The doctor tapped on the door of the examination room and walked in. He shook my hand as usual, then paused and said, “Caryl, what have you done?”
It was a good question, and it came from a man who knows me well. Dr. C. has taken wonderful care of my cats since the ’80s. I consider him a friend as well as a veterinarian.
That morning my friend was a bit perplexed, perhaps a little concerned, when I showed up with two 12-week-old kittens. He was aware of my long history with adult and senior cats. But he was nice enough not to point out that an older cat would have been a better choice for someone my age.
I tried to reassure him that all was well, that I knew what I was doing. He examined them, gave them each a kitten shot, and sent us home with two diagnoses of “healthy kitten.”
Believe me, there have been plenty of times over the past three months that Dr. C’s question has popped into my mind. What exactly have I done? Were these two rambunctious kittens going to keep me young or drive me crazy?
The answer, it turns out, is a bit of both. They are a confusing combination of naughty and nice. Alternately angels and demons, they often morph from one to the other with no warning.
I find myself saying things like:
Get off that… (cable box, pillow, table, elephant)
Other times I find myself saying:
Stop (attacking my feet, putting mice in my bed) right now
Of course, they have committed other offenses that I don’t have photos of. I was too busy protecting my possessions, hurrying to the storage closet with my sunroom drapes, shag rug, shower curtain and rod, swag on my bedroom wall, swag on my living room wall. Then there are the smaller items that I’ve stashed on top of the grandfather clock.
Yes, sometimes these kittens drive me crazy. Sometimes I miss the fragile possessions that are stored away for safe keeping. Sometimes I get tired of trying to outsmart a 5-pound, furry ball of energy.
But then Gracie and Joy always do something so sweet that all is forgiven and forgotten. I haven’t managed to get a picture of one—or both!—of them curled up on my lap. Their warm, soft bodies and cheerful purrs make everything better. Here are a few other moments of kitten sweetness.
Finally, I have to say that whether their behavior is good or bad, these kittens are never boring. To end this post, here’s a short video showing how entertaining they can be.