Thursday, September 30, 2004

Kitty Discipline

Since I'm not working right now and spend most of my time at home, my cat Walker has become my best buddy. He keeps me company while I'm cooking, cleaning, paying bills, chatting online, watching Dr. Phil, and all the other highly intellectually stimulating activities that comprise the day of a stay-at-home-almost-mom. Although he's not quite as good at conversation as a human companion would be, he does an excellent job of keeping me company. He's normally extremely affectionate and friendly, despite common belief about cats.

Lately, however, he's developing a problem. He's about 4 months old now, and I suspect he's beginning to go through kitty puberty, because he's suddenly become very aggressive. He attacks my hands, scratches them, and bites them so that every surface of my arms is covered in cute little kitten-made puncture wounds. The worst is at around 7:00 a.m. when I'm in that blissful state between sleep and waking and I suddenly feel ten kitten claws digging viciously into my arm.

I'm not very experienced with cats, so I'm mostly clueless about how to train them. I've tried flicking him on the nose, picking him up and dropping him on the floor, yelling "NO!", and even emitting an odd high-pitched scream that makes Eric jump out of his skin. None of these measures does anything to deter the little 4 pound ball of fluff from trying to kill me. In fact, he takes them all as a challenge which he is more than ready to meet. "You like that?" his eyes say. "Well here's some more!"

Yesterday I had a stroke of genius, which experienced cat people will scoff at because they all would have thought of it weeks ago. I keep a spray bottle filled with water near me, and when he attacks I just give him a squirt. It works like a charm. He hates that stream of water with intensity. I'm amazed that he would rather be smacked and yelled at than have a little bit of water hit his fur. And he's definitely learning. Now I don't even have to squirt him; all I have to do is show him the bottle and he's off like a shot. I'm hopeful that soon I'll have my loveable kitten back.

And getting his testicles snipped off will probably help too.

P.S. Thanks so much to everyone for your kind thoughts after my last post. It helps to have your support and to know that my feelings are valid. Love you guys!


  1. I have 3 cats of my own and it is just a phase... (someday when you have a big lazy 20lb. cat lying on top of you you might wish for the 4lb. energetic pouncer)... just know that he will out grow it.. and even the "snipping" won't help.. they just have to play but learn their boundaries.

    Glad to hear yo are feel better!
    (Hannah, Lenny, and Snoopy all wanted to tell you kitty "meow!")

  2. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Hi there!
    Your cat sounds like a typical cat, really.
    I have a cat myself. Gizmo. He's going on 5 years. We got him when he was 8 weeks old. And we too went through all that. The spray bottle works miracles. BUT *yes, there is a BUT here* make sure you only use it when he does something bad. Something he shouldn't. Like scratching your couch or something. Otherwise, he will always be scared of you and will see all "Humans" as water bottle carriers and not want to interact with them LOL
    Best of Luck!

  3. Thanks for the advice, cat experts! It's nice to be reassured that it's a normal stage he's going through. I haven't had to squirt him for several days - I think he's learning! Today he started to pounce on my hand, then stopped, turned around and jumped onto his stuffed monkey and clawed the hell out of it.

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