Saturday, April 24, 2010

9 Months Later.

No, I'm not talking about a pregnancy. And no, I'm not talking about 9 months since our wedding, although that was 9 months ago, which is hard to believe. I'm talking about our kittens. I was scrolling through some old blog posts recently, and came upon these two pictures:

I found the post particularly funny because in the comments, my mom pointed out how big they had gotten. I agreed, noting they were twice as big as they had been after their first vet appointment. Talk about perspective, though, as the kittens look much more like cats now. R was home recently and has a better sense of their size relative to full grown cats (his parents have two), but I keep looking at our little ones and realizing they've gotten so big! Case in point:

This is our "little" kitten Leela. I only call her little because she's so much smaller than her brother, Gizmo. Sometimes I wonder if she was the runt of the litter or if it's just that she's female and is therefore smaller. Personality-wise, she's much the same as she was as a small kitten, with a few surprises. She still doesn't like to be picked up and held, usually only standing such treatment for mere seconds before she vaults out of your arms and runs off. She's also much more of a hunter than Gizmo, who still attacks his toys right away while Leela waits and watches before going in. She's the acrobat of the two-we got a new weight machine recently and Leela climbs to the top "with the greatest of ease," seeming to pay no mind to the fact that she's eight feet in the air and balancing on a wire. I'm telling you, this kitten has a pair! She's fearless-turn on the vacuum and she still doesn't run off. I was cleaning house a couple of weeks ago and was cleaning the floor after having vacuumed. Gizmo was hiding under my desk for the entire morning, while Leela came to see what was going on in the cleaning department.

The big surprise with Leela, at least for me, is how much of a cuddlebug she is. This wasn't the case when she was smaller-she would often be off doing her own thing and maybe come sit with us, but Giz was the one doing all of the purring and snuggling. I'm not sure when this happened, but now Leela is the cat more likely to come snuggle-she's particularly fond of sitting on my lap (or R's) when we're watching TV and falling asleep. It's the sweetest thing (well, that and her yawns and stretches). She's also the shedder of the two. I expected Gizmo to be the one shedding hair everywhere, but it turns out I was wrong. No matter how many times I brush my girl, she always has several brushes full of hair to offer.

The biggest surprise, however, has been her recent decision to start rolling over on her back. I didn't know this, but R tells me that when cats do this it's a sign of trust. Leela has often been the "kneader" of the two-coming up to me when I'm lying on the couch reading and kneading my stomach while she purrs. I read online this is something kittens do with their mothers, so I guess that's good. But turning on their backs is supposed to be a big sign of trust, because it puts the cat in a completely vulnerable position. Gizmo has always been ok with this-I have pictures of the day we brought him home when I've got him lying on his back on my lap while I scratched his belly. He's recently started doing this funny flip-turn-upside-down thing and lying on his back while curling into an apostrophe for me to scratch his belly. But Leela has never let us do anything like this-when I hold her, it's never on her back. She hates that. But in the past couple of weeks she's started coming over to me on the couch, lying on her back, and waiting for tummy scratches. It makes my heart melt, for serious. The picture above is from one such tummy session (you can also kind of see the white patch on her stomach that she and her brother share). I would never have expected Leela to come and lay down for some tummy rubs, but she's full of surprises. She's the sweetie of the two.

Then there's our handsome boy Gizmo, who has started sitting like this lately. I guess it's a boy cat thing, but I think it's absolutely hilarious. I think he's actually much more similar to his little kitten self than his sister. He's very want-y, as R likes to put it (that's a reference to The Tick, for those who don't know). He's often found sitting by my side, jumping up and nipping at my elbow because he wants attention. This would be a whole lot cuter if his teeth weren't so sharp! He's also the loudest cat I've ever known-he still purrs often and loudly (again, Diesel would have been a good name). You just have to say his name and he's off. I guess this is a good thing, because it means he's happy. He's also a meow-er. Leela just chirps-I think I've only heard her meow once. But Gizmo will meow all of the time-and not at birds or things he sees outside of the window, but at his people. If I get home from work and go in the bedroom (where the kittens are not allowed), he'll sit outside of the door and meow until I come out to keep him company. He's also taken to meowing around 5:30 in the evenings, which is a full hour before they get their dinner. R thinks he picked this up from his parents' male cat, and Gizmo seems to think that being annoying for an hour is going to get him fed sooner. I don't know if he'll ever figure out that this method is not going to work. Probably not, but hope springs eternal, as the saying goes (in this case for Giz, that he'll get fed earlier, for me that he'll stop nipping at my elbows and crying for food for an hour). What's especially funny about his food begging is that he still has dry food in his bowl. We give them wet food in the evening, and so it's not that he's hungry really, just that he wants the good stuff.

The big change with Gizmo is that lately he's taken to snuggling with us less when we're watching TV or just sitting in the living room. He's content to be in the same room and sitting close by, he just doesn't necessarily want to be a lap cat. He'll literally follow R around when he gets home, and when R goes into his office to do some work, Gizmo will curl up on the floor and just sit near him. He's also extremely fond of a shoebox that sits in front of the window in the office, and I'll pull up the shade for the kittens to look out. Gizmo will curl up and sleep on the box. It's friggin' adorable (he's doing it right now, actually!).

They're both window cats. Leela has torn off bits of one of the blinds where they've gotten in her way. We'll replace those eventually, but she'll probably just tear them up again. They don't snuggle together as much anymore, but R thinks this is teenage angst and they'll go back to it (right now when they're in the bed together they start wrestling).

They're great pets, and we're both smitten with them. I've found myself at times really looking forward to getting home so that I can sit on the couch, read, and hang out with the kittens. They love it when I play the Wii, although Leela always tries to sit on my lap at those moments, which is particularly awkward when trying to wield a light saber. But such is life.

Anyway I just thought I'd post an update on our babies. They're awesome and hilarious and cute. Now it's time to do car/yard/house work before the rain sets in for several days.

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