A Cat Behaviorist’s First Kitten

For some of us the journey to cat lady land begins early. I’ve had cats all my life but discovered my kitty roots are longer than previously thought. Therein lies the mystery. I clearly remember all about my first kitten Smokey, a tiny wisp of gray smoke I’d begged my parents for at age five. But recently while cleaning out a closet, I found a random stack of old family photos and came across one of me at age three with a tabby kitten on our balcony. It’s not a great photo but there I am crouched down communing with my kitty as a cat behaviorist naturally would.

The mystery is: I don’t remember this cat and I suspect there is trauma involved blocking my normally vivid memory. There is a sense memory of texture: sun-warmed fur, soft flannel plaid pants, an itchy woolen sweater but that’s all. My mother’s memory is faulty and wasn’t able to fill in the blanks. In time, I hope to unravel this mystery. For now, all I know for certain is my deep love of cats can be traced back to this Kodak moment. 

Layla Morgan Wilde-child-kitten-cat behaviorist

How old were you when you knew you were a cat lover?

23 thoughts on “A Cat Behaviorist’s First Kitten”

  1. Such a great story and a great photo. Sort of similar to mine. My first cat was Siami, a Siamese (Oh, rilly?). I learned then that cats and people speak the same language but in different tongues.

    I also learned to not wiggle my toes in bed, because he’d bite them. Been sleeping with cats ever since.

    Nite. Ched’s calling me.

  2. My first cat wasnt until I was 21+, this being the mid-1980’s. He came from the SFSPCA~ some friends of ours described this particular cat to us, and he came home the very next day. We only had him a short while (cancer-related) and the same friends knew of a pair of kitten brothers that needed a home. Fast forward to present: The resident panfur has been here since Aug 2011. I’ve had Dalmatians from ’96 -11.

  3. My cat roots can be traced back to the day my parents brought me home from the hospital. There is a picture of me laying on the bed next to my mom, with their cat curled up next to me. Apparently the moment I came home from the hospital Chauncey claimed me for all of cat kind. They got me REAL young.

  4. Fur sure the love of cats starts at an early age for most but it can happen at any time! I have loved each one with all my heart and always will.Kitty luv is such a wonderful thing! Luvs Skeeter and Izzy >^..^<

  5. Hi Layla,

    Cute picture. My memories only go back to age 4 and those are very few. That’s when I was in nursery school. I remember the school and a few things I did there plus a few things in my neighborhood. But I don’t remember a single thing from when I was 3.

    We couldn’t have cats or dogs because some of my family members were allergic to them. Same is true with my DH’s family.

    Neither one of us had a chance to get to know cats until we were in our early 20’s.

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

  6. What an amazing picture! Here’s hoping you can fit all those pieces together eventually. I’ve always loved cats, but was severely allergic to them as a child. So I remember being completely fascinated by them. How wonderful it was when I realized I had largely outgrown my allergies. 🙂

  7. I have been around cats all my life since I was a little girl. I didn’t become the crazy cat lady until I got through being the crazy horse lady but I had cats then too. At least five or six of them. Great subject.

  8. I had a a yellow kitten when I was 7 or 8. I’d let him outside with me, we lived in the
    country, and there was a bell on his collar. One day Iwas told we were taking him to a new home. I was devastated. Looking back it was just another form of torture. I loved
    him to much. “We were dog people”. When I lost my last dog, a Australian Shepherd in 2003, he was irreplacable. I had my cats and knew they were for me. They really like me, and they don’t have to. They know what I’m saying, when I’m sick. They know when something isn’t right and when Richard gets home before I do. We each have our place.
    Be very careful of suppressed memorys. Theh come to the surface and at the very worst, you could have an episode of PTSD. This is from one who knows.
    Sorry that sounded so gloomy.
    Have a Great Day and Hugs to you and your fur family!
    Connie Marie

    1. [url=http://usepheromones.webs.com/]pheromones gilroy[/url] qza2r0a2t2znwqs, 193 wingman x pheromones [url=http://pheromone101.webs.com/]pheromonoes[/url] [url=http://buypheromones.webs.com/]pheromones for men review[/url] pheromones human.

  9. What a lovely photo. I had an experience like that, and all I remember is the cat lived across the street from me, and he or she was a Siamese. That’s when I knew I was a cat lady. We send everybody in your home our best wishes for a nice day and we send special purrs to Merlin.

  10. I remember my first pet cat – a feral kitten we rescued from the backyard compost bin after his mom had (probably been run over.) I remember my first close friend cat – a tiger kitten we got because feral Whitefeet never really got too friendly. My first soulmate cat was someone who showed up on my doorstep at my first ‘after college’ apartment. The cat who will remain with me forever lives with me know – a Norwegian/Coon mix I drove 12 hours each way to adopt. I adore this cat like no other (and there have been – and are – many). But apparently my earliest cat charming experience came when I was under 2, possibly even under 1, when my father and mother took me camping. And came out of the tent to find me on my blanket hanging out with a young bobcat. Yeah – the wild kind. Apparently it relocated when Dad showed up (I’m guessing he wasn’t exactly quiet about finding his toddler daughter playing with a wild bobkitten.) I have no memory of it obviously, but my mother does have a picture somewhere.

  11. That sounds a mystery. I’ve been with kitties as long as I remember. I was little child and I don’t remember how old I was, but I remember how sad I was when my kitty went missing.

  12. odin: wool IZ crappy itchee for sure……..makes ya wunder why sheep iz knot stoppin everee few ta scratch…..N tell yur mom when her iz knot tryin ta think bout de kitteh then her will remember bout de kitteh…..kinda like if we iz knot thinkin bout foodz…we iz knot rememberin foodz……noe that cant be rite we iz all wayz thinkin bout foodz…..hay, happee whitefish wednesday !

  13. Like you, I have a vivid memory of my 5 year-old self and a white cat. We were living on a farm at that time. I don’t remember the name of the cat, although “Snowball” seems to jump up from the memory.

    My parents preferred dogs. The early photos are of me and a black “wiener” dog who was named “Max”. I remember him being mean.

    Perhaps that’s where the love of cats comes in. My first pet wasn’t pleasant and the white cat was.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *