Now that we have had kittens in the house for, oh, nearly three weeks, I am a Kitten Expert and what could be more natural than sharing my easily won knowledge with the internets? After all, someone considering acquiring a kitten might stray here. Possibly. If you are that person, this is all you need to know about kittens:
- Although you have been planning on getting kittens for a month or so, you will have failed to prepare properly for their arrival. The hours you spent reading websites which explain How to Introduce Kittens to a Resident Cat (which is the cat who already lives in your home, blissfully ignorant that his world is about to be shattered, his food stolen from under his nose and his favourite lounging spots occupied) will be wasted because (a) your house is not designed for the correct Introduction of Kittens and (b) being an idiot, you will muff it immediately anyway.
- You will endure sleepless nights worrying about traffic, wolves and fragile kitten bodies and you will cycle miles to the expensive supermarket you never usually visit because it sells special kitten food. Which your kittens will mainly ignore in favour of the cheap cat food your Resident Cat receives.
- When you have kittens, you’ll never have to bother about cleaning the house ever again, because the horrible noisy hoover will scare them out of their tiny minds. (No need to mention dusters and mops here.) And so we all gently subside into layer upon layer of dust and dead leaves. Probably fur as well. Probably a lot of fur.
- Don’t buy the cheap cat litter because it doesn’t smell very nice.
- Magnets are drawn to metal by an irresistible force. That same irresistible force acts on the paw of a kitten, drawing it to computer keys. Kittens cannot stop themselves from stomping on keyboards, best to just give up and wait until they’ve gone out into the garden.
- In fact, there’s not much they can stop themselves from stomping on.
- You will never again be able to finish anything requiring more than 30 seconds’ sustained attention, either because of kitten stomping or because – oh look at that sweet thing she’s doing!
- Not many people know this, certainly Freud didn’t, but kittens are physical representations of the Id, and go round helpfully destroying all those pot plants and ornaments you have been secretly loathing for years. Hurrah!
- Friends will start avoiding you as you bore on about the Cute Things your Kittens Do and obsess about threats to their safety (next-door neighbour’s dogs? cars? rare diseases?).
- (Whisper it.) Five-month-old kittens are much sweeter than five-month-old humans. They can do more fun stuff too, like climbing up curtains, jumping great distances and chewing other people.
Mister Puss news
After about ten days of Dignified Withdrawal/Sulking (depending on how you like to frame it), during which he sat outside our landlord’s barn door and ate eighty times his own body weight in emerging rats, Mister Puss was driven indoors for the first time by a mighty thunderstorm. As Hamlet appeared to Ophelia, pale, piteous and down-gyvéd, as if looséd out of hell, so appeared Mister Puss to me in our kitchen that evening, soggy and wild-eyed and cross because his dish of food, which is kept outdoors since his refusal to set paw indoors, was wet with rain and inedible.
Then he started hanging round his old haunt, our afdak (which is a humble sort of verandah), rather more and sunning himself on our manky old garden chairs. This hasn’t been wholly successful: the kittens interpret his Stony Stares of Hate as invitations to creep closer and – horrors! – play with his tail! Whereupon he hisses with rage and – runs off. But Clara and Sootica are relentlessly curious and friendly, they don’t even seem daunted when he gives them a slap round the face (seriously – could you slap this?:
Then last night there was a very loud party which lasted until about two in the morning, and Mister Puss not only came indoors again but slept all night on our bed. Things are looking up! Maybe!