Oh those galloping kittens

There are some sounds that happen in life that I find calming, relaxing, soothing.
Sounds that are deliciously marvelous, such as a baby murmuring in her sleep with a sigh that says life is perfect, a meadowlark in the spring with her voice floating in my window on a soft gust of fresh air, the crunch of really, really cold snow (though as I age, I find this sound less and less charming), the haunting trill of the loon, and water trickling over rocks—crisp, clean cold water.
One of my favourite sounds today, and many days, is the galloping feet of kittens up and down the hallway outside my office door. The sound is very much like speedy miniature-sized elephants, and I can’t quite understand the science of this sound considering each kitten seems to hardly weigh an ounce.
But these kittens gallop—and the sound makes me laugh right out loud and want to gallop with them.
We just have adopted two orange male kittens who were rescued by animal control from a dumpster beside a gas station. The mother cat and three of her kittens were given a fresh start in a new home, but our two boys accidentally were left behind.
They were starving, flea-ridden, wormy bits of orange fluff and now they belong to us. “Casey” and “Finnegan,” in honour of one of my favourites: “Mr. Dress-Up.”
Casey and Finnegan are coming up two months old (at best guess). They are clean now, curious, and very friendly. I think they recognize that they were rescued from the perils of becoming feral cats—a fate not uncommon to many cats.
The boys will have to grow into their ears and tails but judging by their appetites, this shouldn’t take too long.
The kittens gallop from one end of the house to the other with “Gracie” in hot pursuit for the first five or 10 minutes. And then Gracie tires and gives up, and watches them from a more reclined position.
Gracie would like to pounce on the kittens; I can see it in her face. She’d like to catch them and squash them with affection. But a sharp word from either of us and she reconsiders and submits—much to her disappointment.
They gallop and gallop, up over the sofa and onto the table. And when I shriek at them, they jump off the table looking very pleased with themselves—and then they gallop some more.
They climb into open drawers and they climb into cupboards; they examine the inside of boots and the contents of every nook and cranny.
They sit on the back of the loveseat looking out the window, watching the birds flit to and from the feeder—each kitten’s head turning in perfect sync with the other, much like they were watching a tennis match.
Undoubtedly, they are planning future attacks that their instincts have hard-wired them for (note to self: bell collars).
When they are done galloping, they collapse in sleep—exhausted from their self-imposed marathon. They sleep in a heap, all legs and tails, and one can’t determine where Casey begins and Finnegan ends.
I feel slightly noble for having given these two lads a second chance; noble for opening my door and saying come on in where it’s warm.
I’ll try to remember my nobility while they are shredding my patio door curtains or turning my sofa into ribbons. I’ll try to remember my heroism while I am cleaning the kitty litter twice a day and enlarging my food bill, and swiping at the cat hair that undoubtedly will cling to my black pants.
I will try to remember their innocent, hungry faces while they are dismembering my plants and licking the butter dish.
And I’ll enjoy their little motors purring at 125 decibels that I can hear from the next room.
And I’ll try not to think of all the cats that don’t have a home; who don’t have a lap to curl up in.
wendistewart@live.ca

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