When I first adopted Priscilla, she was 12 weeks old. She was very small and sweet. She fit into my handbag and that was what I took her home in. With just her head sticking out so she could breathe, I thought she was this little bundle of joy. And for the most part, she was.
Prissy, as I call her, was not properly weaned from her mother’s milk so when I took her home, she didn’t know how to eat or drink. I gave her some kitten milk through a straw. I also had to feed her by placing food in my hand, putting Prissy on my lap, and giving her one piece at a time.
Within a couple of hours, she was eating on her own. She could also drink by herself.
She was the usual playful kitten but because she was so young and small, she tired easily. One day while playing with my finger, she fell asleep right in the middle of playtime. She slept on my chest for the next few hours.
My older cat, Pooka, taught her how to clean herself and use the litter box. Pooka treated Prissy as though she was her own kitten from the start.
While cooking dinner one night, I had to leave it alone on the stove for a few minutes. When I returned, Prissy was on the stove, straddled over the pan of food, licking it up as it cooked.
I pulled her off of the stove as soon as I found her while telling her not to do that again. Of course, as a very independent kitten, she had to learn for herself. And that came about when she put her paws into a hot oven. She quickly jumped down and never again went near the range.
I began to notice something Priscilla did regularly. She liked to go on indoor runs but was never happy to stop when she reached a wall. No, it was then that she would climb the walls, nearly to the top before having to get back down.
Even though I had scratching posts at different places around the house, she found scratching at furniture to be her favourite past time. Try as I might, I could not stop her from using the furniture to sharpen her claws.
By this time, Pooka was already 8 years old and quite well-behaved. Oh, she went through her “terrible twos” also. When I first adopted Pooka, I took her to a friend’s home. At 6 months old, she put my friend’s cats in their place then proceeded to climb the river rock above the fireplace.
Pooka also enjoyed climbing screens as a kitten. I lived in Florida at the time and lived on the fifth floor in a condo. Another of her habits for her first year was to suck on my ear. She sucked it raw. That stopped almost immediately after she was 1-year-old.
Fast forward a couple of years and Prissy was still very kitten like in her behaviour. She would scratch the furniture while I was watching. I would tell her no and she would look back at me as if to say “what”.
She would get into all kinds of trouble. She dug up carpets trying to get into rooms which were closed off to her. The hallway was a mess when we left that apartment.
I often thought that Prissy would never calm down.
In November 2015, we moved to Spain. Pooka and Prissy both had the run of our outdoors. This is a small community with very little motor vehicle traffic. They are quite safe to go out here. They have a pet door and can come and go as they please.
Prissy again took to the outdoors. This time, however, because she can now leave whenever she wishes, she no longer claws at furniture or walls. She doesn’t climb the walls since she has plenty of room to run. I rarely have to tell her ‘no’ anymore. She is a changed cat.