Diary of a kitten owner: Bringing Binx home

Here’s what happened when James Buzzel introduced a lively bundle of fluff to his family.

My wife, Rachael, came home from the gym and the kids were overly giddy, even though I’d told them to act normally. At first she was confused, then our new kitten perfected his timing and bounced onto the sofa, and straight onto her lap. This was Rachael’s introduction to the latest addition to our household — a tiny Ragdoll kitten.

We had been talking about getting a new kitten for some time and decided on a Ragdoll after researching several breeds. We felt their character matched our family lifestyle, because they are a loving, placid breed. We found a local breeder, visited her home and cats, and felt comfortable she was an honest breeder who clearly loved Ragdolls!

Rachael cried on meeting the kitten — tears of joy, much to my relief. A further sweetener was that Rachael got to name him, and she chose Binx, after the cat from the film ‘Hocus Pocus’.

I confess, since an early age, it’s always been about dogs for me. While I still love dogs, cats have begun to take over. I never appreciated their unique characters and behaviour until recently, but this new kitty, in particular, had me wrapped around his paw from day one, to the point where most of my online shopping nowadays is cat-related.

Initially, the sheer look of disdain on Dash’s face when he met this little ball of fluff raised the question of whether they’d get on (more on how the introductions went in a later issue). But Dash has been incredibly tolerant to Binx’s kitten exuberance. Gone are the days when he could perch on the settee arm and sleep for eight hours without interruption. No, this kitten wants to play with anything — the dog, the kids, a sock, and with Dash too! Dash can only deal with him in short bursts, and ends up taking himself to another room or heading outside. Then it’s up to the kids to keep kitty entertained with a toy fish on a string, or a sock thrown for retrieval (yes, he retrieves!).

We intend Binx to be an indoor cat, but still allow Dash his regular in/out routine. As he ages, this might get trickier, to allow one out and not the other, so we’ll have challenges ahead. Plus, given Binx’s energy levels, our house is going to need adapting for his stimulation.