Monday 20 September 2021

Unashamedly besotted

If you read yesterday’s blog post you’ll know exactly what I did today, and a job well done it was. Now we have a 3rd top entry tray in position plus the side entry tray which is I believe only chosen when there’s congestion in the top entry trays are crowded. The adults don’t ever go in together but the kittens have no privacy issues and will happily get in together or dive in on top of an adult, well their mum I’ve seen receive a kitty ion her back mid flow! Anyway, it’s spic n span job done, all cheap n nasty litter gone. 

Other than that, it’s been a normal day here with play times, sleeping & the regular event of tummy filling while I stand guard to ensure that the adults social distance until every kitten has finished, shaken his back legs, stretched to ease his full belly & shuffle away. 

Play is interesting to watch actually, you get a feel for developmental stage, witness failures, followed by increasing prowess & ability. A sureness in ability, and the best bit of all the characters of each kitten as he (or indeed she when there are girls in a litter) becomes able to appreciate that they have a will of their own - and believe me, some are waaaay more wilful than others! 

Maybe due to his larger size right from birth, despite being last out, Humphrey has made a point of being first and fastest particularly when food is around. First to the kitchen racing me and winning despite his little legs being microscopic in comparison to mine. He is most definitely first to eat (though Grogu has caught up in that department!) he is always first to finish. He was first to work out the adults get different food and when! But he is also most chilled. Maybe he is assured in his largeness! Of course being the only black kitten, maybe he already felt special, same colour as my mum! 

Then there’s Grogu who has grown into himself, in recent weeks. He is a greedy young man, brave in battle with his brothers, he is like a charging rhino, single minded & focussed. He is wilful, he has no qualms about voicing his displeasure when he thinks he is going to be prevented from achieving what he sets out to do. I’ve been told “heeeyyyyy” on a few occasions, mostly when redistribution of kittens around a food bowl is required (we will come back to that topic later!) 

Basil & Vincent might be smaller in stature, but they make up for it during duals whether they’re against each other or one of their brothers, or even their mum! Not that she takes any notice any more than they do. I think maybe it’s cunning, perhaps by crying (wolf) their opponent will loosen his grip or be distracted and when that occurs, the squealer takes his opportunity to strike. I did used to find the yells alarming, thinking that someone was being hurt, but as I watched I would see that the one yelling was also the antagonist, egging the other to rejoin the battle. It’s all play, it’s nature preparing them to be skilled hunters and fighters in the game that is survival of the cutest. I did type fittest but must have mistyped and instead the word cutest was put in. I left it because it made me smile. The fact that none of these boys will need to rely upon his abilities in hunting or fighting does not stop nature from driving kittens to go through the motions of learning those skills. 

Basil is a thinker and sometimes appears more happy in his own company, as it play is somehow beneath him and shrugs it off. He is often last to the bowl, or I’ll have had to go wake him as he has not heard my call (kittens! Kittens!) . He will often secure himself to leave mid meal not having had opportunity to deal with his bladder before being lifted from slumber & taxied to the kitchen. He returns and eats more, but satisfied, and Humphrey already gone, leaves Vincent & Grogu to it. 

Vincent, he is a dainty eater, he takes his sweet time. Even though Grogu wants to be last to leave, he can’t squeeze in another mouthful and goes, while Vincent unhurried, munches on. Around him, like waiting vultures, 3 adult cats are getting impatient, creeping forwards they’ll have the excuse that a morsel is on my otherwise clean floor, but getting brave they might sneak a nose over the edge of the bowl. I say the name and the naughty vulture will retreat, while Vincent munches on. He finishes (eventually) and shakes each back foot, then taking a couple of steps will arch and stretch before sauntering off. 

After food, if they don’t immediately sleep it off, play will commence, and particularly in the late evening this will include Floozy who runs with them encouraging them to race back & forth between rooms. My cats often race in the same way when kittens are not about and then very often I am run over the top of as I lay on my bed, Im used at times as some kind of springboard too.  There’s great interest in football skills, my laminate floor lending itself to this and the chase of the batter ball rather well. Mice of course, and climbing, jumping and hide n seek. The games I object to are those where kittens want to bite fingers (& toes) and I will always offer /use a toy as a play object rather than my hand so that they never get to think or have any expectation of fingers as being play things. My toes will be quickly pulled away and hidden under the blanket if they become interesting to a wakeful kitten!

I am unashamedly adding a video here which I captured after my shower this afternoon. It was about 5:30pm and the sun was coming into my bedroom window. The scene was so beautiful and I’m very aware that this scene is only going to be played out for a short time more. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. I did however notice yet again my breathing as I listened back. The microphone is so sensitive I sound like I need to be on a ventilator! Apologies for that. I’m fine by the way!