Sunday, February 2, 2014

Exploring the Basement

After the kittens' big heater adventure, they became a bit more comfortable with coming out of their crate and exploring the basement. We brought them out to eat and play, and they became more familiar with us. Our older cat, Sophie, was usually kept upstairs while the kittens were out playing, but we began to let her go down and watch them. Nala loved Sophie and always purred and tried to rub against her. Sophie wasn't a big fan of that. Marie seemed to be more shy and stayed away from Sophie and everyone else. Nala was definitely the friendly one. Nala and Marie found a spot on a shelf where we keep autumn decorations and made it their new "safe place." They used the crate less and less until they didn't need it anymore. Their spot in the shelf became known as "the hole." The new goal was to get them to come out of there and explore the rest of the house.

The Crate Escape

 The kittens spent a good amount of time in the crate. Two weeks since their arrival, we had to have our heater cleaned. Unfortunately, the heater was in the same room as the kittens. My mom was worried that they would be afraid of the noise, so she tried to move them into the small crate so that she could move it into a different room. The kittens wouldn't go into the crate and escaped into the basement. The heater guy was coming soon and my mom had to find a way to contain the kittens so they wouldn't run outside when the guy was working. Luckily, the babies ran behind the bar in the basement, which was a safe spot for them. Nala jumped over the bar and my mom had to chase her around to try to get her back with her sister. She needed to be picked up in order to be put back there. It was the first time she was picked up, so she was pretty scared, but she got back behind the bar. My mom kept watch over the kittens when the heater was being cleaned. When the guy was finished, the kittens were left alone in the basement. They eventually went back into the crate. What an adventure!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Big Dog Crate

 We waited. One of the kittens, Nala, had walked into the big crate, but moved back to the little crate when her sister wouldn't move over with her. My mom went upstairs to get tuna to lure them into the other crate. As soon as she was upstairs, both of the kittens walked into the big crate. This meant my boyfriend and I had to close the door to the big crate without the kittens escaping by ourselves. We pulled the small crate away and shut the door to the other crate. The kittens didn't even try to escape.

The babies adjusted to the big crate very well. Their favorite spot was under or on top of a stool that we put in the back. The crate had open spaces in the sides, so we could stick string through and play with them. Eventually, we opened the door and played with them that way. They never tried to escape, but they did look curious. We spent a lot of time playing with them and my mom would sit downstairs with them so they would get used to being around people. We could pet the kittens a little bit inside the crate while they were eating. Nala was more friendly than Marie. They seemed to like life inside.

Beginning Life on the Inside

The kittens looked content in the dog crate. They say small spaces give cats comfort. I felt bad though. I felt they needed more space, but it worked. They had a quiet night.

In the morning, the crate needed to be opened to clean the litter box and add food and fresh water. What would the kittens do? Would they try to escape? Would they bite? I was a bit edgy about it. I never worked with a feral cat before. A pair of thick gloves would protect my hands just in case. I cautiously opened the crate. The poor babies just cowered as far back in the crate as they could get. I didn't try to touch them. I just talked quietly to them. I figured they knew me from talking to them outside. I hoped the talking might comfort them.

We tried to leave them alone in the basement to adjust to the sounds of the house. It wasn't easy. They were so cute, so we visited them often. We kept the door closed to the storage area of the basement where the kittens were because we were not sure how our six year old cat would react to them. She seemed oblivious to them at first. Then, she started sniffing around the door. No hissing or growling. So far so good!

I got in touch with my friend with the larger crate. She said it was ready and waiting for me. It was much bigger. The kittens would have a lot more room. The problem would be transferring them from the small crate to the large one with no one escaping! Three of us took on the task. The big crate was set up and ready. The plan was to open the door to the small crate and push it as close as possible to the opening of the large crate so the kittens could go right into the large crate and hopefully not escape into the basement.

We connected the crates. The kittens didn't move.