I’ve been interested in the Chantilly cat breed for quite a few years, and unexpectedly got the chance to get a Chantilly kitten just before Valentine’s Day. I certainly hadn’t expected to get another kitten with Elsa still only six months old. However, kittens of this rare breed aren’t available often (there is only one breeder in North America). And there did seem to be an advantage to having two young cats to entertain each other and give the adults Abys some peace. So I thought, why not?
I flew to Chicago and met the kitten’s flight from Toronto, bringing him back with me under my seat. He was completely quiet, but definitely not frightened. He came right to the front of the carrier and reached through to say hello with a pat. He is polydactyl, so although he was a tiny ball of fluff weighing less than 2 pounds, he sported adorably big feet, like snowshoes with thumbs.
I set up a gradual introduction arrangement between the new fellow and the adult Abyssinians, similar to what had worked so well when I introduced them to Elsa. I took the risk, though, that at six months of age, Elsa would be curious and adapt to him quickly. And after a very few “remember I’m your elder and worthy of respect” growls, she did. They wrestle and play by the hour. He follows her everywhere, though he is also very bold and explores on his own as well.
This kitten has never shown a moment’s fear. The first night he arrived, after leaving his family and making two flights at age nine weeks, he settled into his big cat cage, ate, drank, used the litter box, and found a perch he liked on top of a padded shelf. When Falcon came in to check him out and sniffed him through the cage, the kitten, who was snoozing upside down, casually reached out and patted Falcon’s nose through the bars.
I am still waiting for the right name to come along for this fellow. I’ve changed “Allegra” to “Elsa” and “Ariana” to “Ivy” already this winter; this time I’ll try to make the right choice the first time!
Meanwhile, he is bringing a lot of fun into the house.