Despite any reservations I had about adopting a foster kitten (a necessary taboo if I want to keep doing my job), adopting Duck has been a great thing for the family. He’s improved the dynamic amongst my adult cats. Serra has someone to care for and to occupy her time. Wesley has a new playmate. Buttercup has had some of the pressure to be friendly removed from her so she can be the grouchy old lady she was always meant to be (but I love her for that).
It turns out that Duckie actually does have an evil side that isn’t induced by anesthesia. He is almost as bad as Serra about my yarn. If I leave it unattended, Duck will grab a whole ball or skein and run with it. While I am trying to knit, Duck will pounce on the working yarn with the singular focus only kittens have. Like his sister Lamb, Duck loves my handmade items. A few days ago he wrapped himself in a sweater he pilfered from somewhere so he could take a nap. He drags that sweater around with him on occasion as well. Good thing the sweater was just a practice piece, and not something I was attached to!
Duck is also very food motivated. Despite the fact that he does NOT get fed from our plates (as a matter of fact, he’s not had any people food yet), Duck tries to “help” me eat my dinner. This motivation does work in my favor, though. We squish Wesley’s blood pressure meds into a treat to make him take it without force, and Duck could not be more thrilled. Since I have the treats out, I make the cats do a few tricks to earn said treats. Duck now touches my fist to open it, he begs, he sits (but not patiently), he comes when called, he jumps into a chair, and he is learning to walk on his back legs for a few steps (Michael’s idea after watching Carisa’s rats do it).
Yet another fascinating thing I’ve learned about Duck is that he trusts me implicitly. I guess he figures that if I would go as far as I did to keep him alive, I’m probably not going to deliberately hurt him. He let me carry him into the shower (while it’s running) and he let me dip him in the bathtub. I was vacuuming the area around the litter box a few days ago, and, well, see for yourself:
No fear in that one.
I may have had a hard time being comfortable with the decision to adopt a foster kitten, but I can’t say I’ve regretted it.