Today the twinsome terrors, Charlie and George, are six months old. We have had them for about half their time on earth.

They begin here, with their foster parent, Cody:

Two tiny tabby kittens, one hugging the other I luv you, bruv! Photo by Charlie (top) and George.

Then they came to us:

Two tabby kitties on a bed. Huge ears, huge eyes, hugely loved. George (back) Charlie (front)

And within a couple of days owned the place:

Then they settled down to the serious business of growing, playing, and learning. Along the way they ate a lot and destroyed many, many things. Charlie also sustained a brain injury as the result of oxygen deprivation during an operation to remove a nasopharyngeal polyp. Overnight he went from a lively, rambunctious in-charge-of-it-all kitten to an almost dead, helpless and incapable fuzzy little bundle. We thought he might die. But over the last three months he’s eaten, played, cuddled and purred his way back to health and strength. His brain does fritz sometimes, and when he’s tired or stressed his visual processing gets confused, but, essentially, if you didn’t know, you would not be able to tell he has any impairment at all.

He certainly destroys as many things as George. I woke up yesterday morning to find the sturdy plastic door stop attached to the slider between the kitchen and deck chewed to a nubbin. Here’s a picture of the  nubbin tastefully lit by a ray of sunlight, long before Charlie even thought about chewing it, when it was, in fact, longer than his head.

Tabby kitten asleep on kitty condo shelf in front of a large window, head hanging down in a slanting ray of sunshine. Through the window is sunshine on green trees and red flowers. Charlie hanging in the sun

Now it’s chewed stump about an inch and half long. And Charlie is still teething with a vengeance. Here, he’s chewing a basket handle:

Tabby kitten gnawing, sharklike, on the handle of a wicker basket Gonna need a bigger basket

George is well ahead in the maturation stakes. He’s bigger, stronger, faster and recognises human food as food (Charlie doesn’t yet). And George killed his first prey a few weeks ago: a mouse. And he ate the soft bits (their teeth aren’t really up to the bones yet, I don’t think). At this point I suspect if Seattle got hit by an asteroid George might just be able to fend for himself. Charlie could not. It’s unclear to us whether that will change as he grows. I’m encouraged by the fact that just in the last week he seems to have undergone a qualitative change: he seems sharper,  more agile, and more focused.

They are definitely people cats. They will both settle in laps, though Charlie much more readily than George, who often prefers to sit on a cushion next to us. Here’s a picture taken on Sunday by our friend, Colleen:

Tabby kitten sitting like a blissed-out kitty meatloaf on a red cushion with a woman sitting next to him stroking his head. Blissed-out George meatloaf, and Kelley

And another, taken the same night. They are fairly typical.

Tabby kitten posing like a business titan in the lap of a cross-legged woman Charlie posing like a CEO, with me

When we first started looking for kitties we wanted a boy and a girl. It’s what we’ve had before, and the combo worked well: the female cat tends to take charge, but the male cat is bigger and won’t let himself be pushed around too much. But then we went to Seattle Area Feline Rescue ad when Charlie settled like a baby bird in my lap that first time, that was that. When we brought them home I was worried that two boy cats might fight a lot (just as two girl cats would) but they get on well. They chase each all the time, of course, and they fight, but its never too serious, and—as you can see—they are very relaxed together. The key is to make sure they don’t have to share toys or food dishes. Here they are after dinner on Sunday, dozing in front of the fire, imitating a pushmepullyou, with one green catnip brought (a present from Colleen) visible on the hearth, and a a grey one (a present from another friend, Kate) between Charlie’s tail and George’s foot.

Two tabby kittens lying top-and-tail by a fire, surrounded by catnip mice.

Charlie (top right) and George (bottom left), exhausted after catnip mouse play, settle in to a sleeping game of pushmepullyou

They give me hours of pleasure every single day—often hours of hassle and irritation, too, but the pleasure has always outweighed the hassle, and the pleasure grows while the hassle shrinks. As you can see, though, the kitties themselves are certainly not shrinking. They haven’t been weighed for a while but my guess is George is about 7 lbs and Charlie approaching 6 lbs.

This will probably be the last of the regular kitten reports. I’ll post photos on Instagram (and mirror on Facebook and Twitter) but I’ll save blog posts for particular milestones and/or special circumstances. If anyone has specific requests, or a question, just drop a comment. And until next time, you can read previous kitten reports here.