Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The big news!

So, ladies and gentlemen, what you've all been waiting for.... meet Zoe! She's three and a half months old, weighs 3.8 lbs., and is the newest member of my family. She is full of rambunctious kitten energy, enjoys playing with her dangling mouse toy, and will also be assisting somewhat in the running of the L. Perkins Agency. Zoe will be evaluating all manuscripts solely on the basis of whether they come with string, since kittens can't read. =)

Chris and I have never had a kitten before, so we're very happy and (in my case) very nervous kitten parents. We picked Zoe up on Sunday night after Philcon, and she's been slowly adjusting to our house ever since. It took us forever to coax her out of the cat carrier, but she finally was lured out by the presence of delicious dry kitten food.

She's extraordinarily inquistive, and since she's quite small, is getting herself into every place she shouldn't be. Currently, she keeps crawling behind the dryer, which is driving me nuts because I'm afraid to do laundry for fear of accidentally frying her. Or even wash clothes for that matter, since she's getting behind the machines, and maybe the washing machine running would hurt her too. It's a very perplexing problem. She's also extremely fond of the back of the refrigerator, which is also not a good place for young kittens to be. Can you see why I'm nervous?

The above photo is Zoe reclining in splendor on our bed, since she's decided that's a fun place to sleep. The funniest thing though is that she keeps stalking and pouncing on our feet whenever they're under the covers. I love kittens. =)


barista brat said...

so cute!

you know she'll decide manuscript pages make the nicest sleeping spot when you're trying to get some reading done.

LadyBronco said...


I love cats.

My husband is allergic to cats.

I had to think long and hard on that one.

Still wish I had a cat, tho.

McKoala said...

Too cute! I'm jealous; I'd love a cat but dh hates them with a passion.

Enjoy your kitty-parenting. I guess once she's bigger she won't be able to get into some of those tiny spaces!

Anonymous said...

aww she is so cute!

Anonymous said...

What a cutie! But her ears have that "I'm plotting some mischief" set to them. Watch out!

Mary Robinette Kowal said...

She's a cutie, all right.

Rest assured that all of my cats hung out behind the washer, dryer and refrigerator and none of them died from it.

Berry said...

Ah, yes. Kittens are very good about protecting you from the Vicious Bed Sharks that lurk about the foot of your bed, coincidentally right where your feet are!

Jodi Meadows said...

Eee, she's beautiful! Such pretty smooth fur!

(You weren't using your life, were you? Great, because it's hers now.)

Unfortunately (for you), Kippy saw the picture, and invites Zoe to join the cabal of ninja kitties. It always starts with the feet...

Anonymous said...

I love cats.

But just remember one rule of thumb, and you'll be good to go-

Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.


Anonymous said...

As a long-time cat owner, the best "baby gift" I can offer is to handle Zoe a lot. If she's like most kittens, she will not want to be held and will try to jump out of your arms. Don't let her do it. Get her used to being held--and to letting you call the shots.

If she is held a lot between three and six months, she will develop into a loving pet that will seek you out for attention and comfort. If you let her pull away whenever she wants to, the odds are greater that she will develop into a more stand-offish pet.

Happy Kitten.

Anonymous said...

By the way, in case you think that insisting that the kitten be held on "your" schedule instead of hers creates a submissive or subservient animal, here is a link to my Bobbin, who is now two years old:


He is also an extremely loving member of my household.

cc said...

What a gorgeous, exotic-looking kitty. She seems quite wonderful.

Whatever you do, don't leave your dryer door open with warm, almost-dry clothes in it. I knew someone who did just for a minute, before shutting the door to start the machine again. But her kitty had leapt inside to snuggle with the warm clothes.

A half-hour later the woman found herself wondering what that thumping sound was coming from the dryer. She thought it was a shoe among the clothes. It wasn't a shoe. It was her cooked kitty. The kitty recovered after intensive medical care. The clothes, however, were ruined.

Anonymous said...

Also, be wary of letting her play with loose string. My cat managed to get a needle stuck in the roof of her mouth, and (if you can believe it) she was actually lucky. Because it was attached to a string, and the vet said that cats can swallow string and it can actually kill them. So make sure that your new little one doesn't get her little paws on dental floss, loose string, or anything like that.

And she is adorable.

(I don't think I've posted her before, so I'll add a quick "Love your blog")

holly said...

Oh my goodness, she is the cutest kitty ever. Such beautiful sleepy eyes. I'm so happy for you!

Anonymous said...


Most animals are intelligent enough to leave a place if it gets uncomfortable. My cats went behind the washer/dryer all the time too. I kept a wire coat hanger bent out in a straight line to knock around a bit behind them and scare out the kitties, but nothing really worked besides them growing up and getting too big to fit. However they never got hurt or seemed uncomfortable after being back there.

I'd try running a load and if you can, feel the back of the machine for heat levels, but it's probably okay. Unless you can figure out a way to block access.

I second the lots of handling suggestion. And pay attention to little kitty feet too. The more you massage and play with little toes, the easier it will be to clip nails as needed. My cat barely even notices when I trim his nails.

- Rachel Dryden

December Quinn said...

Aaaw! I love cats, but I'm allergic. :-( And my husband is allergic to dogs. We're the Jack Spratt & wife of pets.

My soon-to-be-two-year-old is fascinated by this picture. "Mommy. Cat. Cat. Caaat. Meow. Cat. Cat." She's so proud of herself.

Jillian said...

Congratulations, and fear not -- your kitty will not get hurt whilst hiding behind the dryer!

Ladybronco -- I could have written your post verbatim. We lived with kitties (up to 3 at a time) for several years before my husband realized that the cats had something to do with the fact that he was using a breathalizer several times a day.

Life is full of difficult choices. :)

Terri Pray said...

Ah ha... you've joined the ranks of worshipping a feline overlord!

Good luck with your new Mast - err pet. Looks very cute. We can't have a cat just yet, children are too young and my three year old would treat it as a toy, resulting in kitten or three year old, injured. So he has a large, plushie cat he carries around and makes meowing noises for instead.

Carries upside down and by the tail.
Yep, too young.

Anonymous said...

Heather: Your email about avoiding string reminded me of a long-ago Christmas with a gray-and-white tabby named Shadow. He ate ALL the low-hanging silver tinsel off my Christmas tree.

The resulting vet bill convinced me that I no longer needed tinsel in my life.

Happy Holidays.

Henna said...

Lol, after all those scary stories you are going to be paranoid. Kitty Kerpow arrived in our lives a few weeks ago, and I mean arrived - he was starving. He walks into a house occupied already by an Irish wolfhound, a Persian cat, and some very big guys. Says, 'This'll do', chirps a lot, eats anything, and I mean anything - forex ate a cucumber end yesterday, and will drink coffee if allowed (bad, very bad for cats). He's climbed fifty foot pine trees, suffered the dhs wroth and still survived, and sleeps with the IW. I have pictures! Why did he pick us? Gawd only knows but he has wormed his way in and won't let go.

BTW I just started a Paranormal Romance and the cat in it is Zoe's double. Now I have a picture to refer to, so thanks, and enjoy her above all else.

Gayle said...

She's so cute!

I'm hoping to buy my own place soon and since I'll be living on my own have been thinking about getting a pet. My family has always been dog people (and I still love dogs!) but my friend has cats and their fluffy fur and warmth while purring on my lap has been slowly winning me over. And I have a the feeling a cat won't mind quite as much if I'm gone a lot.

But these horror stories are worrying me!

BTW: Great blog!

Gayle said...

She's so cute!

I'm hoping to buy my own place soon and since I'll be living on my own have been thinking about getting a pet. My family has always been dog people (and I still love dogs!) but my friend has cats and their fluffy fur and warmth while purring on my lap has been slowly winning me over. And I have a the feeling a cat won't mind quite as much if I'm gone a lot.

But these horror stories are worrying me!

BTW: Great blog!

Aliette said...

She is so cute...
Congrats, Jenny. I hope you don't mind hunting for her everywhere :)

steve said...

Cute kitty. My cat has forgiven me for being away. Barely.

Have a great Turkey Day and looking forward to Saturday.

Tess said...

She's utterly adorable, reminding me a bit of my own Cleo when she was that age - esp the bit about her being in all the small places she shouldn't!! Thanks for sharing :-)

David said...

The jumping-on-the-feet-moving-under-the-covers game is cute until the kitten becomes a cat with claws long enough to penetrate all the covers!

But Zoe might outgrow the game before that happens.

We had huge tomcats who never did outgrow that game. I loved them, though.

kiwi said...

Just gorgeous.

The similarity between Zoe and my cat, Chocolate (yes his real name), are striking to say the least. If Zoe is part Siamese, like Chocolate, you have some real fun coming your way.

Cats are the best!

kiwi said...

Oh yeah, happy thanksgiving everyone!

tcastleb said...

Awww. And I just picked up a new kitty myself today. It and my three-year-old cat keep hissing at each other though, so hopefully they'll manage to get along sometime in the near future. . . Have fun. Kitties are great.

Sharra said...

She's gorgeous!

I've found cats love lying on the dryer when it's going. Also the washing machine, dvd player, tv - the list goes on. Basically, everything that rumbles and gives off heat - maybe it's a flashback to mom?

Love the blog, & a happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the USA.

Jenny Rappaport said...

Thank you everyone, for the wonderful comments and advice! =)

kiwi, I don't think Zoe is half-Siamese, but she may have it somewhere in her lineage. Her mother was a calico, and her two siblings were white with black spots.

The story goes like this:

Zoe's foster mom, Kate, has an outdoor cat, Marshmallow. She leaves the garage door open a crack for him in bad weather; we had a set of really bad storms at the end of September, and so she went to check if he was in the garage. Lo and behold, there was no Marshmallow, but a mother calico with her three kittens (Zoe and her siblings). They were all very little and still nursing. The cats stayed in the garage for a few days, and then one day, the mother cat took the two white kittens away and left Zoe abandoned in the garage. So Kate took her inside and started taking care of her, until she could find someone to adopt her. And that's where we come into the picture. =)

And oh yes, she's getting into everything... current fascinations include the cords for the roman shades we have on the windows, as well as bathrooms in general. Toilets are most interesting, even closed, and she has this odd fascination with walking into our shower and wandering around sniffing the shampoo bottles and stuff on the floor of it.

And now, I must go continue to defrost my poor 18 lb. turkey. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Linda Adams said...

She's probably getting behind the dryer because she's looking for someplace warm. We used to have a cat who would sit on the water heater because it was warm.

Anonymous said...

Just make sure the kitty can't actually get INTO the washer, dryer or refrigerator. Most have the backs covered, but if you have an old or refurbished one, it might be missing a panel. If so, tape cardboard across it.

And don't let all these nervous nellies get to you! Cats are smarter than we are, and equipped with nine lives.

Tess said...

Ah yes, the shower. Cleo has an obsession with water AND the shower. Oh, and the shower curtains.

Glad Zoe had someone to foster her and people wanting to adopt her!!

Tess said...

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving. I'm in Canada (where we celebrate in Oct) so I keep forgetting to say it *g*.

kiwi said...

You and Chris did a very kind thing, Jenny. I hope Zoe's mother and siblings find a similarly happy ending.

Anonymous said...

She is soooo cute! I remember when my kitties were that big, they grow up really fast. Definitely with Barista brat on the best sleeping spot for kitties when you're trying to work. Try getting out a cardboard box and filling it with a warm blanket, they like to snuggle up at that age in warm places, it certainly stopped my inquisitive Morganna from running around under machines!

Anonymous said...

congrats! My husband and I have four cats, each of who came home as kittens, so I know exactly what you're going through. Our youngest, Moonshine, would sit in the fireplace. This freaked me out, because I was afraid she'd go in there after we'd finished using it and burn her little paws. Fortunately, that never happened. Morgan would squeeze underneath the dishwasher. Don't worry, Mom! You (and Zoe) will be fine.

Zany Mom said...

Congrats! She looks like my Cookie. While I love my cats, none of them like to sit on my lap nor sleep on my bed. My favorite cat, who passed away some 4 years ago now, slept with me, sat with me, etc. But my current cats refuse. So now I have lap dogs. Yes, plural. They're snoozing on my lap right now as I type. And they don't get on the desk and sleep on my papers, but they do sleep under the covers.

BuffySquirrel said...

Oh, yeah, cats have thermal imaging and head straight for the warmest spot.

I still remember when my (much-missed) cat fell in the bath occupied by my husband and a lot of hot water, hauled herself out, and came running downstairs headed straight for the Warm Place of the Hour--the 19 inch monitor. Fortunately, I caught her en route.

J. F. Margos said...

AWWWW! I have two rescued kitties - one is pretty old now, but the other one is 3-1/2 years. I picked him up in the street when he was 6 weeks old. He's black and white and VERY beautiful now. :)

Thomma Lyn said...

Congratulations on your purr-ecious, beautiful little sweetie! She looks like my kitty, Dora, looked at her age, right to the mischievous set of her ears.

Dora is two years old now, and she's sleek and lean and has big gold eyes like topaz. She looks like the statues of Bast, the Egyptian cat goddess.

As a kitten, Dora was a total spaz, and guess what... as a two year old cat, she's still a total spaz. Hubby and I call her our little kittenhead.