I always forget I know some of you IRL. So–it’s a Christmas surprise. More anon.
Oh no, that’s even worse. 🙁
I’m kicking myself for sounding like a spoilsport. I’m not trying to exert any sort of authority as a person with a house full of cats. But this is just basic: don’t give pets as presents. Especially not as surprise presents. Do it right the first time – bring the kids to the shelter or breeder, meet the kitten, discuss any issues with the proprietor – and your chances of success will be significantly higher.
I hate myself for butting in, but I’ve dealt with cats that have been the product of failed adoption, and they were traumatized. Let me tell you some Trixie stories sometime. Trixie may have been an extreme case – she was adopted and returned three times before she was a year old. But all kittens are very sensitive beasts, and if you’re not very careful, they turn into grown cats with behavior problems.
Also, I suggest getting a copy of “Think Like a Cat” by Pamela Johnson-Bennett and read the whole thing through before you bring a kitten home.
I am going to get that book–but I think you’re overworrying. Really, I am the one who wants the kitten. Me. I have always wanted a kitten, and it has never worked out. Now is probably not the ideal time, but it’s a decent time–no traveling, someone here all day, kitten able to come over a week long vacation so that there is time for everyone to get used to one another…
It’s a surprise for the kids. They will be thrilled, and it has what is, to me, the advantage of being a present that isn’t a “thing.” We have too many things. But it isn’t a surprise for me, the one who wants the kitten and understands about litter boxes, behavior, etc–we’ve had many dogs from puppies. So I don’t think the “surprise” question really applies. (I just suddenly realized someone might blow it!) Also, the kitten itself won’t really come on Christmas. We will all go together to get it after. Don’t you think a litter box will make a great present?
Don’t worry about “butting in!” I would say the same thing if you were considering a puppy, I am sure–oh, you ARE! Well, it’s a lot of work! But you know, my dog is lying on my feet right now, and he’s such a pain, and so hard to live with, and I love him anyway.
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