It’s the Ninth Annual Finding Jaina Day
Nine years ago, a little kitten wandered across the parking lot right in front of our car as we were headed to work. Small and scruffy and moving like it was on its last legs, there was no way we weren’t taking her home with us. When we took her to a chain vet clinic (you know who), they said she had FIP and wouldn’t last six weeks. And yet, she persisted.
That day was December 21, which we have marked as National Finding Jaina Day. Extrapolating backwards, she was probably born around Hallowe’en, but we’re not sure. We are sure when we found her, though.
This year has been, like for many of us, a year of ups and downs, and it’s been the same for Jaina.
If there’s something that upsets a house full of cats, it’s kittens. And early this year, Monster (you recall I mentioned her last year) got knocked up. We figured this would be yet another hard to reach litter, and we were concerned that she and Ghost, her mom, wouldn’t get along in that regard since there are only so many nesting spots in the hood.
Monster brought her litter to a shelter we had set up on the back porch. She of course was still coming in for treats, but not as much, naturally. The big surprise came when the missus opened the back door one day and in Monster came with one of her kittens, and she went straight to one of her favorite cat beds. Mrs G got the hint and set up a tote with a cat bed in it, and went out and got the rest of the litter.
From that point on, we were fostering four kittens; I think Monster appreciated that we were looking after her, because this pretty much reduced her to skin and bones. She was too young, really, but Boy Cats don’t care about that (1).
Anyway, three of the kittens were white with calico colors on them; we named them based on the number of spots on their heads – Things One, Two, and Three, or, as I insisted later, Neo, Switch, and Trinity. The fourth one was your basic stripey kitten who I dubbed Turbo because he was the first out of the nest – in a hurry to get there (2).
Mother and kittens were taken down to the shelter where the kittens were put up for adoption and pretty much flew off the shelf (Weaned and socialized? Where do we sign?). Monster was fixed and we brought her home sans kittens, and she still visits frequently, especially for Greenies. I still miss the Little Monsters something fierce, but there simply was no way we could provide them a good home with all the cats we already have.
Sadly, Monster’s brother Mogwai stopped showing up around that time, as well as her older brother Spartacus, who we were hoping to domesticate. We’re not sure what happened but we suspect it was their daddy, Goblin, asserting his territory. It’s a shame, we had Sparty staying inside sometimes for days before he’d go out, and we did dread it when he did since he’d disappear for days after.
Their mother, Ghost, gave birth to a litter shortly after Monster, which gave us four lovely white kitties who we are still trying to trap and get fixed, especially the female. The biggest male, who we have dubbed Pinky because of his pinkish ears and pink nose, has taken to coming in for short periods, and he is almost the spitting image of Spartacus(5). His brother Brownie, who is almost identical except he has brownish ears, has also started coming in and appreciates scritches.
Unrelated, Ghost had another litter in the fall and this time we were able to get them. She had six, of which one was abandoned and we didn’t find until it was too late. It died in Mrs Grimm’s hands, just too weak to even take in milk. Another was also abandoned, but we found it in time to find it a home. The other four, and Ghost, were captured and taken to the shelter where they were apparently fostered out together since they all disappeared from the website at the same time – mother and kids. We were asked if we’d take Ghost back if she was unadoptable (we figured she wasn’t) and we of course said yes, so the fact that they never called us back is encouraging.
Finally, our stepdaughter moved in since she’s been out of work since March or so. She brings with her a sweet kitty named Pelna(6) and this of course upsets the order of things once again. They’re all still finding their way at this point.
Jaina still continues to hate Tater with the heat of a millions suns, and will still go after her with no regard for the size difference at all.
But aside from that, she’s doing quite well. She’s discovered that she loves naps in Mommy’s lap and will spend hours there given the option. Sometimes she makes here own options, dropping bigger and bigger hints(3) until Mommy “gets it” and relocates to the recliner. She doesn’t steal my chair that much anymore but she’s started stealing Mommy’s chair, or, most optimally, falling asleep on the arm of the recliner on the off chance that Mommy comes by.
She’s still quite the fan of gooshy food but no fan of other cats in general. Mrs. Grimm says she thinks Jaina doesn’t know she’s a cat, and sometimes I have to agree, especially having now seen a couple of groups of fully socialized cats(4) grow up in my vicinity. She still sleeps next to my pillow on occasion but if another cat has slept there for a significant amount of time, she’ll reject it until we replace the towel that she sleeps on (so it doesn’t smell like them).
She has developed a vexing cough, just occasionally, no specific triggers – she’ll just start coughing quietly for a few seconds, then we’re back in business. No throwing up or anything. We’re going to have to get that looked at. I’m sure the vet’s techs will be glad to see her considering that time she growled so loud that one of the techs noped right out of there and was not seen again.
Honestly, we’re more worried about her vet; he’s looking pretty run down. I hope he can take some time and get some rest. The guy he had subbing in on Fridays was pretty nice, but last time we did a Friday visit, he wasn’t there.
Anyway, if all goes well next year will be the 10 year anniversary of Finding Jaina Day, which will be celebrated with tuna and catnip(7). See you then-ish.
(1) After we got the kittens out for adoption, Monster recovered nicely and is now quite the plump floof cat.
(2) Took the name from the movie Interstellar – “Watch that speed, Turbo – safety first.”
(3) Including getting bitey.
(4) Socialized to other cats, that is.
(5) We don’t have pictures yet. And yes, this is out of order.
(6) Also no pictures yet.
(7) Who am I kidding, we celebrate all of them with tuna and catnip!