Well. I'm glad you boys are still alive, because last night I found myself Googling "24-hour online vet" while Orin hunched himself into a ball, sneezing and dry heaving, in position to send clumps of stomach-stained Iams directly into my purse.
It started when Hal knocked over a floor lamp, mistaking it's on-off chain for a tether ball. The shade flew 10 feet, the bulb exploded. The look on your face, Hal, it seemed to say: "I bet this is something we can laugh about already." But only briefly. Then you saw the look on my face and you ran.
I swept up slivers of twinkling paw pad dicers and thought of the many dangers this modern planet has to offer to beings that are no more than three apples tall.
A few hours later you, Orin, found a chunk of bulb I had missed in my cleaning. A half-sphere jagged and open, white powder from the bulb creating a tempting bowl of poison. Of course, you dipped your nose right into it so fiercely and with such purpose that I saw clearly evidence of your past life: You were a coke fiend. A white suit-and-fluorescent-T-shirt, Raybans, topsiders-sans-socks coke fiend waxing hysterical about Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark. I joke now, Orin. In reality I freaked the fuck out. Checked your little face for blood specs. Threw away the demon shard. Began monitoring your vitals.
It wasn't looking good. The sneezing. The hunch. The heaving. Your buddy Hal looked worried. He joined you amid a pile of my shoes and scarves and put his little paw on your back. If you would have died, right then, right there, I'd have had a hell of a time explaining it to Hal. (Even though, technically, he killed you through some sort of butterfly effect).
I'll spare you the 10 minutes of unrest, how I almost threw $41 at an avatar that claimed to be an online vet. By then you were back to kitty boxing and wind sprints. And within a 20 minutes, you and your buddy had discovered a new trick.
There is a tiny built-in bench area in the kitchen that is covered with countertop material and is set about two feet off the ground. Something I wouldn't know without the help of you little guys: There is a kitten-sized crawl space. You are able to weasel inside of the bench and chillax without any sort of interference from anything with opposable thumbs and human emotions. You can also get out. For now. But the way you're eating, Orin. Oof. Enjoy it while you can.
Sometimes I think of your predecessor. Hal, you remind me of him most. The lines of your fur, your face, your big clumsy feet. I watch enough "Teen Mom" to know that he was the "unprotected sex" cat. The one I didn't initially want, then gained full custody of when Toonsers dead beat co-owner decided to bang softball groupies in the bed of his Ford. In his later years, of course, Toonses and I came to an understanding. A mutual respect. But there was some resentment about how I spent my 20s sweating over the ammonia reek of sand clumps. You guys, though. You're my fertility drug kitties. The ones I knit booties for in my mind and imagined suckling at my teat. (Of course, Orin, you've opted to suckle at Hal's teat instead).
Hal and Orin, you boys are staring down your four month birthday and your three week anniversary in our little family. And so far you're still alive. But that doesn't mean I don't hold my little kitty mirror under your nostrils when you sleep. No it doesn't.