A Year in the Life of a Kitten

Vronsky Oblonsky has been with me for a year now.  If I call him by a name, it is generally "Skee," but I'm pretty sure he thinks his name is, "No! Hey! Stop that! I don't like that! Enough!.... I said KNOCK IT OFF!" He also responds to "Here Kitty, Kitty!" and "Sweetie." Mostly though, he responds to the sound of an opening treat container. 

This is Skee's daily routine:

5:30 to 6:30:

Make ALL of the obnoxious noises to try to wake me up. Repertoire includes in-face meowing, messing with the shutters on the windows and balcony door to create a clickety clack noise, and using claws on any available surface to make a horrible ripping noise.  For extra irritation, he will open the shutters on my bedroom windows to allow in maximum amounts of light and sunshine.

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6:30 AM to 7:30 AM:

Glare at me from the top of his cat tower while I try to continue getting some sleep. Occasionally ups the ante from glowering to launching himself off the top of his tower and landing on my stomach.

7:30 AM to 8:00 AM:

Realize that I am about to get out of bed; decide this is the ideal time to cuddle with me. Quickly switch from cuddling to attacking. Walk in front of me in an attempt to trip me or sit at my feet and cry to be held. If being held, struggle to get down after about 10 seconds. 10 seconds later cry to be held again. Struggle to get down after about 10 seconds. Repeat.

8:00 AM to 8:30 AM:

Play on balcony. Take way too long to be coaxed back inside when it is time for me to leave.

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8:30 AM to 6:30 PM:

Pull down bag of recycling, drag all items in the bag out of the bag.   Knock books off shelves.   Make all picture frames crooked.  Knock things on side of tub into the tub.  Push food out of dish onto the floor and then refuse to eat it because it is on floor.   Pull all toys out of basket and either put them under the couch, under the stove, or in the middle of the living room floor.  Sleep deeply and soundly so as to have full energy reserve for when I get home.

6:30 PM - 10:30 PM:

Happily play on balcony, eat, occasionally check in on me.

10:31 PM:

LOSE MIND. Start to whine, cry, run frenzied laps around house with wild eyes. Make ALL of the obnoxious noises to try to prevent me from sleeping. Repertoire includes messing with the shutters on the windows and balcony door to create a clickety clack noise, and using claws on any available surface to make a horrible ripping noise.  Reason unknown. Will either stop eventually to .....? or I fall asleep in spite of the ruckus.

To be honest, it has kind of been a long year in terms of cat parenting. He is getting better, but he seems to excel at findIng new ways to misbehave. A friend recently told me that her cat was a pain for the first two years of his life, which sounds like an awfully long time to put up with such shenanigans.  I think it seems like such an eternity because I generally think of cats as small, mostly self-sufficient creatures.  I have also never had just one kitten before.  It's an awful lot of neediness minus all the affectIon and snuggling of say a baby or a puppy.  

There are some fun things that make it worth it though.  For example, he plays fetch! Realizing that I could keep my rambunctious kitten entertained and stay in bed was a pretty exciting revelation. Also, he is kind of the happiest cat ever.  He purrs incessantly, even at the vet.  And not that "I'm sick" or "I'm afraid," purr. A genuine happy purr.  He loves to be around people and when I have friends over he is more than happy to provide the entertainment or just stay stretched out in the middle living room so that all can behold his awesomeness. People can't really play with him unless they sign a waiver, but his heart is in the right place.  I just failed to teach him the difference between humans and toys.  He gets super sad when visitors leave and wanders around the apartment looking for all his new friends.  I took him on a play date and he totally rocked it.  My friend and I were very worried at first that the two cats would be too aggressive, but after a brief warming up to each other phase, they were adorably playful.  He possesses none of the anti-social or vengeful tendencies that you hear about in so many cats.