It is almost Bella Mae's birthday. Amazing. I've lived in Decorah for almost a year, I've had the most amazing cat in my life for almost year. Simply amazing.
One thing that no one really would have expected was my adopting a new addition to the family. Cordelia Joy.
I adopted Cordelia though Paw of Decorah, and at first I will admit, it was more nerves at first sight rather than love. A long-furred Tortie that did not seem thrilled to have me hold her. More like she scratched me and then fell in love with Bill and his shoelaces. I figured that this would end up being more 'his' baby, even tho I would be the one taking care of her, feeding her, bathing her, and doing all the 'dirty work'. (Even tho Bill does clean the boxes out here and there and will feed the 'kids' while I'm gone...majority falls on me.)
It had been a LONG time since I had raised a kitten. You would think that I would remember things...like the playfulness, breaking sound barriers with lightning speed, and essentially-getting into loads of mischief.
I would be lying if I fully believed it would be easy. I would also be lying if I said I fully enjoyed every waking (or not) moment of kitten-hood...but overall, I'd be lying if I said I didn't love Cordelia Joy and the literal joy she brings. Even if her middle name is mischief.
Things went, well, not so smoothly. The day I brought Cordelia Joy home I had to drive all the way to Postville to get her (from the vet). Subsequently on the way home she had urinated in her carrier; soaking the mat and getting pee on her feet, etc. Great! Then upon further inspection saw she had fleas, which spurred me to put Frontline on. Then soon after the vet called and informed me they had put Advantage on her. Great. Also for added effect I combed her with coconut oil, which resulted in shiny, styleable fur. Spiky looks are totally in.
Bella Mae was totally offended by the new addition, and made her dissatisfaction known to me by growling at me whenever I got close and she could smell 'that cat'. There was no appealing to her kinder senses, washing arms/hands worked not so much. I knew that I was on Bella Mae's shit list. Then came my trying to introduce them properly...keeping Cordelia in a separate room and letting Bella Mae sniff a sock with her scent, and all that good stuff. Needless to say, after the first night of hearing Cordelia meow and cry at the top of her lungs. Lunging herself at the hanging carpet-scratcher and proceeding to kick the door and causing a good amount of scratches....that whole idea failed.
The moment I came home and she heard me, her meows reverberated throughout the home, cries of agony could be heard, and I did not doubt the neighbor wondered what in the hell I was doing to the poor kitten. I would spend much time in the same room as Cordelia. Combing out fleas, playing, and feeding her. This was what lead to the second night....where I slept on the couch. Cordelia Joy followed me to bed, Bella Mae was unknowing of the intrusion in our bed. Saw the kitten and got very growly and hissy out of protest and left. If Bella Mae wouldn't sleep with her, then I would sleep with both of them out in the living room. Bella Mae was on the cat tree, the kitten between my legs, and me with a kink in my neck. After you let the new arrival sleep outside the cat room, there is no going back. She was locked up during the day the next day and then I subsequently gave up and let her stay out....counting down the hours at work and praying hard that I would come home to the house still intact and no blood or guts from a voracious cat-fight with the kitten being lunch.
Overall tho, as time progressed, you could see Bella Mae was more annoyed at the 'furball' than anything. It made me feel better to see she did NOT fear this creature, and would proceed to 'pwn' her by batting her on the head, growling, hissing, and chasing her around. Cordelia Joy is not fearful by any means. She will actually initiate these games of 'cat and mouse' and try to make Bella Mae's life not so much miserable, but to antagonize her some. What is more fun than challenging authority?
I have now remembered why people start off with baby animals before having human-children. I will say I have had my fill of 'youngness' for the time being, and that having kitties currently fulfills that need I have of 'mothering' and meets the 'worry quota' just as quickly, if not moreso, than a human child (for me).
I will say too, even tho Cordelia and I didn't seem to love each other completely the first time we met, she is without question or doubt, a mamma's girl. I think several reasons, besides me being the one home all the time...but that she is a 'girl' and a prissy princess (and I mean that with endearment).
Bella Mae is still the queen, and is back to health after her mystery illness that some of you knew from my Facebook page. Eating, drinking, full of spunk when need be, and loving her cat naps. I'm now lucky enough to have at times, two sleeping companions with me at night (three if hubby is home).
Right now I am content, and I feel my family is now complete...my floor is like any other floor...covered in toys. Cat toys that is.
My kids do not eat with grace and cleanliness all the time...
and messy diapers? More like kitty litter and battling the tracking it does all over the floor and other places.
Sometimes having to wipe the occasional 'poopypaw' if Bella Mae has loose stools...which results in a temper tantrum that could rival the most aggressive 3 year old.
Would I change anything? No. Right now this is my way of dabbling in parent-hood....these kitties are my sunshine...and they are helping me pave the way to my future career (my hope) and learning what I can about proper nutrition, etc.
For all that I know (which is a lot yet not) I am good at what I do (being a cat mom).