Pauline Dewberry is an experienced Pet Behaviorist, but she isn’t one of those folks who has studied and never gone through the application of training to household as can sometimes with the case when experts give advice. In this case, the insight is well-founded. Below is the first in a series columns she will be writing for Newshopper, in conjunction with her website, www.thedailymews.com.
Cat care column: Kittens are hilarious but a handful so be prepared before you get one
by Pauline Dewberry, Newshopper
You’ve decided to get a kitten. The first thing to do is to make sure that the new little furball will fit into your lifestyle.
Are you out all day? Are you at home for most of the day? Do you have a growing family? All these things need to be considered before making that momentous decision.
Next you need to decide whether you want a pedigree or a moggy.
You’ll need to do your research if you’re getting a pedigree kitten and make sure you find a reputable breeder.
If you want to rehome a moggy (parentage often unknown) then your first port of call could be the local Cats Protection or other rescue centres where, at this time of year, they’re overflowing with an abundance of kittens.
Kittens are very – how can I put this – bouncy and energetic. They are into everything.
I had a kitten, Charlie, who thought it was hilarious fun to walk, crab-like, across the chimney breast. I had Anaglypta wallpaper at the time and he was able to get a good purchase on it.
Following his trip across the chimney breast, he continued – at ceiling height – to walk along to the Harrison Drape above the windows. He squeezed himself between that and a few inches of wall just under the ceiling, looking down at me as I sat on the sofa with my two seven-year-old cats, Garfield and Biggles, a saucer balanced on my knees, while I drank a cappuccino.
He had a smidgeon of dust under his nose making him look like a feline Errol Flynn.
Then, taking one paw off the top of the curtain rail to wave to us, he abseiled down the curtains, landing in the saucer on my knees, which tobogganed down my shins, veering off at my ankles, and he arrived on the carpet, still in the saucer. The look on his face was pure magic.
Looking back now, I can laugh, but at the time he was a handful and I wasn’t well.
Christmas was a nightmare, too. He climbed up the Christmas tree making it crash to the floor, so I banned him from that room when I wasn’t in it.
But Charlie had other ideas and he somehow managed to sneak in. I didn’t hear the crash, and it was some time later when I found him, fast asleep, under the tree with the lights flicking on and off and tinsel wrapped around him.
If that hasn’t put you off, and I hope it hasn’t, next time I’ll tell you what you’ll need before you bring your new kitten home.
To contact Pauline with questions about cat behavior or subscribe to her Mewletter, please visit The Daily Mews.