February 08, 2002
Kitten Crazies

As the husband of a woman that is a licensed veterenary technician, my house has turned into a kind of "land of the misfits". We have five cats right now (only because I won't let her have seven), and all have some sort of story to tell. One of the funniest comes from Coconut.

Coconut was one of the first really hard luck cases Ellen ever brought home. She was a c-section baby, the only one to survive. She looked like this when she was brought home.

The problem with kittens that small is they make china cups look tough. Very, very easy to lose them, and in fact we had lost one just a few months before. So we were very careful with this one, and didn't even name the little bugger until she'd got to be about three weeks old.

It's really funny to watch kittens learn to walk. For awhile, it's as if each leg has its own separate control set, and the kitten must methodically work each lever and pulley one at a time. They'll even watch their own front feet sometimes. This gives them a wonky "lift foot... move foot... STEP! lift foot... move foot... STEP!" gate as they methodically work each leg one at a time. It's slow, but it does eventually get you to the food bowl. Sometimes they'll get confused and try things like "move foot... lift foot thud", or "lift foot, scratch ear, lift other foot, thud" and other such combinations that usually lead to them wobbling over on their sides like a badly balance trycicle. Let's just say it's a good thing they don't have all that far to fall.

At about three and a half weeks, Coconut figured she had this walking thing down pat. She'd actually managed to move on to the "lift foot-STEP! lift foot-STEP! " routine, doing away with the conscious move that made each leg placement look like a construction crane operation. It gave her a very tank-like gate. This was efficient enough that she had begun to trundle around the apartment exploring and swatting her much larger (grown) brother when she could catch him. She was not, however, capable of running. You just can't "lift foot-STEP!" that fast.

One afternoon while I was watching Coconut trundle around the living room Ellen began to vacuum an adjacent hallway. Now, both of the grown cats we had considered the vacuum cleaner as some sort of Dragon from Hell come to suck them up and chew them to bits. They both blasted past Coconut, one on each side, going about mach 2 and hid behind the couch. This quite obviously puzzled Coconut, who had never seen either cat move that fast. She looked back where they went (over her shoulder... actually turning was quite an operation), then looked at where the noise was coming from. You could almost hear the little voice inside her head say "well humpf! That doesn't sound so bad... I wonder what it is." So she began lift foot-STEP! lift foot-STEP!-ing over to see what was going on. It was just as she rounded the corner that something bad happened.

Ellen sucked a penny into the vacuum cleaner.

What Coconut was suddenly confronted with was this gigantic whirring snorting CLATTERING EXPLODING monster from hell come to eat her upHOLYSHIT!!! Her ears laid back flat to her head, eyes went to pinpoints, but because she didn't know how to walk properly she pivoted in place to get away. Looked just like a teeny-tiny bulldozer pinwheeling around an axis. However, turning around and walking forward are two different locomotive actions. It took two visible tries for Coconut to get her legs in gear before things started working properly. She looked just like a car driven by a 15 year old the first time they use a stickshift. After two gear-grinding false starts she started to get away by lift foot-STEP!-ing very, very fast, liftfootstepliftfootstepliftfootstepliftfootstepliftfootstep until she'd managed to get behind a box.

She has never trusted vacuum cleaners since.<

Posted by scott at February 08, 2002 05:13 PM

eMail this entry!

Your picture doesn't download so I can't see what Coconut looked like as a tiny kitten.

Posted by: Pat on February 10, 2002 11:53 PM

I absolutely love this piece about Coconut. I forgot to tell you that. I have passed this around to everone at work. Wish I could send it to some others.

Posted by: Pat Johnson on May 7, 2002 04:24 PM

Hi! I found this site via Melbernai.
I love this story about coconut. I have 2 cats of my own and they are always a joy at some time or another.
Actually, I have always had cats at one time or another in my life and I love them dearly for cats are animals with much personality.
I like your site as well, keep up the good work!

Posted by: No1sgirl on June 25, 2002 04:19 PM

Great story - cats are so entertaining!

Posted by: rich on July 24, 2002 10:28 PM

I laughed so hard I cried. (don't mind me, stress affects me that way sometimes)

Posted by: jessajune on August 1, 2002 12:20 PM

Heh. No problem! Welcome to the site!

Posted by: scott on August 1, 2002 12:24 PM

What a great story!

Posted by: Lisa on August 12, 2002 09:57 PM

I've never had a cat that didn't like vaccuums! My last cat would come running when you started it, she loved *being* vaccuumed (my mother started doing this to minimize the shedding she'd do on clean sofas). I guess a penny would do it, though. Lovely stories!

Posted by: Katie on August 13, 2002 04:22 PM

PLEASE change the format back to the original

Posted by: Pat on August 24, 2002 03:44 AM

Great story! All three of my cats (my husband won't let me have more either)are terrified of the vacuum, too. Your story got me laughing so hard my coworkers came over to see, and they laughed too. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Chandra on October 2, 2002 03:29 PM

Hi there, I have six indoor cats (forbidden by my hubby to have ANY MORE *grin*)...two of them since they were born...and so this story really rang true. Sure makes me want to have another kitten in the house though...

Posted by: Pam on December 2, 2002 07:03 PM



Posted by: scott on December 2, 2002 07:32 PM

I LOVE Coconut's pink nose!!!

Posted by: cijay on April 9, 2003 11:18 AM

Yesterday I finally found a conclusive evidence for a highly organized brain activity in my cat's (Aboo) brain =) I left home and forgot to leave the door to the toilet open. As I discovered it, when a finally came home, I expected to find some kind of punishment for this misbehavior somewhere =(((

But my brilliant cat found the other way out! He did what he had to do strictly in the haunch that he found in the bathroom.

I admire my cat! =))

Posted by: Free Lander on January 7, 2004 01:05 PM

we think cats and kittens are so cute!we have three cats and one kitten!The kitten's name is Blue and the three cats are Morgan, Kizzy, and Peanut.

Posted by: Kelly and Maddy on January 28, 2004 09:05 AM

we think cats and kittens are so cute!we have three cats and one kitten!The kitten's name is Blue and the three cats are Morgan, Kizzy, and Peanut.

Posted by: Kelly and Maddy on January 28, 2004 09:05 AM

hello this is khrystian and ashely thompson .we are going to but a kitten soon.we love kittens just to let you know we dont love kittens we i me we more than love them.well thats all we wanted to say thank you bye

Posted by: ashely and khrystian thompson on January 28, 2004 08:23 PM

I lolve this web site and hope it stays up forever !

Posted by: Moosey Kitty on March 19, 2004 06:58 PM

I have two cats who are both terrified of anything loud- including vacuums. This story made me laugh so hard when I recalled their terrified looks whenever we turn on the 'machine from Hell.'

Posted by: jackie on June 21, 2004 09:04 PM

i have birds.
and we saw a garbage truck and mum for got to put the bin out, when she got their the people found a bird that was hurt.
my mum went and took it to the vet and they are trying to save it.

Posted by: candy on July 1, 2004 02:11 AM

I have 3 cats here myself. 2 belong to my bro and the one belongs to me. My brother's two cats, Cleo and Ryo-Ohki, are the two that sit on top of the hierarchy. Though Ryo-Ohki is definately the queen and takes no fuss from either of the other two. She also must have the attention of anyone coming over to visit. (humans only though and dogs get stalked) Cleo generally sits regally and does love attention and to be called beautiful as she knows she is and maintains a fur that is soft as a rabbit's. My cat however, is a ditzy blonde off a cat. Her name is Gatinha. Pronounced Ga-chee-nia for those of us who speak English and not Portuguese. She is half himalayan and loves to recieve food and often bothers others for a taste. I've discovered she loves pizza after being constantly tapped on the elbow for a taste for about 10 minutes. One thing they all have in common is a fear of loud noises. Loud thunderclaps especially scare Gatinha and she freaks out, seemingly teleports about the house and then hides in an interdimensional spot no one can find. They all are afraid of the vaccuum and rug shampooer and treat each one with a healthy distance for themselves even when the things are not in operation. Ryo-Ohki's biggest fear is water. Hold a glass over her, be it empty or not, and she gets ready to run. Accidental spills of liquids upon her sleek black frame taught her those things hold liquid. It's a plausable fear considering she was found outside in the rain and brought home by my brother. Cleo's biggest fear was Ryo-Ohki who skipped all cat hissing, growling and arching of back preliminaries and went strait to a paw to the face. This no doubt stunned Cleo and convinced her it only looks like a cat but is some horrible monster. She stayed in high spots for a long time until she got used to the queen.

Posted by: Steve on July 1, 2004 11:59 AM

i have a cat which is a tabby longhair which is not vary affectionate and loves to eat burgers, chicken fried rice, chocolate muffins,Basiclly anything that includes junk food. like lollies, ice-cream, chocolate E.T.C. E.T.C.

Posted by: alicia on September 4, 2004 04:45 AM

My Kitten is 8months old and has the life of a princess. As the only cat in the house, she thinks she owns the whole place. Her name is Mia and she hates dry food. She will paw all the food out of her bowl and then pounce around on it until you give her want she wants, which is anything but dry cat food. She likes to stick her nose into the candles and singe her wiskers. She never learns. She will also wake me up every morning at 5:00 by biting my nose and licking my face to death cause she wants attention. She is so adorable and i love her to death.

Posted by: Kodie on September 28, 2004 02:30 PM

Help! I've never had a kitten before and mine is so afraid of the car. Will she get over it? Also, I need to take her on a 5-hour car trip next weekend... how do i let her go to the bathroom and eat/drink during the trip?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
thank you

Posted by: Annie on October 16, 2004 02:23 PM

Amber and I did a 14-hour trip this May with two cats, so I may be of some help on this. What we did was put the litterbox on the floor behind the passenger seat (since Amber is only 5'2", it was much better that way). That let them take care of business if they wanted to - which, oddly enough, they didn't. I think it may have been stress.

We did offer water occasionally in a cup (a bowl will spill too easily) and had food available, but again, aside from sipping the water, they didn't bother to eat. We did have travel cages available and would put one or the other in it if they got too annoying.

Biggest thing to watch for? Make sure they don't get on the driver's side floor. They'll try to nap under the brake pedal or some other nonsense, which could end up being rather unsage.

I wouldn't recommend drugging them, as I've heard that this makes them worse to deal with on the other end. Best to get them in your lap and leave them there - love on them, etc.

Sheesh - I'm offering cat advice. That's almost like rooting for someone other than Dallas.

Posted by: Ron on October 16, 2004 05:39 PM

The easiset thing for you do to is get a carrier large enough for a very small litter box and a spot for your kitten to sleep in. You dont want a kitten out and about in a car, especially if you are by yourself. they can wedge themselves into spots into your car and you may have a very difficult time getting her out.

Place a small dish of wet food in with her (it has plenty of moisture in it for the car ride) and put a blanket over the top. The darkenss will help with the stress. You may also want to puchase a product called FELIWAY in the pet store and give the kennel a few spritzes a hour before your ride.

Sedation is out of the question for a kitten for a car ride. It is something you need her to get used to. Sedation can cause other problems such as rapid heart rate or severe depression of the cardiopulmonary system and have poor effects on you kitten.

Good Luck!
Ellen LVT

Posted by: ellen on October 17, 2004 07:43 AM

The kittens on this site were verrrrry cute.I would love to take one home with me.

Posted by: Ariana on October 27, 2004 12:56 PM
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