Hello, my dears. I've had an amazingly odd week, full of twists and turns, and only now can I sit down and write about it all.
Thanksgiving and the second night of Hanukkah coincided last Thursday, so we celebrated "Thanksgivukkah." In addition to the traditional roast turkey and Thanksgiving side dishes, we also made home-made sweet-potato latkes and cranberry applesauce. Yum!
For Thanksgiving dinner, we invited a handful of "orphans" from Lovely Daughter #1's medical school and a young woman from the office of The Hubby. I love opening our house to folks who would otherwise just skip a holiday meal.
For the Thanksgiving side of things, I laid down a white linen tablecloth, then topped it with a cozy plaid blanket. I scattered mini pumpkins, mini apples, and berry garlands around the table:
For the Hanukkah part, I set out blue-and-white china and crystal. Then I scattered gelt (foil-wrapped chocolate coins) and mini dreidls here and there and tucked candles into the mix:
My favorite moment of Thanksgivukkah happened away from the dining table. As I prepped for the first night Hanukkah, Lovely Daughter #1 snuggled with her Med School Bestie and a pug on the family room chaise. She was explaining Hanukkah to him and decided to read him her favorite children's book about the holiday, "Herschel & the Hanukkah Goblins." So sweet:
You remember LD#1 had a feral cat and three kittens under her back porch? Well, she trapped Mama Cat in a humane cage and got her spayed, then returned her to the back yard. (This is the most humane way to treat an adult feral cat, most cat experts agree.) LD#1 will continue to put out high-quality cat food and fresh water for as long as the cat shows up.
The kittens were another story. LD#1 trapped all three and they came to OUR house to live! We temporarily named them "Adventure Kitty," "Tiger Kitty," and "Scaredy Cat," and began immediately getting them used to people. They are young enough to be completely tamed and have nice, long lives as gentle house pets.
Here's "Adventure Kitty," patiently tolerating an old toothbrush, which we stroked over their coats to acclimate them to being touched:
This is "Tiger Kitty," named for her stripes. She has a big, broad face and a big nose. But she's got a gorgeous coat:
The pugs were calmly interested in all the new noises and sounds coming out of the cages holding the kittens:
This is "Scaredy Cat." She was seriously freaked out by every movement we made and was the most difficult houseguest I've ever had. But what a beauty, eh? According to my sister, a longtime animal rescuer, her pale gray/cream/soft apricot coat marks her as a Pastel Torby ("torby" is a mashup of "tortoiseshell" and "tabby"):
(Yes, her paws are in her water dish. Silly girl.)
All three kittens were infested with "stick fleas," a kind of pest that attaches to the skin and clusters around the eyes and inside the ears. (Those small black dots on Scaredy Cat's face, in the photo above, are stick fleas.)
In a remarkable transformation, Adventure Cat relaxed swiftly and got used to all the unusual sounds around her. In a couple of days, she didn't blink at the roar of the vacuum, the growl of the coffee grinder, or the click of dog toenails as they passed by. (Although I did make her jump once by blowing my nose right near her cage!)
Because she was so gentle, we were able to apply flea medicine to Adventure Kitty. Within a day and a half, all the stick fleas vanished. Here she is showing off her half-pink, half-gray toe pads:
On her other front paw, the toe pads are entirely gray:
Honestly, everything she did was so stinkin' cute.
It was like living in one ginormous Hallmark card, watching this kitty move and play and sleep. And check out those belly spots!:
After less than a week, it was clear that Adventure Cat was the one for us. She will be Lovely Daughter #1's baby and go live with her in the Funny-Looking House. And as much as we hated not to be able to see them through to the end of her taming, we had to give Tiger and Scaredy Cat to a sweet mother-and-son team who tame feral kittens as their ongoing, almost-full-time hobby. We'll miss your beautiful face, Tiger:
And we'll miss Adventure Cat's lookalike sister, Scaredy Cat:
But experts tell us that both kittens will eventually tame down nicely. Tiger Kitty may be ready for adoption very soon. Maybe she'll be somebody's Christmas kitten!
Meanwhile, LD#1 and Adventure Cat continue to build bonds of love and trust between each other:
We never asked for the task of rescuing four feral cats, and we never would have sought it out. But when a young mother and her three children land in your back yard and it's clear you are their best hope, what are you going to do?
You step in and help out. You give love and shelter. And your life is richer for it.
This post is dedicated to the memory of The Hubby's father, pictured above with The Boy at his bar mitzvah party. Grandpa passed away the day after Thanksgiving in his sleep, at the ripe old age of 96 years. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved him.
And? He would've loved the kittens.