Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Introducing Zoë and Buddy

Yay for kittens! After a first day of getting adjusted, they've since taken quite well to living here, using their litter box consistently (not one accident yet!) and playing up a storm with each other. We've been handling them a lot every day (even when they're eating so that they don't become too territorial), and they both enjoy playing on us - literally sitting, laying, and climbing on our legs and arms. They had their first vet appointment a week ago, and they checked out as perfectly healthy. They'll be getting their first round of vaccinations next week, and they'll be fixed and chipped two to four months after that.

They've gotten big and active enough that we can hear the patter of their paws when they chase after each other upstairs. They don't usually eat most of their food when it's first put out; instead, they like to pace themselves throughout the day. They tend to like to chow down and get their drink on after a bout of play. They learned to climb up their scratching post to the perch above around five days ago, with Buddy mastering that a couple of days before Zoë. Now they're trying to figure out how to climb up onto the bed in that room; fortunately, the scratching post has drastically reduced their use of claws on the side of the mattress.

After keeping them sequestered in the guest room next to the master bedroom for a week, we've started letting them explore other rooms of the house. They're becoming less timid when exploring our bedroom (and bathroom...and closet), playing all kinds of fun tag games with each other as they run between our bathroom and under the bed. I've even let them start wandering the hallway, and it now takes a lot of effort to prevent them from darting out from their room into the guest bathroom when we open the door now. They're even able to find their room again, so I expect they'll be able to find food, water, and the potty when they explore.

We're hoping to let them explore different rooms upstairs over the next month so that hopefully, they'll be able to have the run of the upstairs when we're at work. After a month of doing that (and slowly exposing them to the downstairs area), we might let them have the house to themselves when we're gone. We've got a cat tree ready to assemble for them to play on when they're ready to run around upstairs. We've clipped their little claws twice, and they're still getting used to it, but they're starting to enjoy the treats afterward. We'll have to bathe them this weekend to get them used to it.

Zoë is an active girl, and she usually takes the initiative to play. She particularly likes batting around little mice and a fish on a stick (they both like to play with both the fish and the ends of the stick). For a few days around her first vet appointment, she had a penchant for nibbling on my socked toes. I realized after the first day that she was mistaking them for toys - now my toes know how her little mice would feel if they had pain receptors! After consistently removing her from my foot and putting a new toy in front of her, she's now she's learned not to nibble on my toes. She'll still grab on them to play, but she doesn't bite them anymore.

She's also the purr baby of the bunch. She loves having her tummy scratched, and when she's waking up, she'll purr like crazy. Her motor is a loud one, and it's fun to keep her purring away by stroking her belly. She had been spitting at her brother during their play (and had growled a bit) during the first week, but she's calmed down a lot this week. We hope she continues to play nicely with her brother and that she lets him use the potty unimpeded when we're away.

She took her first vet appointment like a champ, and they chose to draw blood from her because she was more docile there. What a far cry from the little girl who growled at me when my foot came near her inadvertently when she had her first toy mouse! She seems to have come down with a case of the sneezes the last couple of days, so we'll be watching her to make sure she stays healthy.

It took a long time to come up with a name for our little boy (mostly because I was indecisive), but Little Spoon and I realized we'd been calling him "Buddy" a lot, so it seemed to fit. He's the bigger of the two, and thus he's a better climber than his sister. He likes to watch what his sister does before jumping in during play, but he's a bit more of the explorer than she is. It took him a few days to warm up to playing with the mice, but he's gotten into it full tilt now. He likes the fish on a stick, too - it was the first toy in which he really showed an interest.

He's the big squeaker of the two, especially when he wakes up. When he opens his eyes, he'll let out high-pitched squeaks as his eyes adjust until he's figured out where he is. Zoë will squeak sometimes, too, but Buddy's got a diverse vocal repertoire.

He had a harder time at the vet, and he was clawing the carrier like crazy when his sister was getting her work done. He's been a happy, healthy boy, and he's growing faster than his sister. That's to be expected, given that he started out as a bigger kitten than Zoë, but we'll be making sure he stays healthy and lean.


  1. I love me some Big Spoon! Thanks for this post, sweetie. You definitely captured their little personalities :)

  2. LOVE it! Awww...we need to have a kitty playdate with Zoe, Buddy, Ozzy and Ella! I think they'd get along really well! :) Hehe. So sweet. Cats certainly do have unique personalities. Glad ya'll have some new little companions around the house!