Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Coming of Chloe

You are wondering how it all went? How my Bengal kitten travelled to her new home in London, how she settled in?
I can promise you . . . you're no more anxious about the outcome than I was!

It was all very well I told myself, as I struggled to kitten-proof the flat in advance of her arrival, but was I being fair? I was committing Chloe to the role of Community Cat, to a life of considerable travel and social activity, but would this kitten be willing to co-operate with my plans? Cats have minds and characters of their own, it's one of the many reasons why I love them so much. What if Chloe had alternate views (strong alternate views) on the life she wished to lead? What if she was, by nature, a Solitary Cat?

But anxiety was getting me nowhere. Rather than anticipate such problems, it seemed best to start as I meant to go on. There would be no cat basket . . . just a harness to restrain her and a soft bag to travel in. Chloe, who up until now had never been outside her home, far less witnessed the clamour of traffic, would sit in her bag on my lap, whilst Sally drove us back to London.

Her harness came as the first of her many surprises, but, with so much else going on, she barely noticed the restriction. The car . . . the movement . . . the passing scenery . . . all brought a wide-eyed, incredulous reaction. But in no way was this kitten thrown by the fast-changing events in her life!
She was highly curious . . . keenly interested . . . very excited.

As I'd hoped it would, the bag provided an invaluable sense of security. Sinking down into its depths, she relaxed a little, keeping a keen eye on the cars, lorries and passing countryside.
Finally, clearly deciding that one vehicle looked much like another, she snatched a quick snooze!

How, I wondered anxiously as we sped along, would this very small kitten cope with a totally unfamiliar new home?
New sights . . . new smells . . . new experiences?

I need not have worried! After chewing a leaf on the Peace Lily, and giving an exuberant swipe at an orchid, she settled for the challenge of an exciting new toy!

On that first day her movements were like quicksilver. Scuttling from
room to room, her stomach low on the carpet, she was impossible to catch. However, by day two these scuttles had been transformed into a prancing, stiff-legged dance. With her head held high, and her
tail straight up above her back, my highly vocal kitten was giving every sign of knowing where she was . . . and liking what she saw!

That first night Chloe talked incessantly, I did my best to console her . . . neither of us slept. Night two found her sleeping soundly in the cubby-hole on the cat tree. It was on night three that, with much excited purring, she discovered the comfort and fun of Mum's bed!
Day one was spent exploring at ground level. Day two was devoted to the excitement of progressing upwards. On day three came the discovery that going up was wonderful, but going down far more precarious . . . often necessitating help!

And has she accepted the role of Community Cat?
I've no need to answer that question. Just look how much she enjoyed a visit to Sally yesterday . . .

. . . and her diary is full!

As for me . . . it is no exaggeration to say that a totally new and revolutionary chapter has begun. This realisation struck home forcibly early on Sunday morning when Chloe, having discovered the flowers that had dropped overnight from the cactus, descended on them eagerly as a tasty breakfast! Was there, I wondered anxiously, such a thing as cactus-flower-poisoning? I had no wish to find out . . . and rushed off in search of the hoover.
Any creature, I thought later, that could get me hoovering, far less at seven o'clock on a Sunday morning, was clearly destined to clear my life of any cobwebs and set us both on a new and invigorating path!

She is enchanting . . . beguiling . . . and utterly captivating. Could anyone be Chloe-proof? I very much doubt it.
Welcome to your new life, Community Kitten!