Charlie and George have torn into the New Year and new decade with enthusiasm. They are still growing like magic beans. George is massive; Charlie seems tiny in comparison, but he weighs 7 lbs 10 oz—above average, apparently, for a cat his age: eight months. My guess is that George is now about 10 lbs, which is more than our last male cat, even in his prime, and it’s not fat. He’s going to be a giant, I think. You can see from this picture just how big he’s getting. Kelley has amazingly large hands but he makes them look small.

Large tabby cat sitting on a lap, head tipped back in bliss

George blisses out

The reason we know Charlie’s exact weight is that we had to take him to the vet. He has some symptoms—snoring, a huffing grunt when he exerts himself, and excessive swallowing—that reminded me of when he was developing his polyp. The vet, however, thinks it may be a reoccurrence of the kitty herpes virus that leads to cold-like symptoms and upper respiratory inflammation—which is what leads to the development of polyps, but doesn’t mean he has a polyp yet. So we’re giving him prophylactic antibiotics, keeping a close eye on him, and crossing our fingers. Other than the symptoms above he is in fine fettle. As you can see by this photo, his build is quite different to George’s.

Young, slim tabby cat standing on a table

Some days Charlie looks more like a civet than an American tabby

At eight months Charlie and George are, in human terms, about eight years old. That is, they can make basic sense of the world because they’ve seen a lot of it before but, oh, there is so very much still to see for the first time. Like snow. We all woke up on Monday morning to this:

Early morning snow covering a back deck, and benches, and fences, and hedges, and trees...

And over the next few hours the kitties were fascinated by snowfall. They had no idea what it was, but George was mesmerised by the falling flakes; Charlie was mesmerised watching George watch the flakes; and I was mesmerised watching Charlie being mesmerised by George being mesmerised. It all got very meta.

Photo of two cats. One in the foreground watching one in the background who is watching snow fall outside the window.

Charlie is mesmerised by George being mesmerised by falling snow

Tabby cat staring directly into the camera with another tabby in the background

Charlie is mesmerised by me being mesmerised by Charlie being mesmerised by George being mesmerised by falling snow…

Tabby cat falling asleep on a kitty condo facing the window

Eventually George mesmerised himself to sleep

Eventually they got bored and fell asleep. George is doing this a lot, with a particular fondness for being on his back with his legs in the air. And he looks so blissed out it’s almost as mesmerising watching him sleep as it was to watch him watching the snow.

Big tabby cat lying on his back with back feet perpendicular to the back of the sofa and head hanging off the front edge of the seat

George measures the sofa in his sleep

Tabby cat lying on his back partly on a kitty condo and partly the oak desk next to it

George is getting way, way too big for that condo

Large tabby cat lying on his back on a green blanket

George finds his bliss, again

Once the snow was gone, the cedar waxwings came back and they were then mesmerised by the flock.

One cat sits on a desk by the window to eatch birds while another cat watches from his kitty condo

They want those cedar waxwings

Tabby cat stretching to the window, yearing for birds, while another tabby cat plays with the first cat's tail

Charlie *really* wants those waxwings. George really wants Charlie’s tail.

You can’t really tell from these photos but Charlie’s coat is quite different to George’s. George is a classic American Shorthair, but Charlie, well, Charlie isn’t.

Tabby cat on a lap with luxuriant white whiskers and thick fur

Charlie has a lot of fur

Beautiful soft-furred tabby sitting on an oak desk and staring straight into the camera

Which can make him look deceptively soft and sweet

You can see the difference a bit better in these two photos of their faces

Closeup of tabby cats soft furry face

Charlie has thick, soft clouds of fur

Tabby cat peers over the top of a closed trunk

George’s fur is short and sleek

Charlie is being particularly active at the moment, leaping on everything, balancing—and sometimes not—on everything, and jumping off from there.

Tabby cat balancing on the back of a wood chair

Charlie want to be one of the flying Wallendas

He’s taken to striking a Monarch of the Glen pose, standing on the kitchen table with his front paws on the back of a kitchen chair and looking tall and noble. But I’m never fast enough to catch that pic. Here’s he’s just coming down from it.

Tabby cat standing with his hinds legs on a table and front legs on the back of a wooden chair

Charlie wants to be the king

But mainly, well, they’re cats; they sleep. The other day George spent hours sleeping on my desk, moving only to turn and sleep in the other direction as the afternoon drew on to twilight.

Tabby cat asleep on cat bed on a desk between keyboard and screen

George sleeps as I work

Tabby cat still sleeps on a cat bed between keyboard and display as the afternoon darkens

The rain pours down outside, I work, George sleeps on…

They’re cats, they sleep a lot. And they’re brothers, they sleep together when there’s room.

Two tabby cats sleeping back to back on a blue throw

Back to back is good, as long as Charlie’s in front

And although George is so much bigger, it’s still Charlie who always takes point and sleeps in front of his brother, protecting him from the world.

Two tabby cats spooning on a blue throw

Charlie takes point, as always, even in spooning bliss

So bottom line: the cats are happy, and growing, and getting on well with each other. Over the next decade there will, no doubt, be much mis/adventure and mischief to come. When anything interesting happens I’ll post about it. Meanwhile, feel free to go reread previous kitten reports.