When it comes to kittens it’s amazing how quickly they grow and learn. Izzie has gone through a multitude of stages in her short life. Some are just adorable while others are enough to make The Viking and I take refuge in the Bathroom and call 911.
The Tiny Baby Stage: I kind of liked this stage but I really should have just duct taped her to my neck. Or bought a larger bra and tucked her in because then it would be like the good old days when I could accomplish two-handed tasks.
She also stuck to everything. Her claws behaved like Velcro and the only vertical surface I couldn’t stick her to was the wall. She scaled the furniture, our bed, the kitchen chairs, bug screens, curtains and my legs like Spider Man but much more painfully.
She’s a Biter too, which made her nothing short of a very loud and prickly cactus. After several days we wrapped her in a towel and cut her claws back. It was either that or people would be calling Paramedics every time we left our house.
The ‘What was THAT?!’ Stage: Once she could stay awake longer than 15 minutes at a time she started exploring the house and got freaked out at every fucking thing! She was like a Mexican Jumping Bean except she stuck to everything. Someone would fart (definitely not me) and suddenly she was hanging from the end of the sofa, panting and wild eyed. A burp (once again, definitely not me) and she shot under the end table and looked like a dust bunny with enormous eyes.
The ‘I Should Eat That’ Stage: Once she learned something wasn’t going to eat her, she ate it. And I sacrificed fingers to dig whatever the hell she was chewing on out of her mouth.
The ‘I Can’t Play By Myself and I’m Bored’ Stage: Catnip meant nothing. Honeysuckle meant nothing. The only thing that did mean something was the stupid telescopic fishing rod that Jackson Galaxy endorsed. The day the telescope broke was brutal; I was banging on the door of Petland at 9:00 the next morning, covered with lacerations. When she wasn’t sleeping or chasing the caterpillar-like thing, she was biting. Hard. Shark bite hard! She would walk toward us, looking cute and innocent, and suddenly dart in, take a chunk of flesh and flee! We didn’t stand a chance against that kind of speed!
Me: Dinner’s almost ready, Babe.
The Viking: Smells good.
Me: Have you seen Izzie?
The Viking: No….OW!! FUCK!
Me: Never mind.
Me: I’m going to bed. I’m pooped.
The Viking: OK, I’ll be in soon.
Me: Maybe I should play with…..OW!! FUCK!!
Me (walking down the hallway): OW!! FUCK!!
The Viking (reading his book on the sofa): Oh. Hey Izzie. Whatcha do……OW!! FUCK!!
Me (working in the office): OW!! FUCK!!
The Viking (talking on the phone): I can get an after-market exhaust that’s probably cheaper and OW!!! FUCK!! Sorry! We have a kitten and she’s a biter.
I completely understand that this is how kittens play with each other. One dashes in, bites another then runs away while the Bite-ee gives chase and a wrestling match ensues. But we aren’t litter mates. So we enacted a Zero Tolerance Biting Policy in which the Biter spends time in her kennel. But that is completely dependent on whether we can catch her or not. Mostly not. On the rare occasions we do catch her, she has plenty to say from her kennel:
Eeeee-YAwwwww. Wuoooooooaaahhhh. KAW! KAW!! Mmmmeeee. Aaaaahheeeee. WAH! YEOW!! Mewwww. Wah? Awwwww. Eeeeeee-yaaaa. Weeeee. Wooooo. YEWAH!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Wuooah.
For 45 fucking minutes because we can’t let her out until she stops bellowing threats and calling us names or there will be no living with her! The worst part is that we know why she’s biting us – she wants to play but we don’t/can’t. She needs to learn how to amuse herself. Unfortunately, it’s not going well at the moment.
Last night was an epic battle that included the generous application of water from the spray bottle, 3 destroyed rolls of bathroom tissue, 4 assaults on the Poodle Tree, 2 attempted bitings and climbing the blinds. It ended with her locked in her kennel bellowing threats of violence and calling us names as usual. How can a kitten know so many curses?
The ‘My Litter Box is the BEST Place to Play’ Stage: So far, this is the longest stage because we are walking a fine line between pooping and playing. I suspect that this is a manipulation to get us to play with her again, after we’ve played with her for 3 straight hours already.
The ‘I Refuse To Chase The Caterpillar Anymore So Now You Have To Hide It Behind Things So I Can Hunt It’ Stage: This is a ridiculous stage because stalking is not a high energy activity, even when it includes a giant Tiger. She does like to be chased though (which is a high energy activity), but we’re getting a little old; I run like Golem because my gimpy left foot flops, and The Viking looks great running but stamina is not what it used to be. She’s also figured out the red dot and refuses to chase it, it’s more of a reluctant trot and I can almost hear her say “Lame!” and roll her eyes.
However, there has been an odd development. She likes to dive off of her cat tree, head first into plastic shopping bags. It’s the craziest thing! She will jump from the highest perch while I/The Viking hold the bag open. She goes in head first, flips over and starts to purr. She chews on her tail and tries to kill my finger poking the outside of the bag.
The ‘I think I love the shower/toilet’ Stage: It started innocently enough with her poking her head around the shower curtain and watching The Viking shower. This didn’t seem to bother him at all. She progressed quickly to playing in the water in the bottom of the shower and then to watching The Viking pee. Once again, he didn’t seem to mind the intense scrutiny of his personal parts.
On the other hand, her attempt at watching me pee turned into a bit of a wrestling match. She is now racing me to the toilet. I sat on her this morning because she raced in and was on the toilet seat behind me just nano seconds before my ass connected with the toilet seat. I never even saw her come in the room. Soft fur on your ass isn’t as wonderful as it sounds.
And the toilet has become a fountain of fun. She spends a significant amount of time splashing around in the water and then making footprints throughout the house. On the one hand we know exactly where she’s been, while on the other hand, we are slightly confused how she managed to get kitty prints on the TV. This is sort of a moot point now because she can’t be trusted with toilet paper so the bathroom door is now closed all the time.
The Fiend Stage: My previous cat was the most gentle and patient of cats. Izzie is the exact opposite. She goes from cute and cuddly kitten to an evil succubus with teeth and claws in 1.6 seconds. She’s not vindictive….just cranky and she’s only 4 months old!
She doesn’t give a shit that she’s not allowed on the kitchen table/counter tops. In fact, she walks across the table while The Viking and I are sitting there having a coffee and chatting! She’s just on a stroll, absolutely nothing to worry about. I slapped the table and hollered at her but that only earned me one quick step and back to the stroll as she headed back down the table. I think she rolled her eyes at me again as she went past. I hope this doesn’t become a thing. Mim currently holds the World’s Record for The Strongest Eye Roll when she accidentally knocked herself to the floor because the centrifugal force of the roll got out of hand. Another eye-roller is definitely not what I need at the moment.
Don’t get me wrong, we love Izzie to pieces but she’s a handful. I may not have thought this through before I started getting soft in the head for another cat. I can’t even blame The Viking for it because he’s never raised a kitten before. For better or worse though, she’s part of the family and it isn’t a chore for the faint of heart. I’ll put up a ‘Beware of Cat’ sign in the window which everyone will think is cute but in fact they should be very afraid. Stepping through the back door could be a rodeo or you might catch her on a good day when she turns on the charm. It’s a crap shoot, basically.