This blog is to serve multiple purposes.
It is to act as a diary so that I can/could look back in years to come and recall what it was like having a Hazel as a kitten.
But it’s also to provide genuine, first-hand stories about the reality of living with a Bengal kitten for those thinking of owning one for the very first time.
Which is why not everything you read here will be the best way of doing things (because we were/are learning ourselves) and nor will this blog always portray the breed in a positive light.
Particularly this post.
Many will say we should have expected breakages and damage as that’s what pets can do.
And I understood that to a point.
However, compared to previous cat experiences, Hazel was on another level when it came to unwanted behaviour.
The acts of damage after 5 months included:
- Shredding edges of carpet from where she’d clawed at it to try and gain access to rooms that had doors closed
- Ripping wallpaper in 2 rooms
- Knocking a bowl off a surface, which smashed
- Toppling numerous plants
- Knocking over several glasses of water
- Knocking over an ornament, which also smashed
- Ripping open several packets of ‘human’ food
- Chewing through a headphone cable
- Scratching and puncturing an office chair
Plus countless other incidents that involved objects that didn’t break and instead needed to be moved or put back to their original place.
Some side-effects of owning an inquisitive house cat are perhaps not as obvious.
For example, keeping external doors and windows shut, to prevent Hazel from escaping, meant water vapour from cooking and showering/bathing was not able to escape as readily.
This meant mould growth on ceilings and walls.
And more work to remove it.
Our Behaviour And How We Felt
Her behaviour did affect us.
No matter how much you read and think you know a subject, or how much advice you get, in many cases, only experience can really truly teach you.
And some things you won’t even have contemplated beforehand.
For example, we became more paranoid- wanting to know where Hazel was, i.e. see her, or at least know what room she was in, at all times, just in case she was up to no good.
Of course, this was not always possible and if she slipped underneath our radar, it was panic stations.
Even when we relaxed a little, checking on her became habitual and even the slightest noise had one of us racing into the room to see what she’d done, if anything.
She’d created a lot of extra work beyond just feeding her and cleaning out her litter tray.
We felt the highs were not frequent enough to outweigh the lows.
And in all honesty, we felt we were not getting anything out of it- which sounds selfish. After all, she’s not some kind of furry entertainment system there for our benefit. We’d purchased her committing to look after her and give her a happy life.
But it was taking its toll on us and the house.
The Final Straw
Although she’d caused a fair bit of damage, it wasn’t to anything hugely expensive, irreparable or of value- although the carpet will need replacing in time.
But one morning she knocked a glass of water of a side cabinet and onto the floor.
The same bit of floor occupied by my laptop.
I was not present at the time and only learned of the incident later in the day when said laptop failed to boot up.
Of course, some responsibility must be borne by us and it was unfortunate that the glass tipped the way it did.
There are a multitude of things that could have happened differently.
But there we were with another Hazel induced problem, which would cost a lot to rectify.
We’d simply had enough.
So we decided to put Hazel up for sale.