Still here

You know, when you commit to a blog, you start feeling obligated to provide fresh content on a regular basis, so people checking in always have something new to find, or they get bored and stop checking in. And while I don’t engage in the bizarre popularity contests of social networking, I still have a desire to reach more people, be it from ego or from a desire to make some kind of impact (probably a combination of the two, and don’t ask me which one outweighs the other.) So I don’t feel like I should be doing what I just did, which is going a week with no updates of any kind.

Truth be told, though, there wasn’t a whole lot of interest going on in my life, and even less that I felt like writing about. Some irritating illness had me feeling out-of-sorts, with little desire to write and even less pleasure with what I did manage to put down. Several drafts sit in my folders awaiting a time when I can make them more up to my standards, whatever those might actually be. In the meantime, I’ve tackled such bold and meaningful tasks as 80s lyrics quizzes, and trying to tame down three kittens that appeared a week ago.

The Girlfriend heard one calling outside the window one night, but it had ceased by the time I came in to listen for myself. The next day, however, she spotted two of them on our porch, and thus began the task of trying to capture them. The house alongside of us, a rental, is recently empty, and apparently the kittens (we have determined that there are three) use an empty shed as their primary shelter. They have learned that we put out food and so will venture into the yard frequently, but remain wary of us when we’re outside. The photo above was taken in our side yard as two of them had a very cute wrestling match yesterday morning. Yes, the yard is that unkempt, at least in that area, since a few old trees keep the yard loaded with mower-damaging branches and acorns, and because we let half of the yard remain au natural as habitat and to reduce emissions from the mower.

The Girlfriend and I both have backgrounds in animal shelters (that is, in fact, where we met,) and so we’re familiar with feral and semi-feral kittens. We also both are recently without pets now, as the last of my three cats was put to sleep a year ago June, while the last of her two dogs this May – all had lived quite long lives. We have both sworn to remain without pets for a while, knowing full well that something like this was very likely to happen anyway. The goal is going to be to place them in good homes once they’re cool with people; we’ll see how that goes. Since all of them are Siamese mixes with blue eyes, this probably won’t be hard.

The markings are less apparent here, but they all have a certain individuality. Siamese cats have a basic color pattern, which is a cream-to-white body with “points,” or coloring on the extremities of ears, nose, legs and tail. The most common is the classic “seal point,” or deep brown coloration, while there can be “chocolate point” (lighter brown) and “blue point” (grey.) When interbred with other cats, these points show genetic influence from other classic color patterns, so what we now have visiting us are a lynx point (grey tabby, or tiger, extremities,) a flame point (orange tabby,) and a very curious mix of broad tabby markings that might even be calico-influenced. No, they do not have names yet.

'Something in the window up there keeps making a clicking noise.' 'Shhh! The fuzzy white thing... just... moved!'
There is a curious genetic trait that shelters and cat-breeders learn: a large percentage of white cats with blue eyes are deaf, and even cats with one blue eye may be deaf on the side of the blue eye. Thus, we’ve been paying attention to each of these, but they all show very distinct hearing, so no worries there.

These little boogs appear to be only 8-12 weeks old, so I have confidence that we’ll have them socialized pretty quickly. Once past the age of four months, socializing feral animals gets much harder – two of my three former cats came from exactly such efforts, as they tamed down pretty well with me in foster care but remained very wary of strangers, so much so that returning them to the animal shelter would have left them cowering and unresponsive in the cages. Thus they became my pets by default, and lived to be fourteen and sixteen years of age – one remained neurotic enough to hiss at me if I entered the room suddenly, though most other times she remained quite social (I frequently reminded her that I “haven’t killed you yet,” but this apparently made little impression.)

More typical blog content (well, at least my kind of blog content) will be along shortly, as I tackle some of the topics inspired by other reading, but I may also offer updates on the kittens as I go along. It is, after all, the internet. Rest assured that I generally detest the language of “LOLCat” so we’ll be dispensing with that here.