Saturday, June 29, 2013


Remiss of me to not report the most important event in our household this year—kittens!

My excuse: This is a yard-and-garden blog, and the kits have nothing to do with our outdoor life. Nevertheless, they will eventually become indoor/outdoor cats and play their own parts in our landscape. So here they are, and here’s their story.

Friends of ours from autosports collect, buy, sell, and race BMWs. One day they had to remove a rare European version of a BMW sedan from a ratty old barn where it had been stored for a decade. So they wrestled their way in, dug out the car, tossed loose parts and stuff inside it, dragged it onto a trailer, and towed it home.

It sat in the driveway for four days before they had a chance to clean it out in preparation for sale. At that point they found, beneath the junk in the backseat, three very hungry kittens.

Not being pet people, owing to their crazy work and racing schedules, they weren’t equipped to suddenly become cat-parents. But they dashed out anyway to get supplies and commenced kitten caretaking until homes could be found. Keeping with the BMW theme, they named them Boris, Manfred, and Werner.

Meanwhile, spouse and I had emerged from the grief of losing three of our four cats in 18 months, and were ready to get a kitten or two in replacement. The surviving three-year-old was getting bored and lonely, and we missed the love and companionship that comes with a full-size furry family.

So we visited the local farm where two of the cats had come from 13 years before, only to learn that there was no litter this spring. Disappointed yet relieved (were we really ready?), we returned home . . .

. . . and found an e-mail containing the above story and photo.

A week later, our friends drove six hours on a stormy night to bring us all three kittens. By then they were approximately a month old and weighed about a pound apiece. It had also been determined that one was female, so Manfred had been re-dubbed Minnie.

Now they are almost three months old and a second one has been identified as female. Both girls have been renamed: Spirit and Cricket. The male, Werner, has not yet shown what his permanent name should be, so we're temporarily calling him Blondie.




All are happy, healthy, vigorous, and have tripled their size and weight. They are at the crazy-kitten stage where they get into everything and make constant mess around the house.

Our young-adult cat took a mere five days to get over the surprise before adopting them. We are counting on him to teach them how to be cats, since they had no chance to learn from their mama. For now our challenge is to keep him from playing too hard with them. The games started when he was literally ten times their size and weight; they grow so fast, that differential has now been halved, yet he still has the power to hurt them by accident. It’s a good thing we work at home full-time!

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