Kittens  – Do they make you happy or wacky?

I had always wanted a BWLC (aka Black Witches Lap Cat) but my husband was against having a cat…until the rats arrived in the house! A cat was the final resort when the rats started to avoid the traps set out for them so on Mother’s Day, I drove down to my local RSPCA and purchased myself an adorable male, three year old BWLC and brought him home a week later.

He was already named Diesel, which was quite ironic as my husband is a Master Technician and hates diesel cars, and again ironically, it was my husband`s lap that Diesel decided to sit on….all the time.

5 years passed by and after being told numerous times I was not allowed to buy a kitten that I could train to sit on MY lap, I sent it (wished it) up to the angels and waited on their guidance and decision.

One late Indian summer evening in September, a small female version of Diesel appeared in my garden. My eldest boy spotted the cat and gave it some treats! It wasn`t long before the cat was jumping up onto my lap, whilst I was enjoying a late-night wine and reading my book. Every time I went into the garden, regardless of what time of day or night is was, the cat would be there. It would jump up onto my lap and stay there for over an hour or so. Within a week it had literally decided to live with us via entering my eldest sons open windows upstairs (where she fell asleep on his bed and in due course, my bed with me….all night) . I decided that to keep it in the car theme – Petrol would be a good name for her (at this point, I didn`t have a clue of what sex it was.)

About 2 weeks into Petrol’s arrival, Diesel went AWOL….. Was it Petrol? Had Diesel  had enough and moved on? Was he dead? My instinct was that he was trapped somewhere i.e. in someone’s garage or house. I continued to patrol the streets and alleyways. I put posters through all the neighbour’s letterboxes. I worried, and cried.

Then 3 weeks later, on Black Friday (funnily enough) I was outside having a cigarette and low and behold, Diesel came over the fence and meowed all around me. OMG was I happy… I let him into the house, and he tried to jump up onto the kitchen counter but was to weak. This made me think that he had definitely been trapped somewhere and was now finally free. I fed him, cuddled him and slept on the sofa that night to make sure he was ok.

Now my attention went back to Petrol. I took Petrol to the vets who confirmed she was a girl. I explained the occurrence of Petrol in our life’s. The vet asked if I was going to keep her and I said yes, but I would put up posters and join an online ` cats missing` site (but thankfully no one claimed her). About 3 weeks later, Petrol was showing all the signs of being on heat and of course, before I knew it, she was showing all the signs of being pregnant. We weren’t sure who the daddy was! It was either Diesel (who allegedly was neutered when I bought him) or the black and white cat who had started to frequent out garden! My eldest boy was delighted with the news. My youngest son didn`t seem concerned, and my husband – took it as well as it could be taken!

So now, not only did I have my BWLC that I wanted, but she was also pregnant and my long awaited kitten (s)  would be on their way. Thank you angels! And as I reminded my husband… one must always be careful with what one wishes or asks for! I bet he had wished to agreeing to me buying a kitten ages ago and not me wishing for `a kitten`.

So here is the main part of my blog……do kittens make me happy like I thought they would?

THE BIRTH

On the morning of 13th February 2019, after coming back from my first school run, Petrol was laying on the floor in the front room making some strange noises, but of course, that was the morning where I had two important meetings to attend. I wasn`t too concerned as all the googling I had done about `kitten` birth assured me, that this stage could take up to 12 hours. I went off to work, happy knowing that I had placed numerous cardboard `birthing` boxes in all the quiet places around the house that was also recommended by numerous websites.

I decided to pop home quickly before my next meeting and Petrol was nowhere to be seen. After going around the house hundreds of times, I finally heard a meow when I was in my eldest boy’s bedroom. Where the hell was she? I found her buried deep amongst the duvet of my boys unmade bed! And amongst the very half water, half blood-soaked duvet, there she was licking a freshly born black and white kitten with another black kitten moving around the back of her! OMG was I happy! And OMG did I go into panic mode. I ran downstairs and filled the hot water bottle and grabbed all the muslins (left over from my boys’ younger years) and ran back upstairs and grabbed one of the birthing boxes all ready in case there was an emergency. Googling `kitten` birth had me all set and ready. I had my emergency print out too hand and was already. How many was she going to pop out? She had already popped out 2 on her own and so as I peered into the little “den” she had made for herself. I was ecstatic to see her pop out another black kitten. I was also very jealous that she did it with just a tiny grunt – not like me when I was in labour for nearly 24 hours!

I rang the vets and I was advised that in about 4 hours, I could transfer them all into their new home (which was one of the cardboard boxes I had set up.) Four hours later, I did this and set about washing (and then throwing away the duvet and cover as they were not re-salvageable) and all was fine. Petrol and her new litter were content and happy…and I had a large glass of wine.

The kittens were no bigger than 5cm (palm of your hand if you were wondering) when they were born and despite conflicting information on the web about when you can handle new born kittens, we went with the one that said we could all held them, love them and rejoice in their birth.

So does having kittens in my life make me happy????

The answer is extremely happy, completely over-joyed and a proud mum (once again…or actually…..does this make me a grand-mum??)

Month One

Well, the first couple of weeks of the three kittens lifes were quite boring really. They just fed from their mum and fell back to sleep (a bit like a new-born baby). Obviously, they started to grow a little and then finally, their eyes opened and they started attempting to move around their home of a carboard box. They also become a little more curious.

About 4 weeks from when they were born, I found the kittens moving (some-what unsteadily) around the front room as they had now found the ability to climb  / tumble out of the box. My husband said surely we could make a `guard` out of the ten tonnes of lego that was stored in my eldest boys room. I humoured him and spent 4 hours building the tallest guard I could out of the lego pieces, but within 2 days, they were climbing over that. Time to buy the big enclosed cat pen I had originally wanted to buy when I had seen it on you-tube the week before.

Let`s just say this was not the first thing I started to buy for them. A climbing frame thingy and a ball rolling thingy, an assortment of small cat toys, a cat bed as well as a litter tray (for the foreseeable future – well if I spent another £10 I would get free delivery so in total £80) were ordered on line.

The pen worked well. I kept the `roof` off and put a chair next to it so that Petrol could jump in and out to feed her kittens and they all seemed as happy as Larry. It also meant I could go to work knowing that they were all safe and sound.

During this month we finally decided on names for them all. The two black ones were named Turbo and Jet (keeping with the car theme) and the black and white one was named Indy! Why Indy? Firstly, after Indiana Jones (as this kitten was the most adventurous and curious out of the three) and secondly, because it kept with the car theme – Indy Car racing.

I thought Indy was a girl and the other two boys, however their first visit to the vet provided us with new information. Jet was a girl and Indy and Turbo were boys and they were all healthy and doing well. We kept the names regardless.

We all had turns in cuddling and stroking them on our laps and I even found my husband one lazy Sunday afternoon with all 3 kittens on him!

IF we were to re-home the kittens, I only wanted them to go to people I knew and trusted. Friends and family came over an “ooooed and arrrred” at them, but no one was interested in giving any off them a home.

So all in all, the first month (well, near the end) started to provide us all with endless excitement and entertainment. However, as for me, as a mother of 2 children, naturally I was concerned for my new brood, so the joys were also paralleled with a little anxiety.

So…..have the kittens made me happy…. Hell yeah. Happy times! (despite spending £80 on kitten paraphernalia)

Month Two

It was during this month that the kittens really started to look like the cute and adorable bundle of joy that we all picture when we think of kittens. They also started to develop their own personalities.

Turbo was the biggest so far and the laziest. Jet was the skinniest and the gentle one, and Indy was just bonkers, the leader and instigator of their play fighting (which they now did in abundance).

They played with the toys I bought them for a short while, but like children, they found empty boxes much more exciting. I had a huge box that I cut little doorways in at the bottom of it and they had hours of fun with that. They used the climbing post for a short while and would only play with the ring that had a ball in it if I sat and played with them.

Petrol was the perfect mother and Diesel began to live more and more in our shed and when he did come into the house for food (of course!) the kittens were greeted with hisses and an occasional swipe from Diesels paw.

I started to get a crook in my neck as I had to continuously looking down as I walked around the house so as to avoid stepping on them. A week later I avoided standing still as they liked to climb up my legs or grab my ankles as I walked. Jeans were now a definite must.

The cat flap always had to be locked as the kittens started to try to climb out of it, which meant that Diesel and Petrol had no freedom to come and go as they pleased. I also thought that this would be a good time to get Petrol spayed (three kittens were plenty thank you very much) as she would be housebound for a week or so after the operation.

They still slept a lot and that was when they received lots of stroking and affection from all of us.

So… the end of month two, and do kittens still make me happy? But of course 🙂

Month 3

Spring started to arrive and so windows were opened in the kitchen, but not for long as the kittens had grown strong and large enough that the could now jump up onto the kitchen countertops and attempt to leave via the open windows!

Petrol was still feeding them, but I also started to introduce solid food for them. Indy turned out to be a complete gannet and pushed everyone (including the 2 older cats) out of the way to get to the food. Turbo ate when he could be bothered, but Jet avoided the food at all costs.

As Diesel is over 7 and Petrol over 1, it now meant that I had to purchase 3 different types of food to suit all of the cats and kittens ages. However, this didn`t last long as they all ate from whatever bowl…. regardless of the `age` food that was in them.

I took the kittens to the vets to get their first jabs and she suggested I mix in some cold chicken or fish into the food to entice Jet to eat and I`m happy to say, it worked. What also started to work were their bowels and now the corners of my front room and hallway seemed the ideal place to empty them apparently! The litter trays came into action. Well, for 2 out of the 3 kittens that is (I never did work out which kitten was spoiling my carpet). The 2 kittens that were using the litter trays were making a great deal of mess, kicking the litter out of the tray and all over the floor. I went straight to the pet store and brought a hooded litter tray. YAY! I also ordered another one on-line 2 days later along with a `guaranteed carpet cleaner which kills odour and is a deterrent for the cats to wee and poo there again.` It was £7 wasted as not only did it do none of the above, it lasted for about 2 `cleaning sessions`.

During this month the kittens were now able to climb the stairs, or rather, run up and down the stairs. They started to chase eachother all around the house and at night they would curl up on my bed, after playing `catch Dawn`s foot under the duvet!` Which at first was great fun for me and them but came quite tiresome when I was actually trying to go to sleep. One day I came home to find that one of them had decided that my duvet was the perfect place to deposit a wet watery poo! So off to the shops I once again went to buy another Duvet and Duvet Set! Except this time the Duvet had to be a king size duvet and they are not cheap!

So during the third month – do kittens still make me happy! Not when it comes to `potty` training! Three litter trays to clean daily as well as hunting around for random poo and continuously attempting to clean my carpet. Am I happy about paying out for more duvet and covers or cleaning materials that don`t work? NO!

However, when they curl up on my lap or sleep on my bed at night, purring away, the happiness returns ten-fold.

Month 4

The kittens are no longer kittens! They have grown over night and now look like mini cats. Don`t get me wrong, they are still small, but the cute bundles of fur have grown and stretched out tonnes and now they climb up the net curtains, my whole body and slowly I am also climbing the walls! I can`t cook without them jumping up onto the counters, which resorts to me closing them in the utility room. I can`t leave any food left out unopened, or dirty bowls or plates on the side. I can`t stand in the kitchen without Indy running up behind me, scratching his way up my body and on to the countertop. I can`t sleep in my bed with my feet hanging out of the duvet as they think it is a scratching post or something to bite. I can`t type on my laptop without them walking over the keyboard (so I blame them for any typos!)

Despite cleaning the litter trays on a regular basis, the utility room continuously smelt of poo. So, after some investigation, I found 3 separate `present`s for me behind the book shelf. I pulled everything out and cleaned up the mess! Rather annoying….however, it did mean I found that the washing machine pipe had a slow leak occurring, so I fixed that and looked on the bright side – without them pooing behind the book shelf, I wouldn`t have know the washing machine was leaking and fungus was growing all around the pipes!

I took the kittens to the vets for their second jabs and microchips (£150 later) and arranged to take them back within 2 months to get them spayed and neutered as apparently cats don`t follow the rules of society and will shag any female, regardless of them being their sister! (and I now know I definitely don`t want any more kittens). I asked the vet when they could go outside. The answer was not a good one – not until they were 6 months old. However, a google search suggested different and that it can be two weeks after their jabs. I preferred that answer.

There has been discussions about re-homing them, but we all want to keep a different one, and despite all my complaints about them, I can`t let them go….because they still make me happy and they are part of our family now.

Month 5

Enough is enough!!!! They need to be let out of the house. Not only for them, but for our sanity as well. Jet keeps leaping out the back door as soon as it`s open and Indy is trying to get out off any windows that has been opened (even with the smallest crack allowed). I booked them into be spayed and neutered and starved them all night as required. 7 0`clock in the morning, I find Petrol on my bed with all 3 kittens feeding from her! NO! They haven’t done that in weeks! They knew the fate waiting for them that day!

 I rang the vet who said that because they had `fed` she could not operate and I had to book them in for the following week! Have patience Dawn…2 weeks and they can go outside and hopefully the litter trays can be cleared away and windows opened once again! Just in time for the heat-wave we are supposedly due.

The day before the next spayed / neutered appointment arrives, and what do I find… Turbo trying to `get his wicked` way with Jet! Now I`m not sure whether cats can breed at this age – but I was not putting nothing to chance so I worked from home that day keeping a close eye on the kittens – the last thing I need is more kittens (even though kittens have made me happy – honestly 🙂 ) I`m glad I did take the day of because later in the day – Indy was also trying it on with Jet!!! One more day guy’s please – one more day!

That night, I kept Jet locked away with me in my bedroom and she cuddled up with me all night – I was in heaven!! Petrol spent the night outside so no feeding could occur and finally the big day arrived – went – and it`s now over. All kittens are fine, and I am safe in the knowledge that they are safe from breeding. I can also start to relax a little more and look forward to letting them out in a weeks’ time. PHEW!!

A week went by and I took Jet back to have her stitches taken out – but she was still slightly swollen so I had to wait 4 more days. In the meantime, I finally let the 2 male kittens out as they were going stir crazy and on the whole it went OK. They both stayed closed to house and didn`t wander far and returned to the back door whenever it was opened. PHEW!!

I was trying to work out how much I have spent on the kittens so far, and what with food, litter trays, cat litter, continuous toys to keep them entertained, and vet bills, I estimate I have roughly spent easily over £1000 on them so far. GULP! And that is without pet insurance! And now I am about to set them up with a PET PLAN at their vets which is £14 per month per kitten…but I will be saving £100` s over the year doing it this way.

So, you would think that that was the end of this blog as lots had occurred over this month – but NO!

On Sunday morning my youngest son pointed out that Indy couldn’t open his right eye! II was straight on to the phone to the emergency vet which I had yet not needed to use! The lovely receptionist said that if I got there in the next 2 hours a vet would be able to see us. She also explained it would be £75 emergency consultation fee! Honestly Indy, why couldn`t you have waited until Monday when my normal vets was open! Anyway, off to Willets House vets we went.

I registered Indy and was told there was a waiting time of ½ hour to 45 minutes. Time to get out Facebook and see what everyone else was up to at 10:30 on a Sun morning.

Whilst sitting in the waiting room, a young lad looked into the cat basket and said to his mum that Indy had eyes like their cat. What did he mean? Indy`s eyes should be shut like they were when I left the house!!!!

 I looked into the basket and sure enough Indy was looking at me with both eyes completely wide open. “Great” I thought, it`s just like when there is some sound coming from your car and a technician sits in it and the sound is no longer there, or your laptop is playing up so you take it to the IT department and it works as good as new. Did I really come all this way for nothing…and pay £75 for nothing?

We were finally called into see the Vet and straight away she said, `oooo that eye looks sore`. Shamefully I felt kind of a relieved as it meant I wasn`t wasting my time or money. The outcome was that he hadn`t scratched the eye and it was probably conjunctivitis, that at present, wasn`t contagious to my other cats. PHEW.

We walked away with eye drops, painkillers and a bill of £105.

When I got home, with the help of my husband, we successfully applied the eye drop but trying to put the painkiller syringe into his mouth was another story.

So, do kittens make me happy – or wacky??? Well if you work out how many times I have written the word PHEW! means they are making me stressed – happy – stressed – but then still happy! Also, when you look at the pictures I have added – how can I not feel happy (and a little wacky!)

Month 6

Mother Nature works in mysterious ways

It is a calm Saturday! All the cats are chilling and suddenly Petrol springs into action around the full length (literally floor to ceiling) curtain in a corner of the front room.

Earlier, I had swatted a wasp and couldn`t find out where it went. I was concerned that the wasp had revived itself and Petrol was about to get stung.

BUT NO! Very quickly, a mouse darted up the curtain and both me and Petrol were now on full alert.

After 5 minutes of trying to find where the small little creature had disappeared to, I finally found it clinging for dear life at the top of the curtain within the `safety` of its dark creases.

I got the (witches) broom stick and enticed (or rather prodded and pushed) the mouse back down to the floor. Petrol pounced, caught the mouse and took it straight outside. Jet was watching the whole event and chased after Petrol and soon took ownership of the mouse.

For the next hour, Jet “played “or should I say “tormented “the mouse.

Over the years of having Diesel, I have become immune to the whole “OMG you are killing another animal”. I have slowly become “numb” to Mother Nature’s ways of life and excepted that cats kill…..but not before they have played and tormented the mouse / rat to death.

Another hour later I yelled at Jet “Jet, stop playing with it and just kill it” . As I said it, a white butterfly flew over Jets head! I looked at the mouse and it was as dead as a dodo. Jet looked at me, looked at the mouse, put her nose in the air and sauntered back inside the house. Mother Nature is amazing, sometimes cruel – but mostly amazing.

So… the kittens have been with us for 6 months now. They are nearly as big as their mother was when she joined us. Their characters are blatant now! Jet is still the soft one when it comes to cuddling, pawing and purring. Indy is still bonkers and initiates all the fun and will only eat dry food! Turbo – he is my eldest`s favourite. However, Turbo has decided that my feet hanging out of the duvet are still mice to attack – so midst dream, I still will wake to fangs in my toes! Apparently it is only me he does it to!

They all now have access in out of the house via the cap flap which has given us all a new sense of freedom. So far they still only stay around the back of the house and not out the front by the main road, but the cat flap also means I don`t know what I wil find each morning…a dead mouse, feathers, or worms. Even chillies – they all seem to really enjoy the red chillies from the neighbour’s garden and think that I would like them too.

Freedom from the cat flap, their new independence and them cuddling up on my bed at night means I am a HAPPY CRAZY CAT LADY…

UPDATE: December 2019.

The kittens are still with us, despite me advertising them in numerous ways! Therefore, I feel they are meant to stay with us! 😊

They are the same size as their mum now. They sit on my lap 😊 Indy likes to like the milk from my left-over Weetabix in the morning. Turbo will appear in my bedroom early hours of the morning and will still try to nibble (lovingly bite is more realistic) my feet or hands (whatever are exposed) and then will gently paw my face or comb my hair saying “get up mum I am hungry. Jet is just the chilled out. Jet and goes with the flow.

Petrol had her yearly check up and has some plaque on her teeth, so now my mission is to clean her teeth! Oh the joys! Otherwise, the vet kindly informed me it will be £300 for them to clean her teeth or worse case scenario, £600 to have them removed!

I WILL BRUSH HER TEETH whatever it takes!

Diesel is spending more time in the house which is lovely.

As it`s the kittens first Christmas in the house, I didn`t want to put up a Christmas tree and deal with it being knocked over every night, so instead, I have my 4ft Santa in the corner where the tree usually goes! Keep things simple I think.

I LOVE MY CATS!!!!!!!