I love getting to know an animal, especially when we belong to one another. For the longest time (a whole day), Bernie just wasn’t interested. He wanted to be fed and then left alone to play, sleep and use his litter box with minimal interference. He definitely didn’t want to be petted or held. And, I’m smart enough not to try petting the head of any kitten or cat unless invited.
Given this dynamic, I fully expected to be able to settle him into the playpen and get a good night’s sleep. Who knew a kitten could make that much noise?! Left alone was desirable, but BEING alone was obviously not. Since Mom’s bedroom is closest to the living room (and the howling kitten), I got up so that she could sleep. Since I had to be awake, I resolved to win his affection.
When Bernie would take a nap, I slept in Mom’s recliner, but most of the time I spent lying on or dozing on the floor amid the toys. I teased him with toys, played with teaser sticks, spun balls in the two track toys and counted victory whenever he let me pet him. Eventually, he would sleep for short amounts of time curled up on or next to my hand or arm. He also had to climb literally every possible piece of furniture, including the outside of his playpen in order to use it as a hammock/trampoline. I figure we got 3-4 hours of actual sleep. (He may have gotten more.)
I am extremely happy to say he used his letterbox without a slip, quickly learned the placement of his food and water bowls, and even tried out his claws on the cat tree and floor scratchers. And from that night forward, he wanted to know where I was and continues to call for me if he can’t find me. He will allow the occasionally cuddle and being carried around in my arms like an infant on his back. He prefers being NEAR to being ON his people, but sometimes gets caught on a lap until he regains his energy. I knew he might not be a lap cat, but I’m good with the cuddles and company between his manic kitten rampages. He made me work for it, but now we’re in it together.