Arrivée d’un pitchoun

Author: fraise

Friday 25 July 2008, in Cats, Journal


Yes, that is a kitten in my living room. On days like today, all I can do is sit and wonder at life’s twists and turns.

Last week, the day I learned of Malo’s death, I came home to my empty apartment, and all I could think to do was care for something, anything alive. I went onto my patio to water the plants. To make a long story short, by chance, a kind neighbor across from and above me, who has a cat and a dog, asked about my cat. I replied that he had died that day. She gave her condolences and encouraged me to rest, saying she knew what it was like to lose a beloved pet.

This evening, as soon as I got home, she dropped by my apartment and asked if I would like a kitten! It turns out that a nurse friend of hers had found a kitten wandering about last week. After asking in several different buildings, at the neighborhood pet supply shop and two veterinarians, as well as putting the word out and waiting several days, the kitten’s owners didn’t turn up. The nurse had to go on vacation and so gave the little kitten to her friend, my neighbor, to see if she could find a new home for the little one. My neighbor first asked friends of hers, but none could take it in — and so she thought of me.

Although I’d wanted to wait, I have indeed been looking into getting another cat; I couldn’t refuse. Adoption through a refuge (animal rescue) is costly in France — you pay several hundred euros up front, to cover the kitten’s first vaccines and neutering. While it’s a great deal, it all has to be paid at once… something I simply can’t afford, whereas I can afford to pay the vaccines as they arise, as well as neutering. I had in mind to wait a few months and, in any case, see what came up. There is, unfortunately, no shortage of abandoned strays here, as witnessed by this little dear. The poor thing has had most of his whiskers chopped off, either by another cat or by whomever kept him before (not the nurse or my neighbor)… sigh.

It’s a long-haired girl boy!, and he’s one of the sweetest, most personable kittens I’ve ever met. Lively as all get out — he is a kitten after all! — and an absolute love. He’s sleeping on my lap as we speak, has covered me in kitty kisses, let me pet his tummy with luxurious delight, and won’t let me out of his sight.

I’m still at a loss for his name. I thought he was a “she” since my neighbor had said so, and had “her” name picked, but after checking… he’s most certainly a “he”!
Name update: He’s been christened Kanoko, a term from fabric dyeing, kanoko shibori. It’s a feminine name in Japanese, but I think it fits the fawn-colored kitty well!

And so I give you my new furry companion! “Pitchoun” is Provençal for “little one”, and is one of my favorite terms of endearment. People regularly call children pitchoun (masculine) and pitchoune (feminine) here. (And yes, little kitten and I will be visiting the veterinary as soon as I can take a day off, though he seems to be in very good health, confirmed by the nurse and my neighbor.) There are two more photos from today: one showing his coloring while he walked around, and one taken at his water bowl, also showing his pretty colors. I love his mix of stripes and spots.

11 responses to “Arrivée d’un pitchoun”

  1. Uncle Pat Says:

    Fantastic! She sounds like a great kitty. I’ve never looked into it but I would assume the whiskers grow back. What justification is there for trimming the whiskers in the first place?

  2. fraise Says:

    They do grow back! I have no idea why someone would trim them, there’s no reason for it… of course, it could also be that its whiskers were chewed off by another cat, they do that sometimes when playing (I just realized that and will edit my post to mention the possibility).

    You left your comment just as I’d edited my post for another reason too — turns out it’s a male kitten!

  3. delaïdo Says:

    He looks so cute and confident! Congrats!
    He also looks like he might have a bit of maine coon in him. Maine coons are my favorite breed because they are so playful and smart.

  4. Berber Says:

    Hi Fraise ^_^ Your new kitten is so cute! I was very shocked to read about poor Malo, poor thing, but I am sure he had a wonderful life with you and you with him I always enjoyed reading about him. Now I will read about your new furry friend, I think he’s just gorgeous. I am very happy for you you found a new little love.
    Good luck!

  5. Bouks Says:

    Wonderful! Congratulations! Actually, I don’t think I mentioned that we have a new kitty here that my husband got just days before we came here on vacation…and he has the same coloring! He’s about three months old now, and we named him Pacino.

    I originally wanted to name him “Sashiko” (I am sure you are familiar with the term, knowing both Japanese and fabric arts), but the name didn’t catch on with my Asian-dyslexic family. It was kind of feminine-sounding anyway. But perhaps it’s not as feminine-sounding as I think…so there is that idea for a name for your kitty. (Give an abandoned name a home ;))

    My physical therapist used to have a cat named Nicotine – even though she didn’t smoke! I thought it was an interesting name. I also temporarily cared for a cat whom I called Alton, because I used to like to watch Alton Brown on The Food Network.

    There are websites that suggest cat names, it might be worthwhile looking at them.

    Whatever his name, he is the most fortunate animal on the planet, I think!

  6. fraise Says:

    Hi Berber! Nice to see you ^_^

    You and Bouks will like his name, I think (Bouks you inspired me, sashiko made me think of shibori which lead to): Kanoko. He looks so much like a furry fawn with his stripes and spots. (It’s a woman’s name in Japanese… but to my ears it’s fine for a male cat!)

    Delaïdo I’m glad you mentioned Maine Coon, I suspected it too! I’ve had time to look at Maine Coon kittens now and I think he actually may be. He has the “lynx ears” (tufts behind them and points) and his coloring and fur lengths certainly fit. As well as his affection and intelligence!! Goodness gracious is he quick! (There’s a Maine Coon breeder here, Wildcat Services, where I’d take Malo when I went on vacation. So I’m a little familiar with them… I’m going to have a BIG cat in a couple years…!)

  7. Zuleme Says:

    I am so glad this kitten happened to you. There are so many that need loving homes that I feel the best way to honor the love you have for Malo is to take in another. I don”t think I could live without a feline ( or two or three).
    I have this funny idea that cats should not have names with the letter s in them. Sounds too much like a hiss. And I have had bad luck with all my s cats and long lives for the others!

  8. Mar Says:

    I’m so happy for you! Kanoko seems so sweet… and has this wet, curious eyes… so cute! And it’s nice how Kanoko came into your life… One can never predict the next day. Now, watch out for your flowers! :)

  9. Bouks Says:

    Kanoko- san, hajimemasite! Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!

  10. coleen Says:

    :-) it’s incredible how some of the most precious gifts find us when we need them the most. may you two have a wonderful life together…as you and malo did.

  11. Thierry Says:

    Hello Kanoko (he’s beautiful!)

    How strange, when I told you you should at some point get a new cat, I didn’t expect it (and you didn’t either!) to happen so quickly. Saw an article about stray cats in Nice in the “quality” newspaper Nice Matin (well it was one of the headlines in the shop), so it’s good you’re doing a good deed as well!

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