Hi everyone! My name is Susannah, and I blog over at susannahbean.com about life, crafts, and of course, my little furry son, Mr. Littlejeans. I'm so excited to tell you all about him, he's certainly a unique and quirky cat and I think he's perfect!
I brought Mr. Littlejeans home in September of 2008. I was away at college, living with my boyfriend, Chris, in a little two bedroom apartment off campus. I had finally convinced Chris that we needed a cat, and I went to the local Humane Society after class, just to look around. I had my heart set on finding a little orange kitten with a pink nose, but they didn't have any at the shelter that day. I saw Jeans, who's shelter name was O'Malley, in a little cage in the corner. I asked to take him out, and I was able to play with him in a room full of toys for a while. I knew that I needed this cat, THIS was my baby, when he snuggled up around my neck and started purring. I just had to bring Chris in to make sure they got along and that he was on board still, and he was ours!
We brought him home, and things went well for the first few days. We changed his name from O'Malley to Earl ('cause he's gray, like the tea), and then from Early to Mr. Earl Marshall Littlejeans (there's a very small part at the end of the movie Rushmore that features Mr. Littlejeans, and it just stuck). He had some behavioral issues that we chalked up to adjusting to a new home, but when they didn't go away after a few weeks we started to get concerned. He was a little terror, constantly biting and scratching us, and he just would not sleep. He was up all night, attacking us and knocking things down. It was pretty awful. After a few months of dealing with him like that, I was at my wits end. I honestly considered bringing him back to the shelter because I couldn't cope with his craziness. But then one day, and it sounds like I'm making this up, but one day a sweater saved our relationship.
I bought Jeans a sweater for a dollar, thinking I could snap a few cute photos before he chewed it to shreds. I put it on him, and he was instantly calm. He laid down and started purring, and was just the nicest kitten you could ever imagine. After a while, we started putting the sweater on him when he was behaving badly, and we would put it on him at night before bed. He started to learn what things he couldn't do, and over the course of the next year his behavior improved by leaps and bounds. Now, he never wears shirts during the day, and only sometimes has to wear his pajamas to bed. I think the tightness of the sweaters and shirts calm him down, much like children with behavioral issues are given weighted vests to calm them. Learning the magic t-shirt trick, moving into a bigger apartment where he has more room to roam, and plain and simple growing older really helped us have a better life together.
After we got over all the negative stuff about having Mr. Littlejeans join our family, we've figured out how truly awesome his personality is. He's not your typical cat. He likes to play, but it's more like how you play with a puppy. He likes to wrestle, and play fetch, and he loves to jump and race around the house after the laser pointer. He's best frenemies with the printer (we honestly can't decide if he loves it or hates it, we just know he tries to get in it when it's printing!). He likes popcorn, and the first sips out of a newly opened water bottle, and he looooovvvvvessss his blankies. He's taken over ownership of a few super soft throw blankets we have, and you can usually find him cuddled up on one on the couch. He sleeps in the weirdest positions, and usually his tongue sticks out a little. He's missing a front tooth from that time we were playing with a cardboard tube from inside a roll of gift wrap, and he spends the entire day begging for his dinner. Seriously. I can fill his bowl with his dinner, and five minutes later he's whining at me for more (even if his bowl's still full!). He's the best match for us we could've ever found!
If you're looking to get a kitten, especially if it's your first one, I think you should be prepared for any sort of unexpected behavior. Not all cats are going to sleep and purr all day! I think if I could give any advice it would be to just be patient, and know that cats go through growing stages much like humans do. You never know what trick you can find to help you deal with a certain situation. Maybe you'll find that a spray bottle works best at keeping Mittens off the bookshelf, or that Fluffy will only drink out of a running faucet. Or maybe you'll find that your cat needs to wear pajamas to bed! If you're patient and you try different was to fix the problem, you'll figure it out and make the best life for you and your pet.
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Thank you Susannah, for sharing your story!!
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