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Living with Bengals

We have always known that we wanted a dog or a cat, however living in the third largest city in Sweden (Malmö), both full time employees, a dog was of out of the question. So, it was an easy choice, we were getting a cat, or actually two, as I have always found that two is better than one and they would have company.

My boyfriend wanted to get a white, fluffy cat, which would sit in his lap, but I had my mind set on a Bengal or an Abyssinian, as I have known one awesome Bengal and Abyssinian, and had also heard that they are very intelligent and easy to train. Doing some research on different breeds, there were a lot warnings about Bengals and how they are not ideal cats for first time cat owners. I thought, how hard can it be….

We found two Bengal sisters for sale, and it was love at first sight. Even my boyfriend seemed to have forgotten all about his white, fluffy cat. We found the advertisement on a Thursday and on the weekend we went to visit them at the breeders. They were just adorable! We brought them home with us on the same day, and I have to confess we had had not bought any kitty stuff in preparation, but made a quick stop at the pet shop and got the kitty essentials (don’t try this at home – preparation is key with kittens). The first thing Khaleesi did when she came to her new home, was to hide under the fridge….I was terrified she would get electrocuted. Luckily, we got her out after a little while. Phew! That was just the start…

The kittys follow us everywhere we go. If you open the fridge, atleast one of the girls will be inside the fridge in matter of seconds. When you empty the dish washer, you can bet that the kitties will come to the rescue. Toilet visits (sorry I am a Swede, I am pretty outspoken) are always supervised by Khalessi sitting on the sink watching. Getting dressed, Brooklyn will take every chance to run into the walk-in closet, not stopping until she is safe and sound in the corner behind the washing basket, where you can’t reach her. The first couple of weeks, we would find at least 10 books on the floor every morning when we woke up, having “by accident” fallen onto the floor during the night. The kitty-sitter found that her glasses had mysteriously moved from the bedside table to the floor during the night, and was woken up in the middle of the night by someone turning on the music on the computer in the kitchen. We are lucky that her and her daughter weren’t scared off and will come back to kitty-sit them in May.

…and we haven’t even started on the nocturnal activities. The last two years I have been sleeping about 6 hours a night, on a good night. After putting the kittys to bed around 9, the first wake up call will be around 11, when Brooklyn decides it’s time to go feet hunting. She loves attacking our toes, and if hidden under the duvet, she will make sure to reach in and scratch your legs. So what do you do? Well you close the bedroom door. Problem solved? Not really, then Khaleesi will scratch the door down and meow until one of the humans (usually the female human) surrenders and opens the door. Door is open, the coast is clear…up on the bedside table, on to the headboard of the bed and jump onto one of the humans. It’s a done deal, they will react for sure. Kittys are thrown out of the room and at 2 am there is a subtle meow outside the door and we start all over again…until woken up at 4 or 5am. Sleep depravation is kicking in…I am not saying all Bengals are the same, but I am sure this is familiar to many Bengal owners out there.

At this point you must be thinking is it really worth it?!? Absolutely!!! There is always double sided sticky tape so you can attach things to the bedside table, there is plastic you can stick on to your bedroom door so the kittys won’t scratch a whole in the door and you learn not to put things where they don’t belong…..on the shelves. Jokes a side…living with Bengals is amazing.

We always have company, the kittys are part of the family and are with us all the time. Every morning before I go to work, sitting on the couch putting on my make up, at least one of the kittys will cuddle up in my lap. Coming home from work they run to the door to greet us, and cuddles is first on their agenda…even before food. Watching TV they will fight for the best spot in your lap, and even if they are getting a lot bigger, there is always room for two Bengals in your lap. If not, they will be close by, cuddling up on your legs. Night time is not a walk in the park, I have to admit I am still struggling with that part. Having said that I am to blame for letting them in the bedroom in the middle of the night, as I love their company, and I miss them to death every time I close the bedroom door. So much, that I will sometimes go out and sleep on the couch in the middle of the night to spend some extra time with them.

In the mornings we have our morning cuddle routine, and if the door is open I will wake up with two Bengals sleeping on top of me. I love these kittys to the moon and back and their affection and love makes up for all the downsides, tenfold.

Bengals will be Bengals, and as with getting any cat (or other pet)  you will need to commit to make the best possible life together, because yes, getting a cat is life long commitment. Also, there are a lot of things you can do to improve your life together in changing things that YOU do and making sure you satisfy their needs. Your kittys will just follow their instincts and it’s up to you to make sure it works for all of you. I will be sharing some tips & tricks in future blog posts.

 

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