Sunday, January 31, 2016

Recent Adorableness: The Baby

At 3-1/2, Harris remains more like a kitten than an adult. He's small for a cat, and never grew into his long legs, big feet, and oversized fangs, which are visible below his mouth, adding an odd touch of ferocity to his babyish, grouchy face. He still wakes us by nursing on our earlobes in the wee hours — a baby's habit if there ever was one.


Harris still demands play time almost daily. He climbs on my desk and stands between me and my laptop, blocking my view of the screen. He paws at the tin where I keep the laser pointer toy. Then he paws at everything else and knocks things on the floor. I complain and repeatedly put him on the floor or in my lap. He pouts and hunkers down, willing himself to turn into a cast iron doorstop so I can't lift him. But he knows persistence pays off; when I'm worn out, I'll surrender. He always gets his way.

Chasing the laser pointer or a pole toy, he hunts with gusto, tearing around recklessly, leaping up the walls  and skidding across the rug until he's panting. Afterward he'll sleep just as hard. He's the fiercest snuggler I've ever had; pressing himself hard against me and burrowing deep into the crook of my arm, occasionally tilting his nose up to me, his eyes closed in bliss.

Only Lion comes close to his intensity when playing or cuddling, and Lion is just 2, still a kid.


While an "eternal kitten" seems ideal in terms of cuteness and playfulness, the flip-side is that Harris needs constant vigilance. He still gets into things the other cats have learned to leave alone. If he finds a plastic bag, he'll  instantly try to eat it. Any small object left around will either end up on the floor or in his mouth. He's also drawn to string, fishing line, open windows, broken glass and other sharp items, hair elastics, and rubber bands. We've tried to eliminate all rubber bands from the apartment but the mailman uses them. We throw them out in the lobby before we bring up the mail... but I found one in Harris's month not so long ago. He fears nothing except vet visits; even the vacuum cleaner is just a nuisance to him, not the Death Machine it is to the others. 

Harris has no fear of walking out our front door; he is the only cat who wants to explore the hall. He trusts everyone he meets (except the vet) and takes a special interest in repairmen. He twines around their legs, putters in their toolboxes, and gets in their way. The polite ones talk to him and pet him; the others push him away awkwardly, sometimes with their boots. Harris doesn't mind that but I do, a lot. So he ends up in my arms, where's he content to survey and rule his world.

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