After close to 10 years of putting it off because I didn’t want to be irresponsible and didn’t feel it was fair to subject other living creatures to my transient lifestyle, I finally adopted a couple of kittens. They say that pets provide their owners with a myriad of health benefits and I have to say that these adorable little fur-balls have brought an unprecedented amount of joy and tenderness into my life. I’d always imagined myself as a practical pet owner – you know, the kind that doesn’t talk about their pet all the time or worry about them when I go out of town – but that didn’t pan out quite like I thought. My Instagram feed used to be all circus poses or hiking vistas; now it’s hourly updates on what new mischief my kittens have gotten themselves into.
Allow me to introduce Sparta and Antigone:
Sparta: Sparta was an impulse adoption. I was already planning to adopt another kitten from a different family and was waffling on whether or not I really wanted a second one. Then the Munchkat informed me that one of her friends needed to move some kittens fast (the friend’s cat got herself knocked up and had a litter of kittens in an apartment that only allowed one cat. Oops.). After some hand-wringing, I finally decided to go for it and picked up Sparta. I’d been toying with some Star Trek themed names, but A dubbed her Sparta because she’s pretty fearless and feisty and that’s the name that stuck.
Turns out Sparta is as much a lover as she is a warrior. She is our emotionally needy kitten and follows us around the house (actually, she does that follow-by-leading thing, which results in her getting accidentally kicked a lot) and insists on being involved in whatever we are doing (eating, working on the computer, sitting on the couch, sleeping). She frequently demands to be pet and cuddled and is a tenacious beggar. She will allow us to hold her and she is content to perch on our shoulders as we go about our business. She’s quick and accurate in her attacks of toys (or human feet) and she’s a strong climber and jumper, despite her petite size (Antigone, who is younger, is already bigger and weighs more). A says she’s more dog than cat, which might be true since she runs to the door whenever someone approaches it and she’s already consented to be harnessed and taken out on a leash. The hope is that maybe I can get her circus-trained, or at least get her to come on a hike with me (this is a thing – do a Google search on “hiking with cats” and see how much pops up).
Antigone: Antigone and I go way back. I had been looking for a kitten for months and wasn’t having any luck, so I put the word out to my yoga students. One of them got back to me and let me know that her friend’s cat just had a litter and put me in touch. The friend sent me pictures and updates and then finally it was time to bring Antigone home! I tried to be open-minded when naming her, but it was hard to resist a Greek theme. Despite being a kitten, Antigone is a already a real lady (although maybe you can’t tell from this picture) – she is a meticulous bather and up until recently refused to sit or sleep on anything hard (110 degree weather has forced her off the bed and couch and onto the cooler linoleum; although, even now, she is on a yoga mat instead of directly on the floor). Athena was the obvious choice of name, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that I know a human Athena and it seemed weird, so Antigone it became.
In addition to being a proper lady, Antigone is also a proper cat. She is self-entertained and does her own thing most of the time and I often think she’s judging me. When she wants your attention, she will let you know. She doesn’t like laps or being held, but will readily sit next to people and is the first to claim her spot on the bed at night. She is not as agile or quick as Sparta, but I think she is more cunning. Like most younger siblings, she knows how to play to her audience (whether it’s other felines or people). She does some impressive back flips while playing with string and gives out high-fives on command. She doesn’t seem that interested in outside, unless outside comes inside, as in the case of this lizard.
There is some definite sibling rivalry when it comes to seeking out attention from humans and if I’m petting one and the other jumps up to be pet, the first one will often leave. They do love to play with one another and often go at it pretty rough. Recently I have even witnessed Antigone giving Sparta a bath (I told you, meticulous bather. Also, both kittens have woken up from their naps and the first thing Antigone has done is bathe, while the first thing Sparta has done is jump into my lap and start walking all over the computer).
All right, that’s it. No more crazy cat lady posts for a while.