Sunday, October 18, 2009
first day with the monster
Big strides today. Smokey Jo broke her hunger spell by consenting to eat some tuna I put directly under her nose. I sat with her for hours today and we listened to all the good NPR Weekend Edition radio shows. For a while she slept in a basket with a tiny dog bed inside of it, and I managed to stroke her twice without a hiss.
I covered a heating pad with a little blanket and stuffed that under her dresser. It's been freezing cold in that room because it's cut off from the meager heat we have in this big old house. She sat on that for a while and even stretched out for a while and looked just like a normal kitten.
I went into Woodstock today to meet at the coffee shop with Austin and Cassie, and to get the dogs out for an 'urban adventure'. We hunted around Gillingham's and the Butcher and the bookstore. It was a cold, smoldering autumn day with grey skies and the wind tearing the gold leaves off of branches. I wish I could stay in Vermont for the entirety of this season.
It's nearly 2am and I've been sitting with the kitten all night. I have found her weakness- tuna fish- and lure her out of hiding by the spoonful. I eventually got her to come sit and eat right next to me, outside of her lurid little cave. After the second time she emerged to eat another spoonful, she payed me the considerable compliment of pausing to put her nose against my leg, then look up and me with those big aquatic eyes and wrinkle her nose a little. She gained some courage during these tuna forays and then went exploring the room a little, while I was sitting right there on the ground reading about The Jersey Devil in The Tracker.
Finally she planted herself in a cold corner of the room near the window and proceeded to complain noisily for an hour. There is nothing meek or 'kittenish' about her tone- when she complained today (I'm writing this in the past tense which is absurd since she's still going at it) she was all brassy and loud and rude. She sounded positively angry. I tried giving her more tuna, which she took off the spoon, but as soon as she finished she'd yelp again and look at me with utmost expectancy. As soon as I refilled the spoon she'd quiet down again until she was finished. This continued for a while, and by the end she was eating off the spoon as I held it out to her. Occasionally she'd hiss, which I told her was just bad manners, but mostly she just ate and asked for more in a very demanding tone.
Now she has positioned herself again beneath the dresser and is demanding more fish. The can is nearly gone and this terrifies me. I think I'm going to call it a night and go upstairs with Hometeam, an animal who is so desperate for my attention that she can't sleep unless her nose is beneath my chin. She is a good antidote.
To sum it up: she ate, explored the room while I was sitting there, ate right next to me, ate out of the spoon I was holding. When I leave the room she'll cry and be temporarily mollified when I return and talk to her. This is progress, and not even glacially moving progress, but I don't have much time here....and I've got other things to do while I'm home for peet's sake like develop a quarter's worth of lesson plans for 4 classes. Right now I'm not so sure I can save this cat from getting brained out in the meadow with the rest of her family, but I suppose I'll try again tomorrow.....