Because Saturday went so well having al-Zill out and about for most of the day, yesterday I decided to leave him out as long as the situation warranted. From the moment I awoke, he scurried and scampered in a continuing investigation of his new home and family.
The occasional hiss from one of the other cats in response to an invasion of personal space did little to worry me.
Generally speaking, al-Zill has done marvelously under the circumstances. He knows to give Kako a wide berth; nevertheless, he continuously pushes her buttons in attempts to be friendly.
In that regard, he offers head butts and rubs to all of The Kids if he gets close enough. Sometimes these are accepted graciously; other times, they are rebutted with hisses and even a few swats.
No significant violence has ensued, however, and that’s a good thing.
While stripping the bed yesterday as part of my effort to complete chores, I had all the help I could ever want—including the newcomer.
I believe it took all but a few minutes outside the bathroom for al-Zill to realize the bed wasn’t off limits. And you know how cats love comfy beds…
As expected, he has spent some time pondering the patio from this new perspective. That has been his home for quite some time, so he, like Larenti before him and Vazra before that, sees the outside world as the home he left, the place where food and water and shelter and safety came unflaggingly, where affection and attention never failed to deliver.
In due time, like the others, those memories will give way as the longing to return to that world diminishes in light of new joys in a new home.
His antics are endearing. As a young cat, he’s as playful as he is charming—and mischievous. One consideration I must keep in mind stems from his neurological damage. Yesterday while dashing up and down the cat castle, hanging from it like a child on monkey bars, he slipped and fell. Any other feline would have caught a grip on the way down, but al-Zill’s limbs chose that time to become erratic…so down he plummeted.
No harm done, though. He rebounded and raced into the bedroom without a backward glance.
With one tipped ear and one torn ear, and scars from the tip of his nose to the base of his neck, he constantly sings testament to the dangers he faced and the certain death that awaited him. With such an amiable personality and delightful countenance, I sometimes weep for what might have been had I left him to his fate.
He still seeks comfort and rest in the cat carrier I’ve left in the bathroom. When he’s serious about taking a nap, that’s where he goes. But still he joined us in bed overnight for several hours of dreamy sleep.
Several times he woke me with investigative trouble, whether by clearing the bathroom counter (as he’s still figuring out mirrors…) or trying to climb the office blinds (another learning experience…). Then there was the crying, the touching call that echoed through the house as he moved about trying to find his place in the dark, trying to figure out precisely what to make of this new world. His voice remains childlike, a lamentable sound reminiscent of a moaning toddler too lonely to survive. I think his voice will never change following the brain damage he suffered (which marked its most dramatic transition from raspy feline to tearful baby).
He’s already found a new bed: the round, soft feline furniture next to the window in the bedroom. He’s played there, napped there, rested there. I’ve seen him in it many times just in the last 24 hours. His adaptation progresses as his ease grows.
Having been free to roam all day and all night, and given the lack of mayhem that ensued, I’m leaving the bathroom door open and allowing him to acclimate as he sees fit. I interfere only when he gets into trouble. So long as there are no major problems today, I’ll leave him out tomorrow while I go to the office. That will be the first true test.