Growing up a dog person, I never imagined this day would come. On July 3, 2015, life handed me a new set of responsibilities because I spontaneously got a kitten!!! My best friend Madalyn is one of those crazy cat ladies, and she took part in convincing me to get a kitten. Our friend’s cat had a litter of kittens the month before I got my kitten, but after a month they were born, the kittens were well-bred and were ready to separate from their mother. I was to choose one kitten out of the five siblings (3/5 kittens shown below).
My original plan was to get an orange tabby cat, but as soon as Madalyn and I walked in, all five cats scattered throughout the backyard. Madalyn (as I mentioned is a crazy cat lady) chased the kittens all over the yard and it was undoubtedly the funniest thing I have ever witnessed. Few of the cats bit her during the process and we drew a conclusion: these kittens are demonic creatures. However, there was one kitten left hiding in the corner. Although the kitten tried running away from Madalyn the crazy cat lady, Madalyn managed to pick the kitten up with no predicament. The kitten was a female brown tabby cat and her eyes had a spec of blue and green in them. Madalyn and I made sure she had crystal clear eyes, spotless ears, no fleas, and pearly white teeth. I instantly fell in love with this kitten and took her home with me.
Being a rebel child, I took the kitten home without asking for my parents’ permission. My parents were in awe but in their own ways–my mom was excited but my dad on the other hand, was furious. My dad has never been a fan of cats but he was going to have to deal with this one! My dad overflowed me with questions such as, “What if the cat doesn’t get along with the dog?”, “What if the cat scratches the furniture?”, and “What if the cat potties all over the house?” I told my dad to not worry because cats are rather independent animals and will take care of themselves.
That is one of the advantages of raising a cat–they are self-reliant. As opposed to dogs, cats don’t need baths, but maybe once or twice a year if crucially needed. Cats are “naturally equipped with the implements to groom themselves: a barbed tongue with which to lick, forepaws they moisten with saliva and use as a surrogate washcloth, and teeth to dig out tougher debris” (courtesy of Petfinder). Another advantage of having a cat is they have a natural instinct to potty in the litter box. Once the litter box is set, simply knead the cat’s claws in the litter in order for the cat to become familiar with its “restroom”. Cats are clean animals and won’t make much mess in your home.
For 1-2 weeks after bringing a kitten home, it is recommended to isolate the kitten with its litter box, food, and a blanket (for the kitten to sleep in) in a bathroom. Exposing a kitten to a home with people walking all over the place will intimidate the kitten. Frequently check up on the kitten to see if it needs more food/water or attention/play time. This process builds a relationship between the kitten and its owner.
After playing around and getting to know my kitten’s personality, I brainstormed a list of names for her. She was frisky and hyper most of the time but I didn’t feel like giving her a “typical cat name” like Furball and Simba. I stepped away from that shenanigan and thought of unique, but cute names. The top three names in my book were Scarlett, Rose, and Bailey. I went with Bailey because it was the most suitable for a brown tabby cat.
After Bailey’s bathroom phase, she was mostly kept in my room. She was very frisky and ran around a lot. She played with her toy and chased everything that moved (literally). I downloaded an app by Friskies called “Cat Fishing” (available for Apple and Android), which is a game designed for cats. In Cat Fishing, fish swim around your screen and it is the cat’s job to “catch” all the fish by tapping on the screen. It is a great app and Bailey definitely had fun with it!
Bailey bites. Not as an attack, but because she’s teething. Cats teeth for 3-6 months, so give your cat something to chew on. A cat’s teething process is the reason why they need to eat soft, kitten food.
Aside from that, cats are adorable and loving animals. They always stick by your side and give you full attention. They’re simple pets, not a handful to take care of, clean, and smart. Unlike dogs barking up a bunch, cats are reluctant to meowing at everything that moves or makes noise. Cats (or Bailey at least) will lay next to you and cuddle while you’re sleeping. My dad eventually realized cats are awesome and he is now getting along with Bailey.
Madalyn and I stopped by our local PetSmart and Petco to buy kitten supplies. The materials needed for a new kitten are as follows:
- Litter box
- Litter scooper
- Food & water bowls
- Cat toys (optional, but the kitten needs to play!)
- Collar & tag
- Kitten food (make sure to buy kitten food because the food has to be a soft substance)
- Scratching post (so the kitten can knead its claws)
- Nail clippers for cats (watch a demo of cat nail clipping here)
You’re probably thinking “you have cat to be kitten me”, but I guarantee all items are relatively cheap.
Here are a few photos of Bailey in courtesy of Hailey Pinheiro Photography!
On July 20, 2015, Madalyn and I spontaneously went to a local PetSmart located in Flagstaff, Arizona and spontaneously adopted a cat. Although Madalyn has two cats at home, she decided to adopt another cat (I warned you, she’s a crazy cat lady). Meet Chester!
According to ASPCA, 3.4 million cats are put into shelters throughout the United States, and approximately 1.4 cats are euthanized and 1.3 are adopted. Do yourself a good deed and save a cat–cats’ lives matter!
Adopt a furry friend at your local shelter, and verify that your cat has its required vaccinations!
Here are some links to some shelters:
Links to Madalyn Pinheiro’s personal social media:
- Instagram: @madalynjane_
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madalyn.pinheiro.3?fref=ts
Links to Hailey Pinheiro’s personal social media:
- Instagram: @haileypin16
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004691866062&fref=ts