After about three months with them, I must admit that the new kittens are a part of the family. Like the chickens and our older cat, the new kittens offer the kids lots of learning opportunities. We talk about kindness. We talk about respecting other creatures. We share feeding and watering responsibilities. We teach our friends how to be kind to the kitties and how to play with them. And even if the rest of the family seems occupied or tired or uninterested, there is sure to be a creature companion willing to play or cuddle.
Whimsy, the sprightly little guy I picked out, has claimed me as well. He spends his days dodging the girls and closely following me from room to room, purring the instant it appears I might pet or feed him.
Chip, Maya's instant favorite, crawls into kiddie handbags willingly and lets the girls cart him around, pretend to feed him doll food, and even tuck him in the doll bed under several blankets. He only protests (understandably) against the doll's clothing or his occasional imprisonment in drawers, boxes, or closets. I'm working hard to reduce his exposure to such captivity; that is where the conversations about kindness and respect are required.
If either cat meows even the slightest bit, Elliot runs at him, scoops him up under his belly, and calls out to whoever might be listening, "Oh, it's okay. I'll help him. He just wants his bwotha!" If we don't stop her, she'll wonder the house with the kitty, looking for the companion that will cure his loneliness.
After watching Milo & Otis for our family movie night last week, Maya now pounces on me every time a kitten mews. "What did he say?" she asks me twenty times a day. If my answer sounds unlikely, she provides her own preferred translation.
While this pride of felines was not my intention, they have come to be a welcome part of our experience as a family.
Gems worth Re-Reading
About Growing Baby Doing Good Together Elliot Rose Family Rituals Fie Flora and Fauna For the Love of Learning Greenish In My Opinion Just for Laughs Just for Me Making Tinkles Maya Mindfulness Mmm... So Tastey NaNoWriMo News of the Day Noveling Photo Friday Sewing Sisterly Love Sweet Dreams The Chicken Ladies the end Tonsils We like to Move It Move It Wonderment