There is a new kitty in our home! You may have noticed him show up a few times this week here on the blog and in social media. It feels great to have 2 cats again. I am totally in love! It is my pleasure to present to you, my family’s newest addition, Dexter!
How We Met Dexter
This spring, our friend James’ beautiful 1-year-old calico cat became pregnant and gave birth to a litter of 5 kittens. One kitten died at birth, but the remaining 4 kittens (1 girl and 3 boys) were all strong and healthy. James knew that he would want to keep the female kitten (Victoria) and the mother, but that he couldn’t reasonably keep all 5 cats himself.
A few weeks after Cinco passed away, Dave and I started letting people know that we were looking for a new kitty. It wasn’t long until James contacted me on facebook with a photo of his litter of kittens. We decided to visit the kitties and see if any of them would choose us instead of the other way around.
The kittens were only 5-weeks-old when we went to see them. They were so cute! One of the kittens took a particular interest in me. He crawled onto my lap and fell asleep while I rubbed his belly. We couldn’t find any markings to tell this kitten apart from the others because 2 of the boys were identical twins!
A few weeks later, James messaged me again and told me that I should come and get one of the kittens if I wanted first pick. Dave and I went over as soon as we could. We set a carrier on the floor and played with the kittens again trying to determine which had taken a liking to me. Before I knew it, one of the kittens walked into our carrier and refused to leave. We took that as a sign that our kitten had chosen us! Who knew our new kitty would be Manna’s mini me?!
Getting to Know Our Little Boy
We brought Dexter home on June 6, 2016, just 2 days shy of being 8 weeks old. He adjusted to our home very quickly. It was almost like he didn’t realize he was in a different place! He was quite excited to explore everything and play. We chose not to introduce him on the blog for a week (Manna’s Birthday Party) to let him get to know Manna first.
The name Dexter is a little stretch from the original meaning we had in mind. We had gone through a lot of ideas, but the idea of grace (receiving something wonderful that you didn’t earn) was stuck in our heads. I looked up the word grace in an online thesaurus and read the synonyms to Dave. One of them was “dexterity”. I know that this from a completely different definition of grace, but I said “we could go with Dexter” and Dave loved the name.
Dexter is 100% kitten. He is a ball of energy that almost never stops playing. Dave and I joke that his name should be spelled DEXTER! (with the exclamation point) because he is so energetic and happy. So far, His favorite toy is our ball track. When he sleeps, it is that sudden deep sleep that kittens are famous for. Another interesting thing is that it seems like his legs might be double jointed. He can sit in some pretty strange positions.
Dave and I were immediately his best friends in the world. He loves to touch his nose to ours and purr loudly. I think he is a momma’s boy. He follows me around everywhere and likes to fall asleep on me if he can get to me before he flops over.
Manna’s Opinion of Her New Little Brofur
Manna is not quite sure what to think of Dexter yet. At first, she completely ignored him. We brought him home and put him in the walk-in closet with food and a litter box. She had no interest whatsoever in finding out what was in there. It wasn’t a negative reaction, it was a non-reaction like I was going to show her my new shoes.
Since she didn’t care, we just opened the closet door. Manna walked in, right past the hissing Dexter, and ate his plate of food and left. She didn’t really even look at him. When Dexter started checking out the apartment, she still didn’t care. He was afraid of her, but she completely ignored his existence.
By the end of the first night, Dexter overcame his fear of Manna. He knows no fear anymore. “Fear” isn’t even in his vocabulary. Dexter decided that he loves Manna to pieces. He just wanted to play with her non-stop. This caught her attention. She isn’t a fan of this tiny little kitten pouncing her or biting her tail.
Don’t think that Manna dislikes Dexter. She thinks it is perfectly fine to interact with him if she initiates it. I have seen her groom him on a few different occasions. She also has allowed him to sleep next to her on the recliner and play with the same toy with her at the same time as her (see Wednesday’s edition of Niptoons). I think it is an issue of making sure that Dexter understands that she is the dominant kitty. He is just too young to care at this point.
I have a feeling that in time, the relationship between Manna and Dexter will work itself out. Cats often take a little while to be okay with new cats in their territory. Manna just needs a few Dexter-free moments from time to time so she can relax. I think I would too if he was always pouncing me. This little guy is a lot to keep up with!