Sunday, June 3, 2007

Intermission: Kitten Report

For those who took an interest in the kitten, Star, here’s a report. The story began with the April 28 post, “A New Life”.

The hope that Star would become a companion for lonely Lovey was happily fulfilled, as you can see from the progression of pictures. (Click to enlarge.)



Star is definitely still a kitten although she has grown from 1 pound to over 3 pounds. She still runs squealing to her humans wanting to be picked up and held, but now she also rubs against legs in passing and arches her back if stroked.

As always, she’s constantly in action except when she’s asleep – which is more than she used to be. She disappears in late morning and sleeps for two or three hours. In early May she would fall asleep often, but not long; she would be playing wildly and then her eyes would start to droop and fifteen seconds later she’d be sound asleep – for about 10 minutes.

Only in the past few days has she begun to lie down wide awake and just watch things.

Her body seems to grow one part at a time – looking one morning as if her front end has been jacked up overnight, and the next day as if her hinds legs have grown longer to keep up with her front legs, bringing her noticeably higher off the ground than she was a couple of days before. Her body then catches up by lengthening from nose to tail. Sometimes you can almost watch her head growing bigger too, and her little kitten eyes looking more like cat eyes.

I think her sequence of behavior changes are all instinctive: She began licking a paw and cleaning her face with it for the first time a few days ago, and then she began grooming her fur with her tongue, “giving herself a bath”. Only in the past week has she thought of pulling her claws on rugs and discovered chasing her own tail.

When she was very small she spent most of her time biting on things and exploring. Now batting and chasing balls, wads of paper, a hair curler, anything that skids or rolls, has become a major occupation. Several of her toys were found in her food dish, others lined neatly up at the base of a wall.

One of her longer term projects has been to get up on things she couldn’t attain before. Originally she depended on squealing to humans and jumping onto their ankles to be elevated to higher places. Her first attempts at climbing were without much success. She used to dangle from the sides of chairs kicking her hind feet uselessly, but with a little more growth she has managed to scramble all the way up, and now she jumps from the floor right into a chair or a lap.

The biggest recent development is her interest in climbing the palm trees by the pool and using the little palm tree trunk as nature's scratching post. It has already been well worn down by previous cats.


Meanwhile dear Lovey watches her with endless fond fascination and has revived some kitten antics of his own. He spends a lot of time playing peek-a-boo and wrestling with Star . . . while her specialty is ambushing him from behind chairs or doors. I think he usually knows where she’s lying in wait, but he indulges her and pretends to be caught unaware.

Star remains the star of the house. The pleasures of living with her as she grows from a tiny kitten are among the greatest of my life.






  1. OK OK OK now you have to set aside a day for Star Open House so all who are local can come see her. This is truly a perfect post. I will cross post tomorrow sometime or excerpt and send people who read my cat blog to yours. Those pictures are wonderful! She's a doll. And I found her in seconds in the long photo by the pool. Thanks Fleming.

  2. Awwwww she looks so cute!! I love kittens and felines in general, at that stage they're just adorable!!!

  3. Beautiful photos... what a winner you have in Star. And a lovely piece written about her. Thanks for the update.

  4. Amit and "My Mind's Eye", I (and Star) very much appreciate your compliments. It makes all that time I put into getting the photos into the blog worthwhile!

    Thank you.

  5. Those ears of Star's are enough to make this chiquita a little verklempt from all the cuteness. Arrgh I said cute again! And I used the third person in reference to myself! Ugh. I'll have to keep looking at the pictures until I forget my own pretension. Thanks Fleming! =)

  6. Zoey, nix on the open house, but otherwise thanks very much for the kind words.

  7. Shelley, I thought your last name was Swedish or Norwegian, but now in your typical multilingual way you toss out a form of German "verklemmt" -- blocked, or inhibited. So then I find out that "verklempt" is a corruption which means "choked (throat blocked) with emotion". Thanks for the adventure in Languageland.

    But most important, thanks for being so enthusiastic about Star that you blurted out "cute" again. It's okay, let yourself go all the way. Say "adorable". There are support groups available if you feel the need.

  8. Hi Fleming! You're such a nice host to allow blog-whoring out of Moderation Purgatory!

    Anyone who advertises his or her blog on my comments gets called on it in no time flat! Of course, if I like the blogs then I'll let the comments stand (after calling them on it, ha ha!).

    But, after all, it's your house and you make the rules, eh? I love ya for it!! It's an ...adorable... trait!

    But seriously: Verklempt (in it's current incarnation) came into popular use after Mike Meyers had a character on Saturday Night Live who did "Coffee Talk" and would become verklempt (usually about Barbara Streisand) and urge the viewer to "talk amongst big whoop."

  9. Woops! I forgot to mention about my name. It's an Ellis Island permutation. My family came from Norge with the name of Hagerskaal, and some officials changed it to the current, Danish, spelling.

  10. Hello Fleming

    Beautiful cats, I enjoyed reading your report. Then I found your posts on "Nice Guy, Jehovah" That name Jehovah makes me shudder LOL I'm sure it has to do with my being raised a Jehovah Witness. Jehovah always seemed to be an angry God to me. angry with an ego. Thanks for the posts...I enjoyed them.

    Have a wonderful day.

  11. Kathy, it is very good to hear from you again! I'm glad you liked the cats story.

    I'm also glad that instead of being offended by my Jehovah comments, you feel as I do. Don't go away . . . there's going to be more.

  12. Fleming I'm looking forward to reading more.

    Thanks! :)

  13. what a delightful little wee chap. i can see why you have become taken with him.

    i live in an apartment since my seperation and sometimes entertain the idea of taking a cat or two as companion.....

    then the feeling passes.

    then i see the pictures of star and the feelings visit again.

    and not all of my clients would be amenable to little claws and teeth on the shins.

  14. Alistair, I appreciate your comment. Maybe you can find a cat who has grown out of attacking shins. . . something I'm told is supposed to happen.

    I've lived with cats so long now that the thought of being without them is like the thought of no more clouds in the sky . . . clouds being one of the cleverest and prettiest parts of creation.