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Jumping Java Bean

This is Java Bean.*

Java Bean came to live with me three weeks ago after a friend of mine adopted his whisker-biting sister. I can’t turn down free donuts and I can’t turn down free kittens either. Java Bean was born in the wild (or as wild as Indiana gets) and survived a respiratory infection that killed three of the nine kittens in his litter. When I stopped by the vet, four of his brothers and sisters had been adopted, leaving me in the position of deciding which of the last two kittens would be picked last for dodge ball. After Java’s brother bounced around the room and tried opening my purse, I decided the more low-key cat was the one for me.

I took him home four days later and he spent the weekend inspecting the quality of my box springs. I slowly lured him out on the second evening and by the end of the night he was on top of the bed instead of underneath it, bouncing on my chest demanding we play with that crazy string toy.

Is it safe?

I got Java Bean partially because I think Krupke, my first cat, gets bored and lonely while I’m away all day. I wanted him to have a playmate. Office Krupke reacted as anyone would whose life has been changed without his permission. He was pissed and he hissed. I kept them in different rooms the first several days, so they could talk to each other under the door. Then we moved onto supervised visits, where there was much growling and batting and chasing. Eventually Krupke adopted an air of begrudging tolerance towards this energetic young whippersnapper who was sleeping in his cat bed and pooping in his litterbox. Java in turn sometimes follows Krupke around like a cooler older brother. I hope that by the time winter comes, they’re snuggling up together to keep warm.

Synchronized sleeping

Having a kitten reminds me of all the things Krupke used to do that I’d forgotten about – like knocking stuff over. Java has reorganized by toothbrush cup, my facial cleanser, and my deodorant, preferring them in the horizontal position rather than the vertical. Java traipses across the computer keyboard with no qualms, something Krupke learned not to do years ago. I suspect Java is a ball of energy wrapped in a cat suit, much like Krupke used to be before he discovered the value of napping all day.

Touch typing

They have their differences too. I left a bag of kitten chow on the floor by the feeding bowls and when I returned that evening there was a kitten-sized hole gnawed through the side. Krupke never did anything like that. Java bean is definitely a biter, loving to chew on laptops, Ethernet cable, and even coffee carts (with much less success). Krupke has never been so destructive. I often refer to Krupke as “Officer Krupke, the chair stealer.” If I get up from my office chair for 15 seconds to return a glass to the kitchen, I will return to find a ball of fur curled in the seat, thoughtfully keeping it warm for me. Java Bean is another kind of thief, “Java Bean the sock stealer.” His true nature was revealed when I walked into my bedroom last week and saw a white athletic sock draped across the door’s threshold even though I’d taken my shoes and socks off in the living room. One lone sock, separated from its twin. He must have been a dryer in a former life.

Java Bean has also appointed himself to be Chief Gravity Tester for our household. He will frequently knock pens off of my desk or shove entire stacks of papers off of the coffee cart to alert me that, yes, gravity is still working. In an effort to lighten my workload, he tested gravity on a dirty plate yesterday, leaving me one less dish to wash. How considerate of him!

Yep, gravity is still working

Now when I come home, two kitties greet me at the door. I feel so lucky to have two lovely kitties, but one thought never escapes me, “Holy crap, now they outnumber me.” But judging from the picture below, they still don’t outsmart me.

LOLcat waiting to happen

View Java Bean’s photo set on Flickr

*Yeah, I know. It’s only my second post in the post-weight-loss-only blogging era and I’ve already gone straight for the cats. If I’m going to be a crazy cat lady when I grow up, I need to start now.

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49 Comments

Benita • September 8, 2008 at 8:35 am

Not fair! I miss having a kitten in the house and it has been a looooong time since our 15-year-old Neil has acted like a kitten.

He sounds like a ton of fun and I envy you!

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Miss_Thing • September 8, 2008 at 8:51 am

Congratulations on the new kitten! They’re so cute and yet so tiring, aren’t they? My guy was like this as a kitten – a ball of energy with the infallible ability to find the newest, most expensive thing in the house and destroy it – but he did grow out of it (eventually). I would make one suggestion to curb Java Bean’s chewing – you might want to get some bitter lemon spray and spray your electrical cords and anything else you don’t want chewed. It works like a charm. Loving the new look and content of the blog, btw!

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Just_Kelly • September 8, 2008 at 8:53 am

Adorable! I love cats. I love them so much that, when my husband and I went to find a cat, we searched out a cat that was antisocial and couldn’t be around other cats. We were afraid of our brood spontaneously multiplying if we didn’t have a built-in reason for it not too! You can see pictures of my three-legged wonder here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellyhensley/tags/nubbs/

He’s still got an attitude but I love it :-)

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still reading • September 8, 2008 at 8:59 am

He’s a keeper!! I had the same experience last year…one of our two cats died and we really needed to get a kitten for our surviving cat, who was really in mourning. (who knew cats mourned? They DO!) So we brought home a baby…oh so cute! There was much hissing and complaining from our older cat at first, but now after a year they are buds..and the baby is keeping the older one active, so its a really good thing. It IS hard to keep anything in its proper place, cause the baby has other plans for it…and the gravity test? Check the contract, its in the job description under “kitten”. Have fun with the bean! He’s really cute. (oh, and not to forget Krupke, whenever you mention him…I start singing “…..Officer Krupke, I’m down on my knees…” now I’ll be singing it all day…sigh)

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fd • September 8, 2008 at 9:40 am

That’s it. Decision made. Boyfriend has been nagging for cats for a few months now. I was sceptical. now I saw we’re getting some. Too cute and sounds like so much fun having them break everything. Is there any way of knowing when they’re kittens if they’ll turn into lapcats?

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Lynn C • September 8, 2008 at 9:56 am

Cute kitten. Aren’t they always fun. If fun includes cleaning up a lot of messes and replacing broken plates.

Can’t believe it took me this long to find your blog, but I read the whole thing this weekend. (Why yes, I am obsessive compulsive, why do you ask?)

I am impressed.

Also, totally sympathize with the headache. I have them too, sometimes. I once had a single headache for so long, I named him. Bob was my headachy friend and he went everywhere with me for several months. So, no advice, because I know how annoying it is. Just some sympathy.

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maggieapril • September 8, 2008 at 10:04 am

When my 10-year old, Squeaky, first came to live with me as a kitten, I awoke one morning to find my entire bedroom covered in snow. Since I live in Florida, this was shocking. After I got up and put on my glasses, I realized that it was actually two rolls of finely shredded toilet paper.

And recently, when I was entertaining a house full of people, my 3-year old, Destiny, got into a bathroom cabinet and came trotting thru the living room with a wrapped tampon in her mouth.

They are a continual source of amusement. Have fun with Krupke and the Bean!

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PastaQueen • September 8, 2008 at 10:41 am

@fd – If they’re socialized when they’re younger, they’re more likely to be cuddly. However, it’s also a matter of personality. Java clearly liked sitting in my lap at 12 weeks, so it should be obvious what they’re like when they’re young. However, Krupke has also gotten more cuddly with age as I’ve cuddled him more. When I first got him he didn’t even like to be picked up.

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April • September 8, 2008 at 10:44 am

Awww. He’s precious. I love new kitties. I so often think I’d like another one to keep mine company during the day but mine still has to outgrow the gravity testing-sock hiding – mess making – psychotic outbursts of energy- phase of her life before I can get another one. 2 kids and a cat in a small apartment is quite enough anyway. By the way, she’s 2 years old – when DO they outgrow this stage?

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Rachel • September 8, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Awwww, congratulations on the new addition! I’m a sucker for kittens, myself, although I’m more of a dog person. I had Daphne for two years before I got Roxy as a puppy. I still think Daphne barely tolerates Roxy for my sake. But sometimes I catch them napping or playing together. It makes me happy.

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Julie • September 8, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Hey! I haven’t actually been to your site in awhile (been reading on Google Reader). What a different look!

Ah I love kitties! I’m banned from bringing anymore home though. :sigh:

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Shanna • September 8, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Aww…. too cute!!! I have two cats too, not to mention a dog…in a 2 bedroom apartment…. its a zoo!!! The youngest cat is almost a year now and he is a terror! He sounds just like your little one. We appropriately named him Stinker. He definitely lives up to his name. Him and the dog ended up being best friends. Its so funny. I think he thinks he’s a dog! =)

Your pics are sooo cute! Thanks for sharing!

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SeaShore • September 8, 2008 at 1:11 pm

There are far worse things than being the crazy cat lady. :)

I had a collection of those little Swarovski crystal animals before Buster the gravity tester moved into my home. He turned thwm into a collection of jagged crystal chunks. He’s now 13 years old.

Enjoy your new friend!!

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Heidi • September 8, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Hi, Jennette. What a cute kitty! Kittens are so much fun, and getting one really does make you realize that you have been successful in teaching your other cat a few manners. Or maybe they’re just older and lazier and have no interest in causing trouble and we have nothing to do with it! It sounds like the two are getting along relatively well for such a short time together, so I’d definitely be hopeful they’ll be cuddling up once the weather gets colder. Have fun!

BTW, love hearing about the “rest” of your life. Thanks for all the motivation!

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ginna • September 8, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I also could very easily tip over the edge and become a crazy cat lady. Nothing in the world is better than a kitten. Unless of course, it is an old, faithful,sweet, grumpy, fat CAT!

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Kristine • September 8, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Just so you know, the sock stealing thing may not just be a kitten thing. One of our “kids” is nearly five years old and still has a MAJOR obsession with socks.

She will spend all night either tearing them out of drawers that happen to left open a little or from baskets of clean (or dirty) laundry.

She brings each one into the bed, crying fiercly and drops it between me & my husbands heads.

Usually by morning, there are at least 15-20 stray individual socks in our bed. If she can’t find socks, she will often resort to other small fabric products – underwear, bras, hats, baby clothes, etc.

Good luck, you may just have a little sock obsessive kitty in your midst.

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Laura N • September 8, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Hey, everyone writes about their babies. So what if yours are furry & four footed. You have to share the good news when a baby arrives! Java Bean is a cutie.

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Riley & Tiki • September 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Awwwwws. So cute. We hope they quickly become buddies.

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Riley & Tiki • September 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Awwwwws. So cute. We hope they quickly become buddies.

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Riley & Tiki • September 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Awwwwws. So cute. We hope they quickly become buddies.

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Riley & Tiki • September 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Awwwwws. So cute. We hope they quickly become buddies.

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Riley & Tiki • September 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Awwwwws. So cute. We hope they quickly become buddies.

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Riley & Tiki • September 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Awwwwws. So cute. We hope they quickly become buddies.

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anji • September 8, 2008 at 5:02 pm

When hubby and I moved in together, we each had a cat… one was a barn cat (mine) and the other was his wacky siamese. They FOUGHT constantly, for four years straight. Never a day without a fight. We had to separate them all of the time pretty much or else it was flying chunks of fur and violent cat screams (mine was very mellodramatic!). While I was very sad when he died at 15 years old, I must say it is nice to not have to break up the daily fights. I”m glad yours are tolerating each other and I do hope they get to the cuddle-with-one-another stage!

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Jennifier • September 8, 2008 at 5:15 pm

You’re so lucky – kittens are so much fun! I have two kittens that were born to a feral cat (in Indiana, no less!). I bet Java and Krupke will be friends in no time.

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Ang • September 8, 2008 at 5:18 pm

So cute! I have a large black cat. He is like a cross between your two kitties.

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Cindy • September 8, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Hey I love your cats. I also love your blog. I just discovered it the other day. I like it so much I even blogged about it today.

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Linz • September 8, 2008 at 5:45 pm

I got my kitties almost that same way. They survived a pretty serious Respiratory thing as kittens.

I couldn’t decide which of the two was getting picked last, so I got both! They’re four years old now. I kinda miss having kittens, but having a nap partner ain’t bad at all.

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Amy • September 8, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Awww! What a cutie! I miss the kitten stage. I fell in love with a kitten up for adoption at my vet not long ago but already have 2 cats… and just got a dog. I would so be a crazy cat lady if money was no object!

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Charity • September 8, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Yay on your new kitty! I have black cats too, and they’re tons of fun:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ehnotsomuch/sets/72157603404894391/

And I think Krupke will get used to Java Bean. Having a friend will be better for his personality. Our guys love each other and approach all new cats as a potential playmate, not as an enemy.

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Sally Parrott Ashbrook • September 8, 2008 at 8:08 pm

I told my husband and best friend that I was thinking about volunteering with the Humane Society’s adoption program, and they both went, “NO!” They knew (as I did once I considered it) that I would be coming home with every animal whose time was up in the shelter. And I love my two kitties, but in an apartment my size, we don’t need more. Maybe if we have farmland some day. . . .

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Esmeralda • September 8, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Gravity-Tester is a brilliant job title. You just get better and better to read every day.

I would go into horrible withdrawls without your insight.

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Riley & Tiki • September 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Awwwwws. So cute. We hope they quickly become buddies.

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Gwendolyn • September 8, 2008 at 9:31 pm

He looks very happy in his new home :)

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Cheryl • September 8, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Awww!

Sadly this cements what was already true, that I will be unable to stay with you if I am passing through. Achoo.

My parents’ (hypoallergenic) cat chews computer cables. They wrapped the cords in aluminum foil and it did the trick. You might want to try that.

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Heather • September 8, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Aw, some (low-fat) whipped cream on top, and you could just eat him with a spoon! Be careful of hairballs, later…

My feline babies aren’t kittens anymore, but they continue to do weird compulsive things, plastic bags and shoe insoles as fetishes for just one of them!

Welcome, Java Bean!

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lisa • September 9, 2008 at 12:00 am

He must have been a dryer in a former life.

I love this.

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Michelle • September 9, 2008 at 12:53 am

Oh God, kittens are the best!! Enjoy

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s • September 9, 2008 at 1:44 am

heehee. i love cats.

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Groovybabe • September 9, 2008 at 6:41 am

Java Bean looks adorable! He looks like an Havana Brown breed, like my cat, Chocolate.

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Shasta • September 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm

I hear you. I wanted another dog for two years, and when I finally got one, I spent the next couple of months wondering what I’d done to my happy, quiet just-the-dog-and-me household. I was suddenly outnumbered!

Nevertheless, two are definitely twice as much love, and you’re to be commended for taking in a rescue kitty.

Good luck!

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Jessica • September 9, 2008 at 1:56 pm

As an indentured servant to two cats, I can confidently tell you that you were already out numbered when you only had Krupke — The 4 paws, 1 tail, and immeasurable attitude for one cat outweighs any human on the planet.

With two cats, you’re just doomed.

And isn’t it lovely?

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Jaime • September 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm

my new kitten (pepper) likes attack anything that moves. example: i have an itchy leg so i scratch it, she then defends my honor and attacks my fingers. another example is how she latches onto my feet as i walk around the house. I am not sure how i lived without her all of these years.

the cat she replaced died in april (she was 17 years old), pebbles, all she used to do that was odd was tear apart cardboard boxes. other than that she just wanted to sleep on the back of the couch and have her tummy rubbed. oh food was also a huge thing for her.

oh no maybe im turning into the crazy cat lady!!!!

(i have 3 cats by the way, kitten, lilly and pepper)

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Mary Jean • September 9, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Congrats! Java Bean looks just like my beloved Sheba, who, sadly passed away at 16 years of age. May you have as many happy years and memories!

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PainterWoman • September 10, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Synchronized Sleeping!!! Love it.

I’m having lap-band surgery in 2.5 weeks. Have already begun exercising and am on the surgeon’s 1200 cal diet. (I’m eating less, less fat but MORE OFTEN. nice trade off). Am impressed with your persistence. I didn’t get to TOO obese until after chemo and decided that at AARP age, the lap-band would give me more years of health than going “slow.”

Found you via Women’s Story Circle. Will go check Flickr. You can find me there as “Sultry” (which was wishful thinking, NOT irony!!). :-D

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Lisa • September 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm

I also have a cat (Milo) that has deemed himself “Official Gravity Tester”. I love that look that you tagged “S’okay. Gravity still works” after they’ve batted a pen/book/plate/glass/full cup of yogurt off of the counter/desk/coffee table/kitchen table. Milo also enjoys sitting in the bathroom sink watching me brush my teeth although it is kind of a pain in the ass to continually lift him out in order to run the water (yes, he will stay in there – we’ve tried that). Love your blog! Have read the entire thing in the past two days. Sad…yes. Amusing…..very.

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Sandy S • September 11, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Your kitties are so precious! I laughed at the pic of your cat curled up on the desk chair. My Sofia sleeps behind me in my desk chair all day while I’m working. When I get up, she spreads out, stretches her legs, and looks just like your cat. When I come back, I just move her legs and sit down again, and she doesn’t budge. :)

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Cari • September 16, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I know the feeling of being outnumbered. We have three versus the two of us. My husband says we should be a two-cat family, but we happened upon another stray and I just couldn’t let him go. I hope they get along… the two guy cats pal around in our house and fight with the girl cat.

I love your new layout, by the way!

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Pam • June 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I am slowly making my way through your blog. I read your book much more quickly (and enjoyed it very much–thank you!) I am enjoying this new phase of your blog. I love cats but have sworn off of them because I grew so weary of changing litter boxes. But I enjoy hearing about other people’s cats and LOVE to be around them. Can I come visit? JK

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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