Love at first sight? Definitely!
Xander was adopted from Cat Haven a day after my birthday. I had spent over an hour going through every cage and seeing all abandoned cats and kitens but couldn’t make up my mind. There were two very gorgeous teenage cats that I loved, but since I am only allowed to adopt one and these two must go as a pair, I continued my search. There was another Russian blue cat, about 18 months old, which caught my attention too. He was napping and just looking fabulous by being himself. And I thought I wanted him.
But then I decided to take another look at kittens area again.
He was busy ‘bullying’ a tabby kitten when we stopped at his cage to have a second look. Rather than running away or hidden behind the poles like other kittens, he curiously and bravely marched toward my hand and started slapping it.
His bright eyes were mischievously looking at me, while his very tiny paws were holding my finger, biting it. I instantly knew I wanted him.
He fell sick twice in the first two weeks. Suddenly my days were full of vet and animal clinic visits: dropping him off for examination and picking him up again the next day, buying medicine and forcing him to eat, staying up late and making sure he rested well. At some point I had to take him to the emergency hospital at 3 o’clock in the morning because I thought he was dying (he wasn’t dying, he had a cat flu and it affected his breathing, but since he didn’t know how to breath through his mouth every now and then it looked like he gasped for air). Overnight stay at the animal hospital cost about AUD 300, and in two weeks the bill was close to a thousand dollars.
He got better after 2 weeks. Eating a lot and starting to play with the toys I bought him. Before long he’s back being his naughty, mischievous, adventurous, spoiled self.
But I noticed that he was… smelly
Maybe it’s the smell that he picked up from the adoption place. Maybe because he still couldn’t clean himself properly. But after keep wiping him with kitty wipes everyday and he’s still stink, I decided to give him a bath.
Now, before you accuse me for abusing my kitten, I had consulted it with the adoption place and they told me that early age is a good start to introduce a cat to a bath. Contrary to popular beliefs, cats actually don’t mind with water. Tigers and Egyptian cats actually love to play with water (tigers can even swim). So I gave Xander a bath, and after screaming on top of his lungs on the first and second bath, now when he’s having his bath, he actually just stands still patiently until I’m done. His body odour was gone after the second bath and countless kitty wipes, and he looks (and smells) more… presentable.
Xander is almost a teenager now. He started wandering the back garden a couple of weeks a go, sniffing every plant, digging holes, and chasing lizards. Thankfully, he’s happy just to stay in the back garden and still prefers to stay indoor most of the times. He goes to the front garden once in a while but always goes back again. Maybe because the grumpy dog across the street is so feisty guarding his territory. I’m sure there will be time that Xander will take over the world, but right now, he seems contented enough for taking over the back garden.
Here are some pictures of Xander:
Sleeping on top of his house…
Playing with his snaky toy…
Pretending he’s hiding. Obviously
Biting my finger. Yum!
Sleeping after all day playing
Posing for a picture!