The Trouble With A Kitten Is That

Eventually it becomes a cat. -Ogden Nash

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Trixie Minx, kitten from Hell. Photo by author

I think Ogden Nash may actually have gotten this backward.

I have a wonderful, snuggly, purring, soft, calm cat. I also have a crazy kitten from Hell. She and her type must be where the name Hell Cat originates.

Quila, my love cat, sleeps with me all night, cuddled next to me or between my legs (yes, I know that’s one reason I’m single). She gently wakes me at a decent hour, by purring next to my ear.

Trixie Minx, the kitten, sleeps wherever the hell she wants, including under my covers. She slips and scrambles under the blanket and sheet, and proceeds to give me a few little bites on my ass or leg to let me know she’s there, in case I hadn’t noticed.

In the very early morning, or sometimes the middle of the night, she decides it’s time for either Quila and I, or both, to play. She skitters out from under the covers and pounces on Quila. Quila resists as long as possible, then they begin an all-out wrestling match on top of the bed. Sometimes on top of me.

If I ignore the chaos until they take their play fighting elsewhere, I can usually get back to sleep. Until Trixie Minx decides to do her Tigger impression.

Remember the Tigger song from Winnie the Pooh? “The wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things. Their legs are made out of rubber, their feet are made out of springs.”

She launches herself from somewhere, lands in the middle of whatever part of me presents itself to her, and bounces immediately off and onto the bed or floor. A couple or three of those, and sleep is completely illusive. Besides, If I still don’t get up, she sticks her nose in my ear and sniffs, loudly and over and over. It’s very different from Quila’s sweet purring, and so memorable that I dreamed she was doing it when I was sound asleep in a hotel in Italy, and woke up convinced a rat was sniffing my ear.

But of course, that doesn’t really make her a kitten from Hell. After all, how much damage can a three or four pound kitten do? I’ll tell you how much. A hell of a lot.

Here is a picture of my dining room. Yes, it’s a kitten and cat heaven. Except my sweet Quila never turned it into a cat tree. Trixie Minx, on the other hand, climbed the ladder, got on top of the cupboard, knocked off and shattered a vase from there, which knocked off the large pottery bowl full of flowers. The sound was like someone throwing boulders, and the floor was covered in vase slivers and fake sunflowers. Fortunately, the pottery is actually fiberglass. Otherwise I might have just packed up and moved. But with her sniffing abilities, she would probably just find me.

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Photo by author. Trixie Minx contemplating mischief

As I type, Quila is calmly watching my fingers on the keys. The kitten, on the other hand, pounces blithely on and off the computer. She does this in order to bring me her ball, which she then waits for me to throw, then launches herself off my desk, scattering papers and books to the floor. This goes on for most of the time I’m writing. Me clacking away on the keyboard seems to be her signal to ramp up the play.

She taught herself and me how to play fetch.

She was sitting next to me on the couch with her ball in her mouth. When she let it go, I tossed it and went back to watching T.V. When I looked down again, there she was, pushing the ball toward me with her paw. Adorable, you say? Of course it is. But then you aren’t the one throwing a ball all day and evening long. Or, after she loses her balls, it can be wadded up paper or napkins out of the trash, stray receipts, sticks (probably from the overturned fake flowers. She doesn’t go outside.), Q-tips, my contour brush, and anything else she can get her little baby teeth around.

One night recently, after I was in bed and almost asleep, she was playing with something in the bed. I told her several times to stop and go to sleep, which, if you are a cat person, you know isn’t effective at all. Finally, she crawled over me where I lay on my side, and pushed her ball into my hand to play fetch. At 12:30 a.m. No, I didn’t do it. I’m really not a full-blown crazy cat lady.

The trouble with a cat is that, it has to start out being a kitten. Ogden Nash rhymes better, but this is a lot closer to the truth. Luckily kittenhood only lasts about a year. In the meantime, she brings a lot of life to this place, and keeps Quila active and curious. She is giving me all new lessons in multitasking. And playing fetch interminably. I had two dogs who never played fetch. Good dogs.

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Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist. Leans Left. Mindfulness practioner before it was cool. M.Ed., LPC.

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