Are You Kitten Me?

Two weeks ago, I got a text from Tara.

So…what are your thoughts on getting a kitten?

This question came from out of the blue. Tara has always been a dog person. She puts up with our calico, Sydney, but if push came to shove, I know she’d rather have a canine. So I was a bit surprised that she would even ask, and thought nothing more of it.

Until I came home a few days later and nearly tripped over a little gray bullet racing around the living room like hell on wheels.

“Surprise!” Tara said.

Understatement of the year.

She wanted to do something special for Audrey, who loves animals and has long expressed a desire to have a kitten. And I guess because I am a cat fan (not to mention a big softie), I had no problem with this. I mean, come on – look at that face. Who can resist?


The first order of business was naming her. It took a couple of days, with each suggestion eighty-sixed by one person or another in the household. I thought I’d struck gold with Lucy, but it didn’t fly. Neither did Daphne, Sophie, Phoebe, or Zoey. Ditto Cashmere. My brother called me, letting me know he “has a knack for naming pets.” Take your best shot, I told him.

His best shot was Conrad. Wrong sex, for one thing, and even if the kitten was a male…no. Not Conrad. Because Sydney is a reference to the city in Australia (and also Lost, which I was super into at the time), he suggested we stick with the Down Under theme and came up with Victoria. “You can call her Vicky for short,” he said.


And then he came up with Vegemite (“Lil’ Veggie for short!”) and I knew it was time to gently let him know that under no circumstances would he be naming our cat. “Esther thinks she looks like a Mia,” he said finally, and what do you know? We all agreed she does look like a Mia. So, Mia it was.

Mia, I might point out, is All Kitten. Which means she is a whirling dervish of energy who makes Sydney, now 9 years old, look fat, slow, and lazy. I get worn out just watching her zip around the room.

As for Syd, who has been the sole house animal for the better part of eight years now (minus one thankfully-brief period when Audrey’s mom let her have a rat that she toted back and forth between houses every week) and does not get along very well with other cats? She’s learning to tolerate Mia, which basically means ignoring her for the most part. There’s a little hissing here and there and she might swat at her with her paw, but in all fairness Mia – being a rambunctious kitten – instigates a lot of this. For the most part, they are able to coexist peacefully. And Audrey is happy, which is what matters most.

Multiple pet owners: how do your animals get along? Any spats between cats? Dogs having a ruff time with other dogs? Ruffled feathers amongst birds who share cage space? Turtles shellshocked over the very presence of other turtles? How did you overcome the squabbling? And how many puns did you think I’d trot out before quitting?

18 thoughts on “Are You Kitten Me?

  1. EEEEE! Kitty! Omg, she’s so cute.

    I have 2 cats and for the most part, the cats coexist peacefully. They’re also secretly friends. I feel a lot less guilty leaving them during the day at work or if we go away for the weekend or something since they have each other for company. They’ll get into spats occasionally, when Sky is done playing and Jovi doesn’t realize it. He’s also terrified of her which is equally hilarious since he’s twice her size. But cat shenanigans? the most fun thing ever to watch. 🙂


    1. I agree! Whenever Sydney and Mia enter into a “stare down” I’ll stop what I’m doing and lean forward on the edge of my seat, because I know things are about to get entertaining!


  2. Haven’t had pets for quite some time now. Rama, the Siamese, was a family member for about 19 years. When he was 5, my daughter brought Casey home, who stayed for about 18 years. They’re both down in the back yard. They coexisted. Casey was taken from her mother way too soon. She never learned how to play or, really, groom herself. Rama took on the task of grooming her. But he was the boss and when Casey got nasty, Rama quickly put her in her place. Both of them tolerated dogs, but never got warm and fuzzy about it. Rama stayed kittenish into the last year of his life. He loved to play. Casey never got it. She was our family curmudgeon. Now, that role has fallen to me, when I’m not being kittenish.


    1. Your cats lived to 19 and 18? That’s great! It’d be nice if Sydney still had another half of her life yet to live. Fingers crossed! And for whatever reason, she loves dogs and has always gotten along nicely with them – even when they are five times her size. Yet this tiny kitten freaks her out constantly. Go figure.


  3. Does my son’s collection of stink bugs and centipedes count as us having a multi-pet household? Yes – well then no, they got along terribly. We eventually had to separate them. The dead ones went outside, the live ones stayed a few more days.


    1. I was never allowed to have pets when I was younger – hence, the jar of fireflies on warm summer nights. Which usually necessitated moving dead ones outside periodically, much as you are used to doing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. KITTIESSS. We have one cat, Mumford. But, we hang with our neighbors a lot which means the Pitbull next door named Sherman likes to come over and play with Mumford. They are the strangest of friends. Mumford just likes to screw with him and lift his paw up like he’s going to hit him and Sherman backs up until he hits a wall. It’s quite hilarious.


    1. I had fish for many years. I just finally got rid of my aquarium last year when we downsized to the apartment, but plan on buying a new one and loading it up with fish again once we have a house. My tiger barbs would “bite” my fingers whenever I trailed them in the water, so I know all about their mean streak. One of these days, I’m going to do a cichlid tank. Talk about bullies!


  5. Oh Mark, Mia is BEYOND precious! And I love her name, it’s perfect! It’s funny you mentioned the name “Zoey” because I had a cat for 19 years who was named the same!

    ” Which means she is a whirling dervish of energy…”

    OMG, don’t ya just LOVE the kitten-stage? It’s like they’re on SPEED! I at one time had FIVE kittens in my apartment because Zoey had a litter. It was insane, because they would FLY around my apartment; climbing the curtains and getting into drawers.

    Personally, my experience has been that cats and dogs get along better than two cats. And I say this because I had two cats at one time and they fought like crazy. However, the dog and cat got along famously!

    Congratulations on your new feline addition. She’s adorable!


    1. “It’s like they’re on SPEED!”

      That’s exactly what it’s like. GoGoGO all the time, 24/7. I don’t know where they get the energy from! And I think Zoey is a great name for a cat. I was really sold on that one. Unfortunately, Audrey was not. But Mia fits her nicely, too!


  6. I have two cats, they will be 16 in August and they are exactly 2 weeks apart in age. I acquired them when I lived in Singapore. They might as well be siblings. I have a dog, she is a rescue animal and is approximately 2.5 years old. She wanted to be friends with the cats, they tolerate her sometimes swatting her, sometimes sleeping with her but mostly just ignoring her. I have a 27 year old Cockatoo, he screams, swears and now and then chases all the other animals out of his domain (when he is out of his cage). The cats will sleep in his cage when the gate is open, on top when they want to annoy him. Everyone pretty much knows their place in the pecking order.

    Your kitten is sweet faced, I think Mia fits.


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