Cats are great, aren’t they? They are fluffy, relatively easy to look after, excellent lap warmers and just plain cute. Now I know not everyone is a huge fan of cats. They can be a little bit like Marmite; You either love them or hate them and I’m the sort of person who will be a mad cat lady by the time I’m 30.
Clove is nearly 10 months old now. I adopted her when she was only 8 weeks old so I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grown from a tiny little hyper fluff ball into a moody teenager but I have loved every moment. Though, that being said, raising another living thing is one hell of a job! I haven’t had much experience with baby things. When I was 16, our cat at the time had a litter of kittens (two of which happily live with my mum) but unfortunately, at the time I thought I was in love and didn’t spend as much time with them as I probably should have. Stupid teenage romances… Besides from the kittens, I haven’t had any other experience with infants of any kind, human or animal. When it comes to pets though, cats are usually favoured for their independence, lack of constant human attention (compared to a dog) and the ability to be raised indoors so in that sense, they appear to be an easy pet to keep. I have also owned at cat most of my life so I was confident I’d know what to do.
As I currently live alone and my partner is working on his plans for the future, it was a pretty lonely existence for me. I work ten hour shifts a day and coming home to an empty, lifeless flat just isn’t motivating so on 3rd June 2017, I made the decision to adopt a beautiful little tortoise shell from a lady on Gumtree. We’d aimed to go there with optimism; “Remember, you don’t have to adopt the first kitten you go look at” My partner said but as soon as I saw her little adventurous little face and big yellow eyes, I knew she was mine. She seemed to be happy with me too, our first interactions involved her crawling up my arm and onto my shoulder like we were modern day pirates. We decided to named her Clove after a cloved orange due to her markings and a pagan tradition we’d failed at the previous Christmas. It suits her perfectly.
I had the next few days off work to help her adjust to my flat. There were a few teething problems. She wet my bed the first night. Nothing like a nice warm leg to wake you up… She wasn’t used to wood pellet litter (despite what her previous owner has said…). Kitten Clove used our legs as scratch posts no matter how many times I took her to the cat tower and showed her what to do and she would only drink from a glass that was on top of the coffee table. I laid bowls of water down all over the flat for her but she would only drink from this one glass (After several spillages, we now have a water fountain which she uses all the time. Highly recommend).
I knew that obviously at some point, I was going to have to leave her alone to go to work. On that first day, I left the TV on for her as a bit of background music, hid treats around the house for her to seek out and made sure she had plenty of toys. For that whole day I felt like a terrible person. “Am I a cruel person? Should I take her back so she can have more attention? What if she manages to escape? What if the TV catches fire?… “. I had taken this kitten away from her mother and left her in a flat to fend for herself. Deep down I knew in reality she would sleep all day and I was right. She was fast asleep on my bed when I got home that night. As the weeks went on, Clove got more used to my routine. Now she knows not to get up until my alarm goes off and roughly when I get home.
The next challenge (and to be honest, still is) was her food. Clove is quite the madam when it comes to food brands. She hates anything in jelly, won’t touch Whiskers and everything has to be fish flavoured. How can a kitten be so fussy! The only thing I can get her to finish besides her dry cat food is cat soup. She goes crazy for it! Often starts eating while I’m still emptying the sachet. That being said, Clove will always demand she tries what where your about to eat and she often eats it, no matter how strange. So far she’s eaten little bits of:
- Ice cream (and had the best expression on her face).
- Doritos, Chilli heatwave are her favourite.
- Butter (I didn’t allow this, she started licking my bread when I turned my back)
- Egg Yolk.
(Out of these, she has only had very very small amounts that haven’t caused her any harm)
With Cloves fussiness comes some amazing perks though. She is very much a ‘lap cat’, as soon as I sit down, I’ve been claimed. I managed to teach her to play fetch! Rather proud of that achievement though we are still having a small issue of her dropping the ball just an arms length out of reach. She loves to play hide and seek, often pouncing and attacking ankles and at the end of the day, she always give my hand a good wash.
I do love my cat. Clove is like a child to me and until the day comes when I do have my own children, she will continue to be my little fluff ball. While I’ve been writing this, she has been snuggled up on my lap the entire time. What greater way be inspired to write.