But in the case of Aro, Renata and McKenna, what’s less understood is exactly where they’ve appeared from. In fact, I’m inclined to wonder if they’ve sprung, blossom-like, from the hardiest roadside wildflowers. Or, perhaps, from the proverbial cabbage patch.
Stripey “mama’s boy” Aro was the first to bloom. At just about two weeks of age, he had that tabby-striped-hamster look going on, and seemed equal parts feline and toy. There’s something about a baby with little rounded seashell ears and squinty, not-quite-sure-about-the-world eyes that made Aro a magnet for every volunteer, staffer and random stranger in a 5 mile radius.
Aro learned quickly that being an only child has its perks.
But Aro’s patch of origin wasn’t done producing furry cabbages. Just two days later, in the same shivery location, a sister was found with the same stripes, same squinty sweetness, and same “help-me!” squeak. Of course, like every feline, little Renata had her own quirks and flair, too. Befitting her opera diva name, Renata immediately showed a bold nature. It matched beautifully the bold streaks of red running through her tabbiness, making her a torbie of unusual beauty. Renata’s “paint job” looked as though she’d impulsively dyed fiery streaks in her ‘do – and, given her fun-loving nature, I think she might have done just that had she been a human bean.
Still, brother Aro was not seeing the fun in having a sister. He may have been only two weeks old, but Aro knew that he was about to lose his monopoly on the human beans. If Aro’s attitude could be summed up in three words, they would be “DO NOT WANT!” Suffice to say this tabbylet did not want to be his sister’s keeper.
But there’s something about being a kitten that makes you love other kittens, even against your own will. There are few things I love more than seeing a heap of kittentude, all from different litters, snuggling blissfully. Since Aro and Renata were (we’re pretty darn sure, anyway) from the same litter, it was inevitable. Within 48 hours, they were in that happy, snoozy heap.
OK, Aro. So you’ve just come in from the cold, had your life saved, fallen in love with human beans, obtained a sister, hated a sister, and learned to love a sister. What’s next for you?
How about sister #2?
Yes, we batty human beans were not done with return trips to the cabbage patch. A fine thing that is, too, since that’s where McKenna was waiting for the tabby taxi that had picked up her brother and sister. It couldn’t be any clearer that this was a family affair; at the same size as Aro and Renata, and looking every bit like a lady Aro with white “eyeliner” around her bright peepers, McKenna was clearly #3 in this funny family.
And it’s funny how Renata, who had initially struggled to be accepted herself, was in no hurry to accept this new sister. Why should she have to end her reign as “only girl” and “baby of the family?” Why add a third when two was plenty?
Within a few hours, she’d have her answer: three snuggling kittens are so much warmer than just two.
And the warmth was only going to keep glowing for this tabby trio. As we rang in the New Year at Tabby’s Place, all three little kittens had the undivided attention and affection of their very own forever families.
Original kitten Aro and his “first” sister, Renata, will continue their family affair forever. Adopted together, they are having a ball in their forever home (and, at this point, completely resigned to delighted with having a sibling). Latecomer McKenna is the “only child” in the end, with an adoptive mama who only has eyes for her.
As for that kitten-rich cabbage patch, its season seems to have finally closed.
But, remember: that’s only one cabbage patch, and we live in a cabbage-rich world. Kitten season over? Quite the opposite. You might say have a whole pantheon of mini-cats at Tabby’s Place even as I type this post…
To be continued…