Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Annie Sparkles, Naughtiness with a Cute Face

Annie Sparkles, the face of innocence !!
Annie Sparkles is a little foster kitten we are caring for until she goes to her forever home in a few days.  She arrived Monday August 29th a very frightened kitten who suddenly found herself living in a house after spending the first 12 weeks of her life outdoors.  Annie and her furmom lived on a porch in a residential downtown neighbourhood.  My friend Robin found out about Annie and within two days she was caught, to the vet for deworming, de-fleaing and her first set of shots and then living in a strange house.

Annie adapted quickly to her new surroundings and made friends with Boomer, my 4 year old orange male.  Boomer is remarkably gentle and patient with Annie but when he has had enough he leaves.
We have found a home for Annie Sparkles so she will be leaving us in a few days.  We will miss her but I'm not sure I will miss her naughtiness.

Sooty Annie Sparkles

Annie now has run of the first floor of our house.  Yesterday I was in the kitchen and realized after about 10 minutes that it seemed awfully quiet.  Boomer was sitting looking out the back window but where was Annie.  Glancing to my left I found her sitting inside the fireplace looking at me as if to say, 'I just found this great place to explore'.  She looked very cute but with all that white fur she got a little sooty.  It wasn't too bad though.  I placed her carrier in front of the fireplace screen to keep her from getting in there again.

About 30 minutes later I could hear Annie meowing so off I went to find out what her problem was.  Well that little naughty girl had managed to get inside the fireplace again and was calling me to come see that nothing was keeping her from her great find.  This time she was quite sooty.  I hugged her telling her she was being naughty and then whisked her off to the kitchen to clean her up.  A damp cloth wasn't going to get the soot off her fur but it sure made the light coloured cloth dirty.

Years ago when CiCi, our now 18 year old cat, was much younger she would get in the fireplace by parting the screen which is a mesh curtain that parts in the middle.  We managed to keep her out by using a big clip on the screen and it worked very well.  The clip has long since been removed because CiCi no longer has any interest in exploring the fireplace.  As of last night the clip has been reinstalled.

A mirror under the overhang shows the hole Annie found

Sooty Annie needed a bath so I ran off to the store to get some baby shampoo.  In the 15 or 20 minutes I was gone Annie managed to disappear somewhere in the house.  We had her barricaded in the kitchen with a 4' board across the entrance.  We searched all four floors.  Every nook, every cranny and still no Annie.  We looked everywhere.  We knew she was in the house somewhere.  I also knew that just before I left for the store, she had eaten well and she was showing signs of being tired.  This meant she had found a spot to sleep and it could be hours before she woke up and made an appearance.

Five hours later and shortly after 1:00 a.m. I was in the kitchen when I heard little Annie meows coming from close by.  I started pulling open drawers and cupboards but no Annie.  Thankfully she continued to meow so I knew she was nearby.  I cannot believe what I saw.  Just under the bottom drawers and above the kick plate a little black and white head popped out.  Annie had found the only hole in our kitchen.  We didn't even know it was there.  She wiggled out easily and  ran off to find Boomer.

Annie is not enjoying this one bit

I was too tired to trying giving her a bath at that point so we all went to bed. 

This morning was bath time.  I got everything I could think of all organized in the laundry room.  I've only even bathed a cat once before and he was such a sweet gentle boy.  I got two small basins filled with warm water, one for washing and the other for rinsing.  Annie is no dumby.  As I stood holding her she sensed that she was destined for one of the basins and began to meow.  I put her down in the water which was only about 2" deep and she cried but didn't struggle too much.  Then I reached for the bottle of shampoo only to discover that there is a safety seal on it that I had to remove with one hand and my teeth because the other hand was holding Annie.

Soggy Annie Sparkles

I tried to make the bath go as quickly as possible for the two of us.  Annie cried and cried but she was not trying to claw her way up my arm - that made me happy.  Once I was sure I had rinsed her well and that no soap remained I wrapped her in a dry towel.  A minute later I removed the damp towel and wrapped her in another dry towel.  I went through about 5 towels.  Poor little Annie began to shiver and I knew I needed to get her dry quickly and warm her up. 

Is that a cat or a rat?
 Annie and I went upstairs to the bathroom so I could try the hairdryer on her.  Surprisingly she didn't seem to mind it too much but I was holding it about 4' above her so it wouldn't feel too hot.  I did a little blow drying and then rubbed her with a dry towel.  She was still shivering and putting her inside my shirt didn't seem to be helping her warm up.  Needless to say I was feeling very warm.  I remembered the heating pad and grabbed that turning it on and placing on the floor.  While it warmed up I continued to use the hairdryer as well as rub her with more dry towels.  Annie liked the heating pad and sat on it while licking her fur in a further attempt to dry herself.  And she stopped shivering very quickly.  Once she was completely dry she was allowed to leave the bathroom and return to the main floor of the house.

Annie is biting the binder clip that is holding the screen closed
so she can't get in there again

This afternoon I caught Annie biting the binder clip that was holding the fireplace screen closed.  I think she really thought she was going to try sitting in there again. 

Hey what happened to the opening to
my secret napping spot????

About an hour or so later I caught her investigating the spot where the hole is in the kitchen.  Earlier I glued two small pieces of cardboard over the opening and wedged a few things in place to hold the cardboard until the glue was dried.  Annie was very disappointed that she wasn't able to climb up into her secret sleeping space and walked away looking for some other source of entertainment.
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Over the years I have fostered many kittens and have always let them run and play in the kitchen because they cannot get under or behind any of the applicances.  There isn't any place they can get into trouble, or so I thought until Annie showed me the small opening under the base of the cupboards last night.  When I think about it, Annie is the oldest and biggest of all the kittens I have fostered and she managed to fit inside that opening. 

I can hardly wait to find out what Annie is going to discover tomorrow.