The Systems Administrator has warned me to go easy on the late night distribution of cat biscuits, having cleared up a couple of piles of sickie that had quite a lot of biscuit in them. One had quite a lot of mouse as well, but I take the SA's point. It's very easy to keep feeding the cats, because at the first hint of movement anywhere near the kitchen they will all insistently tell you that they are very, very hungry. Kitty breakfast is a riot, with all three kittens swarming over each other and Our Ginger, who sits in the midst of the food dishes and howls with indignation that the youngsters are showing him such scant respect. A dollop of food into a dish at one end of the newspaper will distract the kittens, hopefully for long enough to give Our Ginger something to be going on with before doling out the rest of the kitties' share. Twice in recent days Mr Cool has ended up with a lump of jelly on his head, and Mr Fidget has taken to darting towards Our Ginger's share as soon as it is put out, instead of battling it out with his two brothers.
We've gone back to tins for their main meals now that they are bigger. One tin holds the same amount of food as four pouches and is much easier to dish out. Squeezing the contents of a pouch on to Our Ginger's plate with one hand while using the other hand to fend off Mr Fidget takes forever, and you end up with fingers smelling of cat food. Serving food from pouches to four cats is easier with two people, but still a riot.
An hour after they'd had their breakfast this morning they were on the hunt for more food. They did not honestly need it. The three kittens are all just nicely covered, no jutting bones but slim and sleek as healthy young animals should be, and Our Ginger is frankly tubby. I shut them out of the kitchen while I made a pudding for some forthcoming guests, and when I opened the door all four were waiting outside, Our Ginger because he wanted to sleep in the cardboard box in the kitchen like he usually does in the mornings, Mr Fidget because he thought there must be something interesting going on behind the closed door, Mr Fluffy in case there was food, and Mr Cool who had just strolled in according the the SA and joined the queue to see what was going on.
When your previous generation of cats has lived to a ripe old age you forget how extraordinarily lissom young cats are. They are very quick and very supple. When all three kittens are running about in excitement waiting to be fed they positively swarm over the furniture on entirely silent feet, in a sort of fluid stream of black fur. Nobody except us is likely to see them do it, since they are cautious of visitors, but I can see how anybody who didn't greatly like cats could find it quite unsettling. Their sinister aspect is rather undermined by the squeaking, pathetic in the case of Mr Fluffy, strident from Mr Fidget, and very soft from Mr Cool. Poor Mr Cool, an Amazon van drew up outside the front door this morning, and as the driver stepped up to the doorstep Mr Cool burst out of the cat door and bolted away across the gravel at great speed, just in case the stranger planned to come in.
All three are lying down now, Mr Fluffy and Mr Cool on the hearthrug (after Mr Cool had inspected the freshly cleaned grate very carefully in case it was a trap and Mr Fluffy had investigated whether he could climb up the chimney) and Mr Fidget on his pouffe. They look deeply asleep, but I know it will be bedlam the second I get up.