Kitten Taming 101 continues, and produces its first graduate! Eldert, as the orange tabby kitten was known, has been adopted! He is the first of the bunch to go to a new home, where he will live with two lady cats. I am hoping that at least 2 of the remaining kittens will be adopted out together but I have to admit, if we separate them they are more likely to tame properly.
Eldert was tough at first, growling up a storm and being a spitting, hissing jerk all day long. But once we put him in a cage by himself, within the week he was purring and rubbing his head against my hand. The separation, though tough at first, revealed to him that humans were okay after all. He has become one of the tamest kittens, certainly the tamest of the original bunch who seemed like such hard cases before. He still has some adjustments to make, but I think in a new environment, with loving humans and tame cats to model good behavior, he will figure things out quickly.
Meanwhile the remaining semi-ferals continue their progress, at various levels of success. Elvis, another hard case form Day 1, has made great strides in the past weeks, enjoying petting and allowing us to pick him up and hold him. He still hisses a little too easily but he's pretty much tamed.
Elke, on the other hand, who had been 2nd in terms of tameness, has regressed of late, and will need some extra attention (and possibly separation). She will come for food but doesn't want to be touched lately. It blows my mind, but I have to admit that Elvis is tamer than Elke right now! But I suspect she is just too smart for her own good, having realized that she doesn't have to 'play nice' to get fed.
Bringing up the rear is Elmer, who first seemed easily tamed, but took a sharp turn into sour-puss land. He's been living separate in his own cage for a while now, and is making baby-steps progress, but growling is still a daily occurrence.
Of course we have two other kittens, Elsa and Friday as she is now known. I don't include them in the ranking because they are already so tame they would throw off the curve. They were significantly younger than the others which is probably why they tamed up so fast. They provide the valuable service of showing the others how tame kittens get more fun and more treats. It seems to be working, if a little bit slowly.
Here's some video of the whole crew (sans Elmer) showing their new trick: taking food from my hands: