I’m not a great fan of the winter; I much prefer plentiful sunshine and warm weather. But if I’ve got to get myself through the cold and darkness, I can at least find some good in the season – like the way that cats like to snuggle even more when it’s chilly outside. During the surprise snow storm at the end of October, I kept myself warm with a veritable cat blanket, with all of my cats draped across or snuggled against me. There’s nothing quite like a pile of cats for warmth.
There’s an even better snugglefest going on in Adoption Room 1 at Tabby’s Place, though. The wonderful, tough-as-nails and sweet-as-sugar J-Crew – DJ, JJ, LJ, and MJ – have finally moved out from their cages and into the comfort of their own mini-suite. Stop in for a visit, and you’ll be swarmed with squirmy, furry, licky, snuggly little bodies, as all four boys vie to be the cutest in the room.
Who’s cutest is a tough call, and not one I’m willing to make. These kittens want nothing more than to be your one-and-only…or rather four-and-onlies…and are doing their best to make up for lost snuggle time. When I stopped in for a visit last week, I sat down on the couch, and within 30 seconds, LJ was draped across my lap, DJ had curled on the couch to my left, JJ sat with his paws on my right arm, and MJ crawled from floor to couch to floor, over and over again. After a few minutes, JJ decided that paws on arm were not enough, and scooched up my arm until he could sit in the crook of my elbow. It was a little slice of tuxedo kitty heaven.
You may have noticed that I said MJ crawled from floor to couch, and that’s a pretty accurate description of the way he gets up and down. You’ll recall that these sweet boys overcame the panleukopenia virus, which is often deadly for kittens. As if that weren’t enough, some of them developed strange neurological symptoms shortly thereafter.
MJ has the worst neuro symptoms, and wobbles noticeably, but he manages to get around just fine in the room, and nothing slows him down when it’s time to play. (My previous visit, he spent a glorious 15 minutes wrestling non-stop with one of my hands.) JJ was also afflicted with bad balance and an awkward gait, but since he’s been free to run and play, his condition has improved. We think that since he’s been free from a cage, he’s built up muscle strength to help counter his lack of coordination.
As for DJ and LJ, they never did show any neuro symptoms. And while some of the boys’ x-rays last month showed that they might have enlarged hearts, that problem has thankfully cleared up. It seems that they had a lingering parasite infection, and once we treated them for the full range of possibilities, their cardiovascular condition returned to normal. These poor boys were just full of all kinds of bugs! Tough as they are, though, they have kicked the bugs’ butts, and quite emphatically. It’s not often you’ll meet a whole litter who’s made it through what the J-Crew has seen.
Because the neurological symptoms these guys have shown aren’t a typical result of any of their diagnosed conditions, we’re keeping them isolated from the general population until the spring. It’s just a precaution, but better overly safe than sorry! Of course, the upshot of keeping these four boys together in a room means that the rest of us have the opportunity for an intense, concentrated dose of awesome every time we visit. I hope you’ll have the chance to stop and visit these wonderful kittens soon – we can compare notes on how they choose to arrange themselves in our laps!
While I don’t love the turn of the weather, I can still find the silver lining of the cold weather cloud. And I do love Thanksgiving – and not just for the food. It’s a gift to have so much to be grateful for: good shelter, plenty to eat, good health, and of course, love. And merely spending time with DJ, JJ, LJ, and MJ is an exercise in gratitude, because these kitties savor the gift of life. Thank you so much for helping to give these sweet little boys the chance to grow up and love us back!