Kathleen Kitten

Chris and Kathleen recently adopted

a 7-month-old kitten, Charlie. 

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me, I love cats. My family had cats before I was born and we’ve gone through multiple generations of felines in our house.

There was Buster and Tiger, then Edgar, Poe and Chris, and most recently we adopted Reuben and Al into our family. All of them were rescued by various shelters and groups and all hold a special place in my heart.

So when I decided to adopt my own kitten, I thought I had it completely handled.

My boyfriend, Chris (no relation to the former pet, although it does get weird when telling stories) and I decided to bring a 7-month-old, solid black, furry ball of energy and purrs into our apartment.

His name is Charlie and he is absolutely adorable. 

Chris and I met him the night before we adopted him from Cats in the Cradle and I fell in love instantly. Chris, not so much, but he figured it wouldn’t be too hard. He’d always been a dog person.

That night we went to the store and bought Charlie everything he would need, including a can of nearly every type of cat food offered so we could make sure we found exactly what he enjoyed.

The first night went great. Charlie let us cuddle him and take photos with him and we were pretty pleased.

The next week, it got a bit harder. Charlie was stationed in our laundry room so he could adapt to us and his new home. But he quickly took a liking to the area behind our washer. 

We spent much of that week coaxing him out and trying to encourage him to spend time with us rather than the lint trap.

Friends and family would come over to meet him, much like how I imagine a new baby in the family. Everyone would coo at him and admire his impressively fluffy tail.

But I was frustrated. Charlie did not seem to like us very much and seemed scared no matter what we did.

I had owned cats my whole life, worked at PetSmart and I still cat-sit to this day. So why was my own feline to some extent rejecting me? I had all these visions growing up of one day having my own cat who was as obsessed with me as I was with him. But this wasn’t my reality.

Thankfully, I had a few days off around Christmas and New Year’s, and that was exactly what Charlie seemed to need.

I had to learn patience was a virtue with our kitty and teach him I am not going to hurt him. 

So I waited. I gave him treats, learned which blanket was his favorite so he would nap with me, found out which toys he couldn’t get enough of and continued to give him affection at his own pace.

Eventually, he started becoming braver and would venture out of his hiding spots on his own to come sit on the couch with us. Granted, at first it was the complete opposite end of the sofa, but it still was progress.

And now, about a month after we adopted him, Charlie has settled in nicely. He was even the hit at a New Year’s Eve party we threw. I was shocked when he was the center of attention the whole night. 

Even though we got off to a rocky start, Charlie has taught me many things in his short time with us. 

It hasn’t been that easy, but every moment has been worth it.

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