"Mew" Year's Resolutions

Shelter alumnus Kiki is ready for the New Year's party!
Shelter alumnus Kiki is ready to party!

I’m Kiki the Cat, wishing you a Happy New Year! I’m sure many of you made resolutions to better yourselves this year and so have I! Here’s my list:

Number one: Stop jumping up on the kitchen counter and licking the dishes in the sink. Let’s be honest- this is not something that I really want to stop doing, but it bothers my mom a lot. I’m going to need some help breaking the habit, though, so I’m going to have her put something unpleasant on the counter, like tinfoil or bubble wrap. I hate the way those things feel on my paws! If that doesn’t break me of my habit, she might try putting something that I dislike in the sink, like vinegar or citrus peels. The smell of oranges is so yucky! She will have to do her part, too, and make sure that there isn’t anything really tempting in the sink, like leftover meat, that would encourage me to get up there. She will also have to be consistent about making me get down if she catches me up there. Not by punishing me, of course, but by startling me with a squirt of water or a loud noise.

Number Two: Visit my vet. I hope he doesn’t take it personally, but I really hate going to the doctor. I have to ride in the car to an unfamiliar, smelly place where strange people do really strange things to me. My mom says that it’s important for me to go every year, though, and make sure that my vaccines are current, that I am free of parasites, and that I get a complete physical exam. We both feel better after it’s all over and we receive my clean bill of health! If something were starting to happen with me, going to the vet regularly could mean that it would be caught- and fixed- early.

Number three: Play more! No matter how old I get (I’m not going to say just how many years are under my collar), I still love to play. Catnip, toy mice, balls; anything, really. Sometimes my favorite toys aren’t even toys. Paper bags? Hours of fun! A shoelace dangled and drug along in front of me? I love that game! I really appreciate it when my mom rotates my toys once in a while so that I don’t get bored. I also like finding surprises, like the time she left a new stuffed teddy bear in my bed. And yes, my resolution to play more is a 24 hour a day one- that means more 2 A.M. escapades!

Number four: Make sure that I always have current identification on me. I have a microchip, but that doesn’t mean anything unless my mom keeps our information up to date with the microchip company. Every time we move or she changes her phone number, I remind her to call and update it. I would be so sad if outdated information was the only reason that we couldn’t be reunited if anything happened! I also wear a collar with a tag. Some cats complain about collars, but I don’t mind. I got used to it pretty quickly and think it gives me style. It’s a breakaway, which means that if I ever get stuck while I’m causing mischief, I can pull free and not be choked by it.

Number five: Get my claws trimmed regularly. Since my mom started when I was young, I’m already a champion at getting my paw-dicures. Even if that wasn’t the case, all she would really need to do is be patient with me. With us cats, it’s best to choose a time that we are calm, get us used to having our feet touched by giving us praise and treats each time it happens, allowing us to smell the clippers, and to never making it a scary or painful experience. If I’m just not in the mood, my mom lets me go and we try again later.

Number six: Stop trying to get breakfast early. This is going to be a tough one. We cats can be so relentless about getting our morning meals. I try to be patient and wait until that weird noise wakes my mom up, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. She is helping me to break the habit by never getting up to feed me early (which would reward my pestering) and ignoring me until it’s time to get up.

Whatever your resolutions might be, I wish you good luck with them. And don’t forget to ask your pet if you can help them with their resolutions!