Sienna will wake out of a deep sleep on my lap to leap up chattering and run to the window, where a bird magically appears. She just can’t stop herself and she’s not getting her beauty sleep right now, at least during the day. But she’s awfully cute and I wish I had space for a video on my phone.
We know Bernadette would say something sappy and sentimental about three rescued cats safe and warm inside and happily playing with a box instead of risking their lives to find breakfast on a freezing, icy morning, but really we are just three happy cats who can’t get enough of a brand new box to play with! Basil, Mariposa, Hamlet.
Photos from years past.
It’s been a good year for Hamlet, especially having won over the approval of Mr. Sunshine, who is not known for giving in to other cats outside his immediate family.
Hamlet’s sister Ophelia was adopted just about a week shy of one year ago and is doing extremely well in her new home. Hamlet had avoided relationships with any other cats than his sister, he wasn’t wild about the human either, and he had avoided the extra socialization that his more friendly sister had gotten. Separating them for a week or so at an earlier age and working with each individually would have helped with this but I don’t have the extra space to accommodate two separate fosters and then the rest of my household, especially when Alvina, Simon and Theodore were still with me. Hamlet is quiet and gentle but an energetic cat, and found himself with no one to play with.
Basil and Bella both play together and individually every day with toys and wrestling and running through the crackle tunnel. Basil noticed Hamlet right away and in his kind of rough and tumble kid way he let Hamlet know that he would be happy to play with him. Bella is not so forward, but she invited him to play as well. Of course, the two closest to Hamlet in age and also former feral rescues would have a lot in common. At first Hamlet just spent time near them and watched, and learned how to act with them, pretty much in the same way he had acted with his sister but somehow that had never transferred to other cats. I regularly find the three of them napping in relaxed companionship, or playing together.
Once Hamlet figured out he could play with other cats and making new friends was something he could do, he began to approach the other cats in the house, just humbly sitting near them, and submissively putting his head where they could lick it. Jelly Bean and Giuseppe gave him a lick now and then and worked their way up to a full face wash sometimes followed by a swat while Hamlet crouched and squinted and took what they gave him. Eventually Mewsette joined in, and Hamlet began following them around and sitting near them until he felt he could be a part of the group.
Finally Mr. Sunshine gave in and gave Hamlet a few licks, and then a full wash. While his siblings have that fostering and mentoring talent, Mr. Sunshine didn’t inherit the gene and goes as far as he can ignoring the fosters. He’s been known to hand out a few sharp swats too. But Hamlet is in.
Mimi generally ignores fosters too, feeling she’s already done her part in raising kittens. But she’s given Hamlet a few licks, and every few days they chase each other around the house a few times, from basement to second floor. Mimi has a great time acting like she’s going to beat up Hamlet when she gets him, and he’s over the moon that the mom is playing with him.
People are another matter. He likes people, he just doesn’t know how to approach them, so he runs back and forth past the people until someone reaches out and pets him, then he’s okay. For Hamlet that’s a huge amount of progress, helped along by pheromones, essences and a lot of calm, repetitive interaction. He finally sleeps next to me and has his habits with requesting attention and affection from me and we love every minute of it. We get along very well.
. . . . . . .
Photos From Previous Years
The Magic Shopping Bag, 2017
Basil hopped right in and suddenly everything was new and different. He studied the entire kitchen from the perspective of the bag as if he’d never seen it before.
Sometimes it’s good to get a new perspective.
. . . . . . .
And Mom Says We Make a Mess, 2011
“She can make a heck of a mess herself when she puts her mind to it.”
I was sorting yarn and craft materials, and there is no neat way to do that. What I like is Jelly Bean’s expression, slightly annoyed, a little sad, “Mom is hopeless sometimes.” He wants to take his afternoon nap on the bed and just wants me to remove my stuff.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Pittsburgh C.A.T. 2019 Calendar: Rescue, Foster, Rehome, Repeat 2019
Each month features a cat or cats and the story who Pittsburgh C.A.T. volunteers rescued through TNR or rescue from abandonment, neglect or abuse, offered medical treatment, fostering, socialization, and a loving forever home that met their individual needs. Read more and purchase.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!