The first furry children came to live with us in 2005, and they quickly became entirely entwined in our lives. They were already grown cats, unsure of all the attention, at first.
Phoebe and Cassie (aka Pudge) took over the house; their favorite places were everywhere. Our phones had more pictures of them than anyone and anything else. Their favorite people were all around them, although they had their preferences. They grew old with us.
We learned mad vet skillz to take care of them in their old age. Losing them was very difficult, especially because we lost both of them within six weeks in the summer of 2014.
Several weeks later, our friend Charlie told us that his family was fostering yet another set of kittens. They had the pregnant cat there and were excited when she gave birth to six kittens. Charlie wanted us to come over and help socialize them. It wasn't something new - we'd helped socialize other kittens before this.
What was different was that one of the boy kittens marched over to Jordan and very pointedly made it clear that Jordan was his. It became clear very quickly that the boy kitten was coming home with us, when he was ready. The only remaining decision was which of his siblings was going to come home with us, to keep him company. There were discussions and I was overridden. The little girl kitten Jules preferred came home with us too.
Their names came very quickly. Houdini, the boy, is the escape artist. Pandora, the girl, is trouble right out of the box. They are home and loved, with Jord getting the lion's share of kitten attention.
Our wonderful vets were thrilled to see us back with new beasts. The condo is not quite so quiet any more, and is re-littered with cat toys. As they've grown, they've taken control.
How to tell them apart:
Houdini is a long haired cat, with a big poofy Dr. Seuss tail. His chin is entirely white. He is a bit of a goofball.
Pandora is a short haired cat, with half a black beard. She is curious but wary.
When looking for the beasts, look for Jordan. That's where you'll probably find Houdini. The two of them remain inseparable.
Pandora is often close, but she sometimes goes off to the dormer in my room, where she can lay in the sun on a blanket that has known several cats. She likes to curl up between my legs, on top of the blankets, when I'm in bed and not feeling well. Pandora is also well-known for jumping into odd places and lurking...
Some times, I am graced by a night-time visitor insisting on skritches. She likes to sleep on my bed these days, if I make room.
Boxes have a fascinating hold on cats. If they fit, they sit - even if you're trying to use the box to stuff a LARP:
They are always on the lookout, hunting bugs, the catnip mice, or the Red Dot. They love open windows, aka "Cat TV." Kids in the neighborhood are excited to see the two of them on guard in the windows.
It's hard to believe they're not kittens any more - they are full grown cats. They've trained us well.