76–79 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Kitten
Seven Fantastic Feline Fiction Finds
If you're looking for a story with a feline hero, here are some great works of fiction to add to your reading list.
The Silent Miaow by Paul Gallico. Described as “A delightful manual which instructs stray kittens and homeless cats in how to obtain, captivate, and dominate the families of their choice,” this story will leave you laughing, crying, and everything in between.
Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams. Fritti Tailchaser, a young ginger tom, is the main cat among a host of appropriately named feline peers. When his best friend, Hushpad, vanishes, Fritti embarks on a perilous quest to find her.
The Wild Road and The Golden Cat by Gabriel King. When a runaway kitten named Tag meets a mysterious black cat named Majicou in his dreams, he learns he is destined for bigger things. Called by Majicou, Tag enters the Wild Road, a magical highway known only to the animals, and learns that he is needed to find the King and Queen of cats and bring them safely to Tintagel--a long and dangerous quest.
The Warriors series by Erin Hunter. The series starts off with Into the Wild and a young "kittypet"(house cat) named Rusty who yearns for adventure and has vivid dreams of the wilds. He meets a young feral cat and joins a clan of wild cats called Thunderclan. After proving his worth, he's renamed Firepaw and becomes an apprentice warrior. There are several story arcs in the Warriors series, and although these books are marketed as young adult novels, plenty of not-so-young adults enjoy them too.
Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Crucial to the spacefarers in this science fiction novel are the telepathic Barque Cats, trained to patrol their spaceships looking for problems. When corrupt government officials declare a plague and plan to destroy animals across the galaxy, including the Barque Cats, two young people, a clever Barque kitten and his boy, an ancient Egyptian cat with mysterious powers and a hidden agenda, and a con man join forces to try to prevent the tragedy.
The Fur Person by May Sarton. The cat Tom Jones has grown tired of his vagabond life and concludes that there might be some appeal in giving up the freedom of street life for a loving home. It will take just the right human companion, however, to make his transformation to genuine Fur Person possible. Sarton's book is one of the most beloved stories ever written about the joys and tribulations inherent in sharing life with a cat.
My Cat Loki, a graphic novel created by Bettina M. Kurkoski. After the death of his cat Luka, who he treated like a brother, the artist Ameya goes into withdrawal. His agent, Miss Chacha, wants to bring him back into the art world. Ameya finds a cat named Loki, who replaces Luka. Loki helps Ameya to recover from his grief, but their bond causes Ameya's sanity to come under question.
Advice from Other Cat Owners
Before You Adopt That Kitten
Before you bring that cute kitten home, please take a good look at your life and ask yourself some questions, particularly if you are young (the highest demographic for pet surrenderers is females, age 18-25).
Remember, cats live for 15-20 years and will need regular vet care for their whole life. Ask yourself, what will I do when I move? Am I willing to go the extra mile to find pet-friendly housing and take the cats along? (Even if your job sends you across the country or into another).
What will I do when I get married? What if my spouse is allergic to the cats, has big unfriendly dogs, or just doesn't like cats? How will I deal with that? What happens when I start having children? Will I be willing to help the cats make that transition during that busy and exciting time in my life? Will I be willing to keep them seperate if my baby is allergic? What happens if I get divorced? (Statistics say that you will). Will I fight to keep my pets during this personal crisis?
These questions may sound ridiculous, but I assure you they are not. The answers to these questions mean the difference between life and death every day- to the tune of 20 million 'No' answers a year (the number of animals surrendered to shelters across the U.S. in a year). It is a big commitment folks, think about it!
~Alex K., owner of Breed Unknown
Introducing Your New Kitten to Your Older Cat
Kittens will most likely get along great because they are so young, although it may take a day or two. My two cats were about 10 months when I brought home two kittens and it didn't go smoothly at all. The young kittens were excited to meet the older cats but the older cats were petrified of them.
What I learned is that cats react to smell and it's best to introduce them that way first. The advice from a cat expert was: keep them separate and give them each something that smells of the other one (towel/blanket etc). Once that goes well, then introduce them physically. It was fascinating because when I presented my cats with the towel smelling like the new kittens, the cats hissed and swatted at it, then ran in fear. Eventually they started to investigate it. You may not need this step but I wanted to share it just in case.
~Cindy W., owner of Breed Unknown