It's amazing how quickly the kitten seems to be growing. If it were a baby, I think we would be about 18 months based on the kitten's skill level. He's beginning to want to explore on his own, although he's still very timid. If he catches even the slightest movement from the corner of his eyes, he flattens and meows pitifully. But if I try to pick him up to comfort him, he scratches and paws at me until I let him down again. I tried dangling yarn for him to play with, but that was too frightening. He prefers to chase my fingers, happily pouncing on my hand to capture it and then using my finger as a teething toy. At the moment I don't mind, but I can see that this particular game will have to be stopped as soon as his teeth finish coming in and he's able to break the skin.
We accidentally started litter box training today. Kitten was playing in the shredded papers and neither of us was expecting nature's call. Kitten was so surprised that he tried to run away, trailing poop behind. If it hadn't been so funny, I would have been annoyed at having to stop work to clean up the mess he made of the plastic tub he stays in.
Although I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep him in the plastic tub. At home I've been letting him run "free" in a large dog crate. That keeps him safe (now that he's too big to even attempt to fit between the bars) and yet gives him a sense of freedom to roam. I think I had pictures yesterday, with the hammock that he's enjoying as a bed. The crate is way too big for me to bring back and forth to work. I don't even attempt to move it from room to room at home. So at work he's been kept in the plastic tub. Today I looked up from my computer just in time to grab him as he was going over the top edge. He had managed to climb the straight, slippery, plastic sides and was perched to fall the 13" down to the floor.
Letting him loose to run around my office is not option. I did try that today, once my heartbeat slowed enough for me to let the kitten loose from my panicked grip. He's still so tiny that I worry about stepping on him, or rolling him over with my desk chair. He'll go off exploring, and gets "lost" in a corner behind a box or under my desk. It's not easy for me to get down and crawl to rescue him. It's even more difficult to maintain my dignity trying to stand back up again holding the kitten, while my boss is watching and laughing.
Kitten might be getting more independent, but he's also showing more affection to me as his "momma." One of my volunteers wanted to hold him, so of course I let her. And he snuggled up to her and enjoyed the attention. Until I came near. Then he struggled and pawed until I grabbed him. As soon as I had him, he started to purr. Okay, it might have been because I had his bottle. But I like the affection explanation much better!
A quick video of Kitten playing