Kitten Waits

©2021 Michael Raven

The family members couldn’t stand it any longer and persuaded me to agree to another kitten to replace Ghost, who we lost to the vagaries of wyrd when it turned out he was allergic to the anesthetic used when they went to neuter him (as part of the contract signed with the Maine Coon breeder, all adopted cats must be spayed or neutered, or she was legally able to “repossess” the kitten).

The argument has been made that I need a “new buddy” to replace Ghost who was, for all practical purposes, my kitten in terms of interactions and favoritism. He always gravitated towards me when I was around, either to cuddle, to play, or to just “talk” in his little trills. He liked everyone in the house, but he went out of his way to visit me — probably because I was generous with the treats as I tried to train him (high five, five, shake, up (standing on back legs), sit, come were all commands he understood and would readily perform if a treat was in the offing).

This time, however, instead of a Maine Coon, the family wanted to get something bred for friendliness. Now, Maine Coons can be friendly, and some grow into it (like our Wraith has), but Ghost was super people-oriented in a way that our other two are not and research led to a Rag Doll being a huge cat (like the Maine Coons), but even more people-friendly. [Aside: my argument was that Ghost was considered for breeding and, before they opted to release him, the breeder and her family handled him more than they handle their non-show/non-breeding-stock kittens].

I agreed to this because the Rag Doll breeder we are going through sells her kittens at a fraction of the cost of a new Maine Coon (about a third of what Ghost cost us) and she’s typically releasing them to their adoptive families at eight weeks instead of 14-16 weeks (like most Maine Coon breeders). Why is that important to me? Because a kitten starts imprinting and bonding with people (or other cats) at about 8-10 weeks of age. Because I still want any new cats added to the menagerie to be an “Adventure Cat” that can be leash trained, I would prefer younger to acclimate them to the harness and to the outdoors, as well as general training, as early as possible.

So, we put a deposit down on a future litter. Everyone (well, my twins aren’t so certain about it) wanted a male, and that has really been our only stipulation about the kitten that has yet to be born, which may be as early as January (March, then, being the acquisition period).

Here are some previous kittens from the breeder’s collection:

While our preference is for something that looks like the third from left, we left our preference at “male” only, which may make it quicker to acquire a new kitten. The darker ears (“seal point”, I think) are apparently more popular and there are four in line before us if we insisted on that character, but because we left our preferences open, we may see one of the lighter kittens (with the “blue point” ears) — which I don’t mind at all. Don’t hold me to those distinctions — I’m not the one who did the research.

But, for all the “got to get Dad a replacement for Ghost”, I’m not convinced that’s where the true motivation lies… Especially seeing as I never said I wanted to replace him.

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