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It’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me. There are two reasons for this sorry state of affairs. One is that Speedy and I acquired a piece of land after we moved back to America permanently, and we have been flirting, ever more seriously, with the idea of building a house. This takes a lot of time and energy, or at least mental energy.

Then there are the cats. I promised myself I wouldn’t become a cat-blogger. There are many wonderful cat blogs out there (I personally subscribe to far too many of them). But this is a promise I find I cannot keep, even though the world does not NEED one more cute kitten photograph.

Meet Jack.

Jack

Those of you who remember our late, lamented Luciano will understand the immediate attraction we felt for Jack when we saw him in the Pet of the Week cage at the local shelter. Never mind the one eye, he’s a fat marmalade kitty, so much like Luciano in his heyday. Jack, as it turns out, does not share Luciano’s outgoing personality, but never mind. The fact that he is missing an eye and has been declawed speaks to some early trauma. He’s smart to be cautious (some might call him a scaredy-cat.) If only he could speak.

While at the shelter falling in love with Jack we decided to take a look at kittens just for the heck of it. Jill was sitting by himself, his wee size making his cage look awfully big. He practically hurled himself at us crying Mew Mew Mew in that way kittens have that manages to sound pathetic, aggressive and appealing all at the same time. ‘Oh we can’t,’ we said to each other. ‘He’s awfully cute,’ we said to each other. ‘Oh, why not,’ we said to each other.

“We’d like to adopt the small orange kitten, too,” Louis told the woman at the desk.

“Oh, no!” she said, “Captain Jack [his full name] doesn’t like other orange cats.”

“Um. What??”

“His cage was next to another orange cat, and he hissed at it.”

With all due respect to the wonderful people who work at the Animal Shelter, this made no sense to us. Why don’t we introduce the kitten to Jack? we suggested. No sooner said than done. Quietly Jack sniffed the little one and started to groom him. End of problem.

Jack went home with us that very day and commenced to spend all his time under various beds. He shied from our hands when we tried to pat him, and raced away when we walked towards him.

A week later Jill (so named because every Jack needs a Jill and every Jill needs a Jack, and Jill doesn’t know it’s usually a girl’s name) came home. Jack came out from under the beds and Jill has taught him that we’re not all bad. Jill is the quintessential kitten – playful, mischievous, adorable. He has even encouraged Jack to play with toys a bit, and now Jack rubs against our legs, as any self-respecting cat should, and loves to have us rub his head and belly.

Some of Jill’s favorite games are Where’s Jill? This is a great game that can be played in the kitchen, the front hall, or the guest bath. They all have appropriate little rugs.

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Mouse in the Box:

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Like all youngsters Jill is well and truly plugged in. He’s mad for my laptop, and he quickly joined Speedy in the ranks of Packer fans. So far we’ve resisted getting him his own smart phone.

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If there’s nothing happening on a screen any old piece of paper or a box (or bliss: paper IN a box) will do just fine.

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Jack follows more contemplative pursuits – mostly watching Jill with amusement or quietly dozing. He does share Jill’s interest in bird-watching, however.

Jack and Jill birdwatching

Grooming each other is a big part of their days, as is tussling and sleeping all wrapped up with each other.

Jill’s growing fast. Soon he’ll be as big as Jack and, probably, a lot less active.

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We’ll miss his kittenish ways. But until that happens he’s guaranteed to keep us in stitches, and you’re probably guaranteed to have to read about his antics on this blog. I’m sorry; I can’t help myself.

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