As someone who is proudly bipetual, I have the great fortune to write for Catster as well as Dogster.
Recently, over on Dogster, I wrote (what I thought was) a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek article about why I’ll never have a puppy. I made it clear that I think puppies are cute and I understand why other people want them, but then listed all the reasons they’re just not for me. To make it even more over the top, I compared puppies to zombies. ZOMBIES! I mean, come on. Nobody’s going to take an article like that seriously, right?
Except what I didn’t count on is that many dog people apparently have NO sense of humor when it comes to puppy-dissing. None. Quite a lot of them got it and either agreed with me or light-heartedly defended zombies … er … puppies. But others … yowza!
One person told me I shouldn’t have any dogs at all if I couldn’t handle a puppy. A few people suggested that I should do the world a favor and never have children either. Out of fear that they would grab their virtual pitchforks and torches, gather on my virtual lawn, and burn me at the virtual stake, I chose not to mention the fact that I don’t want children for many of the same reasons I don’t want puppies.
I also kept another little tidbit of information to myself. Unlike puppies, I want to adopt every single kitten in the whole entire world.
I never had a kitten until I was in my early 30s. When our cat Annabelle passed away at the age of 17, I was all set to adopt another adult cat. But then I had this conversation with a friend:
Friend: The cat I rescued off the street had kittens and I’m trying to find homes for them. Why don’t you take one of them?
Me: I don’t think so. We’re going to adopt an adult.
Friend: Are you sure? They’re really cute. Why don’t you just come over and take a look?
Me: Okay, but my mind is pretty much set on an adult.
(Three days later at my friend’s house.)
Me: GAH! KITTENS FLUFFY! WANT ALL!
Don’t worry. I didn’t end up with all of them. Just two. A boy and girl we named Ripley and Molly. A couple of squeedorable little orange fluffballs who brought a ridiculous amount of joy and laughter to our home.
Since then, I totally lose my mind whenever I see a kitten. There is something about an itsy bitsy baby cat that makes my heart just want to pop right out of my chest. I. Love. Them. So. Much.
Here are my top four reasons why:
Isn’t it kind of magical how kittens just seem to know how to use the litter box? Unlike a puppy, you don’t have to spend weeks (or months) working on potty training. It’s like, “Hey, baby kitty, here’s a litter box,” and they’re like, “Cool, thanks.”
Plus, you can leave them for several hours at a time without worrying about whether they’re pooping everywhere or freaking out because you’re not there. Sure, you need to kitten-proof your house (which I learned after Molly effectively hog-tied herself with a toy we left out), but for the most part, they’re pretty much plug-and-play right from the get-go.
Puppies are little land-sharks. They put everything in their mouths — shoes, chair legs, your hands. Kittens might pounce on your feet as you walk by but they do NOT try to eat you or your possessions. A big plus in my book.
What’s that, puppy people? What about the clawing of your furniture and the climbing of your drapes? Okay, you’ve got me there. But honestly, our kittens learned how to use the scratching posts in about two days, and as for the climbing of the drapes … really, how can you NOT be impressed with that particular skill?
Here’s my theory about why there are more kitten videos than puppy videos on the Interwebs: because kittens do everything grown cats do, just in miniature. You know how people just DIE from cute overload when a toddler does or says something totally adult? Here’s this very grown-up thing coming out of the mouth of a tiny child, and it’s so unexpected that you can’t help but laugh. It’s the same thing with kittens. They move, play, pounce, and relax just like the grown-ups. They just do it in a more innocent, fluffier way, and for some reason, it’s absolutely irresistible.
Okay, maybe in this instance kittens and puppies (and human toddlers) aren’t so different from each other. The wacky things they do, their unique view of the world, the predicaments they get themselves into … it’s a gift, really, and a reminder. There’s fun everywhere. You just have to look at it from the right perspective.
Wait, where was I?
Oh, yes, I was just about to say that as much as I love kittens, Molly and Ripley are probably the last ones we’ll ever have. As a rescue volunteer, I know that kittens, like puppies, are much easier to find homes for than adults. And there is something truly wonderful and gratifying about opening your home and heart to a grown-up kitty. I wouldn’t trade our mellow, well-behaved cats for the world.
Your turn: Are you partial to adult cats or kittens? Tell us in the comments!
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About the Author: Amber Carlton is owned by two cats and two dogs (all rescues), and is affectionately (?) known as the crazy pet lady amongst her friends and family. She and her husband (the crazy pet man) live in colorful Colorado where they enjoy hiking, biking and camping. Amber is a freelance copywriter and blogger for hire and also acts as the typist for her dog’s musings at Mayzie’s Dog Blog. She encourages other crazy pet people to connect with her at her business website, on Twitter or on Facebook.