25
Dec
07

Woodpile Kitts Go Home for Christmas

Cleopatra & Cricket asleep in a flowerpot

They say it’s better to give than receive, and right now I know that’s true. We just gave away the two cute little Woopile Kittens that we’ve come to know and love … and the joy and warmth we feel has made this the Best Christmas Ever.

For the past five days Brett and I have been caring for Cleopatra and Cricket in our dining room. Their new family had a holiday trip scheduled, so we decided to postpone our own travel plans, bring the kitts inside, and get them further socialized and acclimated to life in a human setting.

It was a little tricky at first: neither one had ever been inside, and they hid in a cardboard box for a while. As they got accustomed to the new sounds and smells they started to explore a bit. Cricket, the most gregarious of the litter, decided pretty quickly that this new world was okay. He approached me, and when I plopped him on my knee he looked up at my face with familiarity, not fear. This is the moment I call “the turn,” when a wild kitten sees you as family, not threat.

It took Cleopatra a bit longer. In fact, for a while she disappeared completely. We searched the room several times, but it seemed like she had vanished into thin air! Then we noticed a flaw in our blockade – she had slipped past a large sheet of cardboard and gotten into the kitchen. Then she squeezed under the dishwasher into a narrow space beneath the kitchen floorboards. It took an hour to coax her out. But despite all the stress, Cleo soon followed Cricket’s lead: later that day she “turned” too.

From then on, the two of them couldn’t get enough petting and playing. When Brett and I left their room they romped together, then rested together, cuddled up in a flower pot or burrowed beneath one of the kids’ blankets the family had left with us.

The big day came today, Christmas Day. And the kitts were really ready. The family had flown in on the red-eye at 3 am, and showed up at our place at noon. The parents looked a little bleary eyed, but the kids (Claire, 5; and Eli, 8 ) were so excited they could hardly sit still as I offered a few tips on caring for their new animal companions.

When we peeked into the dining room the kitts were sleeping in a cardboard cat carrier on Claire’s blanket. No need for my elaborate plans for getting them into carriers. I carefully closed the box up. Huddled in the warm blanket and comforted by each other’s presence, they remained calm and quiet.

We suddenly noticed we were being watched. The mother cat, dubbed “Queen Anne OmegaCat” in Brett’s story (below) was perched on the window sill looking in. We all went outside to feed her – a way of saying thanks for the great kittens – and took of few pictures in front of the legendary Woodpile.

New Family

Then the family gently carried their precious cargo to the minivan and drove home to enjoy the rest of this very special Christmas Day.


2 Responses to “Woodpile Kitts Go Home for Christmas”


  1. 1 Ruben Fowler Dec 29th, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I always saw him as more of a “Lance.”

  2. 2 Debra Jacob Oct 24th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    I have read your stories on the “Woodpile Kitties” with interest and delight! I have my own little urban “under the deck” kingdom. My momma cat named “Snow” brought 2 litters to our yard before we were able to TNR her and all the “babies” as they are still known today at ages 2 and 3. I love your description of the story when you describe the “turn.” I have experienced this exact moment with mine and have always told others that it happens in a moment, a flash—–something clicks and the cat suddenly begins to trust. We can’t have ours living in the house with us unfortunately because my husband is allergic, but the cats do come in for visits and have a wonderful, fully enclosed porch with pet-door and heated houses to get them through the cold Wisconsin winters. My husband’s allergy seems to be doing OK as long as the cats don’t enter the bedroom. So far, we have TNR’d about 19 cats that have come through our little backyard in Milwaukee and believe me, there are still more to deal with. We just trapped a group of 4 kittens 2 weeks ago. They are being fostered and “socialized” and will be off to good homes shortly.

    Thanks for your creative writing and the stories of your kitties!

    Debra in Milwaukee

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