Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What I know about kittens (will probably do me no good when she's a cat in 20 to 30 weeks)

So …

We now live with a cat.

Strike that. KITTEN.

Ittybit is emphatic I call it a “K-I-T-T-E-U-S-J-I-N, or however you spell it.”

And because I know some of you (especially those lovely and articulate readers, who took the time to send their amazingly helpful advice about cat kitten husbandry) are interested to know how we’re all making out with the new resident, I’ve compiled an annotated list of my new understanding of the “Felion” persuasion:

As directed by the shelter, we positioned Ariel’s food bowls and litter box in a “safe room,” which was explained as a room that the kitten could roam and leave at will but that the dog couldn’t access.

Now this may be a little indelicate, but I really don’t know how the kitten managed to get her pee and poo into the litter box seeing as how her privacy was limited to inner thought while Ittybit carried her around the room the whole time using creative holds that contorted the poor animal into uncomfortable looking positions. The fact that she never once tried to wriggle away or scratch the three-and-a-half-foot tormentor is a testament to her temperament and key to my first observation: Kittens are weird.

Now this temperament thing may or may not be related to my second observation: This kitten seems to be a little dog-like. Not only did she come when called, she also tends to roll on her recently spayed belly to have it rubbed. The weirdest part was when she did this to the dog. As Maddy chased her around the house once she’d ventured out of her safe zone, instead of booking it to the Switzerland that is my office, she flopped on her back and surrendered.

My third observation has to be related to her age – 16 weeks – or her walnut-sized brain: Kittens are unable to stop forward momentum. All I’m saying about this finding is “Thank heavens for widow screens.”

The fourth observation, which should be filed away in the "Be Careful of What You Wish For" category: Kittens are the most vampire-like of all household pets. Nocturnal schmockturnal. We know this because Ittybit was insistent on letting the cat sleep in her room, and, after giving the kitty the grand tour of toys, expected the little fuzz butt to settle down and sleep. She did not, however, expect to be attacked under the covers by a tiny fur ball hunting imaginary vermin in the great snowy plain of an oversized summer duvet cover. The little miss was somewhat dismayed by the fact that once invited her little monster wouldn’t leave until banished behind a closed door.

I can honestly say, at that point, I worried about the honeymoon being over.

All was forgiven though when Ittybit woke up in the morning and was met at the top of the stairs by her kitten of the undead, still wide awake and ready for action but now looking a little worse for wear as her entire head had been slobbered in dog-drool love.

Which lead me to another realization about the so-called cat and dog relationship.

In just 24-hours Maddy has gone from being a dog’s dog to a cat’s dog. Not only did she drool copious amounts of slimy, sloppy love onto the feline’s head, but she also herded off a visiting dog whose intentions toward her new kitten were unclear.

Of course when Ariel sat still so ittybit could dry her off with a towel, the only thing I really need to know about cats I learned on day one: Kittens are weird.


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