Friday, July 5, 2013

Introducing Tiger, Mari, Rosa, and Lilly

It was nearly a year ago that I first wrote about the feline and canine companions that we share our home with. Since then I've mentioned some additions, but have yet to officially introduce them, via the blog. I thought that now was a good time to do so.

As I mentioned before, we had a new cat start hanging around several months ago. For a long time we weren't sure if she was going to stay or not, but she finally decided that we offered a good home. At first we thought she was a kitten, due to her size, but the vet told us she was likely a couple of years old. We are terrible at coming up with names, so Andrea had the idea of following a theme to help us come up with them. She suggested using the names of flowers, so the new cat was named Daisy.

As Daisy began to put on weight, we debated about whether it was due to having an ample source of food, or from being pregnant. She had disappeared for a couple of weeks at one point, early in her stay here, and Andrea was afraid it may have been because she was in heat. The debate was finally settled one weekend while I was out of town, and Andrea woke up to find four newborn kittens on the back porch.

After a few weeks past, as we got to know their personalities, and as Andrea became more comfortable with her ability to identify their genders, we finally came up with names for the them.

Tiger is a gray and black tiger-striped male, who is the most active of the bunch. He was the first to approach us and the first to eat "real" food, which led us to choose the name. He is named for the Tiger Lily, which is one of my favorite flowers, and which are currently in bloom between our yard and the road.

Mari is the other male. He is white and gray, and most resembles Daisy. He is the shyest of the bunch, and still hisses at Andrea when she gets too close. Due to his shyness, we chose to name him for a character from the tv show Psych, Marion "Mary" Lightly. The strange spelling that we chose for the name is because it is actually a shortened form of Marigold.

Rosa is an almost entirely gray female. She is the smallest, and furriest, as well as being the most adventurous. She has already made several trips down the steps to explore the area under the porch, and tries to get inside the house anytime the door is open. Andrea chose the name, just because she liked it. It is based on Rosa Rugosa, which is one the bushes we recently planted.

The last to be named was Lilly, who is a somewhat muted calico, female. We considered several names for Lilly, and just couldn't find one that stuck. Finally Andrea suggested Lilly, which we tried out for a few days, and it stuck.

The kittens are six weeks old today. They have been eating "real" food, which means raw meat, for several days now. They all seem to be very healthy, but we will be taking them to the vet next week just to verify that. So far the only concern, other than Mari's shyness, is that Lilly appears to be slightly cross-eyed.

We're slowly introducing the dogs to the kittens, from a distance. We don't necessarily expect that they will become friends, since that hasn't happened with either Dairy or Kitty, but do hope that they learn to co-exist. At the very minimal, I want to be sure that the dogs learn that the kittens are not to be bothered, so that we don't have to worry every time they end up in the backyard together.

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