Charlie and George are now 5 months old, which, apparently, is the human equivalent of 5 years old. That can sometimes be easy to forget because both of them, but George in particular, can look very grownup, like young adults. I look at them and think, If the house got hit by a comet right now they might stand a fighting chance of surviving on their own. Then in the blink of an eye they revert to the itty bitty new-to-the-world kitties we brought home two months ago.

Here, for example, are two photos of George, taken one second apart. In the first he looks like the small,  uncertain kitten we first brought home. In the second: a young cat in charge of his world.

Tabby kitten sitting on a carpet looking very little and uncertain

George looking about 15 weeks old

Tabby kitten sitting on a carpet looking very grown up

George stands tall

He seems a little less maniacally focused on food acquisition this week, but his brother is still in eat-everything mode. Here are two pictures taken two seconds apart. In the first, Charlie’s cast himself on the bed, full of ennui, breathing slowing in that tumble-into-instant-sleep way kittens have. Then, at the other end of the house, Kelley opens a can of cat food…

Tabby kitten stretched out on a green, asleep. Yellow hand-written text reads, "It's all so bloody tiring!"

Charlie stretches out on the bed, and begins to fall asleep—

Tabby kitten flicks open his eyes at the sound of a catfood tin being opened. Hand-written text reads, "I hear... A tin opener? A tin opener!"

—then, on the other side of the house, a tin opens…

They are becoming chameleons, fitting their apparent age to the situation. When they don’t want their games disturbed: haughty adolescent. When they want food, or to play, or a warm lap to sit on: instant itty-bitty. It can be a bit confusing. One minute I’m thinking, Oh, we can leave them on their own all day, and then I think: No, they’re too little. They are basically terribly mobile, curious five year-olds running around armed with deadly weapons: their bodies are way, way ahead of their brains. A rough rule of thumb during the first two years of a cat’s life, one month is the equivalent of one year’s human brain development. Most cats reach their full size at around one year old, but—like humans—their brains aren’t finished for a while after that.

So they can look almost adult—here Charlie seems to be trying to grow a ruff (the kitty equivalent of a teenage boy trying to grow facial hair?) and his tail seems too long:

Two tabby kittens on a kitty condo. On on the lower level seems to be trying to grow a ruff.

Charlie (left) and George (right)

And then he can want to be in my arms like a baby:

Little tabby kitten asleep on an arm

Charlie, looking big-eared and young

Half the time they look like perfectly proportioned young adults, and then Charlie’s ears and tail look huge, or George’s back feet:

Tabby kitten sprawled on read cushion; the camera perspective makes his back foot look huge

George looking like a roof rabbit

Yes, that’s a camera-position/distortion thing, but if you look at the other pictures of George in this post you’ll see his back feet really are big.

Meanwhile, they are still teething. Chew chew chew, sigh. And Charlie at least still seems to think he’s small enough to claw his way up my back (and legs, and ribs) to sit on my shoulders. Assuming I haven’t bled to death by then, more kitty news towards the end of the month. Amuse yourselves meanwhile with previous kitten reports.