As I was doing a yoga workout on the pontoon yesterday the instructor said “visualise something that brings you joy. Imagine that place or thing and experience the joy. Bring that feeling into this practice.”
My mind immediately visualised the kittens we have been fostering since 21 September 2021. Initially there were three little bundles, only weeks old. They were helpless and rough looking yet full of energy and mischief. We were only supposed to have them for a few nights. But circumstances changed and we have been caring for them until we find them forever homes.
Of course, we named them based on their personalities and appearance. Plus, we had some help from Jack. Meet Gizmo, a little boy with a white belly and back and brown fur. He is the biggest of the three. Also introducing Missy, a little tabby-girl and Loki. He is the smallest kitten, a little boy and all black with a touch of white under his chin.
Oh, my heart
I remember sitting with them all in my arms that first week and feeling my heart fill with love and joy. It was overwhelming and not something I have experienced for a while. The feelings had me look inward to learn that I have another important love language that has been unacknowledged for too long – acts of service. These helpless little beings need food, attention, cuddles and someone to clean up after them. I naturally stepped in, and it felt so very right. Steve said, ‘but I need you too’ and he is right but he isn’t helpless. If he needs to, he can take care of himself, but the kittens can’t.
So, I have filled our social media story with cute videos and photos of them as they have grown.
It is amazing how three little animals can make such a difference. I suppose during these unusual times, having a pet is comforting for many people. But we just didn’t realise how having them onboard would impact us.
Not a cat person
Steve has never had a cat. He was always allergic or so he thought. He would come across cats at friends or family’s homes and come away sneezing and with itchy eyes. But these three haven’t had that impact on him. Instead, I’ve watched as he tentatively holds them, pats and talks to them. He makes noises and commands like he would for a dog. Cats are very different or so I thought.
Loki responded to Steve’s commands. He would pat his chest and say ‘come here’ and Loki would climb straight up and sit on Steve’s chest. He liked to rub up against Steve’s beard too. It was adorable to watch. Over time Steve has become more comfortable with these furry bundles and has even been surprised by the affection he feels for them. Of course, when a stinky poop appears in the litter tray his face screws up and he is very verbose about his unhappiness then – lol!!
The first four weeks I’m not sure we left the boat unless they were sleeping. The kittens were way too cute and entertaining. They ate, ran around, bathed, pooped, played some more and then slept. It was a routine I loved and didn’t want to end.
We took them to the vet for worm and flea treatments. Gizmo had a bit of a problem with ongoing worms which was a bit stressful. For a while there I had to help him poop until the worms finally left him. Oh dear he was sore and uncomfortable. But he was also such a gentle fighter. That part of his personality is truly precious.
As well as loving to sit on Steve’s chest and run up against his beard, Loki has a devilish streak.
Maybe it was because he is all black, except for a tiny bit of white on his chest.
Or maybe it’s his green eyes or the way his ears flatten when he’s up to something. His kitten zoomies are the craziest and cutest.
Little Loki was the first to find his forever home.
Giving them up is the hardest part. It’s confusing because we feel sad and happy at the same time.
When I found out he would be leaving I cried and cried.
From all accounts though he is happy and doing well in his new home.
This little guy is the bigger of the three kittens and had a rough time to start with. He constantly has sore eyes and struggled with worms for weeks. It was heart breaking to see him in such pain when he couldn’t poop. I had to help him. Thankfully when that drama passed, literally and figuratively, he thrived, and his personality really started to show. He is sweet and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Well, that’s not quite true because he would try and catch flies and eat them for sure. But you know what I mean. He’s a little gentleman, a gobble-guts food hog and has a toe and finger fetish.
He always eats more than the other two but if they poke their heads in his bowl, he will let them eat. Instead, he uses his paw to scoop a piece here and there. It’s super cute to watch.
When getting out of bed or wandering around without shoes Gizmo is quick to find toes for a gentle nibble. When he is curled on my lap my fingers get the nibble treatment too.
Gizmo is the super curious and friendly kitten. When they figured out how to get off the boat he would wander up the pontoon and say hello to anyone he found. We hold our breathe each time he disappears but he always comes back, especially when we clink the food bowl for dinner time.
Gizmo was the second kitten to kind his forever home. We didn’t have much notice the day he left us. We found out in the morning and he was gone by the afternoon to a local family with small children. Such a good match. He would be a little gentleman with them. Again, we cried and cried. We even made our friends cry when we said goodbye. It’s a happy sad. We consoled ourselves with chocolate, lots of chocolate.
Lucky last is Missy. She is the cutest of the bunch, in my opinion. I mean they are each cute in their own way and certainly their personalities are very different. But she is such a pretty tabby so from the get-go she has been my fave. Yet she can be a little beatch, thus her name.
Missy is a serious snuggler. When she wants a cuddle, she really gets up in your grill to let you know – pat me, pat me.
When she was very little she would get over tired or woken up by the other two and she would meow and meow like ‘I’m sooo tired, let me sleep, let me sleep.’ A very cute noise from such a little thang.
When she gets her zoomies-on, stand back and let her go. We learnt she either needs to burn off energy or eat something cos she’s h-angry.
Being the only girl Missy seemed to love taking care of Loki and then he left.
She looked and pined for him for weeks. Then she got used to it being just her and Gizmo and she would take-care of him, even though he didn’t want or need the attention. But then he left, and she still looks for him. It just takes time for her to adjust. However the impact is that she can be quite needy at times and she seems to experience separation anxiety. This equates to yowling when we leave the boat for a period of time. We think she will eventually adjust and find her own rhythm. Like right now she is sleeping on the couch opposite me after playing outside earlier.
More about the kittens
The kittens were born in Hercig Novi. There is a very large cat population in this town of Montenegro. Some would say too many. I guess that’s why someone decided to put these three in a rubbish bin.
Thankfully a tourist found them and a Serbian couple working nearby for the summer took them in. They cared for them until their work finished and they had to move on. That’s where we came in.
Based on a visit to the vet we think they were born in August 2021.
If you are a mega fan of kittens you can revisit their arrival and mischief on our Instagram highlights via the link below.