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We Don’t Negotiate with Terrorists

Unless they are cute kittens

Published in the November 2022 Issue Published online: Nov 14, 2022 Articles
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AFTER A SAD DIVORCE, I thought it would be a good idea to give into the desperate pleas from my kids for a new kitten. As it turns out, a new kitten is a lot of work and when you drop the number of available adults in the house, a kitten is NOT a good idea. Especially the one we got. He’s a terrorist. We’re scared to walk through our house with exposed skin because no one is ever safe. He’s always lurking around a corner, ready to pounce. Or, in his case, fall.

On just another day at the Burke house, we were sitting around minding our own business when kitten came crashing through an access hole in the ceiling.

While I was too stunned to have a first thought, my second thought was, “How am I going to explain four broken kitten legs to a vet in a way that doesn’t make me sound like a serial killer?”

Earlier in the day (as on most days), he was being such a menace that I had put him in a timeout in my bedroom upstairs. It appears he went through an open vent in the bathroom to explore the crawl spaces of the house. This makes me question his sanity and the quality of my duct work.

Thankfully, he immediately jumped up to continue his reign of terror on the other animals and humans in the house. His 10-foot fall proves that cats DO always land on their feet, though it’s not an experiment I would recommend. I also think being perpetually hyped up on the cat grass we’ve been growing probably didn’t hurt.

Artemis Burke lives on; eight lives to go! But I don’t know if we will survive him.

When he was three months old, I decided neutering would help. It turns out the vet disagreed because he told me they won’t fix kittens until they are five months old. I’m not going to lie; I had a Karen moment.

Katie: I think I’m going to need a second opinion. Can I talk to your supervisor?

Vet: Umm, I’m the vet. There is no supervisor above me.

Katie: Well then, I’m going to have to take you up on the exception you have for neutering kittens with a mean streak.

Vet: There is no exception. We don’t fix kittens until they are five months.

Katie: Even the ones with a glint of evil in their red eyes? Vet: Not even for evil eyes.

And so we were stuck with a kitten who was cute 40% of the time, kinda mean 60% of the time and required a ton of work 100% of the time. The day he turned 5 months, I had him at the vet for the big snip. Honestly, the only thing that changed was him being out of the house for 24 hours, which allowed some of our open wounds to heal. Other than that, he was back to his old ways almost immediately

A couple nights ago, we were flipping through some old texts when we saw the picture of him and his littermates. We realized that we did NOT get the cat we requested. We got the feisty sibling next to the original cat we asked for. They are both orange tabbies so they look similar. But based on markings and the RED EYES, it wasn’t the cat we selected. I told the girls to call those peeps back and start orchestrating our exchange. But all they said was, “No, we love him,” and, “We’re glad we ended up with him,” and other meaningless word salad.

So, as of now, I’m stuck in a house with a kitten who has a boundless supply of energy but is well loved. Even if he is a terrorist.


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