Jessie

June 2017

Our black kitten Jessie

A little bundle of fluff

Our new black kitten Inkie, sitting on my lap

Jessie relaxing in her new home

We’ve gone and done it now, after a bike ride up to the RSPCA we fell in love with a little black kitten called, Jessie, and I am very excited to say she joined our family today. I remember back when we fell in love with Inkie and Cubbie, there was a pen of young black cats in the pen next to them, and a lady was visiting with them got swarmed by a pool of fluffy blackness. At the time we’d fallen in love with our little princess, Inkie, but I’d always remembered how adorable those little black cats were. After the sudden and shocking loss of our wonderful boy, Cubbie, my mind started to wander back to black cats. I found myself looking on the internet at little black cats for sale, they were so cute and fluffy even Derek found himself weakening to the thought of having a kitten.

Rather than rush into anything we decided to visit the RSPCA, just to see who they had looking for a home. Kittens are very sought after and older cats can be difficult to home with an existing cat, so we thought we were safe. As expected all the adult cats needed to be homed as only cats, but they did have five kittens. There were three black kittens a litter of two boys and a girl, plus two tabbies from a different litter. Four of the five kittens had been reserved, leaving a little black female looking for a home. While Derek wanted a kitten he wasn’t too sure about a black cat, until he met Jessie. With Cubbie still very much in our hearts, we felt sure we had room for a little cat in our home. So we made arrangements to adopt Jessie.

Jessie (standing up) with the other kittens at the RSCPA shelter

Jessie (standing up) with the other kittens at the RSCPA shelter

That was Saturday, we had our home-check yesterday (Wednesday) and I picked up Jessie as soon as the RSPCA opened today! She is safely tucked away in our ‘cats room’ with lots of toys and beds to make her feel safe. We will take our time introducing her to Inkie, she needs to feel confident in her new home first, but fingers crossed with love and patience they will become great friends.

Two weeks of crazy kittenness

Our little black kitten, Jessie lounging on her cat postThe time has flown with our little kitten. It was a great time for Jessie to join our family, as Derek has been home from work this past two weeks. We have both spent lots of time with our new arrival. As for Jessie she is settling in really well, her confidence and adventurousness has gone through the roof and she is now charging around upstairs at full speed. It is a big house, to a little cat, and coming from a homing centre I think Jessie has been rather overwhelmed. So, we have been taking things slowly and she’s been content with exploring our bedrooms and getting used to all the new sounds and smells.

Her happiness to remain upstairs and still be shut in her room, is working well with Inkie too. It means we have lots of time to introduce the two and make sure everything goes smoothly. I found out, after we got Jessie, that older cats can be reluctant to get to know kittens, because apparently in the wild kittens stay with their mother until they are six months old. This makes the older cat nervous that an angry ‘mum cat’ may come charging at them at any minute! Whatever Inkie’s reservations she is still a little unsure of our new arrival so we are giving her space to get used to the idea. The weather is nice and warm, so Inkie wants to be in the garden most of the day, which leaves the house free for Jessie to explore in her own time.

Things are working out quite nicely and as long as we have no problems introducing Jessie to Inkie, I am confident we will all learn to be one big happy family.

Jessie's favourite toy

Our little Jessie is such a sweetheart. Like all little cats she loves to play, and get into mischief, but one thing Jessie loves more than anything else is her pop-pom toy. She’s only allowed to play with her pom-poms when we are around, to keep her safe, and this seems to make it all the more special. Whether she is fighting with it, carrying it around, or trying to grab it while we tease her with it, Jessie is never far from her pom-poms.

Silly cat suits

Cuddly Jessie

Cuddly Jessie

We’ve been responsible cat parents and had our little Jessie spayed. It was not an easy day being without our little cat, but we know how important it is for her health and wellbeing. Come mid afternoon we picked up a very groggy little girl who could barely stay the right way up, never mind walk. She was in such a state, we left her shut in her cat box, in her room to recover a bit more. Sure enough after a hour for so nap Jessie was feeling much better and appreciated some cuddle time.

As we had such a difficult time with Inkie, who ripped her plastic collar off as soon as we got her home, we opted to get Jessie a little post-surgery cat suit straight away and save her from the clumsiness of a plastic collar. Neither are ideal for a little cat, but I feel the suits make it easier for cats to get around, sleep more comfortably and still wash the bits of them that are accessible. As Jessie is such a cuddly little cat, the suit made it easier for her to be with us and snuggle.

Jessie was so great about wearing her suit, she lasted the full ten-days before her stitches were due to be removed, Inkie sulked the whole time and was a terrible pest. As cute as she looked we were so happy when the suit came off and we had our super cute little black cat back. it will take some time for her fur to grow back, but we are just happy not to have our kitten in silly clothes, and of course she can wash herself properly again, which she did for quite a while.

Doesn't she look cute?

Doesn't she look cute?

Baby teeth

I had no idea cats teethed, or rather I’d never really thought about it. I never noticed Inkie losing any of her baby teeth, and all our other cats were over six months old when we adopted them. But Jessie is definitely teething. She will go through bouts of chewing on something, usually me, and then hey-presto there is a little tooth, which I have found myself keeping.

We are having lots of fun getting to know Jessie and all her silly ways. Like how she loves to carry her favourite pom-pom toy around with her. Once while she was teething she actually chewed right through the elastic, and we had to tie it back together for her. She loves that toy so much we actually have a spare one, and sometimes I wonder if we should get a couple more!

Life with Jessie is full of new experiences. She doesn’t seem to have that independent streak you would expect to see in a cat. If we go out she will usually return to her room and wait for us, sometimes even preferring to be shut away for a nap if we are going to be gone for a long time.

Our black kitten, Jessie hiding in the bedclothes

Growing pains

Derek, Jessie and Inkie in the garden

Derek, Jessie and Inkie in the garden

When we got Jessie, we had hoped that she stay close to home, like Inkie and Cubbie had before her. With her being black we had already decided she wasn’t going to be allowed out after dark. But of course if she wanted to wander, like Treacle and Custard had done, there was nothing we could, or would, do to stop her. Well, with Jessie it seems our wish seems to have gone a little askew, as we cannot convince our little cat to go out at all.

Once Jessie had her final check-up from her spay, and her feline leukaemia booster, we have done nothing to stop her leaving the house. She knows where the cat-flap is, and has seen Inkie using it. There have been times the back door has been left open, but Jessie has shown no interest. Last weekend Derek actually carried her out into the garden, which is completely fenced in and private, but Jessie was not impressed, so we had to bring her back in. Yesterday I held her by the back door, which was open, I had no intention of taking her out, we were just waiting for Derek to come in, Jessie looked up at me and cried her unhappy cry.

Who knows what the future holds for our little cat, but for now we are thinking Jessie is going to be a house cat. Although we weren’t really prepared for an indoor cat, I thought all young cats wanted to spend time outside, even super shy Cubbie liked to go outside! Still we are working things out with having the rodents and a cat in the house all the time. The degus aren’t much of a problem, as we shut them in the dining room when they play, though Jessie does like to get underfoot when we are wheeling their cages around. When the rats come out, because Bluebell likes to roam all over the house, we shut Jessie in her room. She doesn’t seem to mind. She actually likes to be shut in for a nap at midday anyway, if we don’t she turns into a right devil biting us and being really naughty.

It is a very strange routine we have with out little cat, having to put her to bed several times a day, and not wanting to go outside, but she seems to be thriving on it. And if that’s what Jessie wants who are we to tell her different.

The adventures of Jessie

Under the expert leadership of her big sister, Inkie, Jessie has taken her first steps into the garden. Where this giant leap for little black cats will lead her we have no idea. But we are happy she has found the courage to venture outside and see that the outside world isn’t such a big scary place after all.

Halloween costumes

Being a black cat it was only to be expected that Jessie would get into the spirit of halloween. Here she is modelling this years costume.

Our black cat Jessie with a cobweb on her face

Trick or Treat anyone?

Boldly going...

Where no Jessie has gone before.

Bless her, Jessie is such a banana, but she has, at last, made it down the garden. It has only happened once, most of her rare adventures outside end at the corner of the house, but now we know she can go further when the mood takes her.

I admit I really didn’t like it when she wasn’t going out at all. It seemed wrong to me, not that I would force her outside. Still I feel much happier now she’ll pop out, even if it is only for a few minutes.

Degu watching

Degu watching

Jessie is nothing like I imagined having a cat to be, but she does make us laugh every single day. Honestly I’m not sure what, if anything, goes on in her head, but the things she gets up to. Whether she is hiding degu toys under the rugs or dragging her pom-poms round the house, Jessie always looks content with her little life. Well except when she thinks we are late at feeding time, then she can turn into a bit of a monster, but it’s still funny.

She is so good with all of our other little critters, and her big sister Inkie. Jessie loves to sit with us at degu playtime, and she is very good getting up on a chair and not bothering the boys. We don’t let her near the gerbils at playtime and she mostly accepts this. Sometimes she plays up and tries poking her paws under doors, but usually she waits patiently for us to let her in. The rats aren’t that keen on Jessie, so we shut her away for her own protection :-).

Life with a self imposed house cat is a lot of fun and we are looking forward to watching Jessie grow and waiting to see if she ever gets used to life outdoors.

A life of luxury

Jessie may not be the most active of cats, but she sure knows what she likes… comfort.

We left some old pillows on a cat bed, in what has now become known as Jessie’s room, and Jessie wasted no time in making herself comfortable. After some enthusiastic pawing, the pillows are now a little worse for wear, but Jessie doesn’t seem to mind. She is one sweet little cat.

You cosy there?

You cosy there?

Preparing to be a big sister

Oh Jessie is a sweet girl. Derek and I will be collecting two new additions to our family this afternoon and to ensure they settle in and feel safe, we’ve prepared a room just for them.

Keen to prove just what a good big sister she will make Jessie is helping with the preparations and checking all the toys are kitten safe.

bigsister_thumb

Making new friends

Jessie and Pebble

Jessie and Pebble

Despite all the the excitement of two little kittens joining our family, we’ve been very aware of the impact this will have on Jessie and Inkie. As Jessie is pretty much a house cat, we knew the kittens would have the biggest impact on her.

With this in mind we’ve been taking the introductions of Rocket and Pebble very slowly. When you adopt a kitten from the RSCPA they advise you to keep them in secure room for a few days, just to find their feet. This also gave Jessie plenty of time to get used to the smell and sounds of the new arrivals.

At first when Jessie would pass the kittens’ room she would sniff at the closed door and fluff her back and tail up. This lasted a few days and then she seemed quite curious, that was until she actually met them. The first few face to face encounters with the kittens made Jessie run away. As they hadn’t made their way downstairs at this point it was easy for Jessie to get away from them.

Jessie is a very sedate cat so two bouncy little kittens were always going to be a bit of a shock to her. They were both interested in Jessie, which did make her nervous, but we kept them under control and stopped them harassing or chasing her. We also decided to put a Feliway Friends in the room Jessie sleeps in most. This is supposed to release happy friendship pheromones. I can’t say for sure if this had an impact on the introductions, but Jessie did seem more at ease when watching the kittens.

With the kittens being so small, Jessie had the advantage of being able to jump to places they couldn’t, so she was able to sit and watch them from a distance. This went on for about a week, with Jessie seeming more and more interested.

Then last night something quite strange happened. I was sitting at the top of the stairs with the kittens, and Jessie was at the bottom looking up at me. There was a playful glint in Jessie’s eyes. Now Jessie is not normally the most playful of cats, but you never know so I wiggled my finger tip over the top most step. Jessie hunched down, wiggled her bottom, charged up the stairs and tapped my finger before disappearing into a bedroom. I was shocked, even the kittens looked amazed!

After a few seconds of being out-of-sight Jessie went back down stairs and did it again, tapping my finger as she came back up! I thought it was rather wonderful, there’s not an awful lot of playtimes with Jessie so this was an extra special treat. This time when she went downstairs, she did have a little lie down, but then she was back at the bottom step before running up and touching my finger. Three times was her limit, but we were very hopeful it was sign of her relaxing.

Then the next morning, three weeks exactly after the kittens joined our family, we found this…

Pebble, Rocket and Jessie

Pebble, Rocket and Jessie

It was the first time Derek and I had left the house and not shut the kittens away in their room. We’d only gone a little walk and they were already on our bed looking very comfy. Jessie was also in our bedroom looking very relaxed from her vantage point high up on a drawer unit. So, we took a chance of leaving everyone alone together and it worked out far better than we ever could have hoped. We are so proud of Jessie for accepting the kittens, especially so quickly, she is such a brave girl. Now we just hope she doesn’t teach them any of her silly Jessie habits.

Looking for mum

Lindsay passed away suddenly and everyone is heartbroken.

Jessies entry:

I don’t know where mum is and I don’t like it. The other night it was nearly time for bed when something happened and then some people came in the house and I got scared so I went and hid in my room. I haven’t seem mum since.

Mum has fed me my breakfast every morning since I was little, but now dad feeds us all the time. I look all over the house and I can’t find mum. Even though I don’t like being outside very much I keep looking for her in the garden. I run round the house looking then I go outside and keep doing it but I still don’t know where mum has gone.

Mum, dad, Inkie and me used to go out in the garden in the afternoon to play. When dad goes out I keep checking where mum sat and looking around nearby. I try very hard but can’t find her. Dad keeps telling me it is alright and cuddling me. I started sitting on dad’s knee and that makes me a bit less scared.

Every night I liked to sit on mum’s knee even if I was in the way of what she was doing. She didn’t seem to mind and was always pleased to see me. Now mum’s not there I don’t know what to do or where to go. I’m confused and miss her.

Jessie