Humans often create intense bonds with their pets. Sure, it’s emotionally fulfilling to have a creature that sits with you, listens to you and, if it’s a mammal or needy cockatoo, cuddles with you.
Other pets, like fish, have a calming effect — watching them swim. Reptiles give a sense of the wild and of adventure even within your own home.
We had a red-footed tortoise for about a decade, a childhood companion of the teenager, who despite her rather boring demeanor was actually quite a character and a low maintenance (but entertaining) pet. And a good meteorologist. She always knew when a big storm was coming.
My current cats—all freakin’ FOUR of them—bring a sense of chaos and delight. The older boys, 9.5+ year old men Oz and Opie, received younger companions this winter.
Our “kittens,” now cat teenagers really, were born under a neighbor’s porch (Sobaka’s mom if you are a regular here) either late October or early November. Once weaned, Mama left them (a feral/stray the block beyond ours refer to as ‘Baby’) and the two strongest prowled the neighborhood. The runt remained under the porch.
The teenager successfully trapped all three kittens but the mother eluded her. The teenager claimed the runt as her baby, she rehomed the second kitten, but the final one, this baby cat who survived on his own for a month, arrived in our domicile a month later. I could not separate him from his brother.
So I now have four cats. (Which, since they exist in two ‘pairs’ are WAY easier than the five years or so we had three cats. At that time I had one older female and two male kittens.)
The way life works I (and my precocious offspring) got involved with FURR (Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab) and have spent the past three weeks socializing a litter of five kittens the teenager has given names from the Greek pantheon.
This week, their kitty cat cold seems finally to be under control. This should end our two steps forward, one step back progress. But even with eye meds and antibiotics, this crew has made great strides this week.
In this video, Zeus succumbs to my cat-paralyzing head scratches: Zeus. Zeus is a very playful, cautious female cat (we think) with gorgeous silver and black markings. Not grey. Silver. And she has this adorable white tip on her tail. She was the runt. But she also is the first to protect her siblings.
Opie, our three-legged, cancer survivor cat who started life as the offspring of a feral, came to visit the kittens and Zeus puffed up and hissed… her little three pound self ready to take him on. Always a gentleman, he gazed at her and declined the challenge by walking away.
In this video, Artemis is the kitten with the white paws attacking the wand toy. He has been neutered. He is ready for a forever home. He loves to be pet, but isn’t quite comfortable being scooped up and cuddled. He won’t fight though, just hide his head.
Artemis and Zeus are the two kittens in the foreground in that video. Artemis loves to be nearby. He and Zeus are always the first to the food bowl. Artemis has also worked up the nerve to start exploring the rest of our house. And he’s so fuzzy.
Artemis and Zeus have also proven very gentle and even when playing have not scratched or bit. This video is Zeus exploring my coffee cup with a cameo by Artemis.
Now the other cat in that earlier video was Apollo. So silver and black. No other color. I think we still have confidence and that Apollo is male. Apollo likes to sit on the bookshelf. He will usually emerge in the middle of the group but doesn’t really approach us humans. Occasionally we confuse him and Zeus and then, when he is cornered he will tolerate our petting.
Now, Hermes has the cutest white bib and patches on his face. He’s timid, but curious. He will sit and watch you and then start bolting around the room, hence naming him after a messenger with wings on his shoes. We have not 100% confirmed his gender.
This leaves Hades. We think Hades may be a girl but we have only handled her once. She was terrified for the first two weeks and hid.
Hades is solid black and looks the most fuzzy of all of them. She has huge golden eyes. Earlier this week, we started pushing single serve portions of wet cat food (laced with antibiotics) into her favorite hiding spot and a few days later, she started slowly joining the rest of the litter.
The teenager and I are over the moon.
As I am writing this, the teenager texted me this video from her room: Friday morning kittens.
So, if you need a kitten in your life, and I will remind you that kittens that start in the wild tend to be vigilant when it comes to rodents & insects, please consider one of our Greek Pride. Or two. Kittens thrive in pairs. And are often less destructive when they have each other to entertain them.
FURR has these and many other wonderful cats available. The kitten adoption fee is $110 and includes all shots, initial vetting, spay/neutering, and microchip.
And if you adopt one of my fosters, your kitten comes with all these videos and photos.
* These kittens and my teen kittens will eat any big. This litter will snatch flies. My teen boys sit at the back door waiting for spotted lantern flies to creep in the crack under the door. They fight over who gets to dismember and eat them. Especially the wings. So I don’t worry about mice.