We have another little member of our cat family to introduce to the world. Meet Saber. He looks harmless and innocent, but he is not. This is another one of Kashka’s kittens, from her summer litter. She had four beautiful children, and three of them were adopted away. But not Saber. Which is a good thing. Because as irritating and obnoxious as Saber is, we had all fallen in love with him. He has a motorboat purr, dreamy amber eyes, and a cuddlebug personality. He loves affection. Until today, which was his first solo day outside, we would have to shut him up in the office when we were away from home or at night, since he has a proclivity towards destruction. If any cat was capable of arson, Saber would be. He let us all know that he hated being by himself by howling and yowling as I’ve never heard a cat howl or yowl. And not just any howl or yowl. “Yow-OW-OW-owwwwww!” Seriously. And, unfortunately, because he is so much fun to torment, we occasionally shut him up just to listen to him yowl. And then we let him out again and cuddle him to death. He climbs the beams in our cabin, terrorizes his half-siblings, terrorizes us, then comes and begs for loving, bumping his pink little nose against our faces with his motorboat purr reverberating peacefully.
Cats are such paradoxical creatures. Loving and sweet and terrifying all at once. One moment, the most destructive, active creatures. The next moment, the quietest pictures of peace and tranquility.
Gift giving isn’t much a part of our American culture. I’m not really sure why, but generally speaking we don’t give gifts unless it is reciprocal – For instance, at Christmastime, or for a specific reason, such as birthdays. But Anna surprised me the other night by gifting me little Ember, one of her precious cats! It has been probably close to 10 years since I had my own pet, and this cat just tickles me. Part of Anna’s rationale was that the two boy cats, the more gregarious of the fleet, get a lot of attention while little Ember, who is shy and rather flighty, doesn’t get nearly enough. She is afraid of the dogs, so she won’t volunteer to come into our house unless the coast is completely clear, and her mom has disowned her. Ember’s two best friends are her brother and Ginger, the yellow stray we’ve semi-adopted. Anna figured rightly that I would love on little Ember. The mark of a good friend (or sister) is knowing how to give good gifts, and this was possibly the sweetest gift she could have given me. I’ve always had a soft spot for this particular kitten – She was the smallest of the litter of two, and her big brother would often push her off the teat and leave her meowing pitifully. She was very funny looking as a baby, with strange coloring and huge bat-like ears and an oddly-proportioned face, but she has turned into quite the distinctive little tortoiseshell cat. Ironically, she is also the kitten I named!
I came inside this afternoon and found Luna, the big grey boy cat, curled up in the sunlight, living the carefree, delightful life of a very happy cat. He is almost ready to be booted back outside after his ordeal as an invalid, which I think he has enjoyed quite a bit, actually. Someone (who will remain anonymous) slammed his tail in the door and degloved two inches of it or so. After receiving this recommendation from a few people, we did minor surgery at home to remove the exposed bone (some of which fell off on its own before we got to it), eventually got him a cone since he kept re-opening the wound, and kept it clean and covered. Thanks to him chewing it back open once or twice before we got him the cone, it took two whole months for the thing to heal, but it is now completely closed up and the hair is all growing back. He is now pretty much as good as new. Dumb cat.
What bliss. These cats are so manipulative.
This little darling is Coal, Ember’s big brother. He is as rambunctious as she is, but he has a cuddly side, which is awfully endearing.
He isn’t a particularly vocal cat, and at the age of about 2 weeks old, he would roll over on his back to have his fat little belly rubbed. He is still just as roly-poly as can be, his little tummy taut as a drum, and his little round face as perfectly kitten as I’ve ever seen. His crazy uncle, Luna, is what we consider to be “the perfect specimen of a cat.” I would wager you’ve never seen as handsome a cat as Luna. But Coal is going to take after his uncle, we think.
This is Ember, the Kashka-cat’s little girl kitten. She has gotten so big!
Little Ember has a rather spazzy personality. She very passionately dislikes being held and will protest loudly until put down, and she loves to stalk shadows. She and her brother are quite the pair, pitter-pattering all over the Miner’s Cabin, climbing the furniture, wrestling, and tormenting their mother.
Too much cuteness.
People who hate cats just haven’t yet met the right cat. That’s all. My uncle’s cat, Kitty-Q, is one of those perfect cats. “Perfect” in that she is a delightful blend of normal cat and abnormal cat. She has all the grace and poise and haughtiness and independence and self-sufficiency of the average capable feline, but she has a desperately sweet side, the side that manages to knock down all sorts of barriers, even those created by cat allergies. She never gets tired of cuddling. She is quite the beautiful feline, and none of us would be surprised if she had a little bobcat in her.
No one knows where she came from. She adopted my uncle and his family about seven years ago – She wandered in as a stray and stuck around when they started feeding her. But for weeks she wouldn’t allow them to come near her. One day, my uncle was flat on his back underneath one of the tractors, and the cat came and sat on his chest. From then on, she was their cat.
Sarah and I are house-sitting for my uncle while he and his family are fishing in Alaska. Kitty-Q, without fail, greets us on the porch in the evening when we come inside, and greets us on the porch in the morning when we come out. She meows at us, begging for attention, roughly shoving her bony little head under my chin or into my hands, to insist on affection.
I can’t help but wonder if this is how Adam and Eve were able to interact with God’s creatures in Eden.