Day 36 – Kitty kats

Today was another so-so day. Not wonderful, far from terrible. I realized earlier this evening that though I’d been writing posts and submitting them via my phone, I’d saved most of them as “draft” and thus they would never show up here on the actual blog. What can I say? I didn’t find or search any specific directions for the WP client on my phone. I think I prefer to learn on my own, by doing. But I think I am getting the hang of it.
OK. I do know something I’d like to write about. I have two cats whom I adore. The older one is slightly chunky, and very docile, relaxed. The younger, smaller one is the complete opposite. I am someone who takes my responsibility as their caregiver very seriously. The only thing that will separate us permanently is death or an Act of God (natural disaster, etc.). So getting rid of my girls is not and never will be an option.
The younger one has boundless energy. I engage her at least once per day by throwing an entire deck of playing cards (she likes to catch them, and sometimes brings them back to me), their soft toys, and Da Bird (link to come). But this little pest really, really gets on my last nerve and makes me lose my cool. I have to get her (read: chase her down) and put her in the bedroom, away from myself and the other cat, since that’s the only space with a door that I have (besides the bathroom, and it’s too small and I’d never shut my cats in there unless I was in the process of moving or something similar). Sometimes she’ll remain in there for 10 minutes, sometimes for 2-3 hours. This is appalling to me, and it breaks my heart. I even have to shut both cats out of my room at night because the younger one is so rambunctious: plays with the blinds, wants to chew on cords, climbs on everything. Now she does settle down after a time, but when I go to bed, I can’t wait for an hour or so before she does. I need sleep. But it breaks my heart that we don’t have that time together. Sleeping at night in my room is something I know they like.
So, without listing every single thing the little one gets into and does, and given that getting rid of her is not an option, I still want to cry. I love my girls with all my heart. The older one is “fine.” The younger one, not quite 2, is generally well behaved. It is just when I’m home in the evening and then again when I go to bed that she really frazzles my nerves.
I know one main reason for this: lack of play time. Though I do play with them at least once a day, it is obviously not enough. They are both indoor-only cats, and that, too, will not change. But now that the weather is getting better, perhaps I could take them out more often in their pet stroller (yes, I have one). That’s not exercise, per se, but it is stimulation that I know they love.
I would appreciate your prayers for my continued patience with this little one, as well as any suggestions. Thank you!

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2 responses to “Day 36 – Kitty kats

  1. I know exactly how you feel about having to lock the little one up and it breaking your heart. We have a new little boy, 6 months old and full of energy. He climbs everywhere, chews on everything (except, thankfully, power cords -not so thankfully, he LOVES my hair), and all he wants to do is playplayplay! He drives the two adults cats nuts and cannot be trusted out in most of the house unsupervised because I just can’t kitten-proof it enough.

    So he gets locked up in my studio when we’re asleep or out, or for short periods when I just cannot get him to stop bugging my oldest cat. And I hate doing it, because he’s just a rambunctious kitten having fun, and there really isn’t room for him to run around in the craft room. He’s an absolute wild thing when we let him out in the morning.

    I can’t say this has worked yet with him, since he’s only been here 3 weeks, but one of the suggestions I’ve heard for keeping them from being too bored is to keep most/half of their toys put away, and switch out the ones that are available every week, except maybe a favourite one for each.

    The only other suggestion I can make is to turn as much of your house into a cat jungle-gym as possible.

    If you look at the picture in that link, the bookshelves are now full, but I’ve left room on the side of a few higher ones so that the cats can get from the desk onto them and climb around; there’s a shelf behind the monitor and space behind the printer to make a path to them. The shelf behind the monitor also gives them a way up to a space at the back of the top shelf of the desk.

    There’s more books on the short bookcase too now, but I left a path at the back on the bottom shelf, and left the bottom shelf of the DVD bookcase empty so they can go from under my desk to under the white chair from behind, or they can go over the bookcase past the cat-cave, over a partially open DVD shelf, behind the TV, and from there, they can get to a coffee table with box-caves under it, an armchair, and a multi-level fort of boxes I made for them. That, and various tunnels around the living room made of end tables, seems to please all three of the fur-faced loves of mine, whether they’re playing tag with each other, trying to escape each other of just running the 2 am Freak-out Marathon!

    I hope you can resolve this situation without going quite mad. It’s so frustrating, especially when you know the only way out of it is through it.

    ~Brenda

    PS. in case you’re one of those who likes to know where your visitors come from, I got here from your Twitter, after BygoneArts retweeted something from you!

    • Brenda, thanks so much for your comment! This little blog is just chugging along, and I’m still working on getting regular posting down. (It’s much easier now that i started a 40-day Lenten posting practice. Not perfect, but better.) 6 months is adorable but tough. I know we’ve both already been there before, but hey, it is πŸ™‚ But life with kittens is full of surprise and a WHOLE lot of laughs. And the energy- goodness gracious the energy- it must come from all their itty bitty brand new mitochondria, just pumpin’ away. I wish I could bottle that energy. I’d be rich!
      Yep: my little one is a chewer. I’ve never had a chewer in my 30(ish) years, either. Still don’t really know how to handle that one. And I agree: kitten-proofing really is an art, if it truly does exist. I have to keep my cabinets taped shut with duct tape. Seriously. Just last night she got into my _closed_ closet. There will always be something that you forget or that cannot be fixed.
      It sounds like you’re doing your best, though. Someone I knew a few years ago, her husband was stationed 3,000 miles away, so when they moved, they took their dog but dropped the cat off at the shelter. Seriously? I would have even kept him for a few days, somehow, before trying taking him to the shelter (NOT a no-kill shelter),
      Your tip about the toys is excellent. I will try to rotate them every few days. I don’t yet have a jungle gym… I have some medium-term (not so short but definitely not long term) plans to move for employment in the next 6-12 months, so I can’t go too crazy on the jungle gym stuff, though I’d love to.
      Wow. I thought I was a devoted follower of my felines. I bend at the waist and pay homage! You have described what is surely a corner of kitty heaven!
      Last night, after the little one got into a closed closet, there were no second chances. Both kitties were shut out of the bedroom. We’ll try again tonight.
      And thanks for letting me know “where you came from” πŸ™‚ It is cool to see where people find my blog from. I hope you visit again soon!

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