Facebook tells me it’s been a year since I confessed my kitten ignorance.
I’ve apparently learned nothing at all this year, so I will now update you on my ginger jerkwads via this listicle; professional journalism aspirations be damned.
1. Anybody who says “Love takes time” has never met a cat. You wanna know what takes time? Seething hatred. Mild disinterest from a kitten turns into utter contempt and disdain before they even figure out how doors work.
I have tried everything. I tried treats. I tried slow blinking, which is a thing, apparently. I tried ignoring them. Nothing works.
They don’t just hate me in solitude—I mean, they’re never affectionate or anything when we’re alone, but they also usually don’t cower if I happen to breathe loudly—but they really like to make a spectacle of their hatred for me when other people are around. Play it up for the crowd.
If a guest is visiting and I so much as bend over to tie my shoe in the cats’ general vicinity, they get big-eyed, cower, and then scamper off. You’d think I was history’s greatest monster or that I regularly pee in the catnip (it *is* true that I once peed in my cat’s water dish, but I was 1) sleepwalking, and 2) six).
2. Very small changes in the household can lead to devastating consequences. Once, we changed the location of a litter box in order to be more in line with what experts recommend. I came home that night around 3am and climbed into bed next to my snoring boyfriend. All of a sudden, we hear an altercation. At first I thought it was of the human, not feline, variety and that a drunk girl was in our house and yelling at her boyfriend. Then slowly, it dawned on me that probably wasn’t right (I mean, never underestimate drunks in a college town, but still). My boyfriend woke up, and we realized: some shit is going down with the cats. We grabbed a flashlight, and in the beam, this is what we saw:
Cosmo, pooping in the litter box. Clementine, trying to get into the litter box. Both of them freaked out by the presence of the other one, backs arched, fat tails, hissing and yowling away. Poor Clementine, apparently lacking the muscle control to yowl, arch her back, and contain her bowels all at once, is leaking poop. Suddenly, she backs up, stepping in her mess with her back legs, then turns, stepping in it again with one of her front legs. My boyfriend and I, realizing what was about to happen, start whisper-yelling “No, no, no, it’s okay! You’re okay! You’re okay——argh.”
And then she ran through the dining room and most of the kitchen with her poopy feet before I could catch her.
Somebody had to give her a bath after that, and that somebody was me.
Now you understand, right? Because the week before, I had to do the same thing with Cosmo when SOMEBODY left the toilet seat open and didn’t flush.
3. Cats really do have nine lives. Cosmo is on his fifth.
The first day we took down the door to the basement, Cosmo got stuck in the ceiling tiles. He smelled like insulation for days.
4. Cats can survive a week without eating, at least.
I know this through no fault of my own. When my s/o travels for work, the cats come to me for their food. They climb under my bed and make a racket until I get up. They stare at me while I prepare their food. I set it down on the floor. They sniff at it, cock their heads, look at me, then put their tails in the air and saunter away. When I come home, the food hasn’t been touched. I think, “Oh, give them long enough— they’ll get over being hungry.” So far, this thinking has proved wrong nine days in a row. They’ll eat the dry food I haven’t touched, but not wet food prepared by me.
5. The instinct to hunt is stronger than the instinct to eat.
In case you’re thinking, “Oh, maybe the cats supplement their diet with a nice tasty mouse,” nope. Whenever they catch mice, they won’t deign to kill it. They just carry it around in their mouths, squeaking in terror.
Wanna know how I know they are faking their fear for me?
Whenever a mousetrap catches the mouse before they do, they carry the mouse, trap and all, to my side of the bed.
They also enjoy hunting, and refusing to kill, bugs. They are most fascinated with bugs outside the house instead of inside the house.
They are also convinced they can catch bird shadows.
6. Cats, like kittens, also enjoy pooping for an audience. Their optimal pooping time-frame is the half-second it takes you to stand up after cleaning the litter box for them.
7. Cats make me appreciate my
boyfriend fiance more, and not just because he is willing to show me affection while they aren’t. He’s also considerate of the cats and gentle with them and observant about what they like and want, and all around really pretty wonderful. If he wants to let furry sociopaths live with us, he can.
8. The best cat is a sleeping cat.
9. Nevermind about number 2; cats actually adapt reasonably well. They are slowly getting along with the downstairs kitten and the brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s cat.
10. No cat will ever replace a dog. So we’re getting a puppy after we move into our new house.
11. All cats are into boxes. The internet tells no lies.