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Robert Barron column: Kittens can be a handful

I know it’s way too quiet for a dwelling that contains a 10-week-old kitten

Have you ever experienced that sixth sense when you know you’re being watched, even when you can’t see what’s looking at you?

That’s the feeling I get every day when I open my front door after work.

I step into my house and it’s completely still, but I know it’s way too quiet for a dwelling that contains a 10-week-old kitten.

Humans were not always at the top of the food chain and, in fact, we spent much of our early years as a species being hunted by many other predators, and one of the major people eaters thousands of years ago were big cats (and they still are in some parts of the world).

Not that the tiny creature living in my house is capable of taking down a full-grown man (though he can in his imagination), but it appears that somewhere in the more neanderthal part of my brain is the ancient recollection and fear of being stalked by cats.

I enter my living room slowly, talking loud and letting the little furry ball of sharp claws and teeth know that I am aware he’s hunting me, and to give it up.

Then, inevitably, I hear the sound of his little claws trying to gain purchase on my laminate floors as Ramses (yes, that’s actually his name) charges out of hiding and begins his attack.

The extra second the slippery floor gives me usually allows me time to turn to face the killer cat, but he comes at me all out and charges up my leg anyway, with its tiny but still incredibly sharp claws digging into my legs, typically leaving long and bloody scratches.

That’s been my life for almost a month now after my brother and sister-in-law showed up with Ramses after my long-time and elderly cat Chilee died of cancer last winter.

That cat, who was 11 when she died, was calm, sensible and intelligent and spent much of its time sleeping on the coach.

When I would get home from work when Chilee was there, she would get off the couch probably for the first time since I left in the morning, stretch lazily and saunter over to see if I had any food for her.

Everything in the house would be untouched when Chilee was in charge, unlike now when there’s paths of destruction through the rooms as if a small tornado had landed.

Small objects seem to disappear under furniture and appliances as the little fellow bats them around and chases them at 100 miles an hours through the house, and when my front door key went missing from the table next to my front door on my way to work last week, I immediately accused my whirling dervish of a cat of being the culprit.

I didn’t have the time to look for the key, so I had to take a chance and leave the front door unlocked for the day until I could get home and look for it.

I felt guilty a few hours later when a friend, who dropped by the house, texted me asking why I had left my key in the front door.

I regretted accusing Ramses of the deed, especially after telling my coworkers that day of the latest escapades of the malevolent presence that now lives in my house, but it seemed logical to me that he did it and I guess that’s why so many innocent people go to prison.

Despite my complaints, Ramses is a good cat and he grows on me more every day.

I’ve learned that one good way to engage him is with a laser pointer.

You just have to point the laser at the floor and move it around, and he’ll enthusiastically chase it until your arm gets tired holding the pointer

That’s fine for now, but I won’t regret it when the kitten finally gets older and more docile like me.

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