The white toy mouse became their most prized possession once they hunted it down.
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Bonnie being cute.
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Bonnie on the prowl.
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Ru's first climb. He jumped down right on Squash.
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Bonita and her six newborn kittens landed in our life in October, when we took them in as fosters from Dog & Kitty City. They'd just been rescued from living outside. Bonnie was all skin and bones and grit. She practically inhaled all the food she could see. Her little ones hadn't even opened their eyes yet; you could fit three in each palm of your hand. All she did for the first couple of weeks was feed them, eat, and sleep, in that order.
There were three girls and three boys; we named the girls Baby Carrot, Baby Lettuce, and Baby Turnip, and the boys Baby Kale, Baby Arugula, and Baby Squash. The little family was put through hell by illness. We lost Baby Turnip to peritonitis. Then Baby Arugula and Baby Squash struggled with severe dehydration for two weeks until they finally were out of the woods. The two of them bonded from their time being sick together, as they didn't have the energy to keep up with the three healthy kittens, so they played with each other.
The family were all adopted before Christmas. Arugula and Squash were adopted together, Kale was adopted by himself, and Carrot and Lettuce went hometogether too. We then adopted Bonnie, realizing we didn't want to let her go.
Bonnie blossomed as soon as she was relieved of the stress of nursing five. She filled out to a healthy weight and her long fur became shiny and soft. She recovered from her spay surgery, ate at her leisure, got plenty of sleep, and finally arrived to the point where she was in the mood to play like a kitten herself. She took no time getting along with our other cats and settled in very nicely.
She soon started going out and soaking up the sun in the cats' yard. Their safely enclosed yard lets them enjoy fresh air and grass during the day without fear they might get lost or be attacked by bobcats, coyotes, owls, or eagles. It's surrounded by a tall wooden fence and the top is covered by a metal mesh ceiling we had custom built. (You can see it in one of the photos.)
Bonnie's favorite indoors spot is in front of the fireplace, but she also likes to curl up among our plant pots or lie down inside the curtains of a sunny window. She's become picky with her food now she affords to choose. She purrs very loudly when we pet her. She makes a cute chirp before she jumps or runs. She loves to chase ping-pong balls around the house (especially on the hardwood floor), play with her fave toy mouse, and savage her scratcher. She keeps us company and is very nosy about whatever we're doing. She was able to engage one of our other cats in play and they now chase each other up and down the stairs.
Arugula and Squash were returned after a month and we took them back in. They immediately recognized their home and their mom, but Bonnie greeted them with growls and needed another month to accept them back. (This guide from the HSUS came in very handy.) She had never been a helicopter mom, and now she's very content being their best playing buddy. We adopted the two kittens mid-February. We kept their names, but we call Arugula Ru just because it's easier.
Ru and Squash have livened up the house with their antics. They are everywhere. They're great company for Bonnie and very stubborn about making friends with all our other cats. They've worked up to eating from our "pack leader"'s food. The two fight each other in the bathtub, in the grass, on the kitchen table, through the drapes, and in their water bowl, and when they're bushed they groom each other and cuddle to sleep. Bonnie and the kittens take turns defending the cardboard box in the middle of the living room. The kittens intercept Bonnie's ping-pong balls. They stalk around corners--they have inherited their mom's distinctive chirp, and Squash can't help making it before he attacks, so by the time he rounds the corner Ru is already on top of him. They climb everything. They jump up the walls in pursuit of one fly. They eat everything, including stuff that's not food, and they've gotten so big they're almost overtaking their mom. They splash about in sinks and watch water go down the drain, ignoring the water that's pouring on their heads. They step on our keyboards, chew on our hair, and lick our ears while snortling happily. They are our "gentle" alarms in the morning. They bite on any cat tail they can reach; they have to chase their own. They run around in muddy plant pots and then decorate the house. Every day, they teach us the impermanence of objects. =)
We're grateful to the shelter staff and volunteers for the amazing work they do for each of their animals and for bringing this family into our lives. I'm sending a bunch of pictures of them at home to give an idea of how much fun they are. We have so many pictures of them it was hard to choose!
- Family: Cristina and Gabriel
2719 Manor Way * Dallas, TX 75235 * 214-350-7387 Open daily 11:45 AM - 5 PM. Closed Tuesdays and holidays.