Saturday 2 April 2016

Our adorable kitten, Maisie: aged 8 weeks to 5 months

                               In early December we got a kitten after wanting one for years. Growing up, we always had cats and I've always missed having one around since I moved away in my late teens. We picked up our little black kitten from a lovely lady in Southsea and was told 'she's an adventurer'- little did we know that this was not an exaggeration! In fact, I suspect that she was the most mischievous of the whole litter. Every
 kitten likes to explore, but ours is particularly curious and fearless. There is no shelf, drawer, cupboard or box she hasn't attempted to enter. For such a tiny cat, she has an amazing pair of lungs on her. On the way home to our house, she meowed LOUDLY non-stop and has since been known to wake us up at 5am crying until we go and give her attention! She is the cutest, funniest little kitten we could have ever hoped for, with heaps of personality. We called her Maisie because it was a cute name for a sweet little girl.

So here are some photos of her in her first few weeks of coming to live with us:
Maisie likes to be with us all of the time; she will be happily sleeping, but if I get up and walk to another room, she will wake up and follow; she will sit by the bath and wait for us to get out so she can lick our feet! She loves to steal things from shelves or surfaces and will put them in her mouth and run away with her treasure. Maisie isn't too discriminating- she'll haul anything from sweet wrappers to socks. Her favourite hobby when we first got her was to climb her scratch post; we even attached her beloved toy, Kevin, to it with a bit of string so she could play swingball. Kevin the stripy hamster is pictured above and below. She loves to bite, wrestle and hide him. Mysteriously, Kevin sometimes goes missing and we have had to search for him all over the house. He has even taken a vacation outdoors when my partner must have had him in his pocket and dropped him by our house. Luckily, a good Samaritan saved him and put him in a tree for us to find and give back to his owner. Maisie was thrilled to see him even though he'd been weather-beaten.

Our little kitten was the best Christmas present ever:
She started to grow more noticeably in her proportions over this time, including her eyes revealing a golden colour which vets have commented on as being unique when she has had her check-ups and operation. She became quite keen on play-biting and jumping at our feet, showing her hunting instinct. We have tried to train her by repeating the phrase "no biting" and walking away. She is growing out of it slowly, but still loves to play. Our jeans have been scratched up as she has been excited to climb up on us, though I try and discourage it! She loves the lilac fleece blanket in the pictures and we have it on the bed so she can sleep on it during the day. Maisie has more recently started pawing/ kneading it and finds it very comforting.

She was spayed in February because we could not afford for her to become pregnant (even though I would have loved her to have had kittens some day). When we returned to the vets we expected to find she was quiet and docile, but we were told she had been 'lively'. When I asked what the vet meant by 'lively', she told us that Maisie had been trying to open up other cats' cages after she had had the operation! Back home, the vet's advice to keep her calm and to ensure her neck funnel stayed on for 10 days was simply not going to happen- Maisie had other plans. These involved taking off the funnel and running around the house like a lunatic. Funnily enough, she saw the funnel as a bit of a game as she was happy to put her head back in it on numerous occasions, but it wasn't going to stay on... Nevertheless, she was good at not pulling out her stitches, so all was well. People told us that she wouldn't want us touching her too much, especially her tummy, after the op, but this wasn't true for Maisie. She appears to be a very resilient cat and she she is affectionate as ever, maybe even more so!
So what's next for our feline friend? Now that she is accessing the outside through her chip-activated cat flap, she will no doubt be catching us some mice at some point in the future (not something I'm looking forward to). She loves to explore and chase the slightly older cat next door which will hopefully not result in her being beaten up! She will perhaps grow out of her desire to ransack shelves for hidden goodies and might stop the incessant meowing at 5am on a Saturday morning (if she gives up her penchant for petty crime and sprinting, we might even allow her upstairs at night!) Either way, we love our little girl regardless and look forward to watching her grow. She has brought so much joy in just these few months and I can't imagine life without her. If you are thinking of getting a kitten and can offer a loving home, I recommend it whole-heartedly. They are hard work at times, but the fun and affection you get from a kitten make it all worthwhile. 
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