We did it! We got a kitten! Our friends Jer and Angel had been nursing back to health (from found-in-a-box-abandoned) a baby kitten - she's about 9 weeks now - for the last couple of weeks. Through the friend grapevine, recently reactivated, we had found out they wanted to, in Jer's words, "pawn her off on someone" (meant with great love, but they have two adult cats and a geriatric dog already!) and so we took her (and the other animals, as a separate favor) on for the weekend to test it all out.
Other than needing some serious claw trimming (ouch!), her behavior so far is very easily modified (still trainable). She goes through spats of crazy spastic activity, then calms down for a half hour or so. She seems to mostly sleep through the night in the room where we set her aside (a bit too small and too active to be alone in the house without us yet, we have determined), believe it or not. She's actually sleeping next to my typing elbow right now, though occasionally stirred up by a passing car or the bells of this set of dogs that get walked by our open window about six times a day, she can actually sleep, out cold, for an hour or so a few times a day, so long as she's allowed total open arm and claw spazzing out in-between nap spurts.
I have found that, despite my interest in doing otherwise, if I ignore her she stays calmer. Staring at her, a bit like with a dog, riles her up. And even when she is sleeping she seems to have a sixth sense for me exploring her little rising and falling back with my loving eyes, for suddenly her own will pop open and she'll swat at the elbow she was peacefully ignoring brushing by her just a moment ago.
And so it goes. I will have to ignore her as much as I can. So much for my own personal edition of cuteoverload.com . I'll sneak in glances when she's already riled up and save my wanting to jackboot her for her over the top cuteness for when she's a bit older and more willing to tolerate my staring with just distain, instead of attacking back with her own special brand of love...