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introducing Stormy and Einstein — the newest members of the Ross family! 🙂

*ftr, the cat bed is actually tan and brown, NOT pink and burgundy like it looks here, ugh

this new adventure began yesterday morning, when Viv was eating breakfast before school and told me she heard kittens outside. it was a whopping 28F out there and the temps were expected to drop all day, w/a good-sized snow storm moving in (I can’t actually call it a “blizzard” the way local media types out here were hyping it up, bah) — I don’t consider myself an animal person by any stretch, but I just could NOT leave kitties outside to freeze to death (or if they survived the storm, to starve to death, since there was no sign of mama), nor could I have Animal Control rescue kitties and then take them to a shelter where they’d most likely end up being destroyed (IMO that kind of “salvation” would be even crueler than just leaving them at the mercy of the elements) so I knew that when we rescued them (there was no “if,” it was definitely a “when”) we’d have to find homes for them.

Animal Control showed up, but he only rescued one kitten from down in the window well (and he did a thorough job looking, too). weird — I knew I’d heard more than one. at any rate, the AC officer never even made it out of the back yard w/the kitten, as it was adopted on the spot by one of our neighbours who’d come out to see why on earth we were poking around in the window well. I was delighted that the kitten had a home, but I was still puzzled b/c I just knew there was more than one kitten out there, but we didn’t hear any more mewing, so I had no idea where else to look.

then as we were eating dinner yesterday evening, Viv and I heard mewing again. the storm had arrived and was starting to pick up, but Larry donned boots and heavy coat and dutifully tromped out to see if he could hear or see anything. hear he did, see he did not. but like me, he wasn’t about to leave a kitty out there to freeze to death. so he came back in, bundled up better for being out in the snow, and Viv and I put on our snow gear as well. then we ALL went out into the storm to see if we could figure out where the mewing was coming from so we could rescue the kitty.

after clearing out three more window wells to no avail, we decided to tackle the pile of play set parts that have been stacked in our back yard for a year-plus now (not having an actual back yard yet, it doesn’t make sense to put it up). we had moved almost EVERYTHING when we uncovered not one but THREE kittens! we managed to scoop them all up before they scarpered, then got them into the house, dried them off (they were pretty well sheltered under the play set, it was being brought indoors that got some snow on them), found a big box w/a blanket, and eventually managed to feed them some milk and tuna (but once they figured out food and drink, they were all over it!)

I called my neighbour to ask how her kitty was doing and to tell her about the other 3 we found — she offered to take another one in the morning after the storm, and we agreed. 3 kitties was more than we felt we could handle (even Larry, who’s been a cat owner — or maybe I should say who’s been at least one cat’s person?? <G> — his whole life), and one of the kittens always seemed to be kinda left out of (or at least left behind) whatever the other 2 were doing; I thought maybe the left-out one might be happier over w/the other kitten (fwiw, my neighbour says first kitty stopped its nearly constant mewing when second kitty arrived there this morning and they’ve been keeping each other company ever since).

I’d actually been giving some thought to the whole cat thing for a while — I know Larry loves cats, the boys were used to having cats around when they were younger, and Viv barely manages to refrain from begging for a pet, esp a kitty. I was the odd man out, so to speak; but since I tend to react, sometimes severely, to almost every environmental allergen known to man, including animals, my allergies were a concern. however, I also take allergy medication fairly consistently, so I figured I’d be less likely to have any major problems (fwiw, so far so good!) I was thinking I’d print up a little coupon to put on our Christmas tree: something like, “good for one kitty from the Humane Society” as a present to my family; but there’s something about kitties that you’ve rescued from freezing or starving to death… I was actually happy that things worked out the way they did, and I suggested we keep two of the kittens. hub was shocked: “are you sure? you’re going from 0 to 60 here…” eh, why not? one kitty, two kitties — in for a penny, in for a pound! besides, I figured they’d keep each other company, like the kittens at my neighbour’s, since two of the kitties (the two we kept) seem to have kinda paired off to snuggle together, get into mischief together (yeah, last night we were playing “find the kitties” at 1am — we thought the box they were in was big enough that they couldn’t get out. ha! we thought wrong.)

so we’re now kitted out w/cat bed (they’re small enough to share for now); kitten food, both canned and dry; little food and water dishes; litter box, liners, and litter; and a few other odds and ends that I’m not actually sure what they’re for but hub says we need them. uhhh, okay sure 🙂 the kitties seem to really like the corner under the shoe rack in our mudroom (of course they’d like it there, it’s dang near impossible for us to get to, gah), so that’s where we put the cat bed; the litter box is behind the mudroom door, and it appears they’ve both already figured out how to use it (first day, wahoo!!) 😀 haven’t had the kitties out too much (trying not to overwhelm them, there’s a lot for them to get used to), and when they are out, it doesn’t take long before they crawl under or behind a piece of furniture, almost invariably together — we usually just leave them be for a while, then we fish them out and put them back in the mudroom to “decompress.”

Einstein — our little “tuxedo” kitty (black w/white muzzle, vest front, mittens, and socks, and WILD white whiskers and eyebrows) — seems to be the brains of the operation: he (or she, we haven’t bothered to look yet) was the first one to figure out drinking milk from a dropper, then drinking milk from a saucer, then switching to water; eating tuna from a little dish, then eating kitty food from a new dish; and using the litter box. Stormy, on the other hand, is definitely the brawn (biggest of the four and inclined to hiss), but he (or she — again, haven’t bothered to look yet) is either a big baby or very protective: Einstein goes out of his sight for any reason, Stormy starts mewing like nobody’s business; he’s not as curious as Einstein, either. Stormy, the blue ticked tabby, is much fluffier than his mostly-black siblings — he looks like a little fluffy dark grey thunderhead, and since he has a more feisty temperament (not to mention the obvious reference to our finding him and his siblings in a storm), he got stuck w/Stormy.

…and I never thought I’d be writing a blog post — let alone a very LONG blog post! — about kitties, esp kitties in our house; in fact, had anyone even suggested such a thing just a month ago, I’d have thought they were stark staring mad, but there you have it. so welcome to our family, Stormy and Einstein! 🙂