Friday, December 18, 2020

A Few Felonious Thoughts

Now that the Felons have gone to their new home, I have time to reflect on their residence with me. I can write that they taught me a great deal, about kittens in particular, and cats in general.

I have learned that kittens should always come in pairs, at the least. They really aren’t twice as much trouble as a single, and the advantages over just one kitten are many. First and foremost, two kittens are company for one another. When the human is absent, or even when he is present, the two youngsters play, wrestle and sleep together. They encourage each other to eat, and to use the litter-box. They learn from each other: Oleo taught Bisto some things about where to wet, and Bisto showed his brother how to descend steps. As important as anything else, two kittens provide strength and bravery to each other, which is not a little thing when the whole world is new. I couldnt have counted how many times one of the Felons looked for the other when in a new room or situation.

Watching the babies grow, I learned about the development of cats, how mine became the familiar creatures I see every day. I observed the kittens build hunting and survival skills from play, skills instinctive within each cat but latent until brought out in relationships with others, which is another illustration of why two kittens are better than one. I saw the jerky little movements of babies become the more confident strides of toddlers - and then the over-confident rushes of children.

I know first-hand the importance to kittens of physical contact with humans, giving them the chance to grow accustomed to handling, petting, stroking, holding, and even claw-cutting. Allowing them a variety of foods makes them less picky at a later period of their lives - though this is soon superseded by the period in which pickiness becomes a simple and pervasive species trait. Strong interaction with humans early on can also discipline a kitten, or at least get him used to the human trying to impart it. Biting was common to both Oleo and Bisto after they passed a certain age. Though it may have to do with teething, they nonetheless now know the word no. Thats useful knowledge when it comes to deciding what commands to ignore.

And then there is the fact that I realise now that I can raise kittens. Not every little one will be as easy as Oleo and Bisto were on me, but those two survived my inexperience, and others may profit by it. I hope the Felons, if they could speak - and if they cared about such things - would say that I made their lives better and stronger. I know I can say that about their effect on me.


  1. What a learning experience all around.

    I know they have no obligation to do so, but will the new family pass on any updates? We would all love to know how the Felons are settling in their new digs.

    1. If nothing else, I should have information to share in the new year: as the writer of the rescue-group's newsletter, I interview for an article each adoptive family about the experience, and how the new cats are getting along.

  2. If the Felons could speak, I know they’d express their gratitude to you.

  3. I think you're absolutely correct about the joys of watching kittens grow and how much fun it is to see how their personalities develop. And like Undine, I would love to get an update on how the Felons are doing in their new home.

  4. They sure do pack a lot of life into kittenhood. It can impart a lot to us when we are patient enough to really pay attention. I think that is a trait common to we cat people

  5. Yes! If they could speak..they'd never
    stop..everything you taught them John,
    and everything they learned will be,
    so to speak, in their DNA..
    And, this of course is not a nursery
    rhythm, but they happily
    ever after..Bless them!xx

  6. I have really enjoyed being able to see the kittens progress. Having Eric and Flynn from 5 1/2 weeks old it brought back to many happy memories of them going through the same early stages of life.

  7. You had your hands full with those two young'uns. But they looked like they were and Delight and I certainly enjoyed seeing them from your point of view. It is a wonderful Christmas ending for them to find a new home together.

  8. I'll look forward to an update, which presumably you'll be able to provide, given your reply to Undine's comment.

    Nicki and Derry were the youngest cats I've had experience with, at 6 months old each. I'd be terrified to have kittens, so afraid I'd somehow cause or contribute to their demise. Now that you know YOU can foster babies, perhaps we'll see more in the future. :-)

  9. It really is special to see the wee kittens grow into their true selves, besides, it's so much fun!

  10. What it that old saw, "if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger!"
    You now have kitten experience under your belt, ready to use again when needed.
    Thank you for sharing your time with The Felons with us; we learned too.

  11. It was fun watching them grow and develop under your care, and I won't be unhappy to see your foster more. I'll look forward to the update in January too.

    Lovely photo of the sky John! Take care and stay well!

  12. Oh we are happy to hear the felons are in their forever and ever home and thanks to you they will grow into very happy adults cats.

  13. I, as do the others, look forward to reading and perhaps seeing ? the kittens in their new home if their parents will send some photos. They and you have been a grand success and have given us weeks of sweetness that we have in our memories.