In my previous post about fostering, I ended by saying that Nine Lives, a cat shelter in Athens, Greece, was going to send me a kitten to help Amelie feel more comfortable after being rescued from a pack of dogs. I showed a picture of a kitten who…did not come! He ended up having some diseases that could have spread to Amelie, so instead Nelly joined our temporary family.
But first, an update on Amelie! A woman from Nine Lives came to the house to take care of her while I was gone for a weekend vacation, and when I came back she was a totally different cat. It was as though the fear of another stranger made my return a desperate, “Thank God, a familiar face!” She started letting me sit beside her on the couch, and she was making so much progress I was a little scared that the introduction of a kitten would set her back.
When Nelly first arrived, Amelie reverted to hiding under coffee tables and footstools. I resented Nelly for that, which was unfair because she was relentlessly cute. She’s a total kitten: playful and curious and slightly dumb. And SO cute and cuddly. She follows me around, burrows into the covers when I sleep, and falls asleep next to me like this.
After a while, though, Amelie realized that she is a full-sized cat. Instead of letting a kitten bully her around, she stood up for herself and asserted her dominance. I was very proud that she came to this realization because of food. Nelly tried to eat Amelie’s food, at which point Amelie slapped the kitten in the face and never had a problem again.
They still don’t cuddle with each other, but they will chase each other between rooms, and Nelly likes to sneak up on Amelie and try to catch her tail. Somehow, all of this HAS made Amelie more comfortable, since she will now go into every room, and when I’m away for a while, she’ll actually follow me around and watch me from various doorways. Most adorably, she will sit beside the couch and meow until I sit there, since she has apparently learned that that is where she will be petted.
Both Amelie and Nelly need to be adopted by mid-January, and at the rate they’re going, they will probably do well either separately or together! If you or someone you know lives in Greece and wants two very cute cats, drop a line to Nine Lives and let them know! If you can’t adopt cats, I still suggest you go to Nine Lives and leave a donation. I love what they do, and I’m happy to do what I can to support them and the stray cats of Athens that they care for.