Brace yourself: this is a long one.
This is a very long over due post. It's been two weeks today that Mr. K and I boarded a train to go and pick up our newest little furry family member. We both had troubles sleeping that night because we were both so excited. I didn't fall asleep until 2 in the morning and Mr. K woke up at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. I was up not much after that in order to make sure all of the dogs were walked, watered and relieved before our departure. So, needless to say, we were both fighting yawns. However, the excitement of meeting our new little guy, his kitty parents and the breeder was enough stimulant to get us both through the day.
The trip down was pretty uneventful. We grabbed some breakfast at the train station since we arrived quite early to ensure we didn't miss our train. Coffee was worked into the equation as well and we hopped on the train. I pretty much finished my coffee and then collapsed over the cat carrier we had brought with us and fell asleep for the duration of the trip. Mr. K kept himself entertained with watching TV shows on his tablet and before we knew it, we had arrived.
The breeder's husband was kind enough to pick us up from the station and we had a great chat with him back to their house. I really enjoyed learning about how they powered their house with just a wind turbine and solar units.
Upon arriving we were welcomed in and he made us some sandwiches which made me super happy. If you know me, you will know that I will never turn down food. It seems like I am always hungry. We sat and ate our sandwiches, chatting some more with the breeder, just learning about the cats, various governing bodies and cat showing in general. Once lunch was finished and we had talked the breeder's ear off, she showed us upstairs to the kitten room where Mr. K and I got to meet the whole litter. We both sat down and waited for the kittens to come out and introduce themselves to us, all the while still chatting away with the breeder. She left us briefly to draw up all of the paperwork and we spent some time playing with three very fluffy, playful kittens. It was great to see how social and active they were. All three boys bounded around the room, getting into everything they shouldn't. One boy really enjoyed chasing the shiny reflections my engagement ring made. There was one boy, smaller than the other two, who we both were in love with named Romeo. If we had been picking out pet kittens instead of a potential breeding stud, I think we would have chosen him. That said, as you will learn if you keep reading, our guy is fantastic and we already are smitten with him. After kitten play time, we headed out to the cattery and met all of the adult cats. We got to see the mother and father of our boy and our "queen" who we will get to bring home in the fall. (She is pregnant right now and so will come to us once her job with her babies is done). It was really interesting learning about the various colours that the Siberian cat can come in and the "desirable" traits one would look for in a breeding and/or show cat. I really like the idea of breeding specific colours, but at the end of the day, my number one goal (and our breeder's too) is to produce happy, healthy and friendly pet kittens. The breeder's husband is building a "cat garden" and it is the most amazing thing ever. It essentially will allow cats to be outside, but in a safe environment. I'd love to see it once it's finished.
It was amazing just how fast the time flew. Mr. K and I didn't even notice the day slipping away until we went out to see the cats and realised that it was a lot cooler than earlier that day. We went back in to fill out paperwork and sign breeding contracts. We talked a bit more about feeding, litter, showing and whatever else popped into our heads. The breeder's husband went up to the kitten room and came back down with our kitten in his carrier. He didn't make a peep. In fact, he didn't seem bothered at all. Once we were sure he was settled, and that we weren't taking a second cat home (Romeo almost made his way into the carrier), we loaded up the car and headed back to the train station, only to discover that we had missed the last train back by fifteen minutes. Of course I flew into panic mode because the dogs were alone. Carmen had been over to feed and relieve them, but being the protective dog Mama that I am, I didn't want them alone for the night. While Mr. K figured out how we'd get back, I got a hold of Carmen who agreed to go over again and let the dogs out before bed and again in the morning before she went to work. This arrangement made me feel slightly better, but I was still freaking about them being alone over night. Once new tickets had been purchased for the next day, we found a hotel for the night. It was quite a pleasant place and by the time we'd settled the cat carrier into the room and were down in the restaurant getting dinner, I'd calmed down a bit. I could fret if I wanted, but worrying would not fix the situation. I might as well make the best of the situation. So, I ordered a glass of wine and ate a delicious dinner of salmon and new potatoes and spent the evening chatting with Mr. K and a few business men who basically live at the hotel during the week because they have to travel for work. We didn't stay too long though since the kitten was upstairs in his carrier.
Back in the room, we opened his door and let him roam free. We made sure the room was kitten proofed and shut the bathroom door so he couldn't go exploring too far. Thankfully, we had food for him and the carrier had dishes built in so he was able to have food and water, but we didn't have a litter box. I was really worried he'd poop somewhere, but again, what were we supposed to do about it? If he went, we'd just clean it up. We both fell into bed utterly exhausted.
The next morning we didn't find any poop, but kitten had peed on my shirt. Thankfully, I had been wearing layers and so I still had a tank top that was not peed on. I guess it serves me right for leaving my clothes on the floor, but at least he didn't go on the hotel carpet. I held my breath as I checked out the rest of my clothes, worried he had used my jeans as well, but all was safe. We had a quick breakfast down in the restaurant and then headed off to catch the train again. All went smoothly and aside from some minor meowing at the beginning of the train ride, the kitten traveled very well. He was exposed to a lot of noises that day. When we were finding a taxi to take home from the station, bagpipes were playing and the castle's 1'o'clock cannon went off as well. He didn't even flinch. That afternoon he was checked over by our vet and just purred the whole time while eyes, ears and teeth were examined. We introduced him slowly to the dogs, who by the way were so excited to see us.
In the two weeks that have followed, Witchfyre Rudolph Valentino, fondly known as Rufio (named after one of the Lost Boys from the movie Hook), has made himself right at home. He battles with Otis, who sometimes needs reminding to be gentle just because he is so much bigger than Rufio. He snuggles with Hermione and Roscoe. Strangely, he and Nala are indifferent to each other, but that is okay. I think he's busy enough with Otis and Hermione. He does cuddle with Nala from time to time, but he usually chooses Roscoe or Hermione. He likes to lie on the couch and watch TV with Mr. K and I and will meow persistently in the morning for me to let him out of his room so he can be with all of us. He's one of the most social cats I have ever met. Everything I've read says that Siberians are like dogs and they weren't kidding. He follows you around and is not skittish at all. Anyone can pick him up and I've managed to trim his claws twice. He loves being brushed and will not tolerate you being in a different room from him. Of course he has kitten qualities as well, such as dumping my entire coffee mug on to the floor, but you adjust-I use a travel mug now. He attacks shoe laces and sometimes accidentally sticks his claws into you when using you as a launch pad, but he's a baby and that is what claw trimming is for. The best part is watching Mr. K with him-the man is head over heels for the little guy. It's great. I think he'll definitely enjoy this showing thing as much as or perhaps even more than me.
Now that I've written a novel-that's what happens when I leave this blog alone for too long I suppose-I will sign off for now.