70 Cat naps and kitten naps...

Before getting into the details of cat and kitten naps it might be appropriate to introduce you to Tiny. She is the new member of the Jones family in Gruetli-Laager, TN. All this knowledge about the difference between kittens and cats is being gained by the arrival in the household of Tiny.

Tiny is a cute little girl kitten, just seven weeks old, black and white in color and so full of mischief that it is hard to believe Tigger was ever that full of it. Two other attempts were made to introduce a kitten into the household. Neither one met with Tigger's approval. This time there are some differences.

Roy purchased a large wire cage which serves as a safe haven for Tiny when Roy is unable to supervise them when they are out together. So far it seems to be helping. Tiny sleeps in at night and when she is out of it the door remains open so she can go in and out to use her litter box and to eat and drink. It is used when Roy has to leave the house as well, or work outside.

So far Tigger seems to be accepting Tiny with only a couple of very minor problems. Roy is very proud of Tigger! Of course he is proud of Tiny as well. She is doing very well in getting used to the house and Tigger and Roy.
In fact, Roy can't go anywhere or do anything without her right along. She wants to be as near as possible to him. When he is on the computer and trying to work, she wants to be on his hand or the keyboard! That produces interesting results at times. She often falls asleep on him or wedged between him and the arm of the easy chair or on the computer mouse or against the keyboard.

Now, it is a well known fact that there is a big difference between a cat nap and a kitten nap. Quite possibly it is not as well known just what the differences are. To be sure, they both involve sleeping and usually begin with a quiet purr. There the similarities end. The cat nap begins after doing chores (checking out territory and such). Kitten naps begin suddenly during play. The famous cat nap begins with a protracted ritual of finding just the right spot and then just the right position. This involves much trial and error. The kitten nap begins with the sudden end to play and begins immediately with no attempt to find a perfect spot or position. Where ever the kitten is is the perfect spot and whatever the position when play came to an end is the perfect position.

Of course there is the matter of the length of the nap. Cat naps are measured in hours whereas the kitten nap is measured in minutes... usually. There are exceptions of course. Some seem to measure less than a minute and occasionally one will last more than an hour.

Now, the most important difference of all is the reason for the nap. Cats take naps to replenish the energy they burn up doing their chores and to store up energy for the chores they will do when they wake up. Kittens, on the other hand, nap to store up mischief! That is it, pure and simple. As soon as they run out of mischief they immediately fall asleep and as soon as they have enough mischief stored up they become instantly awake and of course begin to spend the stored up mischief as quickly as they can. Most believe that the famous saying "Make hay while the sun shines." is the correct quotation of that saying. That is a politically correct version of the saying which actually is "Make hay while the kitten sleeps."

Cats wake up from a cat nap and slowly get up. They go through a ritual almost as complex as the one to choose the perfect spot and position for the nap. They stretch and sniff and look all around to make sure that it is safe to proceed. Then they check out the food and water bowls before

resuming their chores. A kitten becomes a kitten cannon ball on awakening. It is just as quick a transition from sleep to mischief as from mischief to sleep.

One good sign is that Tiny has an excellent sense of humor! She already laughs at Roy's jokes, a sure sign that her sense of humor is exceptional indeed. That is a trait that she shares with Tigger who also enjoys ‘Roy jokes' almost as much as his grandchildren... who also enjoy excellent appreciation of good humor. Just ask any of them!

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