My Latest Distractions

Chateau Herkes is now home to two (TWO!) 10-week-old kittens. Meet Pippin and Merry, also known as Peregrine the Perilous and Meriadoc the Mellow. Pippin is the tabby, Merry is the tuxedo.

Their arrival continues a lifelong tradition of stumbling across Just The Right Cats at Just The Right Time.

These little furmonsters showed up on the life radar and landed in our family by a string of coincidences so unlikely no one would believe it if I put it in a fictional story.

I mean. Really.

It starts when we happen to take a neighborhood walk at the same exact time the owner of a home a few blocks away happens to be out front walking one of his cats on a lead. Okay so far. Reasonable. Believable.

Also entirely believable? That Spouseman and I stop to chat with a fellow cat person. We’d never seen anyone at this house, but the garage was often left open to cat-height, and we’d seen cats come & go & peek out the windows.

We introduce ourselves and admire the fine cat who is lounging upon the grass, and we enquire whether it is a Maine Coon, as it is Huge And Fluffy and Gorgeous. Conversation ensues. It turns out Fester Sylvester (the cat) is inDEED a Maine Coon, and also the son of one of the other cats in the household. There’s even a visiting cat, a breeding queen who was accepting the attentions of suitors.

Coincidences are racking up! Now we have a fine gentleman who is not only the owner of several felines, but also an owner of pedigreed Maine Coons and someone who works with breeders in the area. Still believable, but a certainly a fortuitous encounter for us about-to-look-for-Maine-Coons people!

We admit we love MC’s and will be on the search for some soon, and explain our situation.

I’ll summarize that situation here as briefly (HAHAHAHA me, brief?) as possible.

It’s been two years and two months since our beloved Scootercat died. He was big, black, talkative, and rambunctious, and for 18 years he enjoyed fabulous health other than some serious arthritis in his hips. His decline in his final months was swift and relentless. When things reached a point when we realized we were holding onto him for our sakes, not his, we found the strength to let him go, but damn, it was hard.

We always intended to get another cat or two or three, but the time was never right. First we were grieving, Then we were relocating from our old home to a new one (an even older house, as it turned out) Then we began upgrades and updates on the new-old house, with all the stress, noise, dust, and upheaval attendant on such projects. Inflicting all that change and stress on new pets felt like it would be One Thing Too Far for everyone involved.

Now let me pause to make 100% clear that this house has clearly been a well-loved bungalow since it was built. The previous owners did a beautiful job of maintaining the original interior and modernizing essentials like windows, kept up on repairs, and did critical kitchen and bathroom remodels. But it was built in 1929. All the individual upkeep work was due for consolidation, and other parts were due for replacement. It took time & money and DID I MENTION THE CONSTANT UPHEAVAL?

Anyway.

The last major work involving concrete saws, drills, rumbling earthmovers & strangers coming in & out of the house just wrapped up. (It was all very pandemic-safe, no-contact, outside-ventilated areas, exterior entrance to the basement FOR THE WIN)

The night before our fateful walk, actually–we’d decided it was FINALLY cat search time!

So here we are, standing on our neighbor’s front lawn, sharing our saga of “finally ready to bring cats into our home,” and he says, “My girl had a litter of kittens in March. Want to see them?”

Now what are the odds of that? Uh-huh. Multiply that by the odds that both kittens are amazingly friendly and sweet and just PERFECT, and also not yet under contract to anyone else? Yeah.

That’s how it works for us, I guess. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and our new furry overlords are officially members of the family and rulers of their domain.

That domain currently consists of a Kitten Safe Zone (for overnight and other times they can’t be supervised) plus the kitchen/family room/Spouseman’s office area. As they master the finer points of ambulation, coordination, and personal hygiene, more areas of the house will be opened for conquest.

I’ve astonished myself by getting ANY writing done in the last week, but I have! In some ways I work better when I have a reliable schedule PLUS a distraction to push against. These little guys are plenty distracting as well as totally adorable.

They will be on social media, but I keep the best material non-public. You can support me by signing up here for the free monthly newsletter that comes straight to your inbox, ask for an invite to my Very Quiet Discord server and/or follow this blog.

Two final pics to tempt you into newsletterland:

I’ll share the stories of my past cats in future posts. Unless I forget.

That’s all the all for now. Until later!

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