They mostly grow on their own, but they do need a lot of food.
When you get a young kitten it is a delicate fragile ball of bravado. They walk around, with the tiny brush tails sticking straight up and act like NOTHING can hurt them.
But just picking them up makes you utterly aware of how they are just fragile bones covered in fur with a tiny buddha belly if they’ve been eating properly.
Then they grow. They stretch out in all directions and look mostly starved, like lanky teenagers often do. They hold onto that fragile feeling because all the major muscles that bind together cats and make them such tangibly tough animals haven’t quite caught up with the growth.
So you pick them up, expecting to hold something solid with weight and instead you get a floaty bundle of fur. Which sounds more romantic and relaxing than it is, because it’s actually a spastic floaty bundle and so you have try not to break the fragile spastic kitten that refuses to sit still while you hold it.
And then their muscles catch up. And one day you pick up a kitten, thinking it will be floaty fragile flotsam and it’s a solid chunk.
I love the solidity of cats. The fact that they can be given a good solid patting and it sort of rings on their body. And what is most fun is that cats seem to like a good solid patting. I call it banging on the kitty. I mostly do it on their back leg or their back. But it can’t be done to a fragile kitten.
Rebel Tim has just started to get his solid muscles. And so I gave him some bangs and he loved it. You would think cats would hate that sort of thing. But I’ve never had a cat that didn’t love it. Often it riles them up and they end up running around like maniacs. Unsurprisingly this is how it worked on Tim.
Tim is going to be one of those long lanky cats that are mostly just sleek fur over defined muscle, unlike Mrs. Fluffbutt, Her Highness Bijou. Who is mostly thick fluff pasted to muscle and a bit of rounding out fat. She is an exceptionally comfortable cat to hold as a result. Just soft in all the ways. Until she wants down. Which is mostly immediately because she doesn’t enjoy being held. She wants cuddles on her terms. But every evening she condescends to allowing me pick her up for a good hug. And doesn’t even complain.