Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 1: Homecoming

So... here's how exactly my whole adventure went.

We left town around 3:40 pm, right after I got out of camp. 

We drove 2 hours to Auburn, suffering through some terrible roads in Ohio. 

When we arrived (25 minutes early).

We were welcomed in, and I picked out my kit out of two. The other one seemed somewhat skittish and frantic, while the other one was pretty chill, and I chose that one.

We walked back to the cabinets and desk. I held her, and she scratched up my left arm a bit crawling up to my shoulder and tucking her head there. I gave a big whiff of her fur, but I couldn't tell if she smelled or the room did. Either way, it smelled oddly similar to barbecue sauce. 

We got our paperwork, bag of food and some puppy training pads. We thanked Tammy and Alyssa and walked back to the car.

I put the kit into the travel container. She seemed to panic for a second, but as we were going down the road, a foul smell came from the crate. She had pooped, and now seemed content that the crate smelled like her. I smiled and scratched her.

My dad was making a fuss, and at the gas station down at the road, we pulled out the badly-soiled towel and threw it away. Miehiera had decided to smear it all over the towel, so there was no chance of saving it. I put a pad into the crate, put her inside, and went to the gas station to wash my hands.

When I got back, Miehiera's demeanor shifted dramatically. She was biting at the metal bars, and grunting at my mother. She was clawing the cage, and had soiled the pad. Again.
When I got in the car, she calmed down. She looked at me, gave a little grunt as if she were content and went to the back of her crate. 

I reached in, pulled her out and the soiled pad. I had a poopy pad in one hand and a fox in the other, so I couldn't very well get out and throw it away. My mom took it for me. Miehiera settled into my lap, laid down and tucked her nose into the crook of my elbow. 

I put in another pad, and put her back in. She paced for a bit, but finally settled down. We continued down the road sailing smooth.

About half way back home, about an hour away from home, she fell asleep, but was rudely woken up at toll road. She sat in the cage for awhile and tried to sleep but couldn't.

I looked away and became distracted, when about 3/4's of the way home I heard a little 'thump'. I looked over and my heart melted. Miehiera was on her back, paws in the air, and panting, right next to me, looking up at me. 

I poked my fingers into the crate, and I scratched her on the bridge of her nose. Miehiera closed her eyes and panted happily. She turned her head, and I scratched her ear, and she once again seemed happy.

Miehiera then retreated to the back of her crate for the rest of the drive home.

When we got home, I pulled Miehiera's crate out and brought her into my room. My cat was already curious as I couldn't get her to stay away from my room. I chased her out and shut the door.

I set Miehiera's crate on the ground, and opened the door. She stared at me for awhile. I reached in, where she let out a little growl, and mouthed me. I wouldn't say she bit or nipped - she didn't bite down or break the skin, but she did put her little teeth on me. Then she pulled back and hid in the back of her crate, gruffing at me.

I figured it would be too traumatizing to punish her, and she hadn't actually bit me. So I set the little crate next to the big one, and she went right in. She climbed onto the cat tower, and gruffed at me. I've figured out at this point that gruffing means 'back off'. 
She then explored, tumbling onto and off her cat tower, nibbling at a stuffed animal, chewing on her kong and peeing on the shirt I gave her. She played with the dishes and stepped in the litter, which startled her when it crunched under her. One of the most interesting things she did was climb onto the cat tower and 'roo' at me. She pointed her little nose up and let out a little howl - 'roooo!' - in my direction.

She kept gruffing at me whenever I got too close, so I simply sat by the cage, talking gently to her. I eventually could reach in and get her dishes so I could get her some water and food.
I gave her that, and ate pizza and started to type this.

Right now, she is passed out on top of the cat tower.

Phew, it's been a long day.

I just hope she warms up to me more. I mean, she seemed to get agitated whenever I left her when she was in the little crate, and loved to be held and pet, now that she's in the big crate she seems to want me to stay back. What a moody little girl!

Surprisingly she was extremely mellow during the whole car ride. She was better than any puppy or cat I've had to transport. No crying, no fussing, no digging or scratching. She either laid down, came over to beg for a scratching or sat staring out of the crate -- unless I left or acted like I was leaving. It was then she would gruff and start furiously biting at the wire in her crate, and calmed down again when I came back.

And, I do note, she does stink. :lol: Whether or not it's because she rolled around in her doo-doo, was in a room with a bunch of other animals or simply stinks, I don't know. I didn't really clean her off.
She will calm down and let me pet her if she falls asleep, but if she really realize it she will rear her head and gruff at me.

Dave gave me some pointers, instructing me to grab her, and if I give into her gruffing she will just keep pushing her limits. 

So, I'll grab her, sometimes getting mouthed and nipped. The first time I picked her up she struggled quite a bit, and peed on me. By the end of the night, cycling between picking her up, petting her, letting her roam the room, putting her back into her crate, she seems to have calmed down. The last time I picked her up, she struggled a bit, but she stopped gruffing at me. She sat on my knee and had settled down quite a bit.

Tomorrow, I'm going to put her on the bottle. I really need to create a bond with her, which I'm having a hard time doing right now. I admit it's a bit discouraging to talk to other arctic fox owners and they have smooth sailing and lovely little affectionate kits. I watched a video of a six week old kit running to his Human Momma, squealing with joy. He crawled under, poked his head out between her knees, then jumped up to lick her face. 

Wish me luck in getting through to her.

I'd wish I could get some good pictures of her- she was constantly scrambling around, and I only managed to get about one good shot of her while she was sleeping.


Climbing on the cat tower:

Almost got a good shot:

Nomming at the cat tower:


The only good shot I got so far, of her sleeping:


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