Not amused by flash photography
The danger of writing a blog post a day is that you start to see everything as a metaphor for everything else. So it is with the arrival of our newest member of the family. Miss Mia Milk Stout came home late Thursday morning. That’s our perspective, anyway. From her perspective she was taken from the warm comfortable home where she was very happy, thank you very much, and taken out into the cold and taken to a completely strange place. A strange place where there are two other cats and very, very few familiar things. There were cats and dogs where she was before, but she knew them. These are different cats. There have been many disruptions in her short life, and now there’s another one. We know this is the last one. We don’t know how to tell her that.
We are in a time of waiting. That picture over there is the only one we’ve managed to get since she came home. She’s in the space between the head of the bed and the wall in our guest room. It’s pretty much where she spent Thursday. We had the room prepped before she came home. Food. Water. Litter pan. She explored some when Carla was in the room. She hid when I was in the room. We kept the door closed to keep Porter and Dunkel out, but they were remarkably blasé. Normally shutting the guest room door is a crisis. Not this time.
Yesterday we pulled the mattress back to we could see her down in the gap. We could tell she’d used the litter pan and there was plenty of reason to think she’d explored in the night. Throughout the day Carla and I would go in and talk to her and pet her. Carla picked her up and took her on a tour of the condo. She seemed to enjoy herself. While being very shy, she sure didn’t mind the attention. When I’d stop reaching down to pet her on my visits, she’d reach a paw up to attract my attention. Early in the afternoon we decided it was time to open the door and see what happened.
Porter and Dunkel have both seen her. They’ve seen us interacting with her, so they seem to know at some level that she’s OK. Porter is a little skittish. His tail will get all puffed up, but it really seems to be more an effort to figure out what’s going on. “Are we going to have problems here?” Her response is, well, nothing. So he eventually walks away looking not just a little confused.
If there’s any awareness on Dunkel’s part that Mia is his littermate, we’re not seeing it. Then again, Dunkel isn’t exactly a complicated cat.
“Play with me!”
Um. Not right now.
“No, play with me!”
“OK, then just pet me. A lot. I demand nothing of you other than your complete attention.”
Do I have another choice?
What has been interesting is that Porter seems to be a bit protective of Mia, skittish as he is. Dunkel can play rough. When Dunkel got his first clear view of her, he didn’t charge at her, but he started approaching her cautiously. Porter hissed. At Dunkel. And Dunkel backed off.
Last night I couldn’t sleep. This is the part where the metaphor comes in. A couple of times I heard Mia crying, just a little. Her vocalizations are completely different from Porter and Dunkel. There’s not a chance this wasn’t her. She was exploring. At one point I’m pretty sure she came into our room. But I have no idea where she went.
I’m finishing this post about half an hour before it goes up. As I write this I have no idea where Mia is. We haven’t left the house since the last time we saw her, so we know she’s here somewhere. We haven’t heard a peep. She’s small and clearly likes tight places to hide. None of our cats have been hiders.
We clearly have one now.
I’ve done a bit of a search with no luck. Porter and Dunkel are showing no curiosity whatsoever. We’ve had cats long enough to assume there’s no place she can get into that will be much of a danger to her. Carla keeps telling me that she’ll come out when she’s ready.
So we wait. There’s a lot of waiting going on in my life right now. I can’t really talk about that. It’ll come out when it’s ready. But I can talk about the cats. I’m OK with that.
(I’ll update this post when there’s a sighting.)
UPDATED: Under our bed. Her camouflage is very good.