A New Queen in Maui's Kingdom.
When we went home, my wife alerted me about one of our cats. Friday, the meek female cat, who has been pregnant for two months, just gave birth while we were gone. By the time she told me, Maui was already free in the yard. Klaxons wailed in my head and rushed out. I think I have an idea where Friday would give birth, I just hope Maui hasn't found it yet. I don't know what would happen, but I'm pessimistic.
I went to the sideway of the house where I keep most of the storage boxes where some of the old linens were and sure enough, Maui was there. We made eye contact and I saw how curious and excited he was. I heard the sound of newborn kittens but I don't know where they could be in the boxes.
This was the time when I discovered that Maui and Friday were oddly close. Friday sounded off as she approached, probably out to drink some water after the birth. She approached Maui and they touched noses, and Friday brushed her face on his snout. I don't know much about dog language but I know cat language as I've cared for cats since I was a kid. That was a friendly greeting that likely means Friday thinks Maui is practically family.
I had one goal right now and that's to put the newborns in a safe space. They might be safe from the weather, but they are not safe from other cats. I also need to make sure wherever I'm transferring them, Maui won't be able to reach them. I still don't know how Maui will act. He might smell the blood on the kittens and spike his predatory drive as Maui has a strong prey drive against rats, or he might intrude so much that it could put Friday off and cause her to abandon her newborns. So far the strategy is to create a little kitten den in the living room and open up the cat door flap again. At least no outside cat would even think of entering the cat flap. Maui might be able to reach them, so it's time to break out the baby gatefrom storage and create a wall that only Friday can pass through.
There is also the risk of Friday abandoning her kittens when I do this, but I know my cats. Friday was meowing at me as she climbed the boxes. Maui tried to follow by hopping on the stacks so I had no choice but to leash him first before I do anything.
The kittens were at the top box where Friday slid in through the slight openings. I took the box down and opened it, revealing three chunky and slightly damp kittens. I promptly took them in, along with Friday, who didn't seem to mind the mild jiggling. Maui was leached outside and was pulling on the leash as I neared the door with the box in tow.
I placed the box in the corner of the living room and grabbed the baby gate. I propped it so that Friday's little box will be protected by the gate and is at least a foot away so even if Maui tries to prod his snout in, all he could do is sniff the box from a few inches away. I'll fix the contents of the box later, but for now, the important part is that it's inside, and Friday doesn't seem alienated at all.
The next part now is letting Maui in the house and getting used to the kittens. The introduction process should be the same as when his previous owner brought another dog here. First, I have to let out some of Maui's excess energy. It's not going to be much since we just came home from Matty's training, but the way he jumped up the boxes concerned me. He might jump up the fence in excitement and if I know something about dogs, it's that they have really high vertical jumps, and I bet Maui can vault up our stone walls if he really wanted to.
So, I grabbed a toy on the ground and played fetch with him. Except when I did that, Maui raced to the door. Good thing he doesn't fit into the cat flap. He's still wearing the shock collar so I did the recall beep and thankfully he followed and approached me. I riled him up by wagging his fetch toy and Maui, like the doggy dog that he is, playfully stomped on the ground and expected me to throw it. We played fetch a few times before he decided to just chew on the toy instead of giving it back to me.
With Maui's extra energy level dialed down, it's time to let him inside. I placed his leash back just in case and we went in. He still pulled the leash to go to the kitten box, with not much gusto, and more of a curious drive. He tried to push his head between the bars of the baby gate. Thankfully, he didn't decide to prop himself up the gate. Friday was busy nursing her newborns and didn't care about what was happening. Perhaps she knows she's in a safe place.
I released Maui's leash and to my surprise, Maui decided to lay down close to the kittens. Perhaps I was too paranoid about this and didn't account for how well Maui gets along with his feline friends. I went to get a bowl of food and water for Friday and placed it inside the fence so that Maui couldn't reach it. Of course, Maui tried to reach the cat food, because he's never satisfied with his food or any food given to him. I had to put the bowl a little farther because Maui was trying to grab it with his grubby paw.
All that's left now is to wait for Friday to clean her kittens properly and leave the box so I can prepare a proper kitten den for her. Maui seems really curious, but seeing his current state, I think he's just happy to meet the new tenants of the house.