…for they may go all literal on you, writes Dot. At least, some aspects of having a new kitten are more like having a new child than I was reckoning on. Such as the sleep-deprivation (for Tiberius wakes even earlier than the boys and likes to take his morning exercise on my tummy); and the terror (love of balancing on high points + propensity to slip = nervous new cat-mum); and the lack of privacy in the bathroom (during my shower he walked up and down the edge of the enamel bath, which is slippery, and fell off into the bath. Twice. See previous point. He hated getting wet but he still did it again).
Another parallel to early motherhood is the feeling of anxious puzzlement when there is something they clearly want but they don’t have the linguistic ability to tell you what it is. He’s had several fits of seeming agitated and urgently miaowing at me. Yesterday it was fairly clear that the problem was a need to use the litter tray for – ahem – serious purposes for the first time. We eventually managed that, though his initial preference was for a large plant pot and I had to haul him out of it repeatedly and put him in the tray, whereupon he would leap out and make for the plant. Today – well, I don’t know what it was. He’s seemed quite hungry. There has been food down the whole time, but he seems unwilling to eat to the bottom of the bowl and I suspect that, as the biggest of the litter, he was used to only eating the top of the food and leaving his sisters to clear up what was left. He has also wanted to play, and we have duly played with him. But there may be something else. Feeling unsettled, missing his family, needing a tummy rub, smelling something interesting – I just don’t know. If only he could talk. But Hugh and Frank learnt to talk, and look where that got us.