Sunday, December 5, 2010

Twenty-One and Counting (The Russian Invasion)

At one time, the Russian Mob had individual URL's instead of names. Each began and the extensions were as follows: 52-and-elliot-black-kitten, 52-and-elliot-bw-kitten, 52-and-elliot-tab-kitten, and 52-and-elliot-not-caught-yet-kitten. (Don't worry, there's not a test at the end of the posting, and even if there were, you guys would ace it!)

When Maria finally trapped not-caught-yet in June, she had the four kittens living with her for a time. Then they went to stay with Karen Duncan for a little bit while they were getting ready for their new foster home. The young woman who took them in next also gave them their names. She called them Natalia, Anastasia, Rasputin and Vladimir. The Tall Lady is undecided but I'm fairly sure that Heidi hates kittens.

After their stay with her, these four little beauties came to live with us. Natalia (Miu Miu) was our little shy girl with her silky black coat and huge yellow eyes. Fostering her was like having Taylor back with us. The Tall Lady and I spent hours looking for the poor little fraidy cat, and still more hours trying to convince her that we didn't really believe that the best thing about kittens is the white meat. Eventually, Talia came out for meals, then for treats, next to play with the feather wand or the laser pointer, and she finally rewarded us by coming out just because we asked her to.

Anastasia (Ada) is one of those strange-looking kittens who will grow up to be an amazing beauty. Her black fur isn't exactly black, her white fur not really white and her whiskers kink and spiral off in all directions, as if they were embarrassed to be seen together. Ana was an instant lap cat, with a soft, wet nose and a purr like thunder. A few minutes after we went to bed every night, Ana would land as light as a feather on the Tall Lady's handmade quilt, and would snuggle down between the two of us to sing us to sleep.

If Talia reminded us of Taylor, Rasputin (Check) was another Tabor. He was a gentle, easy-going diplomat whose main concern seemed to be everyone else's contentment. Even Brie liked him. He was a hauntingly beautiful kitten with huge paws and a tiny, polite voice. From the moment we met him, we knew that Ras would be the first of the Russians to be adopted, and we hoped that his new family could make him as happy as he would try to make them.

He was adopted by a perfect family and had a nice dad, a kind mom and a beautiful eleven year-old human sister who were ready to love him forever. When Rasputin died on September 23, we were as devastated as they were.

52-and-elliot-not-caught-yet-kitten is Vladimir. I can't honestly say that I'm surprised that he was the last to be trapped - Vlad was our James Cagney kitten. He had the strut, the swagger, the timing and the attitude. Like Cagney, what he lacked was size - like Cagney, he didn't give it much thought.

We think that the other three kittens have some Maine Coon in their background - obviously, Vlad had a different daddy. In spite of being the smallest of the four kittens, his was the biggest personality, and his the most voracious appetite. When he found out that he liked Rice Krispees, the breakfast table became a battleground and I was usually on the losing side.

When Vlad's adoptors came a-courtin', he knocked them down and twisted their arms until they agreed to take him home with them.

Talia was the last of the kittens to be adopted. Since October of 2009, we'd fostered fourteen kittens, and counting our three big girls, we'd had seventeen cats in four years. Our co-op's eight paw policy has never presented any problem. Our neighbours are among our most dedicated fans. The ones with allergies just take their meds before dropping by, and they remain until their sneezing and scratching begins to upset the cats.

Yup - seventeen cats in four years, and now our friends at VOKRA had decided that it was time for a bit of Chinese... 

Chaos Looming


  1. How sad to hear about Rasputin. Was he sick? He was a beautiful kitty.

  2. He had feline infectious peritonitis. It manifested just after he was adopted, and his vet couldn't do anything to help him survive it, so the pleasant, handsome little guy had to be "put to sleep". Our friend Norma, who lost her husband awhile ago, told us that he'd always liked cats, and would take good care of Ras. With all of the cats and kittens that have been lost this year, I think Bill's lap must be really crowded by now.