Two tabby kittens fast asleep on a white sofa, spooning, one with a protective paw over the other

The kitties are now 19 weeks old. Two visits to the vet since last week. Happy to report all is well (even after episodes of trying to eat broken glass—glass which, of course, they broke—and steel wool). All up to date with rabies and feline leukaemia vaccinations. No sign of regrowing polyps. George is still sneezing, but less often, and mainly when the pollen outside is high and I’m sneezing too. Another family member with allergies…

They’re both gaining weight, but George is still 25% bigger than his brother: Charlie is 2.16 kg (4.76 lbs) and George 2.74 kg (6.04 lbs). The thing is, Charlie still adopts a protective attitude to his brother, always being between him and danger. They are a week shy of 5 months old and, apparently, this is the age of wholly focused food acquisition; on the vet’s recommendation we’re monitoring their food; they not thrilled. At five months, kittens are supposed to have reached about half their ultimate height and weight. If this holds true for our beasties, George will be big, well over 12 lbs, while Charlie might be a smidgeon below average.

Charlie has learnt (again) that water is wet: he fell in the bath (my fault—I introduced them to a family of rubber ducks, which they couldn’t resist, and both tried to climb onto the narrow tub edge together with predictable results). George has learnt that when he tries to eat glass or steel wool, he gets shouted at, and grabbed, and subjected to various indignities. I doubt it will stop either of them trying again.

We think we may have a mouse. For two days George became wholly focused on the underside of the stove, then the counter next to it, then the wine fridge: he spent two hours without moving one afternoon. All I can say is, that mouse must be suicidal. Their hunting instrincts are running full bore. At least one large spider has met its doom (as I discovered when I was down on the carpet to do some stretching and found shiny bits of leg and torso here and there). Well, at least it’s not glass.

Their latest Fun Times are exploring kitchen appliances: the microwave, dishwasher, and oven. Charlie more than George (who is too busy with his self-appointed role as imaginary-mouse catcher). No one (or appliance) has been harmed in the making of this experiment. Yet. They have also discovered the joys of lying in front of the fire, which we turned on for the first time this week. The fire is most definitely a hit, with only one slightly singed nose (Charlie) as a result. One scary thing: the wheelchair lift. I live in fear that one of them—that is, Charlie—will dart underneath it just as the whole steel box come grinding down. As a result, we keep it in the down position by default, and I make sure neither of them is in the room when I start to raise it. So it adds some tedium to my days—but better than pancaked kitties.

Their eyes are becoming quite different colours. George has Armagnac eyes; Charlie’s are more like peridot.

Tabby kitten facing camera; his irises are the colour of fuming Armagnac brandy

George of the Armagnac eyes

Tabby cat facing the camera; his irises are pale green, like peridots

Charlie has peridot eyes

They both sleep a lot, and have a tendency to do so upside down. George in supported fashion, Charlie just letting it all hang out and down. They love to sleep on me. They sleep on each other. And they sleep near each other. They are sociable beasties.

Two tabby kittens on a lap, affronted at being disturbed, staring into the camera

Excuse me, we’re TRYING to get some sleep! (Charlie at the front, George behind)

Two tabby kittens on a lap, falling asleep

And down they go…

Tabby kitten out cold on his back, mouth agape

George is totally out

But oh my god they run a lot, too, thundering up and down, up and down, the hardwood floors. Thundercats are go!

Sometimes, though, they prefer to ride. They approve of my new Rollator.

Two tabby kittens sitting on a blue Rollator, waiting for a ride

Charlie: Drive, James! And don’t spare the horses. George: Horses? Charlie: You’re right, let’s just eat the horses.

It’s so new I haven’t got all the stickers off yet; I had to replace the old one recently because they tore the brake cable out.

I don’t know how long this one will last. Yesterday I caught Charlie trying to fit the whole triangular handle-tightner assembly in his mouth. It looked like some gruesome special effect; I had no idea those little mouths could stretch so wide. Then he tried to eat the metal leg of my sit-stand desk, and, when talked-to sternly, moved on to the cable that connects my display and Mac Mini. I can’t wait for this teething crap to be over, about another two months.

For the last week Charlie has definitely been able to see birds outside. Here’s a brief video of him noticing one of our family crows, and making his first chittering sound.

Another sign of growing up: they’ve learnt to find and follow patches of sunlight on the floor. There are times when they look wholly adult. Here’s Charlie posing as a  miniature Bast.

Tabby kitten in three-quarter profile looking like an Egyptioan statue

Charlie as Bast

George, meanwhile, is much less concerned with dignity and focuses on standing on his head to aid digestion.

Tabby kitten asleep with his head smuched against the sofa and pink tongue sticking out

George stands on his head

And that’s where I’ll leave them. More next week when they hit their 5-month anniversary of trying to eat the planet. Amuse yourselves meanwhile with previous kitten reports.