I was born at a rescue and just recently got adopted. This is supposed to be a really big deal, but so far it has been a huge disappointment! When I lived at the rescue, humans came by and played with me all the time, but now I am just expected to entertain myself with a boring toy mousie. So I look for my own fun, but every time I find something I enjoy, it is apparently “bad!” Here is a list of what the humans here do not approve of: unrolling all the paper in the human litter box room, climbing the curtains, attacking human ankles, biting human hair, knocking things off the counters and dining room table, clawing the rug and sofa, sneaking into the fireplace, playing in my own litter box and dumping my food on the floor so it is easier to eat. In other words, everything! I am only three months old and it is kind of depressing to think I have a whole lifetime to face being told everything I do is wrong! Do you think I can go back to the rescue, where everything I did was just fine?
Dear Sad Kitten,
You are breaking my heart! Nothing you are doing is “bad” (okay, maybe sneaking into the fireplace isn’t such a great idea), you are just bored and these humans who adopted you totally do not understand how to keep an active kitten like you occupied. When you lived at the rescue, the people there did everything they could to make your life fun — you had lots of playtime and other kittens as pals. So no wonder you go to a new home and you start going a little bit crazy. I assume that when you were adopted, the rescue told your humans about what a kitten needs — but apparently they did not pay much attention. I will tell you right here and now that there is no such thing as a “bad kitten.” All kittens are good, if occasionally they get into situations that aren’t quite ideal for them. It is just plain wrong to be told you are bad. Kittens come in three different speeds: playful, really playful and crazy playful — I don’t think you are even in the crazy playful category (that would be my roommate Binga who, as a kitten, attacked the human’s faces in the morning and thought it was a fun game). You are a very normal kitten who needs a lot of games and interaction to grow into the best cat you can be. Along with keeping you busy with play, your new humans should be bonding with you, not spending their time calling you “bad.”
The great thing about coming from a rescue is that when a human adopts a kitten or a cat and it isn’t working out, they can almost always return her. With any luck, these humans are just misguided, and when they explain the “problem” to the rescue, the rescue humans will give them a lecture about life with kittens, and they will take the advice and use it. Maybe they will even convince them to take home a friend for you. If they realize they aren’t up to living with a kitten, they will return you to the rescue, where you will be happy again — and maybe next time you will get adopted by smarter humans.