Andy was a baby once…

I sometimes forget just how small Andy and Dougy were when I first adopted them. This photo is of Andy at 2-1/2 months old.

andy's spot

Gad, he was a sweety! It looks like he was a wiggleworm, too, because the photo is in focus, if the kitten isn’t quite.

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spring has…almost…sprung!

I am a spring time person. I love the cold nights and the cool days, the soft rains and the raging thunderstorms, the smell of loam after a storm, the plants sending out new shoots of life I will enjoy into autumn. It’s hard to be cynical and sour when everything comes together, new.

Those who read this blog from time to time know that last year at this time I did a series of walks with my handsome ginger tabby, Louie. Louie and I had small adventures each time I followed him on his walks. They always were concerned with, from Louie’s perspective, “What’s new in my territory?!” Then, August 1, 2011, Louie died suddenly of lymphoma. I didn’t know until the very night he died that he was ill. To this day, I grieve that fact because I had medical insurance on Louie. He could have had a couple more years if we’d caught it in time. Yeah.

But it is spring time, time to put away the sorrows and travails of the previous years, and enjoy the resurgence of life.

This year I have Louie’s successors, the kitten brothers. Full of life and the dickens, Andy and Dougy aren’t Louie, but they are a new adventure for me. Louie I rescued from the pound when the veterinarian estimated him to be five. The kitten brothers come to me when they were a bit older than two months, last September.

The kitten brothers. Cynical Andy, just now starting to accept things as they are and enjoying them a little. He was the sicker of the two kittens, and had to put up with more than a life time of baths to wash the diarrhea out of his fur. Ugh! Goofy Dougy, always ready for a good time. He and Andy play well together, and I think Andy benefits from Andy’s goofiness, his “come on, Andy, let’s chase each other all over the apartment and hunt each other down” way of keeping Andy occupied with what’s necessary for kittens: A good time, all the time, thank you!

Spring. The kittens are eight months old, as of March 1st. They make me laugh. They make me look forward to getting out of bed in the morning. They behave badly but are good, little kittens by and large. Explorers of their realm, little predators learning how to do it by hunting each other -and me sometimes – they are spring spirits, young, reckless, adventuresome, rough around the edges, but holding the full promise of a renewal of the cat presence I liked about Louie in my life. They enter spring as kitten teenagers. That should be interesting!

I’m in a spring mood today. The remains of last year remind me of the cycle of life that ends in death for all living things, but there always is that little sprout poking up through the dead leaves, impossibly small now, but just waiting to spring forth as rhubarb, the first chives for a light oniony touch in an omelette, or maybe mint for some tea.

Spring. My season!

andy is the tough cat

Andy had more health issues longer than his brother Dougy. In turn, he is the less kitten-like, more serious of the two.

Where a “cartoony” song matches Dougy’s interaction with me in the last blog, Andy’s interaction with me in today’s video leaves me a bit sad. He missed out on his “childhood”, by and large, to a serious amoebic infection.

A melancholy Mendelssohn piano piece matches best with the video showing him while he plays for keeps, not fun in the way Dougy plays. He drew blood!

Yet, if you approach him the right way, at the right time, he is a little purr engine, a happy little boy. Remember the video of Andy in the window?

Dougy is easier to love; Andy needs my love more.

window on new worlds

Andy recently discovered windows. It’s part of becoming an adept climber, I suppose, but more a typical bit of Andy’s approach to his world: He is an explorer! Because it’s there! Because it’s higher than where he is!

Sometimes exploring causes Andy problems, such as this morning, when I noticed it was time to feed the kittens, and important cat event of the day.

I pushed the lever on my recliner forward, only to miss the “thunk” it makes when it closes fully. Instead, I heard a sickening “mrow!”, my first notice that Andy had turned my blanket-draped footrest into a kitten hiding place from which he attacked his brother Dougy.

Andy discovers the bliss of fresh laundry. Bad kitty!

I’d heard the thump-thump-thumping of running kittens earlier, but missed that one set of legs, at least, stopped under my chair.

Gad! The kittens know the inside of the veterinary clinic because they've spent more time there than at home. Andy in particular has spent more time there than here, though his health is much better now. Crushing Andy in my chair was the last thing I needed to happen.

I chased after him, trying to detect any lameness or hurt. When I finally caught up with him, I rubbed him all over (except his tummy- he attacks hands!) to determine if he had any broken bones or soreness. He seemed OK. I would watch him closely throughout the morning for signs of internal injury or death.

Um. Yeah, I worry about this one alot more than I do his robust and thriving brother, Dougy!

All’s well, as you can tell from this “happy Andy” video, taken later this morning, when Andy climbed onto the bathroom window sill. Only one thing bothers me now: Where has Dougy been all day? He’s been very, very quiet…!