Tag Archives: kittens

Furbabies

On the kittens’ first or second night here, I was a little wound up. I tried to identify the feeling – that sense of stress and weight was vaguely familiar. I didn’t like to admit it, but it was a milder version of the way you feel when you bring the new baby home, plus a little sense of put-upon-ness that now I was responsible for two more lives, in a way that I hadn’t really mentally prepared for because when assembling the feeding dishes and cat litter and various objects that we’d need, I had forgotten to account for that.

Two children bending heads over a cat on one of their laps

We‘ll do everything, the kids said. We’ll empty the litter tray. We’ll feed them. No, I said; you say that now, but I’ll be the one in the house with them all day. I’ll end up doing it. As I raked the litter tray for about the seventh time on that first day I thought of it again, a tad resentfully. Then I went and ordered a bigger tray from Amazon, because I already felt confident in knowing more about the sort of thing we needed. Higher sides because they like to power-drill down in the litter. More space because they’re not teeny weeny kittens, they’re more like demi-cats.

The first two nights, we put them back in the carrier and closed them into the larger cage (with food and water and the small litter tray) to sleep. I thought they’d want to get out, that they’d wake up multiple times, like babies, and yowl. They didn’t. They were cosily snuggled up together when we came down in the morning.

On the third night they were hard to catch to put away, so we left them out. They were fine. Nothing went bump in the night. I woke up a few times, alert, waiting. But nothing happened. They’re not babies after all.

Two cats snuggled up together on a chair

Catswirl

I put them back in their carrier and took them to the vet yesterday, for their introductory checkup. I put the carrier on the front seat turned sidways so they could see me, and strapped it in with the seatbelt. I felt a little silly, but I didn’t want them to freak out, and I felt sorry for them because every other time they’ve gone somewhere in a cat carrier they’ve arrived at a new home. They had no way of knowing that this time they’d be coming back here in an hour or two, that I wasn’t just passing them on.

Sometimes I ascribe human emotions to animals. I probably shouldn’t do that so much.

As I pulled out of the driveway, trying to minimize bumps and take corners gently, I was irresistibly reminded of coming home from the hospital with newborn baby Dash, in deepest Texas, when B said he drove more carefully than he ever had before.

Here I am, adulting, I thought. Now we have a vet, as well as a pediatrician and a dentist and an orthodontist and an ophthalmologist and a dermatologist and a pediatric dermatologist and a psychologist and a chiropractor. (And we’re very healthy people.)

Cat stretching out one paw

Reaching out

Now the kittens start to purr when I walk into the room. It’s like the baby smiling at you and making it all worthwhile. I felt an undeniable mini-glow of pride in the vet’s waiting room, when other pet-owners admired them and said how good they were and I agreed. I rooted for them to do well in their physical exam, and flinched when they got their shots, and snuggled them and talked to them as we drove home, back to the home that is theirs now, with the people who are theirs now.

They’re finding the places they like to hang out. They don’t hide under the sofa much any more. You’ll find them on the stairs, one on the top step and one halfway down looking through the bannister. On the IKEA chair in the sun. On the soft brown blanket on our bed. In the corner of the front-room sofa. Not, ever, in the cat bed or the box I prepared for them, of course. I knew that would happen. We’ve had them less than a week, but it feels right to have them here.

I have furbabies now. At least I don’t have to take them with me to the supermarket, though.

Animal house

We have kittens now. I’m going to have to update my About page.

Apparently this is what bloggers do when their kids get too old to blog about. I’ve already put one of the kittens in my Facebook profile pic. From now on you’ll only see my children in photos if they’re accompanied by cats.

They’re settling in quite nicely. They’ve certainly made themselves at home on the IKEA furniture.

They were a bit confused when everyone except me disappeared on Monday morning, but they got over it.

They enjoy boxes, pens, human fingers, and peeing fifteen times a day. They like to meow pitifully for no apparent reason even when they have plenty of food and water and snuggles and I’ve just raked the litter to the perfection of one of those zen sand gardens. They have sharp little claws that get hung up on everything (scratching post coming ASAP). They do full-body purrs as soon as you pick them up, and they fight like my children but then happily cuddle up together at night.

One of them is on my lap right now, biting my elbow and popping up every five seconds to see if he can help with the blogging. He’s very helpful.

In other news

Well, it’s been what, ten days? So obviously we’re all used to the new world order now and we’ll stop whining because our guy (girl) didn’t win and we’ll just go home quietly and go about our business.

Or we’ll keep calling our representatives and writing postcards and planning marches and keeping the channels of actual facts (not alternative ones) open, but we’ll also talk about the same old stuff because that’s the new normal and we’ll be here for as long as it takes.

So in other news that its not fake, Mabel and I took a trip to the county animal shelter last Saturday. We’d been down to the local shelter a few times since announcing the big cat decision, but while they have several adult cats and four (four!) bunnies right now, they don’t have any kittens. I know that the kitten stage is very brief compared to the cat stage, but I think we should get to have it. And I feel like they’ll be more ours if they start out with us. So off we went to the bigger shelter that’s about half an hour away instead of just down the road, and lo, they did in fact have kittens.

The place was buzzing with visitors, and one of the three littermate kittens we found there already had two applications, so I will admit that I did feel a little under pressure to act swiftly lest we lose out; but on the other hand, here were two perfectly dotey kittens and what else was I waiting for? We filled out an application and left it in the lap of the gods. (That is, the well-organized office system, I suppose.)

Have you ever stopped to appreciate the smoothness of your gums? I bet you haven’t. But if you ever have occasion to spend two weeks with stitches in your gums, you’ll really enjoy the feeling of unfettered tongue-running-over when they’re removed. Just by the by.

So then on Tuesday after school we went out there again for Dash to meet the kittens (a requirement of the adoption process is that all the kids in the house interact with the animals) and today they called me to say we can pick them up on Saturday. We have a big dog crate all ready for them so that they can be safely confined in the living space and get used to the environment before they get free rein. (This was a suggestion in the cat book I got from the library – it seemed like a better idea than shutting them into the spare room where nobody ever goes or the basement that’s full of junk.)

The kids fought over who got to clean the base of the borrowed crate once we set it up, and then they argued again over who would get to clean out the litter box first. I think I should have recorded that one. They are really, really excited about this.