When the neighbours came to our door with a lost kitten asking us to take it in for the night (as one of them is allergic to cats) we were never going to say no.
In my head he became Rumplestiltskitten because he was a little tom with no name tag and as soon as I thought about guessing male names the fairy tale came to mind.
It’s amazing how much trouble a little unexpected fluff bundle can be in only a few short hours. We had assumed that because our cats are very calm and easy-going that there would not be much difficulty from that direction in adding a kitten to the mix for one night. We were wrong. The itty-bitty-kitty stood big and tall, all 10 cm. of him, fluffed out his tail until it was at least 2 cm. wide, opened his little mouth and sang his war songs. Our cats, each 6 times his size and 10 times his weight, fled in fear of the dreadful monster.
From that point on we kept a closed door between them, which did make things rather difficult and necessitated an extra litter tray and separate food and water stations. The only room that we could quickly kitten-proof was the utility room which has the cat-flap in it. Obviously we locked that but now our cats were further put out by being shut in.
He did provide a useful service in chasing the lost cat toys out from under the dresser, our cats being too large to get under it anymore, and boy did those toys get played with! He bit one so hard that his teeth got stuck in it and he had to use his paw to pull it out of his mouth (proving he couldn’t be left unattended with toys in case next time he choked himself). When he lay down to kick at it with his back legs his youthful exuberance and inaccuracy of limb control was such that he often kicked his own head rather than the toy. I suspect this just made it more fun as it was like the toy was fighting back!
It was apparent that our lives were not going to be easy while we were housing him and at that age (my guess would be 3-4 months) he needs company during the day-time which we can’t provide. (The RSPCA refuse to rehome kittens twice that age to places where there’ll be no one home in the day time.) So we rang our vet for advice and they have agreed to keep him for 7 days and register him on their lost cats database. If the owner doesn’t come forward in that time he’ll go up for adoption. I can’t imagine they’d have any difficulty getting a home for him as he is adorable but even if we had been in a position to take him I don’t think I’d have the energy to keep up with him! He was constantly searching out something, be it fun or food, affection or attention.
It might have been sad handing him over to the vet – we’d had some good times in the few hours we knew each other, but shortly I before I crated him up for the journey to the vet he managed to bite me while I was cleaning out his litter tray with one hand and trying to stop him biting my cardigan buttons with the other. It was playful, not malicious, but I have to admit it did make parting with him somewhat easier!
I hope the owners find him as he seemed to be well cared for and relatively free from fleas and worms so I’m sure he is missed. He was very hungry and thirsty but I don’t think it takes long for a kitten to get like that! If only they’d cared enough to put their phone no. on a tag on his collar he would be back with them by now. If they’d have had him microchipped that would have been even better. Of course you hope your cats will never go missing but in reality you have to be prepared as best you can and that means doing something to help people return your cat to you!
So I say goodbye to Rumplestiltskitten and wish him well with the next leg of his adventures, whatever happens next. I imagine he’ll have a lovely time at the vet’s in the mean time as at least one of the nurses wanted to play with him as soon as they’d checked him over!