May 09, 2020

Whats It's Been Like To Adopt Kittens Versus Cats

Okay, so I'm going to be posting a LOT about the kittens. I just can't help it! I'll try to keep it to a minimum, but it's kind of like when you have a new baby--you want to share pictures and stories with everyone!

Chick and Duck have been SO MUCH FUN. Like I said, I hadn't had a kitten since Jerry and I first got married 17 years ago. We adopted two kittens (Chandler and Monica) from the animal shelter, and we had a blast with them. They were our entertainment every single day--no TV needed ;)

I don't like talking about Monica (she got sick and we had to have her euthanized when she was only a couple of years old). I feel terrible to this day wondering if there was something I could have done, so just thinking about her makes me upset. But having Chandler and Monica was the best!

Since then, I've only adopted (or taken in) older cats. I wrote about how we acquired elderly Paolo, who was a fantastic cat (he had a bit of dementia toward the end). We don't know how old he was, exactly, but it was estimated in the mid-teens when he passed.

And then when we adopted Monica (the second), I wrote about her as well. We didn't have Monica too long (maybe a year?) before we learned she had liver failure she passed away.

And Chandler. I can't even write about it. It was devastating to my whole family.

Between Paolo, Monica, and Chandler all passing away within a few years, it was rough! We still have Estelle and Phoebe, who are about 10 and 11 years old(?), and we've had them since they were young. Estelle was probably about nine months and Phoebe was probably about 18 months or so when we took them in (as strays).

Anyway, I feel like it was meant to be that we were able to adopt these two kittens. We had originally planned to adopt older cats, but they were not at all happy here, so the rescue took them back (and that is now their "forever home") and asked if we wanted kittens. I felt guilty adopting kittens, because kittens get adopted so quickly while older cats are hard to adopt out.

However, Vickie (who runs Friskie Felines, the rescue) told me that black kittens are hard to adopt out. People want the ones that are colorful. (And secretly, I like those ones better, too!). The kids have been begging for a kitten for as long as I can remember, so I decided to compromise and adopt two kittens--as long as they were black. 

I wanted two males (they generally get along better than females) and Eli really wanted a long-haired cat. It turned out that Friskie Felines had four black kittens--and we were able to get one short-haired male and one long-haired male. It worked out great!

I had completely forgotten what it's like to have kittens. They are all the entertainment you need! I would recommend getting two rather than one, because they love to play with each other and they keep themselves occupied that way. 

Chick and Duck chase each other all over the place, then pounce on each other and wrestle on the ground. It's hilarious to watch them stalk each other before one of them makes the pounce. 

I also had no idea how attached they would get to us! Especially me, because I spend the most time with them. I would really like them to be "the kids' cats", but because it's easiest to keep them in my bedroom and bathroom area for a while, they see me the most. (Mainly because we have their litter box and food in my bathroom). 

In the night, the kittens like to sleep with Jerry and me. Chick, especially, likes to sleep up by our faces. I awoke last night to him putting his nose right in my ear and my nostril--hahaha. He rubs his face all over mine. It's adorable!

Older cats can be super affectionate, too--before we got the kittens, Estelle was pretty much obsessed with me. She followed me everywhere, sat on my lap constantly, and slept next to me. Since we got the kittens, she has basically been ignoring me. She hissed at me the first day or two, but now she will let me pet her and pick her up as long as the other cats aren't around. She still won't relax--she won't sit on my lap or sleep with me. I hope she'll come around soon! I miss her.

Phoebe is pissed at the world. She hisses and growls at all of us now--even when Joey or Estelle walks by, she gets mad. Today, though, she let me pick her up for a minute when the kittens weren't around. She refuses to go near my bedroom, though.

The best parts about having kittens:
*They're super entertaining. They run around like crazy, pouncing, stalking, chasing, jumping, and just acting wild.
*They're SO CUTE that they can get away with anything. And they adore you. 
*They're extremely curious. They love to explore and everything seems new to them. 
*They adapt really well to a new environment. Since they are so young, pretty much everything is new to them. They really aren't as scared as one would think.
*They are super easy to train to use the litter box. Show it to them once or twice, and they'll automatically know what to do. 

Some drawbacks:
*Kittens need to be close to their litter box--if it's across the house, they won't go looking for it. So, even if it's just for a few months, they'll need to stay close to one.
*It's a little nerve-wracking to take care of something so tiny. It's not unusual for them to run right in front of your feet, and I'm surprised I haven't stepped on them. 
*They are SO curious that they literally want to explore everything. You have to be careful! When I flushed the toilet the other day, one of the kitties tried to jump on the toilet seat. So, I learned that we need to put the cover down on the toilet immediately to avoid the cats falling inside.

While I still believe that it's better to adopt an older cat (or cats) from a shelter, I think adopting the black cats from a rescue was a good compromise. They have given my whole family so much JOY right now--the perfect time! This quarantine has been mundane, and the kittens are anything but.

If you're thinking of getting a pet, now is a great time! Please make sure you check your shelters--they have so many fantastic dogs and cats. I don't like to "preach" on my blog, but there are a couple of things I'm super passionate about when it comes to pets:

1) Adopt! Paying for a designer breed takes away a shelter space from pets who need it. Shelter pets (and mutt-dogs!) are great! Joey is literally the best dog I could ever hope for, and he sat at the shelter for three months before we adopted him.

2) Spay or neuter all pets. There are way too many unwanted animals and as much fun as it would be to allow your pet to have a litter, it just adds to the problem.

3) Please please please don't declaw your cats. I grew up in the 80's, and it was totally the norm to declaw cats. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to shadow a vet for a day. I watched many cat get declawed, and it was awful. I learned that they are actually cutting off the bone at the first knuckle--if you look at your own hands, the "declaw" would be at the knuckle that is just under your fingernail. This can cause all sorts of problems with cats.

My cats are not declawed and they don't scratch my furniture. I buy them scratch pads and posts, which they use frequently. I also trim their nails about once every week or two. I've been doing it for so long that they don't even protest. I can do it while they're napping, and they're totally cool with it. My cats LOVE this scratch pad, and it was worth every penny (Amazon affiliate link). It has nearly 10,000 5-star reviews. (This one is about 18 months old, and it probably needs to be replaced soon)

Anyway, adopting these kittens has been so much fun! I will try not to make my blog entirely about them, but they've been such a prominent part of my life for the last several days, I can't help it. I did get a couple of fun boxes in the mail today, which I'll write about tomorrow. I was SO excited!


  1. I adore Chick and Duck. I got a new bulldog puppy and sometimes feel guilty because my older Bulldog no longer gets all the attention, plus the puppy drives her nuts, wanting to play ALL THE TIME. So that makes me feel guilty. I try to compensate by giving my old girl Juno lots of extra love and attention, she is so sweet. The puppy (Callie) is great, but she is also a lot of work, so I'm hoping we figure out this housebreaking soon. It's been 8 weeks, and I don't see a whole lot of progress yet....

  2. That is so sweet about Chick sleeping by your heads. Of our three cats (12 yo), two of them will usually sleep on the bed with us, but generally waist high or toward the foot. In the winter when it's cold, all three will sleep with us. But my prior cat, who was an only cat and died at 14, used to curl up on my pillow sort of around my head to sleep, especially in the winter. She would purr and purr and I loved it. I hope your kittens continue to be so affectionate.

  3. About 6 years ago my son found a kitten in a hay field at his grandpa's house so we brought it home to our 7 year old cat. Our older cat, a female, hated me for about a year. She wouldn't go near me, or even look at me, for a full year. She is back to being as affectionate as she used to be (which isn't very much, she's very much of a "loner" cat and doesn't like people much). However, she still hates the "kitten," who is 6 now (obviously). She will still hiss at him if he gets too close to her.


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