We woke early this morning. I lay in bed, thinking that I couldn't decently get up and start crashing around in the shower before half past six so as not to disturb the Systems Administrator, and then the SA said It's no good, I'm awake, and we got up. As the SA said, getting on with mending the bookcases seemed more sensible than lying in bed thinking about how to do it. The broken trim has now been cobbled back into place so that the kittens can't get back in, and while the Systems Administrator will make a tidier job of it in due course, at the moment the bookcases have a distinctly Frankenstein air. That wasn't bad going for three very small cats, when we have had to take a jemmy to several grand's worth of bespoke home office furniture within six hours of their arrival.
I went to check the bees this morning. It ha beens too cold to open the hives until recently, and I should have inspected them as soon as the weather warmed up, but I was out and then yesterday it was the great drama of the kittens under the fitted bookcase. The bees have not read the books. Two colonies that had bees filling their supers to bursting and should have had more space added several days ago did not show any signs of swarming, while a third that had some bees up in the super but still had tonnes of space had made the beginnings of several queen cells, with eggs laid in them to show that they were serious and not just playing about. Bees are funny things, inconsistent from one season to the next. One of the colonies that has got off to a racing start did nothing in particular last year, just trundled along.
The kittens began to explore their surroundings once they had been reinstalled in the study, where their routine is to come out from the corner where we have put their bed, food and litter tray, explore, and then retreat to the corner, though they are not very interested in the bed and prefer to sit in the bottom bookshelf which the SA has cleared for them. They began to eat, which was a relief since they scarcely ate anything yesterday, and to play intermittently in a more kittenish way, and had a good wash which they needed after yesterday, especially the two that went inside the bookcases. They still do not appear to enjoy being handled at all, but at least they are learning to associate us with the appearance of food. I hope they will grow friendlier, otherwise we have just committed ourselves to a decade and a half of very hands-off cats. We still have no idea about names.
Our Ginger liked the left-over helping of food out of a pouch rather than a tin so much that we have promoted him to pouches. They scarcely work out any more expensive given that I kept having to throw half eaten tins away, and it seems diplomatic not to leave him suspecting that the kittens are getting nicer food than him. We are leaving them to grow more confident about their surroundings before we introduce Our Ginger to their new world in the study, which leaves us dividing our time between them and him. I am sure he knows they are in the study, but he has given up sitting outside the door if we're in there and seems happy to wait for us in the hall. Getting them to all spend the evening in the same room will be a whole other exercise, but we'll cross that bridge in due course. The lovely lady at the feral cat and kitten rescue centre seemed confident it could be done, and she has many more years' experience of looking after cats than either of us, let alone the righteous young woman at the other rescue place.