It was always in the plan – we would have cats in the store. But starting up a business means the ToDo list seems to keep growing rather than shrinking. December 1, opening day, came and went. On and off, we speculated on when we could get them as the weeks went by. The Day of the Cats finally did arrive on May 8, 2019 with Ninja and Curious wondering what strange world they had landed in.
Within 10 minutes or so, Curious came to the conclusion he liked the new digs. Living up to his name, he checked out everything and everywhere. It is not common for a cat to take to a new home so rapidly. Obviously he was not a common cat.
Ninja was fearful. “What strange and dangerous place is this?” he seemed to be thinking. His explorations consisted of identifying places to hide. And hiding. He had been at Craig Street Cats for a long time, in a room with no windows. Now he was in a place with big windows, lots of traffic noise, and too much space. An alien place full of unknown dangers.
The first night, we put them in a kennel cage. It was a sad sight, them peering out at us as we left them behind. The next morning, they were released, and quite happy about it. Ninja seemed relieved, like he was getting into better space than a cage.
The next and every night since, they roam the store. There was something about them that made us confident they would not go on a rampage of climbing everything and knocking stuff over. You know the meme: if the earth was flat, cats would have knocked everything off of it by now. Not Curious & Ninja.
Ninja, over several days, became accustomed to the store and soon was walking up to people and getting a pet or two. CSC volunteers and other visited to check up on the boys. And at this point, there are people who come in just to visit with them. Ninja usually parks himself on the mat by the front door for sunshine. And rolls on his back when people come in to invite a belly rub with a squeak.
Curious, thrilled from Day 1, sits or lays on the counter, or the kennel cage, or anyplace. When someone comes in, he is thrilled. It is cause for finding a possible new friend, catching some pets, and sharing a purr or 20.
Over time, he has taken over. Why should a human get the best chair? Curious is in it. Why is the human wasting time looking at the computer screen when there is a perfectly good cat available for pets, play, and snacks? Especially snacks. Pens are to be taken away from the humans. This is all part of a training program to create a cooperative and generous human population that is properly attentive to the needs and whims of all cats, especially Curious.
His goal is to prevent activities not contributing to the fun, health, and appetite of Curious. In exchange he often is extremely affectionate. Having him climb on your lap and push against you with body or head, and nudge your arm or chin; its hard to say no to. Snack delivered. Then its time to sit in front of the computer and prevent its use until more snacks are delivered.
There were some surprises for us. We took both to the vet for their first checkups on June 5. Both have clogged up ears that need a cleaning. Ok, no problem. While all shelters do their best, they have challenging constraints on their time and budget. Our contribution as adoptees is to take care of any problems. The boys were worth it from Day 1.
Ninja had dental problems. When the vet opened Ninja’s mouth, it was a little smelly. He would be needing dental care. It would be expensive. And he needed it soon. For the moment, in addition to his ear cleaning, he got a Convenia shot (slow antibiotic).
He was probably in some pain. That would explain at least some of his reticence and fear on arriving. He had only been eating on one side, with bad teeth on the other.
Throughout cat history, life then and even now when feral, is that of both predator and prey. The weak become prey. As a cat, showing weakness or vulnerability is something not done as a matter of not looking like an easy meal. How much Ninja’s dental issues hurt, we cannot know. Cats will hide when hurting badly enough.
Now there are people who would, on getting an estimate in the $1K range in Month One, would simply drop him back off and walk away. That is not us. We thought he would be an awesome cat, this big boy, a classy Tuxedo who was affectionate and friendly, and as polite as a cat can be yet with considerable self confidence once he felt at home. We would do whatever was necessary.
So we made the appointment and he got his surgery. Its been less than a week, but he is better than ever. He recovered a lot faster than the vet said. So, a tough guy too and quite frisky. We look forward to years of his good company.
Just now, Curious is on the counter next to me, calm and comfy, and giving me the slow-blink. Ninja is following after Charlene, certain dinner will (or should be) served soon. Its summer, its warm, and life is good with cats.