It is 10:25 a.m., and I only just now got out of my bed. I’d been awake since 8:45, when WD left for a hair cut appointment, but I remained in the bed, doing all I could from the phone. Why the reluctance to leave the bed? Well, because of him:
You can’t quite tell, but he’s sleeping on me. And he’s so sweet and cuddly and makes little noises when I move and stretches and – I swear – smiles at me. Who can resist this little guy? How could I upend him just for the selfish reason of getting out of bed?
Yeah, we have ourselves some cats.
I mentioned last summer that we were looking into some kittens. I don’t think I told the story of how those kittens didn’t work out. It was an ugly story, and I try not to tell ugly stories about people in my community, understanding that one day, this blog may be found.
But then, we found other kittens. There’s my sweet little guy, above, and his brother:
This guy sleeps on me in the night, but when the family is awake, he strongly prefers Writer Dude. I’m trying to get over the jealousy, and just enjoy the lesser relationship I have with the little gray boy.
And to completely disclose the insanity of our cat love:
Yep. 3 cats.
I continue to justify the situation by exaggerating the older cat’s age. I may even sometimes stretch it to “he’s, like, 15 or something.” When in fact, he’s not. But I think if people understand that he might DIE soon, they’ll forgive me for crossing the line from the acceptable two-cat house to the slightly-crazy 3 cat house.
(He’s really not going to die soon … he’s 12 years old and as healthy as can be. He’s also MY cat, and when/if he does die, I will be devastated. So I should stop talking about it.)
We got the kittens in early October, and traveled to a shelter a couple of hours away to get them. Turns out in Boston, shelters are very …
obnoxious strict, and they are also very expensive. Yes, we can have a kitten. After a background check, a physical exam of our existing cat, and after forking over $250 and signing a contract vowing to take them to get neutered/spayed (which we would, of course, do anyway). And that’s when and if an actual kitten (i.e., baby cat) can be found. But if you find a baby cat in the wrong shelter, they’ll just flat out refuse to allow you to adopt, because your other cat is allowed outside. They think it’s evil to allow cats outside. (We do not understand this.)
We travel 1.5 hours away to a shelter in coastal Maine, and they say “you want a kitten? no problem. actually, why don’t you take 2? we have so many, you can have two-for-one, and one is $99. come into our kitten room and take your pick. oh, also? they’re already spayed and neutered.” They didn’t care that we have another cat. They didn’t care that we (horror!) have kids. They just gave us the kittens.
These kittens have turned out to be amazing little creatures. We adore them. Their personalities are hilarious. They are social with each other, and with us. They are cuddle bunnies, and they are playful. Our older cat was never one who was interested in toys. When he was a kitten, he would jump 5 feet off the ground to snatch a dragon fly out of the sky, but he didn’t care one iota for a fake mouse. When he was an adolescent, and we lived in the mild climate of northern California, he frequently brought home mice, birds, and at one point – goldfish. That was interesting. But he wanted a real heartbeat in his toys.
These little guys? they love them some toys! They each have their own toy mouse, and respect the other’s. Gray boy’s mouse has a rattle in it, and the Trickster’s mouse has a longer tail.
The first time we went out of town after getting the kittens, we went to my parents’ house, and we brought the kittens with us. They were so tiny, still. My brother came over with his family one evening, and he brought his new puppy. My parents must have been so perplexed. They are NOT animal people, and there they were with cats and dogs all over the place.
But my brother’s puppy is a pure bread of some sort. It’s big and stocky and has super short hair and a wrinkly face. It seems a little slow. It was very docile. My brother insisted it would be fine with the kittens, but we didn’t want to risk it, so kept the kittens locked up downstairs. I took my 3 yo nephew downstairs to see the kittens at one point, and he was awestruck. He just sat there staring at them, as they were all intertwined and sleeping in a basket of towels. He looked at them, and then looked at me and said, “I wonder what those kittens are thinkin’ about?” In his adorable little 3 yo speech. It’s a quote that we throw around liberally, when the kittens are doing something especially mischievous, or puzzling.
When WD and I went to New Orleans, we found ourselves a little concerned about leaving the kittens behind. But we ended up with a perfect solution. When we first acquired the little guys, in October, a friend had stopped over to pick something up, and to peek at the kittens. She brought her 9 yo son, who is a cat lover. He (like everyone who sees them, even still) was enamored. ”If you ever go on vacation, can I be your cat sitter?” Watching him sit oh-so-quietly and pet them so very gently, and be content to just sit with them for a very long time (especially for a 9yo boy), I thought then “hell yeah!” And while he is only 9, his sister is Mouse’s age, and his mom is also not 9.
So they took care of the kittens (and the Old Guy) while we were in New Orleans. We paid them handsomely, and my friend reported back that her son had said, “Wait a minute, I get to play with the kittens AND I get paid? This is awesome!!!”
They took care of them again for us, while we were in NY. Our 9yo friend loves them so much, they were here a couple of times a day just so he could play with them. As a result, the kittens seemed to do fine in our absence.
But still very happy to see us, and happy to keep me in bed until after 10 a.m.