Dear Hal and Orin,
Lately I've been thinking a lot about adorable little mice. White pinched faces, whiskers and wormy tails. That cute little bitty foraging sound I used to hear as they gathered in corners to fill their cheeks with tortilla crumbs. The pellets the side of punctuation they left in clumps in the drawer that holds our dish cloths.
Maybe the Department of Health would see things otherwise, I view it all now, in retrospect, as the golden era.
Because you know what, you guys? You, Orin, and you, Hal, are terrifying.
The bloom was still on the rose in the days that followed Week 2.5. That's when you guys discovered the bathroom mirror and spent hours circling the floor-length brass structure trying to figure out the magic behind these cats that aped your moves. We laughed at your stupidity. Great gales of hilarity.
Then you, Orin, already at a fifth grade reading level, got extra curious. And you, Hal, with the athletic ability at least three years ahead of your Little League designation, got extra ballsy. You both added about four pounds and three inches and Orin's voice deepened. You've destroyed your personal playground Kitty City and have turned the house into your own Feline State.
Orin jumped into the shower with me.
Hal almost choked on the broken lid of a spice container.
Orin figured out how to jump onto the countertop so Chuck secured the entry route with a sheet of tinfoil, foe of cats. Turns out Orin loves it. Whaps at it and chews on its ends.
Your fights have become more epic with Orin going jaws wide at Hal's jugular. Hal prone on his back kicking at Orin's eyeballs with his back legs.
You both watch me when I'm on the toilet, and I sit there in fear that you will try to claw your way on to my naked lap.
I have to wear thick-soled slippers at all times because Orin is fascinated by toes, moreso unsocked then socked, but fascinated regardless.
Orin tried to eat my ponytail. Twice.
Whenever we got hypothetical about getting another cat, I said I wanted one with Toonses' good sense to hate people food and to avoid countertops. But you both have all the ticks and curiosities of every cat that came before you. Orin, I think I saw you eating an onion and licking the Tempeh wrapper. It has been confirmed that you adore Almond Milk.
You continue to race from surface to surface, climb curtains and blanketed legs. You found a matching pair of infant-sized socks in some dark recess of this house. And frankly, your shits are the size of a doberman on a burrito diet.
You are both inseparable. You eat at the same time and spoon when you sleep. Orin mops Hal's face and ears with his tongue and continues to give him hickies on his stomach. If one of you spends more than a minute alone, you will send out a distress call and the other joins you in a flash. You do 45-minute intervals of cardio activity, then collapse into a coma for a few hours, recharging for your next round of terror.
"Well, they're still kittens," we say. "Just two more years of this."
We haven't seen any mice since you moved in, guys. And frankly, I miss them.
* Re: The above photo. I was making dinner and turned around to see Chuck holding the cats by the scruff and cackling in a faux maniacal way: "HAVE A CAT!"