Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kitten Pause

The other day I was laying down and Bonnie was laying close next to me, staring into my eyes. I winked at her, keeping my right eye closed. Her gaze shifted to my left eye. I closed my left and opened my right. I saw her eyes again focus on the open eye. How do cats (or people or anyone) know that the eyes are the window to the soul?

Clyde loves the refrigerator! Wherever he is, when I open the fridge door he comes running into the kitchen, sliding under the open door as if sliding into home base. He hops up into the refrigerator before I even see what's going on. We haven't shut him in, yet, but there have been many times when I'd normally just let the door close on its own and I realize there's a curious kitten inside!

Jon gets up earlier than I do, so he lets the cats in before I'm out of bed. They clamber up the side of the bed (it's still quite a climb for them) and race toward me as if their night of no lovin's has left them in serious need. Still trying to sleep, I reach out one hand to subdue the masses and otherwise lay still. The kittens decide--eh, who needs lovin's, let's play!--and the covers (with me under them) becomes a playground/boxing ring as they roll around. Inevitably, I start to wake up...just as they start to fall asleep...which puts me back to sleep. It's led to me getting up late several days in a row now. This morning they were both cuddled up right next to me, purring in sync with each other. Who wants to get up and face the world when purring kitties is the alternative??

I am not used to having cuddlebugs for pets. I've never had a cat who would sit in my lap, and it was a rare day when one would lay next to me on the bed. So having these little cuddlers has been so much fun...and brought some problems as well. Things I've learned regarding lap cats:
  1. If you think you might need that hand at some point in the next hour or so, don't let them lay their head on it.
  2. If you think you might need an item that is not within arm's reach, be sure and gather it to you before the cat finds your lap.
  3. If you need to get up and be productive, do NOT let the cat cuddle. This will only result in unproductivity for the next hour.
  4. Sometimes a cat is content enough that you can adjust them so you're more comfortable, but there's a risk it will wake them up enough to realize they have other things they want to do.
  5. Cuddle cats are good during nap time, but hard during the night, when they manage to find the very part of you that you were about to move (leg, arm, etc.) and sit right on it...for the next 20 minutes.
As a mother to kittens, here are things I listen for:
  1. Silence. I immediately pick up on the calm before the storm. Either they're asleep, which is fine, or they've just discovered something new (an open toilet could be a possibility) and are about to explore further.
  2. Chewing. Kittens are like babies: they're so close to the ground they find all the things you never knew were there. This could be paper bits or a bug, which is generally okay, or it could be plastic, a rubberband, or an electric cord. Either way, it's best to distract the kitten and take away the item of interest immediately.
  3. Water. The cats drinking water sounds a lot like peeing to me, for some reason, and I start every time I hear it. I'm getting more used to it, but I'm always on the alert for a kitten who has forgotten her way to the litterbox. Thankfully, these two have had no accidents, so I think I can rest easy.
  4. Scratching. Not acceptable except on the scratching post or cardboard scratchers. I have caught myself yelling out, "NO!" only to realize they were scratching on an approved item, so I try to identify where they're scratching before coming out with water bottle spraying.
  5. Purring. Ah...the sweet life of owning a cat. There's nothing more rewarding than a purring cat. Of course, Bonnie starts purring just because you look at her, and Clyde purrs the minute you pick him up, so it doesn't take much with these two!
Have I made you want a kitty, yet?


  1. Nope, I don't want a kitty, but I'll live vicariously through you! And I can't wait to meet your kittens.

    I remember when Bailey was a lap-kitten and would sleep with us and stuff. Something just went wrong with that cat. Hopefully your kitties will stay loving into their adulthood... maybe they will especially since they have each other.

  2. Why, yes, I'll take one kitten to go please. One with a big, loud purrerr too! =)