A Kitten’s First Half-Birthday

By Max

I was exactly 6 months old on Karen’s birthday yesterday. I’ve only been about 2 months with Cats Working, but I’ve been learning and doing so much, it feels like a year in kitten time.

For example, I’m still leash training. Here I am on a typical day’s practice…

I do this mainly for the treats

Sometimes I forget and run ahead, and the leash jerks me back. To save face, I play this little game where I pretend Karen’s strangled me.

Help!! It’s… getting… darker… !!!!

I’ve also learned it’s one short hop from the kitchen table to the counter, but one great leap for kittenkind. It’s a great way to see for myself what’s cooking.

I know she hides the Fancy Feast around here somewhere

AND I’ve joined the ranks of all the intrepid Wormald kitties who have dared to attempt “third beam” and lived to tell about it. (Adele did it in her youth, but Cole refuses to even consider it.)

The third beam runs across the far end of the living room, beyond the balcony, so you can’t just walk onto it, like the first 2 beams. The diagonal leap out isn’t too bad if you don’t look down. It’s the coming back. It requires pinpoint precision and timing to sail between the bannisters and not end up a splat on the living room carpet.

Here’s when Karen dropped the camera and went scurrying for a ladder

I’m also establishing a fitness routine with Karen’s stationary bike and stretchy things. It helps me tone my muscles for even BIGGER leaps!

When I can reach the pedals, watch out, Tour de France!

We have this live tree I’ve loved digging in and knocking over from Day One. It was 6 feet tall, but Karen cut it down to my size, hoping it would lose its appeal. No dice. The dirt’s covered with tin foil now, but its “safe place, out of reach,” lasted about a day. Even Karen’s basket of talking Chihuahuas couldn’t stop me.

Guard Chihuahuas – no match for a kitten on a mission

Adele showed me another angle to the tree, but I’m not quite ready for that yet. Adele’s such a talented leaper, she should run away with a circus. I mean it. Cole and I would love it if she ran away with a circus.

Adele’s radioactive vision will restore the tree to 6 feet in no time

Occasionally, I still drop in on Karen’s work. I can obliterate much more of her computer screen than before.

Mouse pointer – still better than no mouse at all

And I notice I fill my office bed a little more…

Nothing like a good catnap while Karen earns the kitty litter money

Adele regifted me her furry white bed because she never liked it for some reason…

Adele's forgotten her shelter days, when a kitten would KILL for a bed like this

It’s so far, so good with my caterpillar. No signs he’s turning into a butterfly yet.

My Cattey is always here for me

My latest favorite toy is a little yellow thing. It’s supposed to be a chew toy — for cats. I know. What were they thinking? But I love it and play with it for HOURS (unless it skitters under Sam the fridge). I think it’s a sign of growing maturity that I can appreciate the subtle pleasures of such a boring little object.

Me and Chewy. He's dumb-looking, isn't he?

Cole and I are still working on our relationship. He still thinks he’s king of the blue kitty perch, but sometimes he’ll role-play scenes from “Titanic” with me…

Cole’s Rose, floating on her door while Jack Dawson loses his grip… “I’ll always, glug, love you, glug, glug…”

Thanks to dozens of cans of Fancy Feast®, Karen thinks I weigh about 6 pounds now. I have introduced a new tradition I call “lunch.” Whenever Karen goes into the kitchen at midday, I’m right there, looking for a little sump’in- sump’in my bowl — and I usually get it. I mean, could YOU resist this face?

Ma'am, may I please have some more?



19 Responses to A Kitten’s First Half-Birthday

  1. adele says:

    Max, Alice, Dorothy and I are impressed by all the things you do to fill your day. You’re certainly a busy guy. Dorothy is quite a leaper, herself, and she envies you those beams. She only has a high closet shelf (where she sleeps in an old stereo box) and the mantle, which holds many antique collectibles — she loves to see me gasp when she jumps up there.

    You’re looking more like a teenager now, but I’m glad to see you still love your caterpillar so much. Does Cole ever let you play with his teddy?

    Dorothy totally understands the lunch thing. Whenever her dry food bowl is empty, she lets me know. If I sit down at the kitchen table, she likes to join me for a little nosh; she likes company when she eats.

    We all wish you a happy half-birthday.

  2. adele says:

    One last thing, that’s quite an impressive basket of talking chihuahuas; I’m kind of surprised that Karen hasn’t found them all on the floor already. They really do look like no match for you, and I imagine their conversational ability is limited.

  3. catsworking says:

    Adele, my bowl of dry food is never completely empty. I just like a little wet nosh at lunchtime, even though I know Karen is holding back on breakfast so some leftover Fancy Feast will be available. But they say it’s better to eat many small meals throughout the day, right?

    Cole’s Teddy and Red Mousy sit in the living room chair and he doesn’t play with them. But I think if anybody else touched them, he’d get a return of that old “scarcity” feeling from the joint and flip out. I actually have a monkey with really long arms that is soft and furry like Teddy, but I don’t play with it much, either.

    Now that you mention it, one place I haven’t explore thoroughly is Karen’s closet. That’s mostly because it has a bed on the floor where Adele likes to sleep and I’m afraid if I went in there, she’d jump out at me like a spook.

  4. catsworking says:

    Adele, some of those chihuahuas speak Spanish, so I have no idea what they’re talking about. Karen says that basket contains all but one in the “set” and she’s had them for years. She forced herself to eat at Taco Bell to get them.

  5. MorganLF says:

    Happy birthday Karen and Max. Maybe for next years birthday a trip to NY for the Food and Wine festival? It was a huge affair, very crowded but I still got to meet up with Ottavia and Tony. One word of caution Porto-potties ugh! On second thought maybe we can do a nice dinner at Le Bernadin.

  6. MorganLF says:

    Oh and Bobby Flay was cute and small like a leprechaun …

  7. Britta says:

    I gladly envy your life–or what I know of it. .If I could find a way to freelance or contract at home with my kitties abound.. OMG..what a job that would be. Happy for all of you that there exists that opportunity. Max is just too adorable, as are his interactions with his new family . Good stuff!

  8. catsworking says:

    Morgan, thanks for the birthday wishes. Today happens to be Adele’s 11 1/2 birthday, and October 15 is Cole’s 5 1/2. How did I end up with cats all born within a week of each other?

    What would be optimal for a NYC trip would be dinner at Le Bernadin avec Les Bourdains! (Dutch, of course.) I dream on…

    Britta, I’ve been freelancing at home coming up on 10 years now (longest job I’ve ever held — I just wish it came with a pension!), and I will admit that I find it very isolating, although I have no complaints about my “co-workers” and I don’t miss the pettiness, politics, and pointless, endless meetings of office life. I had nearly 3 decades of all that.

  9. Robbie's Mum says:

    Well, young Master Max:
    Congratulations on your half-birthday! That picture of you in front of the monitor is absolutely adorable – I mean, you look very handsome for a six-month-old cat. Robbie wanted me to let you know some really fun alternatives to obliterating Karen’s work are pacing back-and-forth across the keyboard or sitting/standing directly on it when she’s trying to type. You can diffuse any kind of reprimand by rubbing your face against Karen’s while purring. (Always works for Robbie.) He thinks your “sump’in-sump’in” face would work really well too. Thanks for keeping us current on what’s going on with you!

  10. catsworking says:

    Robbie’s Mum, all great minds think alike. When I’m not sitting in front of Karen’s screen, I do tap-dance on her keyboard. It’s really fun when I send gibberish email for her.

    My other trick that REALLY drives her wild is to stand on her printer and pull pushpins out of her bulletin board. Whatever they’re holding up and they fall down behind the desk where she can hardly reach them. I walk around back there all the time and NEVER pick anything up. Karen’s afraid I’ll step on a pushpin, but says I shouldn’t come yowling to her if I do. But she knows I will and she will dash me over to the vet. It’s another little game we play.

  11. Robbie's Mum says:

    Max, Robbie thinks Karen does deserve to have at least one pushpin (safely) chased out from behind the desk – or at least a scrap of paper. Consider it a birthday gift to her …

    Happy (belated) Birthday! to Karen and Happy Eleven-and-a-Half-Birthday! to Adele.

  12. catsworking says:

    Aw, you’re right. I think I’ll come out from under the desk with the pushpin in my MOUTH. Then I’ll pretend I’m about to run down the stairs with it.

    That will REALLY scare the crap out of her!

  13. Imabear says:

    Spooky asked me to tell you that he has that “lunch” thing down to an art. Basically, anytime is snack time, the way he sees it. He’ll stake out the kitchen counter for hours at a time. And he’s pretty vocal too….

  14. Zappa and Zappa's mom says:

    Happy Birthday to you and your Human! You are quite a handsome cat!I’m struggling to type on this iPad thing as the Human’s laptop has crashed(she is using very bad words) BTW,I have several of those chew thingys and I love them.


    Morgan,more about the Food And Wine Festival,please!


  15. catsworking says:

    Karen’s got a desktop computer, a laptop, a netbook. And she’s been thinking about an iPad, but wonders how practical it is, since writers gotta type. I know we kitties could have a ball with it because — NO THUMBS REQUIRED!

    Sam the Fridge keeps stealing Chewy. It’s fun to watch Karen down on the floor with a flashlight, trying to fish Chewy out for me.

    Zappa, do you actually CHEW your thingys or just bat them around?

  16. MorganLF says:

    Zappa i have lots of details on the NYC Food & Wine Festival..oh emphasis on wine! I think Karen may do a post where I can work in my comments.

    For now I can tell you Ottavia and Tony and her friend Tania were there, Tony being the rock star closed the show. I did run into them, I seem to have a knack for that, and I was front row (is there anywhere else?) I am on the iPad too and getting used to typing is slow going. The freaking auto correct is a bitch!

  17. Noel McWormald says:

    Stop being so cute. That’s my job. Love, Cousin Noel

  18. kittiequeen says:

    Hapy B-Day to the both of you!!! Max/ Domino, I could never NOT give you extra servings of “canned cat-food” either. Love and hugs to all of you. KIttiequeen. As always loved the photos, too.

  19. catsworking says:

    Thank you, kittiequeen! Love and hugs back to your kitties too. Hope they are joining us in Occupy Couch.

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