Cat blog about my life with many, many cats.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

The Super-Sized Kitten

Some cats seem to mature gracefully, adapting to the changes that their body makes over time. But Roman, our orange woolly worm of a cat, doesn’t seem to realize that he’s not a tiny kitten anymore.

He’s over two years old now, but in his mind, he’s still the bitty handful of fur that joined us that fateful summer when our landlady adopted him and his sister to become new outdoor barn cats. He and his sister, Becka, were only six weeks old. When our landlords went away for a week to Ireland, they asked if we would keep the kittens down in our basement. They had been staying in an enclosed area in one of the barns before that.

I said, “KITTENS! Of course, we’ll take them. I mean, look after them.”

Well, Becka and Roman joined us on the side area of our basement, but before long, they were moved upstairs to the enclosed living room. And, somehow, they never ended up becoming barn cats. They were our cats.

Having kittens is SO MUCH FUN. I’d cuddle them each day, and for a long time, the two of them were small enough to sit on my lap together. They seemed to be in denial as their bodies became longer and their dimensions increased. For a long time, the two of them would still try to sit on my lap together, even though one of them would inevitably fall off, and fuzzy kitten limbs would be scrambled everywhere as they jostled for position.

Becka seems to be maturing gracefully. She’s still a very small, thin, cat, but she seems to know that she’s not a baby kitty anymore.

Roman, however, knows he’s still the infant of the house, even if he has grown to be the size of horse. (Well, maybe not that big.)

Last night I was up late working on a column. The wind was blowing, and my upstairs office was chilly. I don’t get much heat up here in this old house because the radiator doesn’t work in this room.

Roman seemed to sense that I needed a lap warmer, and he joined me for several hours while I worked, purring contentedly in my lap. But he still thinks of himself as a tiny kitten, because he flops around on my lap and seemingly doesn’t realize that his limbs are big now, and that if he keeps flopping, he’ll fall off. So we go through this ritual of him relaxing on my lap and then flopping around and falling off, me picking him up again, and the cycle repeats.

It’s kind of like the instructions that come on a shampoo bottle. “Shampoo. Rinse. Repeat” only this cycle is more like “Purr. Fall Off Lap. Repeat.”

He’s an excellent lap warmer, though, and I was grateful for the extra warmth.


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