Friday, January 7, 2022

Foster Kitten Friday - Heredity Versus Environment

While last week with Hans Solo reminded me of an episode of Hoarders, this week had me thinking more of the movie Trading Places. A rich Dan Aykroyd and poor Eddie Murphy wind up having their positions in life swapped as part of a bet. The fellows who are pulling the strings on their lives were debating the whole heredity versus environment thing. One particular line from the movie ran through my head this week when dealing with Hans Solo:

Given the right surroundings and encouragement...

So how and why does this apply to a foster kitten? As a parent to a foster kitten you are responsible for helping them not only grow big and strong, but well socialized and loving and kind. And when you are raising kitties from the very beginning (like bottle baby stage) you do have the opportunity to provide the right surroundings and encouragement to make it work. Except when it feels like it doesn't.

This was the week the little guy turned into no-more-loving kitty and into the bite-your-hands and climb-your-legs-when-you're-walking boy. Even though I continued to redirect his energy into all those hoarding toys we saw last week, he seemed to want my hands more. 

Any time my hands were near Hans Solo
this was my view.
We continued to help get those wiggles out with the wand toys. I tell ya, the boy hasn't met one he hasn't liked. 
Here's my best attempt at getting a photo of the
crazy wand toy sessions. The boy's too fast for the camera.
So as I pondered why, despite the typical fostering techniques used, Hans Solo has a wild streak in him I've wondered if it's because he was abandoned so early. If it's because he was so sick at the beginning and didn't get medical care immediately. Maybe because several milestones were delayed. Perhaps because his siblings passed away. And while I know it's not necessarily a bad thing that he's a rough and tumble boy instead of a lovey-dovey one, I still have to look inward at the quality of care (surroundings and encouragement, perhaps?) I provided and why he hasn't turned out like the others I've fostered. 
The sweet face after we get all the wiggles out.
Then as I was uploading pictures, it hit me. The boy has a wild hair. While it's not a wild hair up his b---, it's three wild hairs on top of his head. 
Wild hairs so long they can't fit in the picture!