Our Grand Kitties, October, 2006
The photos on this page were taken by me on October 26, 2006. The kittens belong to our youngest son Dan, who claims to have a few drops of feline blood. He loves tigers and has many pictures, statues and stuffed tigers all over his room here at home, as well as in his apartment. He has always had a cat for a pet over the years, starting when he was only five. The area we lived in was one where cats didn't always live beyond five or six years, especially if they were outdoor cats. As a result, we had several cats over the years, and then we were many years without any cats. Dan now has his own apartment and they do allow cats, plus he is now making enough money where he can support and care for the animals. He has had them for about a month, and this was our first time to see them. We had a lot of giggles watching them and cuddling them.
These two kittens are both males and not from the same litter; however, they were raised on the same farm. This kitten was called Sandy Paws, but Dan renamed him Cool Hands Luke, calling him Hands for short. He is a very laid back, loving kitten. He is the one who usually joins Dan in bed at night. He also is a bit skittish - allowing the other kitten to move him out of the way at the food dish (even though they both have their own), the water dish, Dan's lap and the toys they have. The basis for his name by Dan, is that as you look at the markings on his sides and back, it almost looks like a pair of hands. There is also a second reason for the name - his paws. He has an extra digit on each paw. I took some close ups of his front paws. His right front paw basically looks like a mitten. His left front paw resembles a fan, for his extra digit is a fused double one. Hands would let me hold him if I picked him up, but he did not just jump up on my lap. For a while, when I was sitting on the couch, he did come onto the couch and then my lap, but most of the time otherwise, I was at my computer desk, so not much of a lap for him to be on. He did jump on my husband's lap and spent a few minutes cuddling, but that was all.
Cool Hands Luke, "Hands"
These are Hands front paws. He was cuddling with Dan, and there were a lot of shadows, so the photos had to be lightened some. When I first got in position to take the photos, there was a tissue laying on the couch. As I went to move the tissue, Hands thought it was a game and grabbed it. It tore slightly and both Dan and I started laughing. As is the case with all "children", he continued to grab at that tissue to keep us laughing.
The other kitten was originally named Taylor; however, Dan renamed him The Other One, calling him T.O.O. (stands for The Other One) as a nickname. Dan feels the name really fits, as when Hands greets him at the door when he comes home from work, he usually asks where is the other one? Also, after he named the first one, people would ask what did he name the other one. TOO is an aggresive cat and apparently feels he is the "Alpha", not just of the cat world at Dan's apartment, but of the entire household, or family. He is a very curious cat, always checking things out, climbing up, over, under and into anything he sees. He is one who jumps on almost everyone, expecting them to pet and stroke him. However, that time is somewhat limited. While they were here, he crawled up on the couch, over Dan, up the back of the couch and gingerly picked his way from the far side of the computer desk around my laptop and onto my chest! Both my mother and I shared a large bust, which she always called her shelf. Apparently TOO also considered it a shelf, for that is where he tried to perch. He did stay there for some time, until I put him down on the floor and he did return several times. He also jumped up on my husband's lap to "visit" with him more than once. I tease my son that TOO has A.D.D. for he is easily distracted and doesn't stay in one place for very long.
The Other One, "TOO"
I noticed as I readied these photos for display, that I had several more of Hands than I do of TOO. Part of the reason is that Hands was usually in camera range, as well as staying in one place longer than just a few moments. Of course it also could be that Hands is a ham!!
Here are a few other photos of the kittens the other evening. We had stopped at the store and picked up a tunnel, a scratching post and a couple of catnip toys for "the boys". Dan brought the tunnel and the catnip toys inside so they could play while he took a much needed nap before heading back to his apartment. TOO started playing with the little mouse toy and checking out the tunnel. Hands played with the little squid on an elastic string which Dan had hung from the stairway door. When he first started playing with it, it was just to bat at it. Shortly I noticed he was changing his "attack". He would get hold of it with his paws, then put it in his mouth and try to walk away from the door with it. First he went to the left, trying to join Dan. Within seconds, the toy was bouncing from the door knob. Hands came running, attacking it again. This time when he got it, he tried to head in the opposite direction, into the kitchen. Boing! The toy was bouncing from the knob once again and no Hands in sight! He was a fairly fast learner tho, for he couldn't pull it off with trying each direction, he gave up and just stayed at the base of the door and played with it. He played with it for some time when TOO came up and took over. Hands really liked that toy, so he just moved into the bathroom door and watched!
Dan had a long drive ahead of him, plus an early and long day the next day. He hadn't had much sleep, so I suggested he take a nap after supper. He laid on the couch and petted Hands for a while. As he fell asleep, Hands moved from his side and walked around a bit. Soon he rejoined Dan on the couch settling down in the only space available with Dan lying on his abdomen.
I woke Dan around ten 0'clock. Little did we know we were both in for many more laughs. "Gramma's stairs" provided entertainment for both kittens as well as us. Watching them play on the stairs reminded me of our two oldest boys as toddlers. They both loved those stairs, too. When our oldest was crawling good, we were here one time for a visit while both my parents owned this house. We could not keep him away from the stairs, so we showed him how to go up them. Within the next two years, we showed our second son. When Dan came along, he was also shown how to climb and come down the stairs. The human children we were able to explain the dangers of playing on the stairs - not so with the grand kitties! So we just enjoyed them! When Hands goes up or comes down the stairs, he makes a lot of noise. Soon we were calling him Thunder Paws. He seemed to enjoy sitting on the top stair, playing with either kitty fairies or imaginary friends.
TOO seemed to enjoy running up and down the stairs, trying to attack Hands as he would go past him. Finally at one point, he sat at the bottom of the stairs, watching his goofy brother playing on the top stair. Hands would pounce in one corner, then turn and pounce in the opposite back corner. Suddenly, TOO dropped down into a stalking position. Dan and I watched him do that little wiggle. He was waiting anxiously. We looked at the top of the stairs to see Hands sitting in the one back corner, calmly cleaning his one shoulder. Quietly, TOO started slowly up the stairs, stalking position on each step.
As he nears Hands, we can see Hands still licking his shoulder and then he turns his head further back. TOO sees this as his chance to attack. He runs up the stairs, jumping to the side and passes Hands. Hands jumps up in his attack mode. Neither connect with each other. Dan and I collapse in laughter.
Before long, Dan decides it is time to pack his things and the kittens in the car. He needed to get started on his two hour plus drive. He went into the bathroom with a garbage bag and his litter scoop. We again had to laugh for TOO had been the last one to use the litter box, and before he left the bathroom, he had somehow flipped the end of the throw rug over. When Dan flipped it back in place there was a bunch of litter there. We both decided that in cleaning after using the box, TOO got some on the floor and that was his way of "sweeping it under the rug." Dan squatted next to the litter box, scooping out the dirty litter, dumping it in the garbage bag.
Soon he had an observer. Hands looked so cute sitting next to him and watching him scoop all the clumps out. I was able to take this picture while sitting at my computer desk - straight out from the bathroom door. Within moments, TOO squeezed in between Hands and the dresser. Both kittens were watching Dan intently. I started into the bathroom, to hopefully get a close-up of my "three boys". Both kittens met me. They had decided they had watched enough.
The following are various photos of the kittens, including one of Dan holding Hands. He has loved the feel of soft things since he was a toddler, so it is no surprise to me that he loves to cuddle with these two kittens. They are both very soft.
The kittens have grown - sadly, they are not as soft as they used to be! As kittens, their coats were as soft as "bunny fur", now the only place the fur is that soft is on their tummies! Their coats are still soft, but there is a coarseness there now. They also each have their own carriers. They both can fit in one, but for carrying them to the car from his apartment, they were crowded enough and heavy enough, that as Dan was trying to go down the stairs, it was often throwing him off balance. Once in the car and ready to start on the road, he unzips each carrier and they both climb into one to sleep, but when they arrive here, they are each back in their own carriers so they can come in the house.
The other night, the kitties were napping while Grampa and I were watching television. Hands was dozing on a pillow in a rocking chair, while TOO was dozing on a pillow on the couch. Naturally, I had to grab my camera. I did a few close ups of each, then as I turned back to the couch to get another of TOO, I saw something a bit different in my view finder. TOO was laying on his back with his head at the edge of the front of the couch, and Hands was sitting on the floor looking up at him! I couldn't believe I was able to capture the shot! Soon Hands was on the couch with TOO and the two of them started playing. The one photo is a bit blurry for it is truly an action shot of them both moving! At one point, TOO held Hands in place, while he gave his ears a bath! Hands purred the entire time.
TOO keeps us giggling often. We have decided he has ADD, for he never sticks at one thing, no matter what it is for any length of time! One of the favorite things of the "boys" to do while they are here, is to look out the door. They seem to enjoy the front door, but they spend more time at the back door. Part of the difference is that the storm window is down on the front, but not on the back. At the back, they can hear the birds and smell all the various odors. Hands stands with his front paws resting on the lower edge of the screen, while TOO, rests his "arms" on the hydralic thing on the door - sorry, can't remember what that thing is called. TOO also spends the most time at the doors. I was able to capture one shot, and then when I moved in for a closer shot, he turned and looked at the camera, but you can see his "arms" resting!
To see how the kittens are growing, check out page two, which are pictures taken in May 2007.
Our Grand Kitties May 2007
Our Grand Kitties, February, 2008
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