I don't recall at any point in my life owning a kitten. I always regarded them as adorable little balls of fluff, that would occasionally paw at you with a wannabe ferocious paw, or meow at you when they were hungry. I figured, like adult cats, they'd be a little lazy, perhaps stretch out with a yawn and sleep in the sun every chance they got, and eat anything meaty. Boy, was I wrong!
Meet Luna (pictured above). My daughter got her from a friend of a friend and took her home to become a part of the family. The cat and dog we currently own wanted no part of it, but curiously sniffed her and decided they would tolerate her enough to allow her into their little fur family.
Since day one, this kitten has ripped through the house at breakneck speeds, climbing up couches, window screens, blinds, and beds with gripping claws. She creates obstacle courses out of everything in her path, to make herself the ultimate predator, ready to leap from the tops of chairs, tables, our pet rat's cage (more on that soon), and dresser tops to her enemies below. She is fascinated with screens, monitors, and mirrors. As such, she will attack her reflection, or other animals on said screens. She also will leap at any shadow that moves, making for some very interesting acrobatics and displaying her ninja-like kill tactics. I've had her attack my feet, my hair, my hands (if they move too much), and even found her wrestling with a stuffed animal recently.
I'm left with a multitude of questions after watching her. Mostly, they're rhetorical questions where I'm wondering "is there a way to bottle this energy?", "how can she run, climb, and leap this way for so long without running out of steam," or (more recently) "wait, did Luna just eat my ice cream from the bowl when I had my back turned?" The answers I can't answer remain a mystery. The question I can answer has me being much more protective of my ice cream these days.
Our dog Callie, cat Oliver, and kitten Luna seem to constantly be at war over who has the rights to specific territories. My lap, for example, seems to be prime real estate where they all fight to sit and get scratched behind their ears. The couch can sometimes be shared, each animal holding their own spot, until they've simply had enough and let out a growl of discontentment. Luna, being the youngest and most agile, will often sleep in strange areas like under a blanket, on a chair, or beneath a hanging table cloth. It makes it hard to know where she'll leap from next, and can cause slight anxiety.
Is this ferocious death machine unstoppable? Hardly. After being mesmerized by our pet rat, she finally made the plunge. She jumped from a bed, to a dresser, and finally perched upon the top of the rat's cage. She reached towards her would-be prey and managed to get her paw through the cage... where the rat bit it and held on for dear life. Our fierce warrior Luna suddenly became the baby she in fact is and let out some cries that said "HELP ME!" I picked her up, pulled her away from the bully rat, and cuddled her while petting her until she forgot all about the experience and indeed became a cuddly little fur baby.
I can't say she learned her lesson, but I did find out the answer — kittens are BOTH cuddly baby cats AND crafty, merciless death machines. It just depends on their mood.