Living with two active kittens

This morning, after re-reading the last bit of Dr. Biswas’ EBV-MM thesis, I began looking at another area of research, concerning myeloma, of course. But then I decided to take a break and write a KITTEN POST. The kittens are asleep right now, so I have some time to do that… 

Let’s see. We let the kittens out of their quarantine room on Saturday, December 30, 2017. They had been in that room, full of games and a floor-to-ceiling cat tower, since the beginning of November, when we first brought them home. It took almost two months for them to get their clean bill of health: no more giardia (!), no more ear mites, and their booster shots. They were finally ready to meet the others, the adult cats.

When we opened that door, it was like opening the front door and letting two little kids go outside in the snow for the first time in their lives. Pandora and Pixie were bouncing all over the place, full of enthusiasm, happiness, and fun…A joy to behold.

As for our adult cats, they didn’t quite know what to do at first. In the beginning, they just stayed on our bed (where they’d been napping, as usual), pretending to ignore the ruckus, the thundering noise of small paws rushing about madly on our cotto floors, exploring the house…

When they finally realized the noise (and the noise creators) wasn’t going to go away, most of them simply disappeared. Prezzemolo hid downstairs, in a small room under the kitchen, for two days…

But cats have to eat, right? And the cat bowls are all in our open kitchen/dining room area. That’s when the growling and hissing started. Hiss hiss growl growl hiss growl, whack. Yes, there was an occasional whack, too…

Thus far, the cat who is having the most difficult time dealing with the arrival of the two kittens is Peekaboo (10 years old). She still goes after them every chance she can get and growls at them even when they aren’t even near her. And they are really afraid of her.

She doesn’t hurt them, mind you. No claws out, no scratches, nothing. It’s all just a lot of noise. When Peekaboo manages to chase Pixie into a corner, though, the screeches they emit still make me jump out of my chair and practically hit the ceiling. So LOUD!!!

The noise has been lessening, though…I think it’s simply because the kittens are getting better at avoiding Peekaboo.

The others are behaving much better towards the new girls in town. Pinga, in particular. I’m not saying they are cuddling just yet, but now and again we do have six cats lying on our bed, peacefully (minus Peekaboo, of course). So it’s going to be fine.

And I have to say that Pandora and Pixie are two of the happiest kittens I’ve ever had. They’re amazingly curious, and they do everything together, even when it comes to using the litter box (as they get bigger, though, I imagine that will stop!).

They follow me around like teeny tiny dogs. Everything I do is absolutely fascinating to them. The laundry, making the bed, oh just anything! And they are so helpful (not). It’s mostly okay, except when I’m cooking. They still don’t understand what “NO!,” “Go AWAY!,” or “GET DOWN!” mean. And even when I get them off the counter and put them on the floor, they’re back up within nanoseconds.

So fast!!!  😛 

It was when Stefano was away on a business trip in mid January that I realized the only way I’d be able to eat ANYTHING would be for me to STAND UP IN THE KITCHEN, holding my plate as far from the counters as possible. These two little critters may be small, but they are also strong and athletic. And, as mentioned, QUICK.

And no, it wasn’t because they were hungry. They’re never hungry. They always have dry (kitten) food at their disposal, and I feed them wet food at least twice a day, plus treats on occasion.  No, it’s because they are CURIOUS. They want to know what I’m up to, what I’m eating, they want to know EVERYTHING. 🙂 

And even when it’s the two of us, Stefano and I are no match for those Olympic jumpers, and dinner at the dining room table can become quite challenging. If we get distracted, we end up with a paw smack in the middle of our plate or with a kitten stuffing her silly little face down into our glasses.

There are only two of them, but at mealtimes it’s like having an army of Pandoras and Pixies. Fast and determined, those two!!!

But who’s complaining? I certainly am NOT. Pandora and Pixie are the most adorable creatures on Earth. And they are soooo endearing. Early in the morning Pixie comes up to my face and wraps herself around my neck like a (very warm) scarf, putting one of her paws over my ear (so I won’t hear the alarm go off? How considerate!). I put my arm around her and hug her close, and she begins purring. Irresistible.

They cannot replace Puzzola and Piccolo, the two cats we lost last summer, but they have definitely made their way into our shattered hearts.

And they are helping us heal…For sure! 🙂

P.S. Some of these photos were taken with my cellphone and didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped. And by the way, if you’re wondering why these are mostly shots of the kittens sleeping or at rest, the reason is simple: almost impossible to get a decent photo these two in motion…they’re almost as bad as puffins in flight! 😉 But…I’m trying! 

Pandora and Pixie-Panacea

For the past seven days I’ve been dividing my free time between our two new kittens and our resident adult cats.

The two “groups” haven’t officially met yet, because the kittens have loose stools (not caused by parasites, luckily…so it’s probably just because of the dietary change…still, quite gross…and smelly, yuckaroni!!). We have to get rid of the kittens’ intestinal problems before letting them,er, loose in the house. I mean, it’s one thing to have TWO cats with intestinal issues, quite another to have SEVEN cats with issues. Ouch!  So they are in quarantine in the guest bedroom.

Of course, my adult cats KNOW that something fishy is going on behind that closed door. They can certainly smell and hear the kittens, especially when the tiny critters run around the room, chasing each other and making quite a bit of noise.

But they haven’t actually SEEN them yet.

I’ve transformed the guest bedroom into a kitten wonderland. It’s packed with our cats’ old toys and stuffed animals, and with NEW toys, too! Most of our friends and neighbors who have come to see the new kittens have been bringing them NEW toys…so we have some new kitty tunnels and kitty wands. I’ll have to donate some to the cat shelter at some point!

Anyway, these two little sisters are the friendliest kitties we’ve ever had, with the possible exception of Pinga, our 8-year-old, who also made herself at home immediately. But Pinga isn’t always super friendly with strangers, whereas these kittens absolutely love and climb all over everyone who comes to visit. They are super kittens, simply bursting with joy. You can’t help but smile and laugh at their antics. 🙂

They have made such a difference in our lives…in just one week! Yes, sure, right now they’re a lot of extra work, keeping the litter box clean, cleaning the floor (little creatures are very messy!)…

Plus, Stefano and I aren’t sleeping together, which is hard for both of us. He sleeps with the kittens, I sleep with the adult cats. It has to be that way until we let the kittens out of that room. But it won’t be for long. As soon as there is no more diarrhea, we will slowly and carefully introduce the adults to the babies.

Now for their names: Pandora is the mostly-white kitten. She is VERY energetic, playful, mischievous and, well, all over the place. We have named the multi-colored kitten Pixie-Panacea (Pixie, for short; Panacea, the goddess of healing, was suggested to me by a few blog readers…thank you!). Pixie is much calmer and cuddlier. She’s also slightly smaller than Pandora, and not as tough.

I’m still finding it difficult to get decent photos of them, because when they play, they play hard and fast, especially Pandora, and all my photos come out fuzzy. Terrible. And yes, I should have “lightened up” a few of these photos, but I don’t like altering photos. Anyway, I’ll see what I can do with the next photos I take (I take heaps every day, actually)…

These are the most adorable kittens I have EVER seen! And they’re OURS! Such happiness…after so much sadness…Life is good…again! 🙂

Pixie, Pandora, Peppola, Pepper…???

Stefano and I went to visit our new kittens about ten days ago. Oh my. They are so unbelievably ADORRRRRRABLE…such wonderful, happy, friendly kittens…

They are still with their mother, and in fact here is an important bit of information: kittens should NOT be taken away from their mother before they are at least two months old, otherwise they might have behavior and even health problems later on in life. And so we have been waiting for them to be weaned and reach the proper age.

It also turns out that our rather random decision to adopt TWO kittens instead of one was absolutely spot on. Kittens that are adopted in pairs tend to be healthier and happier and have better “social skills.” Yay!

In the beginning, we’d decided to adopt two of the three females in this 4-kitten litter. But the little male (see photo on the right) chose us as soon as he set eyes on us…It was so obvious. He was “in our face” all the time (during our first visit and, even more, during our second visit, climbing up our jeans, etc.).

And so we both ended up falling completely in love with him. So, after the second visit, we decided to adopt him and the little white female. We were going to call the male “Potter” as in “Harry Potter,” since he cast a big spell over us. Plus, we’re both big fans of HP! 🙂

But before we could tell the kittens’ human mother (signora Carla), she gave “Potter” to a little boy who had just lost his Dad. He came over to her house to see the kittens with his mother and brother, and he asked if he could have one. Carla didn’t know, at that time, that we’d changed our minds about “Potter.” And so, of course, she gave him to the sad little boy. We found out the same day. Stefano was very upset, and I admit that I felt a twinge of sadness, too…but, after a moment, I thought, “well, that little boy needs an amazing super kitten more than we do. And our two little girls will be just as wonderful…for sure!”

So, no regrets (although, okay, Stefano is still a bit upset…).

The little mostly-white female (photo no. 1) has a HUGE personality. So we may name her Pandora or Pixie. Any other “P” names that make you think of a feisty and totally lovable little creature like that? As for the darker, multi-colored kitten (photo no. 3, sitting next to her sister on my lap), she was asleep most of the time, so we aren’t sure about her name. In fact, we’re not sure about what to name either of them.

I tried to take some decent photos of the tiny tornadoes during the second visit, but they were either climbing madly all over us, chasing a bit of ribbon that I’d brought with me, or way too close to the camera. These are the best of the lot. Pandora/Pixie/? is on my crossed legs in photo no. 1; Potter is on Stefano’s in no. 2, and No-name-at-all-yet is out of focus in no. 3.

Anyway, TOMORROW (can’t wait!!!) we’re picking them both up and bringing them to their new home, so I’ll be taking PLENTY of photos in the foreseeable future…good ones, or, at least, better ones! 😉

As for the virus-myeloma post I’ve been working on  lately (a long, complicated article), a few days ago I almost had a heart attack, when the bloody Word file wouldn’t open. I kept getting the “this file is damaged” message (or something similar). I finally figured out how to fix it, but boyohboy that was scary. From now on, I guess I’ll save my work in a couple of places, just to be safe. Anyway, with the kittens coming, I don’t know when I’ll get back to it…but I hope to finish it soon (while they’re sleeping or with Stefano, e.g….).

Take care, everyone! My mind is full of kittens right now, and nothing else!!!

Ciaoooooo! 🙂