When I was young, I had a pet cat. And as many kids do, I loved my pet with all my little heart. And, as cats are wont to do, she had kittens.
I loved those sweet little fluff balls.
But one day, at about 9 or 10 years old, I had a lot of imagination, maybe a bit too much free time, and an entire litter of kittens on my hands.
I developed a genius plan. I was going to form a kitten circus. I could invite friends and neighbors over and perform for them with my amazing acrobatic kittens!
I also thought the best way to train them was to simply pick them up and put them where I wanted them to go.
I started with trying to teach them to sit on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot.
They did not want to sit on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot. Not one little bit.
So, as cats do, they climbed down, using their claws to keep them from falling as they descended.
Kitten claws may be tiny, but they are sharp. And the kittens’ preferred path down from my shoulder was down my back. I was stubborn, so I tried this a few times.
Each attempt left me bent over, with a kitten digging it’s claws into my back for dear life, yowling. And me yowling for my dad (who was doing chores outside) to come and get the kitten off of me.
I finally stopped when Dad told me I shouldn’t do that anymore, and if I did, next time he wasn’t going to take the kitten off, and I was just going to have to deal with it.
I didn’t realize I’d been mean to the kittens until the next day. I went over to the kittens and the tiny, adorable balls of fluff I so loved hissed at me with all their kitten might.
It suddenly occurred to me that maybe, as tiny as they were, it might be scary being put way up high on a shoulder like that, and maybe they didn’t like it.
I went and got them a big can of wet cat food, and treats, and spent the rest of the day apologizing to them.
Thus ended my dream of the amazing Stark Kitten Circus.
I never got a troop of circus cats, but I did get a troop of cats who purred (not hissed) when they saw me, and to me, that was better than any kitten circus could be.