So back in September, I decided I’d had enough of living alone and decided to share my space with someone else. She’s pretty quiet, likes some of the same TV shows I do, and never gets in the way when I have friends over. On the other hand, she completely refuses to clean up after herself, doesn’t do any of the cooking, runs in circles around the apartment when I’m trying to relax, and doesn’t understand the boundaries of a closed door.
Introducing Little Bit. This picture is actually one that was sent to me by my sister this past summer, when we were trying to find someone to adopt her.
Little Bit, her mom, and her brothers were strays that lived in my sister and brother-in-law’s garage. When she and her brothers (Oscar and Tuffet) were born in 2010, my sister continuously sent me pictures of them captioned like this:
Because my sister is a cruel, cruel woman and likes to torture me with pictures of homeless kittens. Unfortunately, my life and work schedule would not accommodate a kitten. I worked over an hour from home and also worked a second job a couple nights a week, so I’d often be gone for 20 hours at time. A kitten needs more attention than that. No one adopted them, so they grew up in the garage. Then in 2011, my sister moved out of the state, so we had to find homes for the cats and new kittens. Oh yeah, because mom (Little Black Kitty, or LBK) and Little Bit had each had a litter. We’re pretty sure Oscar was the father of both litters…. It was all very Flowers in the Attic in that garage, apparently. Gross. Big Sister sent me that first picture above and said it was too bad that I couldn’t take a cat, because she really thought Little Bit was the cat for me. My sister is a master manipulator, obviously, because I took a look at that little face and decided she should come live with me. I found a coworker to adopt her kitten, and brought both cats home with me (until we could be sure the kitten was weaned).
Little Bit, so named by my sister because she was so little bitty, was not at all sure about the apartment. I kept her in the bathroom while I was away from the apartment or asleep for the first couple of days, until I could be sure she was box trained (She already was. Because she is awesome). But I’d open the bathroom door so she could come out while I was home and awake. The first time I did this, we spent at least an hour like this
There was SO MUCH NOISE in my apartment for the poor scared kitty. And after just a week, I took her to the Anti-Cruelty Society to have her spayed (where I found out how rare it is to have a totally black cat with no white on her anywhere. She’s so special).
When she finally did come out, she went directly under the couch. And she stayed there pretty much until I quit my job in November (oh right. BTW, I quit my full-time job without another full-time job lined up in mid-November. More on that another time). After I quit my job and was home nearly every day, she started to warm up to me. She’d come out and play with her toys…
She’d play with things that were not toys too… one of her favorite games to this day is flipping her little pieces of kibble out of the bowl and tossing them under the rug. She then proceeds to dive under the rug, mighty huntress that she is, to track down those sneaky kibble bits.
Around Christmastime, after I’d been home nearly every day for over a month, she started coming up on the couch and laying just out of reach. Then she discovered the fleece blanket on my legs, and she’d lay just so she was touching that. After a week of that, I got this
That poor Little Bit. She’s so stressed out.
Now it takes her about 2.7 seconds to hop up on my legs once I stretch out on the couch. She has lain on my lap while I was sitting up exactly once, during a snowstorm when the apartment was extremely cold. I did some consulting work last week that required me to be on a conference call in the kitchen for about 6 hours a day for two days, and she tolerated it until the last hour each day… she’d come running into the kitchen, mew (which she very rarely does), and run back in to the front room. As soon as I gave in to her demands, sit down on the couch, with the space heater blowing on us, she’d hop up next to me, stretch out so her nose was in the warm air stream, and hug my leg. And she’d stay like that for hours if I let her.
I held out for a long time, getting a cat. I didn’t want more responsibility than my houseplants required. However, this little kitty adores me like nobody else. She thinks we’re litter mates, always lays so she’s touching me, chews on my hand when she’s sleepy, tries to trip me in the morning if I’m ignoring her, and will softly pat me on the leg if I’ve gotten distracted and stopped petting her when we’re sitting on the couch. She likes to watch the X-Files and Dr. Who with me, and tolerates The Bachelor, and would all the potato chips if I let her eat people food.
Welcome to the apartment, Little Bit. You still won’t do the dishes or bring me a beer, but you have added more to this little home than I thought was possible.