LIFE UPDATE: BELMONT

What seems like a whirlwind of the last few months, my husband and I adopted a two-and-a-half month old kitten from the Asheville Humane Society! He is feisty, cuddly, and spunky all wrapped up in a little body.

You might be wondering how we came up with the name, Belmont. Different, amiright? It does have a roundabout story to it, believe me!

After we visited Churchill Downs during our anniversary trip to Louisville in August, I fell in love with the horse racing world. Although there were no fans allowed at any of the races this year, Chandler and I were able to see horses practice in groups at Churchill one morning. I grew up riding some and have always thought horses were beautiful creatures. In light of my recent new found “love,” I named our kitten after Belmont. The Belmont Stakes is the three-year-old run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

As the longest race in the series, the Belmont Stakes is the third and final race of the Triple Crown circuit. First is the Kentucky Derby and secondly is the Preakness Stakes.

In the last two months, having a kitten has been such a joy. However, it is a lot of work. Below, I have listed a few tips and tricks that worked for us personally to integrate a new pet into our home.

*We also have no kids (yet) and no other pets in the home, so I can’t talk on experience with integrating new animals with current ones.

KITTEN TIPS & TRICKS

CAT PROOF YOUR HOME

Y’all. I didn’t truly understand the importance of this until after I got Belmont home. Like most toddlers, kittens look to get into everything they’re not supposed to. Do yourself a favor and remove anything off the floor that you don’t want them getting in to. Trust me when I say that they will find anything and everything you don’t want them to, including stale chips under the couch and random hair ties. Cats are fairly curious creatures – cue the nine lives. Cats like to also be up high, so make sure that countertops are clear of objects that can be knocked off or any valuables. Belmont has been known to knock off my wedding ring from the bathroom vanity and use it as a toy while I was showering, unbeknownst to me. We do our best to keep him off of our counters, but be prepared for them to do it anyways when you aren’t home or watching them.

PROVIDE STIMULATING CAT TOYS

Before we brought Belmont home, I felt like I was prepared in the toy aspect. I had a scratching post, balls with bells, stringed toys and a cat tree, which also had scratching posts as the legs and a hideout. My dad also bought us a laser, which seems to be his favorite at the moment.

PLAY WITH THEM

This sounds like a pretty obvious one, right? It can often be overshadowed by lack of time and/or energy. However, you were the one that voluntarily chose to get an animal. Especially as a kitten, I expect for him to be full of energy, although all animals are different. I know that he will grow out of it eventually, but he is such a spitfire and I love it. If your kitten, or puppy for that matter, is into everything they you don’t want them to be, redirect their attention. Play with toys that are for them and show them // that are //. Use treats as reinforcement and praise positive behavior. Our current dilemma is teaching Belmont that the Christmas tree is not for his recreational play time…

Depending on if you have other animals or not, I know that they can hep with entertaining new pets. Like I said previously, we don’t have any other animals in the home to do so, so Chandler and I will do for now.

We have absolutely loved our time with Belmont. Like with anything new, it takes time to adjust to life with a new pet. Be patient with yourself and your animal. He has been the sweetest addition to our home and I have never known a little kitten with such a big personality. He likes to bat your legs as you go down the hall and lay curled up on my chest as we wind down for the night watching tv. We found a good one in our Belmont Bryson. Luckily for him, he also got his dad’s middle name. We do live in the south after all and names prevail for generations.

What are your favorite memory of time with a new pet?