Kittens have particularly sharp claws since they’re so small, and until they’ve been trained using the «screaming in pain» method, they see no reason to ever retract them. Our kittens were pretty affectionate, which you think is a positive until you realize more affection means more scars. It’s been almost two years since the kittens left. There are two types of scars they’ll give you.
The first type of scar is a puncture scar, from kittens climbing on your lap and just not bothering to retract their claws. You get anything from minor pincushion pokes to deep blood-drawing punctures. It takes most cats a while to learn the difference between sitting on a person and sitting on an inanimate object and appropriate claw positions for each case. Although you have the occasional cat prodigy, like Kirk, because Kirk was the best cat ever. Keep this in mind for later. You also get these scars from «kneading,» a cat behavior that looks like kneading dough with their front paws.
They do it on bedding, they do it on people they like, and they do it with claws out. Not a task for the faint-hearted. Sure, maybe if you’re smart, or not clumsy, you can avoid a lot of this, but let’s just say that between claw scars and flea bites, the cats have ensured that I will never achieve my dream of becoming a swimsuit model. Ski wear could still be in the cards! Then you have to make them poop. Those adorable little snuggleballs need help peeing and pooping.
Usually the mom cat helps them. By licking their anus and genitals, of course. We actually went with a towel for this, but hey, whatever floats your boat. We started with Picard, who just wriggled and wouldn’t poop, so we let him go. He immediately took a huge dump on the couch. His brother Sisko saw this and was like, «Oh, is this what we’re doing?
Let me say I have smelled a lot of poops in my day, and cat poop outstinks them all. For the record, Kirk did not take a dump, and was the first one to poop in the litter box when we brought it out. Kittens are like babies, apparently they get sick all the time. Their immune systems are very vulnerable, and during the foster training, people fill your head with all kinds of horror stories about 10 ways kittens can die in agony if you forget to wash your hands. Like with human babies, though, seasoned parents shrug it off and laugh at the newbies getting all worked up about a harmless sneeze or routine gaping head wound. For us, there were three weeks of nonstop sneezing fits, which in retrospect was adorable, but at the time had me worried to death about cat pneumonia or cat AIDS or something. And then there was a lot of barfing and diarrhea.
Yeah, cat AIDS is a real thing. We called the cat rescue people a few times and after they gathered that the kittens weren’t showing any other symptoms, they basically said, «Just wait it out, they’ll be fine. Diarrhea is apparently no big deal unless it’s pure liquid. I forgot to mention you don’t want to be reading this during breakfast. There was one point where one of the kittens threw up and then wouldn’t eat. He went to lie down and then stopped moving. We separated him from the other two, called the rescue lady, and were getting ready to say the cat last rites when he just got up, started eating and went back to normal, right before she got there.
Little fucker was messing with us. Jean-Luc Picard was not as honorable as his namesake. Anyway, after a while, when they didn’t die or develop cat AIDS, the constant guilt and terror part went away and we were just left with tiny sneezes keeping us awake at night and surprise piles of partially digested food turning up in unexpected places. Everyone says cats are so easy to deal with because they train themselves, and sure, they will use the litter without any work from you, but it’s what happens after that that is the problem. This is the only litter box our cats cannot kick litter out of. Kittens are especially retarded and will go ahead and step in the fresh poo or pee they just made, and then get a wad of litter stuck to their poo foot, and then bolt throughout the house, leaving poo prints everywhere. Our foster kittens did this unintentionally but if your cat is an asshole, like one of our later kittens, and they’re unhappy with the way the litter smells, or the cleanliness of the litter box, or can’t wait five minutes for you to finish cleaning it, they will go ahead and take a dump on your bed or something. This picture has been going around the Internet and I don’t see any reason to doubt it. Kittens are naturally nocturnal, which means that just when you want to go to bed, they want to party. That means that while we were trying to sleep, they were having cat races and cat MMA matches all over us. Thunderdome combo, which sounds awesome if you are not sleeping in it. Another popular nighttime activity: King of the Mountain. And I know in a TV show or a fond memoir, people look back on this with a winking «those little rascals» tone, but in real life, sleep deprivation means screwing up your job or being dangerously unalert on the freeway, not just a boring grown-up’s hangdog response to some hilarious mischief.