I’ve read in your blog that your son is trying to persuade you to get a kitten. I feel as if I’m your friend, having read your blog for some time now, so I feel I should warn you: don’t!
Kittens are very cute, but they’re basically mini-tigers. This means that they like to climb. They will climb: bookcases, sofas, shelving units, stairs (and banisters), walls (or at least try to), curtains, ironing boards, lab coats, your husband’s suits when he’s trying to press them, your husband when he’s trying to press his suits – the list is endless. They walk along tables, window sills, chests of drawers and worksurfaces, including the cooker hob.
They try to eat plants, fish oil capsules (these burst satisfactorily and make nice greasy slidey bits on the kitchen floor), cereal from bowls left unwarily on tables and, from time to time, they'll do their best to eat each other. Once you let them outside they will no doubt try to consume the local wildlife (though not the slugs and snails that you have in copious and unwanted amounts in the garden). They will make no attempt to eat worming tablets or the expensive new food you’ve just bought them. They have little sharp claws which they like to keep that way, which means that your wooden furniture, your upholstered furniture and your wallpaper are just as attractive for this purpose as the scratching post you will buy them.
So remember: your son loves you whether you buy him kittens or not. Be strong! Resist his blandishments!
With best wishes,
Dear Fellow-Blogger (and I’ve noticed that many bloggers are cat-slaves – I’m sure there’s a sociological study to be done there),
Thank you so much for the helpful, and entirely correct, email that you sent me some weeks ago. Unfortunately, by some strange and unaccountable glich in cyberspace, your email didn’t reach me until today. What a pity that no other cat-owning bloggers tried to convey to me the complete and horrible truth about this life-changing decision, because, believe it or not, we actually did get – not one kitten, but two! Yes, how stupid can anyone be?
They’re behaving exactly as you predicted. I was trying to tire them out this morning (wow, doesn’t this remind you of being the mother of a toddler?) by letting them run up and down the stairs while – in theory – I sat half-way up reading the paper. But you try concentrating on even the Sunday Times Review section when a kitten is tight-rope-walking along the top banister. He got to the end of the level bit and was then faced with an ornamental wooden acorn. He attempted to circumnavigate this, but the next bit of banister slopes down to the landing, so he decided against it. He then turned round – delicately maneouvering (stop changing my spelling, Word – I WANT to spell it that way; I’m British) his four little feet round in a circle – went back to the chest of drawers whence he’d started – and then did it again.
Anyone want to adopt a couple of kittens? I do wonder if I could harvest their energy in some ecological way to provide us with electricity. A little wheel, like a hamster, perhaps… Anyway, thanks for your helpful and well-meaning advice. Alas, too late!
Best wishes, Isabelle.
The message from Fellow Blogger isn't a real email, of course - it's the one you should all have sent me. Why didn't you? And to any of you considering kitten-acquistion: you have been warned.
Above is Daughter 2. She's very fond of our kittens. So am I, really. Most of the time. And I'm fantastically fond of her. She's such a darling. (As is Daughter 1, of course.)