It seemed like a good idea at the time. D’s 16-year-old cat died the summer we moved to Texas, and since then it’s been nearly three years of perfectly un-subtle hints about how she really, really, really, really, really wanted a kitten.
I’ve never had a kitten, and heck, they’re cute.
How hard could it possibly be?
“10 Things No One Told Me Before We Got a Kitten”
1. While weighing only 1.8 pounds, kittens come fully armed with 349 ninja knives tucked away at the end of their stubby little legs.
2. Kittens and great white sharks are first cousins. I know this to be true because you know how when a great white starts to chomp on a seal, a whole second set of razor-sharp teeth pops out of its mouth? Cash must have those.
3. Kittens are more inquisitive than the TSA after you make a bad bomb joke. Particular items of interest include light sockets, iPads, bathtubs, priceless Seminole baskets, clothes on hangers, anything with a dangly cord, the handmade ceramic bouncy kite sculpture lovingly carried home from Spain, the DVR, any cardboard box and Chase’s fluffy tail. These items are of much more interest than the 28 little fuzzy catnip mice, feathers on sticks and velvet rattle balls littering our floor.
4. There is a sign written in ink invisible to humans hanging from every small door, including the dishwasher door, the refrigerator door, the pots-and-pans cabinet door, the pantry door and the laundry room door. This sign reads, “Kittens Must Crawl Inside Here Immediately.”
5. To the kitten eye, human legs are indistinguishable from tree trunks and exist not for mobility, but only to be climbed.
6. Kittens can dart at approximately 186,282 miles per second, the speed of light. This allows them to teleport from an upside-down, total unconscious snooze to the middle of a bedroom door jamb just as you slam it closed.
7. Kittens are superheroes who can survive being closed in a bedroom door.
8. Kittens believe the concept of hypothermia to be just a vague, unproven rumor started by the old Columbia Sportswear lady to get rich. They spit upon this concept all the way into the freezer, where they cuddle up to a bag of baby lima beans while using a Boca Burger as a pillow.
9. Kittens like dog food better than kitten food. Dogs like kitten food better than dog food. And dogs definitely like litter-covered kitty poop more than dog food.
10. Dogs can indeed look at you balefully. (Here’s proof: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7iBaUleO0A) And that whole “I bet Chase will learn to love his new little brother” discussion was a ridiculous pile of rationalizing crap. But he will learn to tolerate him, particularly when he outgrows the attack phase. Can’t we all just get along?
So just when I’m at my (admittedly low) limit of tolerance for being attacked in my own home, what does Cash do? Crawls up on my chest, curls up in a little ball, purrs so loud I can’t hear the TV, licks my face and then falls asleep, his little black-and-silver striped fur ruffling in the breeze from the ceiling fan.
A friend who’s just one small step from being a cat lady told me that these little “mrrrowow”-ing balls of fur and pointy teeth and daggerlike claws are created so cute so we don’t kill them before they reach cathood.
Truer words, never spoken.
And there’s even hope for Big Brother, too: