So you got yourself a kitten, did you? We got ours courtesy of a barn cat on a local horse farm who had a litter of little purring delights. He came with the name Niko, and when he was old enough to leave his mother, we took him to our veterinarian for his first once-over. The vet had a barrage of questions as she checked him out.
Was Niko eating? (yes) Drinking? (yes) Pooping in his litterbox? (thankfully, yes)
How did he get along with our older cat? (she ignores him)
Were we feeding him kitten food? (yes)
Did we want him neutered? (of course)
She gave him a clean bill of health, set up a vaccination schedule, and handed me my New Kitten Kit, courtesy of some big name pet food manufacturer.
It came with tons of coupons and a list of all kinds of tips, most of which we knew having already owned a cat for many years.
Our older cat came to us fully grown, however. Apparently, kittens are a whole different type of cat.
A playful, sneaky, sabotaging, chaotic, nocturnal-to-the-point-of-madness type of cat. Perhaps you are new to this kitten thing, as I was. Allow me to put together some pointers for you that the pet food manufacturer apparently forgot to include in their kitten pack:
1. As a new kitten owner, you should make every effort you can to not move in your sleep. You may want to seek medical assistance with this, since the slightest wiggle beneath a sheet will invite pouncing. This will lead to the neighbors believing that you are being murdered in your bed when you take a flying kitten to the face at 3am.
2. You will need to send your laundry out for cleaning. Any pile of warm laundry will be designated a kitty haven and no longer your property. In addition, it may become a secret fortress, in which said kitten will hide and from which said kitten will leap as you carry the laundry basket up the stairs, causing you to throw laundry into two different rooms as you flail wildly and slam your head into a bannister.
3. Kittens can run at approximately 78 miles per hour. Sideways.
4. All food is potential kitten food. Unlike your older cat, who knows what is food and what is not-food (and will not be bothered to expend any energy for known not-food items), a kitten has yet to form those experiences. Therefore, all things humanly edible fall into two categories:
To Be Eaten
My kitten has stuck his entire little fuzzy-wuzzy head into my glass of iced tea (with Splenda!) and lapped cheerfully away. He's walked across a slice of cake and happily slurped frosting off his paws. He's licked a Cheezit till it was soggy enough to roll in, thereby making it food and a toy. He's also played with a Fruit Loop on the kitchen floor all night long. ALL NIGHT LONG.
5. You might want to start a good workout plan, because let me tell you, your butt is now a target for any kitten lurking on the back of a couch, waiting for you to pass by. Just wait till you've taken 5 tiny claws to each cheek while precariously balancing a Diet Coke and a bowl of popcorn. And the worst part is, you can't immediately sit down because the kitten hangs on.
6. Just when you are ready to sell him for medical experimentation, your kitten will fall asleep, rendering into a puddle of warm, gooey awww-ness. The little bugger.
Welcome to the wonderful world of kitten ownership!!