A 4 week old kitten wandered into my life and I’m in love. I want to snuggle her close. She likes that ok, for a while. But then she wants to get down, to run and explore her new home. While I let her get down I’m turning to a journal just for her. I’ve kept them for all my other pets, though not from the beginning. I want to start at the beginning with this one. I want to preserve my little babies life story as she grows. I know from painful experience that she’ll only be with me a short time, maybe 20 or 25 years if I’m lucky.
Why journal about kitties? To keep track of your cats’ food, health and costs, a description, and your memories. It’s a lot to keep track of. You’ll never remember it all when you want to unless you write it down.
Of course, a journal is different from a scrapbook or a photo album. A simple journal would be a notebook. I decided to go with an electronic journal that I can keep on a USB drive. I believe even in most emergencies it’d be beneficial, especially if I have my laptop with me. I started it with a word processing program which worked reasonably well. I’m using Open Office for mine.
You’ll want a few photos of your kitty for your journal. In this digital age that shouldn’t be too hard. If you’re an artist you can draw your kitty instead.
Make chapters for your cat journal. The topics I recommend are photo, biography, name, adventures, health, likes and dislikes,and toys and stuff. If you have a paper journal section off these topics, allowing several pages for photo, adventures and health. If you set it up with a word processing program like open office you can open multiple pages and set up chapters up that way.
The photo page should have your pets current photo and a written description. This is a vital page if your pet ever goes missing. Even indoor kitties can escape or get lost. That’s why you’ll save several pages for this topic. You’ll want to update it every so often as needed.
The biography page will tell the basic story of kitty’s life. When was he or she born, even if you have to estimate? Do you have any knowledge of mother or siblings or even daddy? What’s the story behind kitty’s entrance to your home? Have they moved with you in their lifetimes? Keep it simple and straightforward.
You’ll add details in some of the other sections of their journal.
The name section can be added onto the biography page if there’s room. Why’d you name your pet what you did? Or did he or she come with a name already? Do you know the meaning of your cats’ name?
Pet toys can be expensive and even a bunch of the cheap ones can add up. It’ll be worth the knowledge of what worked and what didn’t in the future when you’re at the store wondering if your cat would like that new toy. The same is true of “stuff”. Pet blankets, pet beds, warmers, sweaters, harnesses, collars, and much more is out there for the adoring pet person. Don’t be afraid to buy stuff but keep track of your purchases in your journal under the toys and stuff section.
Likes and dislikes is more about personality. Is your cat always soaking up the sunshine? Do they like high places? Do they like curling up together with other family members?
Adventures are tales of your cats’ prowess, escapades and important events. Has your indoor cat escaped and come home the next day looking like a drunken sailor only to sleep the rest of the day? Has your cat ever disappeared for hours only to be found sleeping the top of the highest shelf in the house? Did you ever hear kitty wailing miserably and couldn’t locate it until you opened your sock drawer? These are adventures that will one day be a fond memory. Record it in detail so you don’t forget it later.
Finally, but only second in importance to the photo section, is the health section. Unless you’re starting from scratch you may not know how big your cat was when you first met him or her. But in their older years weight matters a lot in determining health. Keep track of vaccinations and treatments as they happen. It may be useful later. Keep track of the costs, too. That way you won’t have to wonder how much an office visit is the next time you need to schedule one.
All of these topics make up a whole story of your cat’s life. It’s special. Keep track of it in a journal and you’ll be glad of the memories later.