Dealing with the Transition from Kitten to Adult
Ellie turned 3-years-old on June 2.
I love celebrating our cats’ birthdays. In fact, I love finding any reason to celebrate them. They bring so much joy to our lives, that it’s only natural I’d want them to know how much I adore them.
But for some reason, this birthday was harder to take than most. For some reason, in my mind, the 3-year-old mark is the transition between kitten and adult. Yes, she may be a young adult, but I now feel odd calling her a kitten — at least when it comes to her age.
Perhaps that’s because for me, Ellie is a permakitten. Not only in size (she’s not tiny, but certainly petite) and ability (compared to CG she’s less capable), but also in personality. Ellie loves with her whole body, from the tip of her tail — which curves over the back of her body when she feels particularly happy — to the tip of her nose, which always reaches up to tap my lips whenever I make kissy noises at her.
Ellie has the personality of a kitten who has never faced hardship in her life. I think perhaps her “darkest” day was when she got a “new” family back in 2011. (Backstory: When Matt and I went on our honeymoon in 2011, Ellie and CG stayed at my mom’s place. When we brought her back to our apartment, we were convinced Ellie’s goldfish-like memory couldn’t remember that she used to live with us, since she once got lost on her way to the food bowl! Consequently, we joke that we became her new family that day!)
She’s truly lived a life full of love, laughter, snuggles — and had a mom who’s always there to help her down the stairs, pick her up (with a kiss) after a tumble or carry her up to bed. She’s my little girl and I love her.
And I think that’s why I’m having a bit of a hard time accepting that she’s getting older. Ellie’s such a kitten, in so many ways, that I can’t imagine her as an older cat.
You see, on the other end of the spectrum is CG. CG is a little more… seasoned. He’s lived in not-so-great places with me and with a variety of roommates’ pets. He had to deal with my random schedule for the first few years, which didn’t really calm down until Matt and I got married. He’s lived in less stable situations than Ellie, and I think that’s definitely had a little impact on him. At the same time, we’ve lived through those times together, and I can’t describe what he means to me.
Plus to me, CG was born as a little old man cat. I’ve always been able to imagine what he’ll be like when he’s a senior. He’s more reserved. He engages in snuggles and attention on his terms. His love isn’t given out as freely.
And I can say without a hesitancy of a doubt, CG is one of my best friends — if you can call a cat a best friend. I adore him beyond words. He’s my buddy, and I can only imagine and look forward to our future adventures.
I can’t imagine that with Ellie. I worry that in time she’ll lose her kitten-like qualities and change.
While part of me is a little unsure about what lies ahead, another part of me can’t wait. If I’ve learned anything with CG, things just keep getting better and better throughout the years. I know I need to realize that age is just a number and no matter what happens, CG and Ellie will always be my “babies.”