We are thinking of adopting a kitten soon, and we're just running though the checklist of things we'll need to have in mind, but hopefully if there's anything we've forgotten we'll get a reminder from other posters here.
We've waited a few years until our daughter was old enough to understand the responsibilities of cat ownership, and now she is eight we reckon that she's old enough to help to look after a cat, and also old enough to not constantly wind the cat up, as young kids have a tendency to do simply because they're young. Also now that my wife is now working shifts the house is empty for only a few hours a day rather than the nine or ten hours it used to be.
There's the full list of kit - cat box, litter tray, poop scooper, toys, bowls, scratching post, bed and bedding.
We are also unsure about whether to let a cat out - we live on Woodseats Road, which can get very busy, but in the ten years we've been here I've only heard of one cat fatality. Our next-door neighbours have a cat that is totally a house cat, but cat's we've had in the past in both our families have been very much outdoor ones, so that's another thought before we finally decide to adopt.
We will need to consider what happened to my wife's cat, which did a runner around six months after we moved in here. I'd hate to have another cat run off, as it was heartbreaking enough for my wife's old cat to run off, and although he wasn't dead it was as if he had died. My wife found it very upsetting that he wouldn't come back home, and we saw him around our house for a year or two after we moved in. (He looked well, but despite asking all around the neighbourhood we never found where he'd gone to, even though he had regular changes of collar, and we were never able to catch him.) He obviously liked Woodseats, just not our house.....
So do we keep a cat in as a house cat, or do we take the risk and let one roam?
We've also carefully considered the costs of cat ownership, from food to vet's fees. Insurance for a cat comes in at anywhere from around four quid, so we've considered all the financial implications.
The final thing, should we take the plunge, is do we adopt from a shelter or buy? We're not interested in a pedigree cat, so we reckon that a rescue kitten would be the best bet.
And if we do go ahead, do we get one or two?