Monday, March 23, 2009

Kittens should be seen and not felt

I think I have stumbled on the litmus test defining whether I am a cat person or not.

Couple weeks ago, I was lying (note: I was NOT laying) on the couch, watching a video with my granddaughters. Suddenly, Oliver, their then two-month old kitten, sprang to my stomach, my shoulder and then bit my cheek. No punctures, of course, but I swept him to the floor firmly. His attempts to jump back were blocked.

I sputtered a bit and my oldest granddaughter picked him up and hugged him. He proceeded to wrestle with her hand and extend his claws and fangs, which she pretty much evaded.

"Face it, grandma, you love this cat," she said, cuddling him.

"No," I said, "I don't think I like him very much as a kitten. I'm sure I will like him much better as a cat."

I told this story to a friend who has always had several cats, but usually only one dog at a time. She chuckled and cooed, "Ooooh," in a tone that intimated he was adorable.

I told a friend who usually has equal numbers of both. "Uh-huh," she said, and laughed tolerantly. "Kittens do that, but they grow out of it."

I told a friend who has only ever had dogs. "Ick," she said.

This survey is by no means scientific, but I think it does illustrate why we individually relate to cats or dogs.

(Biting me on the face is adorable behavior? Where are you cat people coming from?)

I always knew cats found me very difficult to train, but I've had a few cats I have enjoyed a lot. Cats, not kittens.

Oliver has calmed down some since his nuts were stolen a couple of weeks ago. He really is cute chasing leaves and paper towel rollers as if they were fleeing rodents. He is almost as large as the small dog across the street and is kinda cute stalking the poor animal, then charging till the dog flees under a car and cowers there, yapping. Go, Oliver!

He shows signs of becoming a great mouser. My vet says rodent flesh is the quintessential healthy food for cats. When I lived in the country, my two outdoor cats had gorgeous thick, glossy coats and I seldom got rodents in the house.

Yep, I think Oliver and I are gonna get along just fine. But he has convinced me once and for all--I am definitely not a cat person.

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