Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Two weeks ago, Kai hit 100 points on her behavior charts (well, sort of, we kind petered out on the behavior chart at about 70 points, which Kai pointed out, and then we reconstructed a few weeks and... well, we let her get to 100 points). Anyway, Kai THINKS she got to 100 points and, to her credit, she has been better about helping out around the house (unless she's in a mood.. and then she complains and drags her feet and gets in trouble). She also has been doing a LOT better behavior-wise at school. The first few weeks of the school year, she was getting her name on the board quite a bit. Having your name on the board is a warning. A check next to your name is a step up from that. Kai had gotten quite a few checks.
But, following the school election, she's only had her name up on the board once. She has really been making an effort to listen in class, be a good member of the community, help others out, and stay on task. Her teacher has commented on her efforts to us.
So, the combination of doing better at home and school got her to her point goal, and two weekends ago, we visited a home that advertised on craigslist as having two 6-week old kittens to adopt. They are tuxedo cats, and from the moment we saw them, we knew they were going to be part of our home. We rushed over to the K-Mart and bought food, litter boxes, a kitten carrier and some toys and then trekked back to the home that was giving the kittens away and, the next thing we knew, we'd adopted a couple of very tiny, adorable tuxedo cats (they are 1 pound each) -- Dash and Flash.
Kai was super excited. The kittens were super nervous. And the first night home was a bit of a disaster. For some reason, we decided to take them out in the kitchen. We should have taken them out in some kind of enclosed area. Think excited 7 year old, excited 1 year old who is HOLLERING about DIT-TTIES, and terrified kittens. The kitchen was not the place to properly introduce ourselves to them.
At first, we were holding them, but then Dash (who immediately earned his name), dashed between the refrigerator and the cabinet (a space about 3 inches wide, if that). I yelled, "oh no!! no!! get him!" and we peered down the stretch of expanse leading to the back wall, where we though he'd stop. But, no, he turned left, heading behind and UNDER the broom closet cabinet, which gave him about 2 inches in space above him.
Kai burst into tears. Alden was hollering. We figured there was no way that kitten would ever return. It was, in short, a total nightmare. We pulled the fridge away from the wall -- which took more than a little doing as that thing is HEAVY. Eric had to rig up a pulley system. I put Alden in the pack and play to get him out of the way and he was hysterically crying. We pulled the dishwasher out, but that was futile because there was no way to the cabinet area through that route, which meant that there was only one way that the kitten could come back out (good news).
Both Eric and I had visions of a dead kitten on the first night home and the trauma that Kai would endure from that experience . We were determined to get little Dash back out.
I put Alden to bed. Eric and Kai retreated to the guest bedroom to strategize. The kitten stayed hunkered down, mewing pitifully. We finally decided to drill a hole in the broom closet floor so we could poke something in and prod the kitten out. Kai thought for sure we were going to drill the kitten, and I shared her concern. But, somehow it worked -- the kitten emerged. I grabbed him, hunkered down as I was behind the fridge (ouchie knees!) We put the kittens back in their container, put Kai to bed, and set about reassembling the kitchen.
Man alive -- it was a rough first night.
The next morning, Kai dressed as a black and white kitten and headed to school. We were just relieved that both kittens made it through the night!
But, now it's been two weeks and the kittens are AWESOME. They spent the first week in a large gated area that we created, putting a fitted sheet on top to keep them contained. And, they got to know us. They got used to having Alden should DID TIIES in their face repeatedly. They got use to the chaos. We cuddled them frequently. Dash is a brave little kitten, despite his first night of terror. He plays with Alden, accepting his "gentle" pets and obliging him in games of chase. It's adorable. Flash has taken a little longer to come around, but she is starting to spend more time on our laps on her own accord and likes to nuzzle next to me and Dash at night (yes, now we have kittens AND Alden in our bed at night).
Kai has also been fantastic about cleaning the litter boxes every day. She loves cuddling her new kittens and playing with them. They have been hours of entertainment; although, I'm wishing they wouldn't do their entertaining at 2 AM. Sigh.