Kittens change everything

I grew up with dogs and my husband grew up with cats. This has not been a bone of contention but rather an indication of why we have both dog(s) and cat(s). I’ve discovered that I’m happiest with fewer dogs - like one and more cats - like 2 or 3. Over the six years we have lived out here in the country, we’ve had as many as 5 cats at one time. All our cats are inside/outside cats so all of them have their claws and have been neutered. They can come in or go out as they choose and during this time of year they tend to spend hot days in the house and slightly cooler nights outside on the prowl.We’ve had some great cats.

Addie came from the SPCA and was not only a great mouser but a good teacher so the kittens that came later were taught to hunt. Tiger was left here by the previous owner and never really came to trust us but would come up on the porch to eat. Tennie was sweet and wanted to sit on your lap. Cinder was found as a tiny kitten near the dumpster at a horse show and somehow went from lean and strong to fat and lazy overnight. Along the way, as we lost cats, usually to old age, new kittens arrived on my porch. I would hear a bit of fur yowling on the porch for water and food, usually in the middle of the night, and as soon as I put out the first bowl of water, the kitten was mine for life. We have always joked that there must be a message written in cat on our front gate… “Meow loudly on the porch and you’ll have a cushy life”.

Keeper was the first kitten to arrive on this front porch – on the day we moved in.  She is a beautiful calico and a great hunter who brings us odd gopher body parts from time to time to prove it. Sydney, who I named Susan until the vet pointed out he was a he and not a she, arrived on the front porch a few years later. He was the friendliest most loving cat we’ve ever had.

As of last fall we were down to just one cat. Keeper is alive and well and hunting and demanding and now that she is a full grown adult, has outgrown any sense of humor she may have had as a kitten. She’s great and I love her. But I’ve been checking the front porch because it’s past time for a kitten to show up yowling for food and water. With the exception of Addie, who was our very first cat, I’ve never gone looking for a cat. They always come to me. And I know that if I go out and look for a kitten another one is sure to show up on my porch so I have put off looking for more cats.

Several weeks ago I got an email from my daughter-in-law that her mother had two kittens, the last of a litter that needed homes. Well, this was more orderly than having them show up on my porch in the middle of the night so two little 8 week old kittens arrived at my house.

Kittens change everything. They keep weird hours, they run around madly then collapse in sleep, they sniff and pat and play and run and hide and eat and mostly sleep. They jump into and out of everything they can. They push everything off the table once they can get up on top of the table. Of most concern to me - they jump into my spinning basket and shred my spinning fiber and spread it all over the house! They think the yarn on my knitting needles is just another cat toy. I decided they should be Tilly and Trudy after my two most favorite elderly spinners. I’m old but Tilly at 104 and Trudy at 84 both have me beat by decades! My husband decided they should be Cammo and Patch. We compromised and now have Tilly and Cammo.

I have scratches on my legs and have finally found a safe place for my spinning fiber - inside the seat of my hall tree.  The dog has decided the kittens are fine and they can stay.  Keeper thinks they are the spawn of the devil and should be destroyed.  Live is running in greased grooves...