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Miko’s Monday: When we first met


I don’t know how old scrawny little Miko was when I’d first met her. But she was all eyes, with little else other than the tiny pricks at the end of her paws:

Interesting fact: Apparently all kittens are born with blue eyes – most of their eyes change colour as they mature. Miko’s have long since turned green.

Miko was an orphaned kitten at the Humane Society, where I had volunteered a few summers back. She was in a cage by herself by the time I became more familiar with her and could pick her out from the cages and cages of kittens. All her littermates had died, leaving her the only one left.

For a kitten who had no mum to clean her up, Miko kept herself pretty clean. Most kittens her size trampled through their food and litter alike, making them cakey bundles of… mess. Their fur was caked and spiky from dried wet food and they usually had poop stuck to their fur around their bums. You probably could have gone without knowing that. I have never seen little kittens groom themselves or each other, so I guess it’s something they do as they mature and cleanliness becomes second nature.

Miko’s fur had comparatively little stuff to comb out, and few snags. She wasn’t as clean as she is now, but I noticed that she kept her food and litterbox distinctly separate. She never overturned her wet food, and spilled little of the dry. She always used the litterbox (some other kittens pooped in the food – ew) and she napped outside of it. Despite the small confines of her cage, she managed to keep herself clean and soft enough.

Back then, she was small enough to fit in my hand. I would spend extra time at the shelter combing through her fur. There were little bits of dried stuff stuck between her claws, which she didn’t yet know how to clean out. Because she was so small, once in a while I’d bathe her in one of the larger food dishes in warm water with pet shampoo. I think she genuinely enjoyed the grooming sessions, as she clambered from the towel on my lap up to my shoulder and nestled there to take a nap.

She didn’t trust much, this one. Whenever Miko was lifted out of her cage and her paws left solid ground, out came all claws on all paws as she squealed in terror and tried to secure herself in your hand. Via her claws. Other kittens were placid and went limp when you picked them up. Most kittens do go limp when momma cat picks them up. Miko tensed up rigidly, frantically seeking a purchase any way she could.

A girl at a vet office once told me that when choosing a kitten, you know that it will grow to have a good temperament and be friendly if you can put your hand under its front and hind paw on one side and turn it over onto its belly. Miko refused to be turned over. She was set on firmly having all four paws planted in the ground.

Miko has not grown to be overly friendly cat. But she is affectionate in her own way. Her coat is now sleek and soft, and she obsesses about keeping it neat. She will groom herself after you touch her – as if you’d messed up her ‘do. Miko had also gone through a number of personality changes as she grew. Sometimes she’s a real pain in the butt. But either way, she’s cute (and she probably knows it), and I can never stay angry at her for long. Most of the time it’s just a suppressed sigh, and then I get over it.

All grown up now, in body if not in spirit, on the towel I brought her home in.


Author: pearlessence

She who loves shopping, baking, gaming, and all things Disney! All on a student's meager budget :)

22 thoughts on “Miko’s Monday: When we first met

  1. Precious pictures and story – thanks for sharing! I miss having a cat. I grew up on a farm where we had several, but I haven’t had one in years…and now the husband is allergic. So I simply have to enjoy them in short stints of visiting. 😦

  2. Awe, absolutely precious!! Lucky kitty!

  3. Awwwwww such a nice story! She reminds me of my Tango, who was also abandoned and turned out to be a bit grouchy (but affectionate in his own way)! The two girls I’ve had had the opportunity of being with other cats (especially adult cats) when they were babies, so they’re a bit more socialized. But one like this feels like your own child, and there’s something irreplaceable about that!

    • Yes, they really are special… Miko teaches me patience and tolerance. I eventually want to get another kitten down the road, but I’m pretty worried about how Miko will react. Do you think having adult cats around is what really teaches kittens better?

      • I can’t promise how Miko will react. Tango was about 5 months old when we got Brownie. He was pissed for 2 days but soon realized it’s pretty nice to have her company. With Muffin it was even easier. They were snuggling up the next day!

        Kittens need some kind of socialization. The easiest thing to do is take one from a litter that has had their mom, or like Brownie who was bottle-fed by a friend who had several adult cats around. They learn to be nice to both cats and human that way, whereas Tango who was a complete orphan somehow has the illusion that he too is human lol

      • Miko is almost 3 now, she might not be so tolerant as Tango was haha even if she still does act like a little brat :P. I did notice that when she got a little bigger at the shelter and they put her in a cage with 2 other kittens her size, she didn’t really socialize with them. While the other two slept cuddled together, Miko would sleep by herself off to the side. If that was how she preferred it back then, I’m not sure how well she will react to a new kitten. Besides, I won’t be even thinking about getting a new kitten until I’ve moved out, which may be for another couple of years yet, so she will be even older by then…

      • Some cats are better off alone. We got Brownie because Tango was SO painfully un-socialized that when he wanted to play, he would bite us the way cats bite each other (for fun). Since we didn’t (still don’t) have fur, it hurt! He got better with Brownie around, and after she passed away he was wandering around the house looking utterly bored. That’s another reason why Muffin came. Getting a kitten when you have a mature cat is a bit of challenge. Kittens want to play, and mature cats want to sleep, which means they could be quite annoying!

      • Hmm… Miko might be a hermit. We’ll see when the time comes!

  4. So cute! Don’t you wish they could stay little forever πŸ™‚

  5. What a beautiful lady! Your story reminds me of when I brought home my one-pound orange tabby, Geoffrey, who now tips the scale at seventeen pounds. I had to wipe him down several times a day when he was tiny until he finally figured out how to groom himself. It helped a lot when I finally figured out that his hind legs were so short, he couldn’t squat without sitting on the litter. Once I thinned it out for him, that problem got solved!

  6. Nope. He has short hair. He’s a large cat, but he’s also kind of fat. πŸ™‚

  7. So CUTE! her eyes are just gorgeous!

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