As she grew stronger, she got braver and started earning her feisty reputation. “She was a handful from day one!” Braden said. Braden’s attempts to confine Smush while she recovered from ringworm proved futile: “She climbed over every barrier I put up, so I caved in and gave her an entire room.”

When animals are orphaned at a very young age, they miss out on learning crucial social skills from their parents and siblings. It’s during these first months that they learn how to interact with others. A kitten being raised by his mother will be corrected if he bites too hard during play. He doesn’t intend to hurt his playmate, he just doesn’t understand the difference between play and prey.