Getting to know them

Most of the kittens have started to develop a personality in the last few days. Lanolin has the strongest personality, demanding to be picked up, fed and massaged after her feedings. If I’ve done it all correctly, she will let me hold her to my chest while she purrs for a few moments – but not too long, because then she wants to go lie down in her nest with the other kittens. Cashmere is the happiest little thing I’ve encountered since Carrot. She starts to purr the moment I pick her up for her meals, and she continues to do so while she eats. When she is finished, Cashmere rolls over onto her back and purrs even harder. After I pet her tummy for awhile and place her into her nest, she will lie there on her back purring with her eyes closed while the other kittens climb all over her wondering whose turn is next and does she have the milk. Angora has started to climb to the top of the pile as soon as she realizes that I’ve removed the blanket that blocks the light from their bed. She has very little to say, but when she talks it comes out very high-pitched in comparison to the other kittens – I believe her voice will be much like my Buttercup’s when she grows up. It’s very pretty and unmistakably feminine. When she finishes eating, Angora tends to lose suction, but her mouth retains the shape of the nipple and her jaw keeps moving just a little – it’s priceless. I hope to get a video of it sometime when Michael can help me. Flax is the farthest behind in personality development, but he at least knows that once he’s been fed, all  he needs to do is sleep. Most of the time he passes out while nursing, his head bobbing off the nipple onto my lap. He’s a sweetheart.

cashmere-and-lanolin (You can only tell these two apart by their personalities – Cashmere, on the left, is happy and sedate; Lanolin is precocious and wiggly.)

All of my interaction with the kittens at this point is during feeding time. They are not awake unless their tummies are empty or their bladders are full – or both. I love interacting with the kittens, but it’s hard to tell how long I will have with them at any particular feeding. Sometimes they just eat and go back to sleep. Occasioally Lanolin can’t get back to sleep and needs more attention. Lanolin tends to need the most attention when I have the least time to give it to her, unfortunately.

Wednesday evening I had plans to meet with Linnea for dinner, then get together with a larger group of friends to see Wicked. I had it planned out – the kittens had been taking about a half hour to complete their eating and peeing ritual. I left 45 minutes to get ready, thinking I had plenty of time. I showered before getting to the kittens, but I didn’t put my theater clothes on yet because I didn’t want them covered in formula and whatever the kittens might be excreting at that particular encounter. Lanolin decided that this time she just could not get content after her meal and she got fussy. I picked her up and fed her again. I rubbed her tummy. I gave her kisses and held her near my heart. Nothing was working. I realized at some point that I needed to meet Linnea in 5 minutes, but Lanolin just couldn’t get it together. So here I was, in my underwear, consoling a crying kitten and wondering just how much of my clothing actually needed to be on for me to get out of the door. Well, of course I should be wearing my dress, and it would hurt to walk to the train unless I had my shoes on. I picked up a few knee-highs with my toes and threw them in my purse, telling Lanolin that no, she couldn’t go with me and could I please have my hand back? Lanolin screamed as I went into the bathroom, and realized that there was no way on Earth that I was going to be able to put toothpaste on the brush with just one hand, and flossing was just entirely out. All the supplies went into the purse as well (it’s a big purse so that I can carry knitting) for use after dinner. I heard Linnea’s door open, and I thought she was leaving her apartment to wait for me (I didn’t learn until later that she was running late, too, and was actually just going into her place to feed her cats), so I begged Lanolin to quit crying and please let mommy just brush her hair. It worked! I put the kitten back in the nest and she burrowed under the other kittens to sleep. I threw on my dress, put my bare feet into some basic black flats (no way was I going to have time for something with straps), grabbed my purse (which contained all 11 tickets) and flew down the stairs. I never felt more like a mother than at that moment. I considered my afternoon a success because I made it downstairs with underwear on, my hair brushed, and the finishing touches in my bag. Yes, sir, my standards have officially declined.

Linnea and I made it to dinner, and subsequently the show on time. I managed to get the knee-highs on, but I never did get to the teeth. Oops.

By the way, Wicked was really awesome. If you get a chance to go to the theater, see this one. The acting was great, the story was clever and amusing, and the music was exceptional. There’s a song that felt a little close to home for me right now – I guess you have to be able to relate to something to enjoy it.

What can I say, I’ve been sentimental lately.

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