Do you realise it’s well over ten days since I updated you about our kittens!
The most important thing I’ve (re)learned, (well I did have cats before), to paraphrase the tagline from Field of Dreams is …
If you clean it, they will come.
I’m referring to their litter tray of course. They are prodigious poo-ers as I said before, and are costing us a fortune in cat litter.
They’ll be going for their second set of jabs and micro-chipping next week, and we have to keep them in for a further week after that for the jabs to do their work. Then we’ll be buying kitten harnesses and my daughter will show them the garden in a controlled way for a bit, before we work out the next steps.
If you leave it out, they’ll eat/lick/bite/sit on it.
Yes – they like to help with washing up! Buttery knives from my breakfast toast or this lunchtime’s bowl with basil and tomato pasta sauce residues get licked clean. A bread crust left in the little bowl where I leave used teabags for the composting bin got eaten too. They did try a teabag, but learned their lesson there! A plastic straw also got well-chewed. Their favourite found things though are the scrunched up brown paper that comes as filler in parcels, and florist’s raffia which I was saving.
Here is Harry – actually in flop mode with his front legs over the edge of the sofa. He is the sweetest little thing, very purry and cuddly, and although not a long cat he has broadened out, having been very tiny when we got him. He has a lovely spotty tum and is quite amenable to having it tickled (unlike Ginny, who will bite rather than have her tum stroked). Ginny is going to be a long thin cat, and obviously has a little bit of an oriental shorthair cat in her due to her head shape and nose-break when you look at her in profile.
The final thing I’ve learned is:
Cats like the high ground
In general, shoulders are better than laps, the back of my reading chair is a great pouncing/leaping position (Ginny), curtains are for climbing (Harry, although he’s not made it far up yet before being removed), and sneaking upstairs and running along the bannister is fun (Ginny).
The only exception to the height being good rule is that beds – if you can get into a bedroom, are for hiding under!
Our bedrooms are strictly verboten, as it turns out that Juliet is slightly allergic to the kittens. She wasn’t allergic at all to our old cats, but with the kittens, she does get a bit wheezy after a lot of exposure. Keeping her bedroom kitten-free and having an inhaler and piriton to hand is sorting it out largely, plus a lot more vacuuming/cleaning than I’m used to! It appears that a lot of people are more allergic to kittens than cats – ongoing exposure can lead to desensitisation, and of course they’re 100% indoors at the mo. Also it may have been triggered because we had a six year gap between having cats. So cross your fingers for us on that front – any advice that doesn’t involve getting rid of carpets etc (can’t afford it) will be appreciated.
I’ll be back with another kitten update in a couple of weeks after they’ve had their first outside experiences.