All That Jam: A Kitten's Teenage Stage

Jams with his favorite ball

Jammy, our stray kitten who came in out of the woods to live with us is now in his teenage stage. He's come a long way!

When we found him he was only one pound. Now he's six pounds. He's still on the lean side, his head disproportionate to the rest of his body, but he's slowly filling out.

He's now up to date on all his vaccinations and has been neutered. He's free to go out at any time, but he's perfectly content to stay indoors. Cat experts: Do you think he might change his mind later? We have a doggie door and he watches the dogs go in and out but so far he's far more interested in staying on my lap.

Ah, and there's the rub. I seem to be allergic to Jams. :(  I can pet him all day long, but I must wash my hands and I can't let him up near my face or I'll end up with a rash. The sad part is he LOVES to rest his head on my shoulder and purr into my ear. That's his favorite position. I don't think he understands I can't let him do that anymore. I feel bad about that.

I don't know if he remembers his starvation days before he found us, and maybe I'm reading too much into it, but he does seem grateful. Do you think a kitten remembers things like that? Have you ever known an animal to show gratitude?

Although he and the dogs have worked out how to live with each other in peace, I still keep an eye on Nana, the border collie who wants to rule the world. How can such a loving dog (to us) be such a bully to every other creature on earth? Iko is too big for her to bully, and fortunately Jammy is too fast for her--most of the time.

We had a little bit of a setback when we were dog-sitting for a friend. To keep Jammy safe, we kept him in a different part of the house from the dogs so there'd be less excitement and subsequent chasing. Unfortunately, when we reunited Jams with our dogs, Nana took it as an opportunity to chase again. I am currently trying to reeducate her from her evil ways.

Jammy takes everything in stride though. He's really a laid back cat considering the hard-scrabble life he led before. His favorite part of the day is meal time, but he seems insane with joy when we walk in on him. He runs up to us and starts talking. I imagine it's stuff like: You've been gone for 10 minutes! I was so worried. :D

Even the dogs aren't that happy to see us.

Aside from the allergies and the fact I really didn't need another animal in the house, Jammy's been a good cat. My only continuing battle with him is that he likes to mess with my plants, which will be more of a problem in the winter when I bring my more frost-sensitive plants indoors.

But...maybe he'll grow out of it. Fingers crossed.

Does anyone have any advice on training cats off plants? The pine cones used to keep him off my planters but now he plays soccer with them! I think I have a Pelé on my hands. Whenever I catch him with a pine cone I trade it for his favorite red ball. Maybe in time he'll leave the pine cones alone.


jacabur1 said…
Maria RE: "But…maybe he’ll grow out of it. Fingers crossed."

Crossed fingers, legs, toes and eyes even will probably not be enough when it comes to male cats and indoor plants.

My "stray-up-rescue" Tomcat was a "Mama's Boy" and he was also a "stinker" when it came to indoor plants, of any kind Maria. When he was helped over-the-bridge in September of 2014, Blade was 9-years-old. I had had him since he came up to our house in the middle of a thunderstorm.

I really do hope that Jazz will outgrow the "obsession for plant destruction". Since he is 100% indoors with the rest of the family, which my tom was not, that may be the case as he will grow up getting reminded not to commit such mayhem.
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: I have noticed that this only happens at night when I put him up. I'm not comfortable about letting him roam just yet because Nana is still getting used to him again, but maybe once she's bored with him, I'll close off the living room with the plants. Jazz will stay with the pack if he gets a choice and that might keep my plants alive. Thanks!
Jenny Schwartz said…
Jazz is growing into a handsome boy. I can't believe the bad luck that you're allergic to him! I've no idea how you save plants from his stalk through the jungle ways. Maybe you train Nana to lie among them? ;)
Maria Zannini said…
Jenny: It's really strange that I'm allergic. I wasn't allergic to our first cat, though I guess you can develop allergies as you get older.
Michael Keyton said…
Pepper might save your indoor plants. Ref cat experience, I had a small ball of grey called Gladstone -->
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: I remember the saga of Gladstone. :)
Pepper is cheap. I'll try it on one plant and see what happens. Thanks.