How to Get Really Good at Kittens

by Jennifer Cumby

Always spay and neuter your family pets, kids! Here's a cautionary tale about why.

First, have a really terrible memory — especially for dates, seasons, life cycles, biology, mammals, sadness, and animal fertility sex times.

Second, be unable to say no when your children beg for cats. Say, "no females, though" and mean it until they fall in love with two female cats.

Third, give in.

Fourth, be allergic to cats so they can't be indoors, like ever.

Fifth, live on a farm in the stray cat capital of wherever you live.

Sixth, notice your cats getting simultaneously lumpy a few weeks after you found them to be unusually friendly and heard mysterious night yowling that was too scary to go outside and check out.

Seventh, forget all of this.

Eighth, be surprised when you find a litter of at least 47 kittens on your back porch. See? This is why spaying/neutering is a good idea.

Ninth, say no, again, when your children ask to keep one (or all 47).

Tenth, give in and keep at least 30.

Eleventh, forget all of this.

Twelfth, wonder "why" a lot: Why are there cats everywhere? Why do we need more cat food? I just bought cat food. Didn't we used to have a lot of songbirds? Holy God, is that an eviscerated yet living mouse in my garden shoe?? Oh yes, it is. Great. Who the fuck ate a raw rabbit and vomited it up on the picnic table? Who the fuck did this? Who?

Thirteenth, forget all of this.

Fourteenth, voila! Kitten success story almost overnight. Now, run for president.