Monday, October 5, 2009

Kitten Proof

A general rule about kittens is that they instinctively locate the filthiest, most hazardous spots in your house and go there as soon as they can. Wendy got herself wedged behind the century-old cast-iron radiator in the living room last night, during "Mad Men." She flew off the bed and in seconds her kitten radar took her to the 3rd-most disgusting spot in our house (the others are fireplaces).

My housekeeping skills are not bad, but I've been slacking off for the past couple of months. Between nursing a sick cat who needed quiet, mourning her afterward, and then hanging out with my kitten, vacuuming and scrubbing haven't been priorities. And, honestly, I rarely clean behind radiators because I can't get tools back there. And who goes there, anyway?

Wendy got stuck in exact middle of the wall behind the radiator, and my husband had to jam his arm back there to help her get free. I hovered, helpless, wondering if we'd have to call for help (where, exactly? The Animal Rescue League? Surely firemen only respond to cats in trees), and vowing to keep the kitten in her carrier or in our laps until we figure out how to protect her from three radiators and two fireplaces. I'm not sure how we'll do that; kittens are brilliant about going where they shouldn't.

The kitten that eventually emerged resembled Wendy but with many gray patches along with the black and orange. Wendy's right ear is half white; this kitten's was gray, for example. I carried her to our bathroom sink, which is bathtub-sized for her, and went at her with wet paper towels, running water, and soap. She was surprisingly docile. My husband held her as I lathered her gray feet. Wet, she was a scrawny, pathetic little creature. I wrapped her, purring, in a bath towel to warm her and help her dry off. This morning, the original Wendy has reappeared.

I'm not sure what we're going to do when she stops loving her crate, but certainly a number of Method cleaning products and our new Miele vacuum cleaner will be involved.

We missed most of "Mad Men" through the commotion, but we'd recorded it and watched it later. Even though we saw parts of it twice, we still have no idea what it all means. We seldom do this season. I think all the characters should get kittens. They'd be a lot happier.

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