A Kitten’s One-Month Milestone

By Max

Today marks one month since I joined Cats Working, and I’ve realized I’m a natural when it comes to this pet gig. It’s like the role I was born to play.

Since I arrived, I’ve been checking out every inch of the house… except the kitchen counter. I’m saving that for my final frontier because it has the most shock value.

The coffee table is a minefield. Karen keeps everything up here but a litterbox.

I’m about 5 months old now, so you probably want to see if I’ve grown. Here I am with my caterpillar, which I use as a body pillow now…

I hope my Cattey never turns into a butterfly.

I also have this new toy that hides goodies I fish out and throw around whenever the spirit moves me.

If there was any more junk in here, it would be a coffee table.

But I’m also into the classics, like this well-licked family heirloon named Sneaky Snake…

I'm tough on rats, but tougher on reptiles.

And I’m told Mouse on a Stick used to be Yul’s favorite when he was a kitten. It’s so old, a safety pin keeps it together.

My mom once told me it’s bad manners to meow with my “mouse” full.

We’ve got so many toys, sometimes I can’t make up my mind WHAT to play with!

Hmmm…. What am I in the mood for? Mouse on a Stick or Cat Dancer?

But don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not all fun and games around here. Every morning, I have “Leash Lessons.” Karen’s teaching me how to behave in public. I humor her because she give me treats. (Unlike Rick Perry, I’m not insulted by nominal bribes.) But when I think I’ve learned enough for the day, I use strong body language to say, “Class dismissed!”

For the life of me, I don’t know why dogs think this is so special.

I’ve also been learning the rules of the house. For example, Cole thinks the top of the blue kitty perch belongs to him…

“How many times do I have to tell you, kid, this perch ain’t big enough for both of us?”

But as soon as he’s not looking, guess who moves in?

Just keeping Cole’s spot warm like a good baby brother. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Adele’s been pretty easy to deal with, as long as I always remember to call her, “Your Royal Highness, Princess Baby Love.” She doesn’t even mind when I gobble my Fancy Feast like a pig, even though she KNOWS I’m doing it so I can steal hers.

Adele hates to eat alone, so she lets me get away with a lot.

When it comes to having issues with “boundaries,” Cole is our king. Sometimes he’ll let me “share a quiet moment” with him on the couch…

We could be bookends, right?

Cole even lets me join him on Karen’s bed, a visitation right Adele and Cole are STILL trying to hammer out after two years…

As long as I stay off Cole's blankie, we're good.

So there I am, keeping my distance, minding my own business, and the next thing I know, Cole goes all Raging Bully on me…

Cole's channeling Boris Karloff, so I pretend to be real scared.

In rural Virginia where I come from, tomcats never walk away from a good fight, so I have to give Cole a little what-for to let him know I’m no pushover…

We’re like that old TV commercial: “I don’t know where he ends and I begin.” (Don't worry. No kitties were hurt during filming.)

And in case Cole didn’t get my message, I go into the living room and whack his precious Kitty Cubes. Lucky for Cole, he wasn’t inside…

Take THAT, you big pink things! Nobody pushes Maxie into the corner!

When I’m a big cat, I figure I’m either going to be a pawn in Cole and Adele’s turf war, or I’ll put my paw down and end it. Only time will tell which it will be.

Here’s my favorite artsy self-portrait…

I’ll get back to you, Meredith, on how to “Look My Youngest” when I’m about 6 lives down, but don’t hold your breath. I’m just getting started!


18 Responses to A Kitten’s One-Month Milestone

  1. Imabear says:

    Congrats on your first month! You sure have this writing thing down. Clearly, you’re a natural. And a handsome devil, too. I know what you mean about the territorial issues – one of my kids gets that way when he’s in a certain mood (I don’t dare try a leash on him!). All I can say is be patient; it goes with the, ah, territory.

  2. Britta Moore says:

    Happy for you little man Max in your new home. How I miss young’ins. I would be tempting divorce court to add a newbie to our brood but the six aging women and three equally aging men applaud your exploration of your new world. We will all live vicariously. Looking forward to your future posts!

  3. Zappa says:

    Hey Max

    How fun does that coffee table look? Hours of destruction!

    PS I LOVE my Cat Dancer!


  4. I particularly like the shot hanging off the top of the kitty condo while sleeping. I’m in the family cat pool for a week from Friday as to when you have that falling dream and fall off for real. I suspect Cole has an edge on this as he intends to push you.

  5. adele says:

    From Alice and Dorothy:

    We love our cat dancer, too. And Max, we cant help it; you bring out our maternal instincts. We’d like to sit in the window with you and tell you all about the great big world and then read you stories and tuck you in.

    I’d even share my favorite mousie with you — Dorothy.

  6. catsworking says:

    Zappa, living with a writer is challenging. Karen leaves her “tools” everywhere. We kitties could build ourselves a nice fort out of her myriad bunches of pens, pencils, and markers alone.

    I’m told this Cat Dancer is actually our second one. One of my predecessors, Ginger, (also a tuxedo) had one and she chewed all the little cardboard thingies off, so Karen replaced them with ribbon streamers. Adele says it worked just as well, maybe even better. I think the fact that cats are hooked on such a nothing of a toy is a real tribute to our intelligence and imagination. I mean, could you see a dog ever getting excited by a piece of wire and bits of cardboard?

    Noel, when I’m up on the perch, I sleep with one eye open. I know Cole can’t be trusted — yet.

    Dorothy, it’s funny you should mention the window because I’ve discovered the big-screen kitty TV (picture window) right in front of the kitchen table. Karen found me sitting there yesterday when she got home from errands, and said it reminded her of the days the late Fred used to sit in the same spot and wait for her.

  7. Marilyn Ritter says:

    Max, you are such a pretty little man and no one will push you around for long! Looks like Karen would get you some toys though-you seem deprived—-ha, ha!
    Glad you are having fun as you grow up.
    The Cats of Lakeview Point

  8. catsworking says:

    Welcome Marilyn and kitties of Lakeview Point, and thanks for the compliment, but I prefer to think of myself as “ruggedly handsome.”

    In addition to the stuff you see in this post and 3 baskets of toys around the living room (most days the downstairs looks like an explosion at the kitty daycare), rumor is that Karen has another bag of stuff stashed away so she can “rotate” our toys to keep us from getting bored. Some of our toys are more than 25 years old, passed down from one cat to the next.

    No fear of us getting bored, though. If our toys don’t float our boat, there’s always Karen’s stuff. It’s everywhere. And it’s always fun to see the look on her face when we’re about to destroy something. Of course, I’m speaking of the big cats. I’m too little and new to have much experience there.

  9. Mary Austin says:

    Max, you are an adorable and stunning young cat! Congratulations on landing on of the best gigs a shelter cat could hope for! You are also very photogenic!

  10. catsworking says:

    Hi, Mary! I’m very happy my eyes don’t turn out all glowing and spooky in most pictures. Adele has a chronic eye infection that makes it almost impossible to get a good face shot of her, but she says it only adds to her “Garbo-like mystique,” whatever that is.

  11. kittiequeen says:

    Dear Max/Domino; Congrats to you! Not at all surprised that you still dont like leashes! THATS FOR DOGS!!!!!! You were/are such a nice tempered, friendly buddy cat to everyone—and to other cats. So, sure, put your paw down with that snooty Cole. Keep enjoying your new life and home. Love and hugs from your other cat mom , Kittiequeen. P.S. You are better looking than Cole……

  12. catsworking says:

    Hi, kittiequeen! Guess what? I’m starting to like my leash! Today I walked all around the house on it with Karen (for treats, of course).

    Yes, Cole can be a snoot, but it’s just because he’s very insecure. After 3 years of having nothing to call his own in the joint, he’s very protective of his stuff. I can dig that. Adele and I came here when we were just kittens, so we didn’t have all that baggage. And some cats can get over the little slights and petty spats in life in a couple of hours or days. But with Cole it takes MONTHS. That’s just the kind of guy he is. I just hope if I keep gently wrestling with him and trying to get him to loosen up a little, he’ll come around. He’s not a bad cat, just deep.

    After losing his friend Yul, and then having a total stranger (me) show up the very next day, Cole’s whole world got turned upside down again.

  13. kittiequeen says:

    Dear Max/Domino; Let Kittiequeen offer a bit of advice; ONLY DO THE LEASH THING FOR CAT TREATS—-IF YOU MUST!!! Frankly, Im worried about you,beloved buddy cat. THATS EXACTLY HOW THEY TRAIN DOGS!!!! YOU are A CAT!!! Eventually, the treats will disappear, AND you will still be on a leash!!! Remember what Kittiequeen said buddy cat. Love and hugs— your other cat mom.

  14. catsworking says:

    kittiequeen, now that you mention it, the treats do seem to be getting sparcer, even as I walk greater distances on the leash. Yesterday we did the whole house — downstairs AND up. And I’m learning that it doesn’t pay to leap ahead of Karen because the leash just jerks me back. (Cole does this evil chuckle every time that happens. It’s infuriating.)

    I don’t want to turn into a dog, but I do want to go places with Karen, if only to be able to say to Cole and Adele as we head out the door, “So long, SUCKAS! See ya later!”

  15. Mary Austin says:

    I have to admit, I am enjoying the great pics, especially of Cole and Max. I really miss having a kitten. Enjoy the little one at this cutest stage Karen!

  16. catsworking says:

    Mary, Karen here. Max is growing up so fast, it’s amazing. There are still a lot of things he hasn’t attempted, but I catch him sitting there thinking about what he’ll do when he’s just a little bit bigger.

    Just last week, he conquered what some of my cats never attempted in their entire lives — he jumped out onto the third beam across the living room. It’s beyond the balcony so it’s a diagonal leap (the cats can walk straight out onto the first 2 beams from the balcony), and it’s a long drop to the floor. Coming back in from there, he had to pin-point leap between the posts in the bannister. It’s not a trick for a kitty with low self-confidence.

    A few days later, he did it again!

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