Much Has Happened

Much has happened in the past two-and-a-half years, but mostly it boils down to cats. It’s always cats or kids.

When we left off, The Girl was recovering from a hit-and-run where she was crossing the street and a driver bounced her out into incoming traffic of the neighboring intersection. This was during rush hour and it’s a miracle she didn’t get hit a second time. The woman tried to excuse leaving the scene by explaining she needed to pick up her children at daycare. The judge enjoyed that. The Girl did a lot of physical therapy, dropped her second semester of college (thereby losing her scholarship) because she could barely finish the first semester. Nearly two years after the event she went back to work and school. She still has persistent back pain and migraines now, so that’s awesome, and I don’t think the settlement was nearly enough considering she is going to have to deal with both the rest of her life.

We’d given up on the hunt for Nimoy, the missing idiot cat, and accepted she’d probably found a new group of suckers to give her a home. This turned out to be true, much to my relief and surprise. Her name is Adele now, and The Girl didn’t post her little signs quite far enough in the subdivision. The idiot cat made it across the canal (there are bridges but she wasn’t near one when she took off) and a few blocks before a family with young children found her. The Girl, led by a neighbor’s daughter and her friend (who babysits for the family and tipped us off) walked over and Nimoy recognized her. The Girl told her story, but saw the looks of horror on the kids’ faces at the thought she might have come to claim her cat back, and decided cat and kids should stick together.

No good deed goes unpunished, isn’t that the saying? Or is it just an Army thing? So The Girl decided to give up on her kitten. Jingles was a solitary cat, so she was happy and the kids would just have to share. The Boy mentioned years ago that he wanted a calico cat named Randall. Um…I explained about the genetics behind the coloring and pattern, and that calicos were almost always girls, and he said he didn’t care. Okay then. Little did I know Hubby remembered that long-ago conversation and had been taking The Girl to the shelter to pet and socialize the cats not so she could pet and socialize the cats or because she liked it, but because he was waiting for them to bring in a calico kitten.

Now we have Randall and Ripley, and Darth Jingles is fit to be tied. Randall is a calico in a tortie pattern, and her sister Ripley is a dilute calico in a tortie pattern. They’re not tortoiseshells no matter how the shelter had them labeled. Tortie is a specific pattern of black and orange, calico is black, orange, and white but the pattern isn’t part of the description. They have notable white, so they’re calicos. I’ve had this conversation with too many people, so I’ll just get that out there now. The Boy didn’t care, it was close enough. Right colors, wrong gender, check.

Randall is the sweetest little love-and-floppiness kitten ever. Her sister is Jabba the cat, but pretty, oh so pretty. Ripley sometimes thinks she’s a dog, so there’s that. Randall is a kleptomaniac, stealing all the balls in the house and hiding them. We have four dozen small foam soccer balls in this house, plus some rabbit-fur balls and a few with bells. I have no idea where they are. Ripley loves her toys so I know it isn’t her doing this. She wouldn’t have the restraint to sock them away for a rainy day, she wants to play with them. Also, Ripley doesn’t have the klepto-gene, she’s very giving. She picks little treasures out of The Girl’s garbage can at night and leaves them for us as gifts in our bed. It’s lovely to wake up covered in trash. I particularly love all the little scratches on my legs from bottle caps, pens, and broken pencils. Also popcorn from The Boy’s room, which they’re usually not allowed in to because it’s Jingles’ domain. Buttery, salty popcorn in bed with us, nice.

Kittens are like toddlers, and each additional one makes life more than doubly more interesting. I’d forgotten that. They’re a year old now, and things are changing. Randall isn’t growing very much, she’s about half the size of her massive sister. Ripley is destined to be a lap cat by bulk alone. I’m starting to look into ways to put one cat in three on a diet. Unfortunately changing food will not be an option, the little dears have sensitive tummies and I don’t want to encourage “gas attack” as Ripley’s primary line of defense. It took too long to take that option away, and besides, we’ve gotten out of the habit of calling her “Fart Weasel.”

Randall worships Jingles, who tolerates her in return. Jingles and Ripley are still having little hissy fits at each other, but they’re getting there. By the time snow falls again, I hope to be able to have three housebound cats without significant intervention being needed. Let me rephrase: I don’t want housebound cats, but it if happens, I’d like minimal bloodshed and intervention. Also no more cat fights at three am, please.

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