12 Nov

Otto wants a kitten for Christmas.

Not just wants, actually … she is desperate to have a cat.

A few months ago, I told her that I would like to start reading Harry Potter with her as I think she is now a good enough reader for those books. Her response: “No thank you mummy, not until my birthday. Because I want to get my kitten first, so I can read it to her while I am caring for her and feeding her.”

Yesterday, I tried a different tack: “If you want to get a cat, do you think you should learn about caring for a cat?”

Otto: “No mummy, I already know how to care for a cat. You need to pat her, and feed her, and cuddle her, and put her on a lead and take her for walks.

Me: “Um, I don’t think cats really get taken for walks.”

Otto: “Oh yes mummy, because they need to get their exercise.”

Fraser is less keen on the idea of getting a cat again. Not because he is still mourning our beloved Puff-Tinkerbell, but because cats are a lot of work and can stink up houses, and can’t really be left on their own. I’m a little conflicted but do think that it would be good for both the kids (if not necessarily for the cats). Leaning towards a Ragdoll kitty or cross, as they are floppy and very very placid.

Hence, my poll for Fraser. Possibly not quite matching the Scientific Method:

1. Do you want to get a cat?ย  YES / NO

2. If no, please rate your opposition on the following scale:

  1. ABSOLUTELY AND UNALTERABLY opposed, no way no how, if you get one then it will go to the lost cats home first chance I get
  2. Really don’t want to, it will make me miserable and I will share that misery with you all
  3. Not keen but I do love my children and want them to be happy
  4. Don’t care
  5. Well, Otto REALLY wants one, so I guess it would be OK if one happened to appear
  6. And I do love my children very much and she is GAGGING for a cat so we really should get one
  7. Actually I really want a cat myself too OH SO MUCH so I need to be in at the choosing and definitely to come up with a name actually I already have some in mind.
Optionally, you can tick the “actually I would prefer a dog” button
3. You know this is kind of inevitable, right?ย  YES / NO
4. Actually, it’s better to get two cats than one, because they can be company for one another (tick the box that says “I have read and understood these terms and conditions”)
Thanks dear! xxx

Posted by on November 12, 2010 in children, pets


10 responses to “Kittens

  1. Fraser

    November 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

    This poll has been through the whole Spin Doctor cycle since I saw it ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Gerald

    November 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    We had one cat that lived to be 18 years old. Then, we got two cats, and both lived 14 years. We love cats, but they are a lot of trouble and expense, especially if you travel much and don’t have someone trustworthy to care for them. After 32 years of having one or two cats around, it was a tough adjustment to be without one. However, we decided to forego the fun and pleasure (which is considerable), and have been without a pet for many years. We do enjoy our daughter’s family’s cat and our son’s two cats, when we visit them. One of our son’s cats needs treatment for a thyroid problem, which will cost him $1,100(US) very soon. It can be quite a commitment. Have fun!

    • Melissa

      November 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      That’s where I’m still a teensy bit dubious, Gerald. We’ve had and loved pets in the past, but where do we go from here? With our kids in school – Biggie for the next 5 years, Otto for another 10 – we’re not likely to be travelling a huge amount in that time, so this is probably not a bad time. I confess, though, that I’m wondering whether to get a cat and a dog or 2 cats …

  3. Racing Hippo

    November 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Hmm. A couple of points here.

    First, Otto REALLY needs to understand what it takes to care for a cat; thinking it needs to be taken for wals on a lead is a rather fundamental misconception – there may be others.
    Also, “reading to it”? She seems to think that this cat is going to behave like a doll! Cats need – and will take forcibly – their independence. They must be respected as independent living creatures.
    And aren’t cute kittens for more than a few months.

    Do you know anyone who has cats? An long visit would be useful. And if the cat(s) don’t show up then that just illustrate the point about independence ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cats rarely “stink up houses” im ny experience. Current incumbent mog excepted. So long as they can go out when they please and have (and use, unlike ours) an always-clean litter tray if they can’t/won’t go out.

    You CAN leave them for a day or for one night. Just make sure they have adequate food and fresh water. And somewhere to dispose of what results, of course…
    If you’re going to be away for longer, you’ll need a house/cat sitter or will need to put it/them in a cattery.

    Two cats are better than one for company, SO LONG as they get on. We’ve friends who have 2 cats who have divided the house into 2 territories and fight if either trespasses! This makes feeding “interesting”. So get ’em both at the same time, from the same place – maybe the same litter.

    Dogs are another kettle of fish entirely. And fish shouldn’t be kept in a kettle. Or dogs. But they can be kept in a cat for short time.
    Dogs are a heck of a lot more work both in terms of cleanliness and excercise. And walking a dog in the pouring rain/sleet/snow isn’t much fun.

    • Melissa

      November 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm

      All good points.

      It’s not really going to be HER cat, it will be a family cat. Or catS, probably. The leash thing is skewed by my mother, who reminded me of it today – there is a move, here, for cats to be indoor ONLY animals, as they tend to do so much damage to native wildlife. And also get squashed on roads. And get skin cancer from all that sunshine. Given an indoor only cat, some people do actually strap their cats into funny little harnesses and take them outside for walks. So she’s actually seen her grandmother doing it.

      We are a bit anxious about stinking up houses because our last cat was – well, she was a special needs cat, and she did stink the house up rather a lot – mostly by narrowly missing her litter tray. A few years after we moved here, we extended the bathroom back 2 metres – and she consistently used the spot where her litter tray USED to be. In the middle of the bathroom floor. Ugh. Also, my parents’ cats used to pee everywhere and the smell in their house could be quite vile. Apparently aging noses don’t smell things like that anymore.

      I’m looking at ragdoll cats, I think, because they are super-floppy and passive.

      But once the decision is made, there will be a cat-care book purchased. And a visit to our local vet, too.

      If there were a dog, it would be a small one. (nasty little yapping things – the One True Dog is a black labrador). But as you say, they are much more work. Also, I grew up – well, my dad grew up on a farm, so in our home dogs were OUTSIDE ONLY animals. Probably as a result of this, I do notice doggy smells in houses. Even houses which are swept and vacuumed far more regularly than ours. Euch.

      • RacingHippo

        November 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm

        Heh. Our young lady’s impact on the wildlife is about 2 small squeaky things a year.
        I would say that if every house in the neighbourhood had a/some cat(s) then the impact on wildlife would be a problem, but otherwise that’s complete bolleaux.

        The thought of putting a cat on a leash OR keeping it locked inside the house is abhorrent to me. Poor cats.

        Sounds like you had a bad experience with the last one :s Ours had a phase of spraying in the house (yes, even a speyed female will spray) which was being caused by the stress of a neighbouring (possibly feral) tom who figured out how to get in through her infra-red-locking cat-flap. That invasion of territory causes loads of stress as the cat no longer has a “safe place” and will spray to make the place feel more “theirs”. We solved it (*touches wood*) with a Tom-Deterrent and lashings of Feliway.

        Incontinence / dementure is a different problem though!

        Anyway. Best of luck with your two. They look utterly gorgeous…. for now ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Gregor

    November 14, 2010 at 8:37 am

    In Calgary they have (or had) a cats outside have to be leashed rule, I saw someone taking their cat for a walk. The cat was walking (very slow cat inspection sort of walk) along the top
    of a picket fence, while the owner stood beside, holding the leash. It was odd.
    I used to quite like cats, but my partner hates them, so I do too now. See 3 above.
    A few years ago we rescued 2 baby possums that from their mothers pouch had been untimely ripped — by a cat. Mother escaped. We picked up the babies, tried to give them back to the mum but it didn’t work. One died, the other got to a carer. I prefer possums to cats.

  5. Friendless

    November 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Cats are murderous and callous… talk to Mickey about a ferret.

    • Melissa

      November 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm

      My mum had ferrets when she was little. She does not recommend them. I think I will stick with my babies.

    • Racing Hippo

      November 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      Ferrets are murderous, callous and very, very devious ๐Ÿ˜‰


Obsess about something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: