Wednesday, October 22nd was the big day when we got to pick up CiCi. That week of waiting was torture for Allyson, who counted down the days to Kitten Day several times per day.
At long last, the day arrived. We brought our 1.5-pound kitty home in a carrier, lined with her favorite blankie. Tucked under my arm was a spiral notebook with frantically scribbled notes that I probably never actually referred back to.
I was most nervous about introducing CiCi to Arwen. She made wide circles around the carrier, nose twitching. When Ethan opened the wire door and CiCi stepped out, I heard Arwen hiss for the very first time. Over the course of a few days, the cats approached each other cautiously and even touched noses, but it usually ended with Arwen hissing. I had to keep them apart, which is how CiCi ended up taking over my master bathroom.
On the first morning, I crept into Allyson's room and snuggled up to her. "Good morning, beloved princess, daughter of the Most High."
Her brow furrowed, and she turned her back to me.
"Good morning, Kitten Mama. Happy Kitten Day."
"You said Wednesday was Kitten Day," she murmured.
"It was. But now every day is Kitten Day," I said. "Okay, Kitten Mama. Your baby is crying for you."
It was true. CiCi cried plaintively, stretching her tiny front legs through the bars of her carrier to touch Allyson's arm. (Every night since CiCi came, Allyson has slept on her roll-out mattress on the floor, with CiCi's carrier next to her head.)
At first we fed CiCi a revolting blend of kitten formula mixed with wet cat food, which she sucked greedily from a medicine syringe. She chewed the tip of the syringe, turning her head from side to side so that much of the slop ended up in her fur, leaving her smelling perpetually like tuna. Worse, she clawed frantically at the syringe, scratching our fingers in the process.
So we quickly abandoned the syringe in favor of a saucer on the floor of my bathtub. In her excitement, CiCi walked all through the food, tracking it all over the tub and smearing it over her belly, so that she still smelled perpetually like tuna.
Gradually, we phased out the kitten formula and just gave her the wet food. And on the first day that she dove into Arwen's full bowl and stole some food, we started dropping a few pellets of dry food onto her plate.
Since then, we've had to lock her up when Arwen eats. Otherwise, she makes a beeline for the bowl. While Arwen stands back politely, CiCi climbs right into the bowl and growls menacingly as she gobbles as much as she can get down before I gingerly pull her out, holding her by her chubby belly and trying to avoid her razor-sharp claws.
Allyson and I had to watch Gremlins recently so she'd understand what I meant when I said that our sweet little CiCi turns into a mean Gremlin any time she gets around food. Even when she's alone in her bathtub, she growls quietly and kind of mutters to herself while she eats.
CiCi's not the only cat who's obsessed with food. Arwen is always on the lookout for any wet food CiCi might have missed. The moment I open the bathroom door to let CiCi out, the two cats pass each other on the way to check each other's bowl for leftovers.
They've become pretty good buddies, mostly. They love to tussle. CiCi seems to be the aggressor, but Arwen subdues her with a well placed bite now and then. Sometimes a sharp little cry from CiCi sends me running to separate them. Arwen gives me a guilty look, as if to say, "What? I didn't do anything."
Early on, Arwen started grooming CiCi, which always warms our hearts. CiCi isn't sure what she thinks of that, especially when Arwen holds her with both paws and gives her a good bath. CiCi kicks at Arwen's face with claws extended, and then the grooming session usually turns into a wrestling match.
The cutest thing is when they sleep side by side on Arwen's favorite perch on the back of the couch. That cushion has seen better days, but do you think I mind? I have become such a cat person!