Itty Bitty Kitty

A few weeks ago The Cleaning Scourge, whilst doing her weekly best to bring the House of Chaos to a cleaner state, was having a smoke break when she found something in the Garden of Chaos and ran inside, cradling said something and yelling: “You can’t let this die ! Tell me you will take this in !! Save it !!!”
Oh dear. Another stray.

Her pleas were shrill as she shrieked on top of her voice, distress clear in her huge moist eyes. And in her hands trembled a white ball of fur, all fuzzy and cute. When she dropped it, it made an immediate beeline towards the food bowls. Oh yeah, this one certainly has his priorities in order. With both front paws positioned solidly inside the bowl, it started munching and crunching for all that it was maybe a few hundred grams big. But it was a few hundred grams of pretty determined kitty, a feral-born without any fear of simians at all, a hungry walking mewling stomach-on-paws. A belly with tiny claws. And tonnes of attitude.

Because of his diminutive size, and obvious membership of the Frankenclan since he is white with dark markings, we decided to name it Frankendrolleke (little frank t*rd) and let it loose again in the Garden of Chaos, thinking his mommy would be nearby and frantic with worry. We persuaded The Cleaning Scourge that it was better this way, that kittens need their mammies and that -because of his lack of fear for simians- surely he must belong to another household ?
And we already have 6 feline denizens thank you very much !

But to no avail. Other powers decided differently. In the following days it became clear that not only is Frankendrolleke a very determined and stubborn kitty, he is also remarkably intelligent and inquisitive. Where it took his (probable) auntie Frankinneke more than a year to figure out the cat-flaps, this one had it down pat in one day. Grumpy Man found himself tapping happily away at his computer one morning, and suddenly felt something tiny and light clawing its way up his pants, shirt and finally his shoulder, where it would sit down and proceed to purr tinily yet thunderously in his ear. Frankendrolleke had arrived and made it clear that he was in the state of being itty-bitty happy.

What can one do against such an onslaught of cuteness ? One pats it, purring gets notched up to warp-speed. One puts it down, it goes straight for the feeding bowls and yes, cats can purr and eat at the same time ! One ignores it, but it climbs back up again where it can get your attention easily – your shoulder. And finally it falls asleep, sure and secure in the knowledge that it won’t fall of. Because tiny claws have hooked on in your shirt and besides, he’s so light he’ll float were he to fall off.

And so I am typing this with a purring itty-bitty kitty on my shoulder. He just came in from the outside and his tiny paws are cold, boy, cold. But he is so cute about it. And when he curls up on your arm you can’t help but notice the tiny pink nosey, the tiny white clawseys, the short stubby excuse for a tail (another reason why we are convinced he is a Frankenkitten !) and the protruding belly that speaks clearly of a worm infestation. Which was quickly dealt with and he took his medicine like a big boy indeed.

But then he discovered nom. Simian nom.

At first he didn’t realize that my activity in the Kitchen of Chaos had something to do with nom, yet he couldn’t help but find his nose buried in the dishes we would empty at our computers. The first time we ate with Frankendrolleke present we had to fish him out of our dishes all the time. We would throw him into the Couch of Chaos, but he would come back time and time again until we grew tired of throwing, and started growling at him. That had him confused long enough for us to finish our dinners. But alas, he all too soon found out growling simians won’t bite and so we now have the added amusement during our mealtimes of having to fish a clawing kitty out of the bread or meat. He doesn’t care what it is, when simians are nomming it it  is nom ! And too, he found out that kitchen means nom, and The Mistress at the kitchen counter means imminent nom. After his first efforts to claw his way up my body in order to get at the goodies on the counter were repelled with flashing cutlery (not the sharp side though, I hate to clean up blood – it gets so sticky) he now will sit behind me on the floor and open his tiny mouth from time to time in order to omit a piteous mew so high-pitched I can’t hear it. The other felines hear it though, and will sit with paws over their ears throughout the ordeal.

The big cats have been watching his entrée and antics with a certain detached amusement. At first they would try to inspect the tyke, but found hisses and claws and growls and decided to let it be. Even so tiny as it is, it has a formidable temper. Then they discovered that it preferred to sleep warm. And what is warmer than -say- a sleeping Loup-Garou ? Or a Hrimnir quietly enjoying the sun in the windowsill ? And best of all, he is not disgruntled when woken up, he would simply stare at you with accusing tiny eyes piercing your heart with little daggers of silent reproof.

The disadvantage of this new arrival is that some of the feline residents of the House of Chaos are upset, and are demonstrating their unhappiness with pungent results. We don’t know who has been depositing his or her brown goo in the Hallway, but we have found out that Frankendrolleke took this as a sign that said Hallway is the local litterbox. Thank the Gods for cleaning products and Feliway ! I showed him the error of his ways and he now goes out like a big boy. Now if he only would learn to clean up his tiny bottom too before he deposits it on our shoulders…

But brown goo is not the only mark of unhappiness, and yellow liquids have had to be mopped up as well. We don’t know who the unhappy felines are, but they are very very  unhappy indeed.

Can’t they just accept the tyke and let it be ?

Picture below:

Frankendrolleke and Grumpy Man – a match made in Heaven ?

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Another weekend, another visit to our friends of Carnival of the Cats (hosted by Artsy Catsy), Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by the Sour Dough), the Bad Cats Festival of Chaos (once a month, hosted by Kashim, Othello and Salome), the Cat Blogosphere, and the Friday Ark.

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Personal no-play zone

Lately 2 of the Frankenkitties have taken to lunch, dine and sup at the House of chaos. Both Frankinneke and Frankeminneke tend to be a tad skittish, but respond to our pettings well, with quite thunderous purrs. Yet the feline denizens of the House are not allowed to approach them.

There is an interesting distinction to be made between feral and house cats. I can see it most clearly when I observe Frankinneke, the more adventurous of the twain, exploring the House of Chaos: Hrimnir will try to stalk her, it’s play of course, but he can’t grasp the sad fact that Frankinneke does not play at all. She regards his play-stalking as a nuisance at best, or rather imminent danger to her lithe and lean petite self. She responds with threat and violence. And that leaves Hrimmikins confused because he knows not better than other felines being purrfect playmates.

Ferals don’t have time for play. They don’t have leisure for mock-fights. For them everyday life is a constant and repeated struggle for survival. They eat, but don’t enjoy the food because they must work hard to get it and will not always get it at all. They love to be petted, but remain ever vigilant throughout because you never know when you will be attacked and rest assured that your enemies will attach you when you are at your most vulnerable – like when you let your guard down in order to fully absorb that most sensuous of sensations which is being petted. The ferals never bask completely oblivious to the world in the sun like the house cats do, even though they would enjoy the warm life-giving rays as well. They will, curled up on some strategic spot or in a safe haven, yet must need remain ever watchful. It’s a huge difference in quality of life. They don’t play, they are serious, because play consumes energy and energy is too scarce to waste like that and must be reserved for the serious business of hunting-for-food and fending-off-the-others. There is not time nor leasure for joy. There is only need.

Our house cats have the luxury of being able to remain big kittens: they can sleep safely, eat safely, play safely. The only need they know is when their feeding bowls are empty and they wonder what is going wrong with the simians. They know not want, because everything is in a paw’s reach: a warm soft place to sleep on, a simian hand to groom or pet you, a toy to play with, food to eat at leisure. One indignant meow, and a simian rushes in to do your bidding. One imperious paw on leg or arm, and your wish is granted. No enemies. No fear.

But Frankinneke finds a kind of solace in the House of Chaos she won’t find outside in the danger-filled and hungry world. For this tiny-built feral our beloved House is a safe haven filled with undreamed-of wonders. And one of these wonders is… the mousy-go-round.

It’s some kind of toy, in which a toy mouse is attached to a stick that rotates around a central axle. Tap the mouse and it goes round and round. Tap it hard and it goes whirrrr. To Frankinneke the feral it’s a wondrous toy with the added bonus that it doesn’t bite and stays in one place – more or less. She’s fascinated by the ever-running-round mouse and tries to catch it again and again. Tries to by smarter by forecasting its moves and leaping in front of it. Tries her very best to gnaw at what she can through the slits of the toy. And all the time she forgets to be on her guard and forgets that others could be stalking about and attack her.

Which -strangely- they don’t. They leave her alone. It is as if they know there exists a personal no-play zone around this kitty and they respect it.

But when she lies curled up and snoring blissfully on top of the pile of dirty laundry in the Veranda of Chaos, a curious feline denizen might approach her and take a tentative and cautious sniff. By now our feral kitty has learned not to wake up in full furious wrath, but to first slowly open her lovely eyes, and subsequently open wide her porcelain collection repository for a perfect execution of that good old wide yawn that broadcasts to the world that here lies a kitty content and lazy. The feline denizen will withdraw a pace or two, but remain fixed in abject fascination at such a marvellous display of yawncatship. Frankinneke has mastered the art of studied indifference, that many a feral needs in order to avoid life-threatening battles.

It’s hard to imagine that this little fluff-ball of purring kitty can at the same time be an imminent explosion of full-out ferocity, a meat-grinder of some notoriety, the lady other cats -even tomcats- give wide berth to. When you’re tiny you’d better be ruthless.

That cute she-kitty ?

Image below:
Frankinneke playing with the mousy-go-round…

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Oh yes, and notice the kitten ? The latest addition to the Feline Company of the House of Chaos, his will be the next tale here. His name is Frankendrolleke and he is possibly the son of either Frankinneke or Frankeminneke – we’re not sure. What we are sure of, however, is that he’s one persistent little stubborn bugger !

It’s been a long time, but we’re back. And thus we visit again the Carnival of the Cats (hosted by Nikita’s Place) , Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by Digicats) and the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos (hosted on Dec 6 by Kashim & Othello and Salome). Also, do not forget to visit the Cat Blogosphere if you want to hop in with your friends !

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