No matter how often I see it, I’m amazed by how quickly kittens grow up. Although they appear to do absolutely nothing in the first couple of weeks they more than double their weight in that time. I could see the A Team were growing, but suddenly last weekend they seemed big. Maybe it was because I’d been with Lyra and the little Ls before I went in to the As, but almost overnight they appeared to have changed from looking like a line of semi conscious hamsters to being small felines who were preparing to run riot.
There was a couple of days of scrabbling at the entrance to their box, and abortive attempts to break free. Then last Tuesday the first one tumbled out, swiftly followed by the rest of the gang. By Wednesday morning they were all fully proficient at getting in and out the box. By the time I got home from work they were gathering speed chasing around their room, and Arwen had clearly delivered the foundation level course in jumping and pouncing.
Thursday obviously brought level one feeding and litter tray skills. Level one is just a basic awareness course, there’s nothing subtle about what you can eat or what you’re supposed to do in the tray once you’re in. So there was a crowd of kits happily chewing the rim of their food bowl, and kicking sawdust at each other in the litter tray. The few inches climb that was an enormous hurdle to get out of the box a couple of days previously became as nothing as a couple of them started their assent up the tall scratch post. Poor Arwen, mother hood started to look like it was wearing a bit thin as she helped them work out how to get safely back down again.
Despite the similarities between the tabbies, their behaviour gives away their identities. When I go into the room the first on my lap is Aoife, followed closely by Ariel who comes to wrestle with her until she climbs on my shoulder to get out the way. Aoife is the only girl and smaller than the others, its not stopped her being the first up the scratch post though. Ariel is an adorable snuggle bug when he stops pushing his sister around. Aslan is slower to come for a cuddle but has a purr that one can only imagine he’ll grow into in time when I start stroking him. And Albert? Well, he’s obviously different with him not being tabby. I hope I’ve not put too much on him by naming him after the lovely Albert senior. Mum seems to have fast tracked him though and he’s moved through, level two: aims and objectives of the litter tray and level three: thorough understanding and skillful use, within a couple of days. So whilst the others are messing around and chucking wood pellets at each other, Al is squatting, producing and covering up. He’s also the most advanced with eating, having apparently covered water lapping, food recognition and nomming within a very short space of time. By the time the others start to get on board, Albert is doing something else ….