy to handle. The perfect kitten. With the deal nearly sealed, we let him loose on the cat tree in the middle of the room. As I began filling out paperwork, I noticed him bothering the crap out of a giant cat that swatted him down a few times — hard. Cruiser remained undaunted. After filling out a few more lines, I glanced up once more to find him biting the carpet upon which he stood, literally rending the fibers out of their backing, flecks of carpet caught in his whiskers. A slightly crazed look in his eyes.

Hmmm. Maybe we should take another pass, we all decided.

There was a little tabby in a large cage with a bunch of his siblings, all of whom were rescued feral cats. They were like the Flying Wallendas. Playing, batting, lunging, somersaulting, and sometimes launching themselves at the cage grid and hanging on, suspended by their claws. Quinn was smaller, but gave as good as he got. The second you opened the door though, he would immediately put the ears back and to the side, looking none too pleased.

Strangely though, when we reached in, he didn’t hiss, bite or scratch. He remained extremely unhappy though, with ears plastered to his head, as we snatched him out. Quinn was a small guy, but had the LOUDEST purr we had ever heard — really remarkable for his size. (He was the runt of the litter and has slightly bowed front legs that make him look as if he’s got some sort of Western gunfighter swagger when we walks around the joint. His tail is crooked as well, very sharply, 180 degrees — about 3/4 of an inch at the tip.)

Our Kittens for Dummies book recommended setting up a “safe room” when we returned a la casa. A place with everything he needed where he could start out…a home base. So of course, Tom and I decided to volunteer the kids’ bathroom! You can see the picture here. We were concerned, at first, that the safe room was a little too comfortable, as we had a hard time getting him to come out! (Having been a feral cat, we were expecting him to take time to warm up and explore.) I mean, there are volumes devoted to “How to Get Your Cat into His Pet Carrier” but nothing written about “How Do I Get My Cat out of His Pet Carrier?”

Every day though, he explores a bit more. So far, he has attacked the ficus tree in the living room, attacked the fringe on the rug in the living room, tried to jump up and attack a few door handles, and has been entranced by his reflection in the oven door, which required attacking the dish towels that hang on the handle. (Notice a theme?)

He also attacked Zelda’s moving feet under her blankets the other night, popping her inflatable mattress (slow leak). So last evening we left Quinn at home and went to Ikea for the inevitable bunkbeds, the Z’s space-saving Aerobed scheme has come to an due to the paws of a tiny cat. Tom and the girls are assembling it now.

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