Friday evening, I came back from work and met relsqui in Scotts Valley. We went to Bruno's (my vote for best BBQ in the area) and met someone there with a ton of fabric for relsqui. Then we drove up to Los Gatos ("the cats" en espanol). Someone on craigslist had posted that they needed to get rid of a one year old cat. Since relsqui and I have been cat starved for a very long while, we emailed her and arranged for things.
On the way to Los Gatos, the person called and said that the cat was nowhere to be found. She tried putting him in the carrier and he wasn't having any of it. In irritation, she threw him out into the backyard and he apparently hadn't come back. However, they had kittens that they were trying to give away too.
So, we went there and met the kittens (3 of them and their extremely attentive and vocal mother). There was one which was all white (and apparently spoken for), another which was all gray with pronounced tiger-like stripes on her legs and belly, and another which was gray with some white. They were all very playful and very fun and the time came to determine which we were going to take home. relsqui and I tried putting the decision on one another because neither of us really could come up with one. The woman there, S-, mentioned that she wouldn't mind if we were to take two of them. We thought about it and decided that we'd do just that.
That actually attributes much more thought to it than was needed. It seemed like the perfect solution instantly. All the kittens were playing with each other and kittens don't necessarily express a lot of personality at the beginning, so the determination was difficult. However, with two of them, we could be assured that they'd get along well and play and so on.
So, we did. We attempted briefly to put them in the box which relsqui had used for her fabric, but the two of them were pushing out of it (even with the top taped down). S- lent us her cat carrier, gave us some kitten food, and a little toy mouse of theirs.
The two of them did _not_ enjoy 17. I made a point of driving slower and smoother than I normally would, but it was apparently bad enough that one of them was carsick =/
We brought them into the house and put them in the bathroom. We needed to get a litter box, litter, food, and food dishes. So relsqui stayed in the bathroom with them while I ran out to Safeway. As it turned out, the one place in the store with a litter box & food dishes was blocked by one of their pallets. I eventually rousted someone out of the back to move it out of the way. Being in newlyborn father mode, I snagged a bunch of kitten toys on the way out as well. Among them were a bunch of little mice with bells on the tail, a bunch of feathers on a 2 foot long pole, and a couple of glow-in-the-dark plastic balls. The clerk at Safeway was amused.
I got back home and we set everything up for them. After a while, the gray one came out and sniffed around a bit. It took significant coaxing to get the gray & white one out. I eventually opened up the back of the carrier and lifted her out. Then relsqui and I set about the task of getting acquainted with our new housemates.
relsqui wanted to name the all gray one "Cobweb". I consented and we started on names for the other. relsqui mentioned "Mary". That didn't seem right, but we agreed that she seemed like she needed an M name. After a train of thought that went roughly from the dog in Clerks (Lenin's Tomb, a great name) to the cat in Clerks (Haiku, another great name), I remembered back to the conversation when we were trying to name the apartment. One of the names we had thought of was "Glottal Stop", but that was really only representative of relsqui (she's the linguist of the three of us). On thinking of names that represented us, we came up with "Tilde" for the apartment. Thinking of names with the letter M, I came up with Meg and then reflected that Meg is frequently used shorthand for 10^6.
We knew instantly that it was right. So much so that when I suggested renaming Cobweb to Tera (10^12), we went with it. We ended up switching those names (every so often, I catch myself mixing them up, but I'm better at it now). It does quite well with my policy on names: I like ones with lots of possible shortenings and permutations. Tera does quite well as Tara or Terri, for example. Meg does well as Meggie, Megumi, and so on. Not that the names are going to change, but they allow for a lot of wordplay.
We have _tons_ of pictures of them. Due to my camera's USB cable being accidentally taken by a friend and HP's annoying habit of using proprietary connectors for this camera, we have lots of pictures on a CF card, but no way to get them off yet. Luckily, stonesundial was moving back into town today from Berkeley, so we went over to help and borrowed relsqui's mother's camera. You can see those (and the time script for their age and how long they've lived with us) <A HREF="http://www.chiliahedron.com/main.php?face=kittens>here</A>. The two of them play all sorts of silly games, tearing around the apartment chasing and tackling each other. They love playing with strings, balls of yarn, and hands. They found a spot under our rather unconventional bedframe (under the head of the bed and between the wall is a small space, perfect for a couple of kittens (or cats!)). They sleep together under there every so often. They curl up in lots of exceedingly cute ways. I've seen Tera jump onto Meg and lay down on her. It's apparently comfortable for the two of them. They usually sleep in a little ball, resting their heads on each other. Apparently, little kittens aren't too adept at regulating their body temperature, so that's a survival trait for the first part of their lives. They've already typed for the first time (I think that's only Tera, but we aren't sure). We've photographed their first login attempt (i.e. first encounter with a keyboard) and countless other moments. There's tons more to say. I love 'em dearly. I called my parents to let them know and my mom said "Oh great! So I'm a grandmother!" I'm looking forward to spending a nice, long time with 'em. I'm amused that we got las gatas (or more accurately, las gatitas) from Los Gatos, although a friend tells me that Los Gatos was named for the mountain lions, which these decidedly are not. 8) As I write this, they're tearing around the couch chasing each other and apparently taking turns falling off of it. They're still very much discovering how exactly the laws of physics apply to them, mostly by trial and error. Pretty much everything is a toy and a curiousity to them at the moment, although we're getting to know each other pretty well. They seem to be pretty comfortable with us, although Tera is more comfy with us than Meg, but we're working on that. One final postscript. As I typed this, Meg jumped up on the couch. Tera, following her, jumped up on the keyboard and changed the URL from http://www.livejournal.com/update.bml to http://www.livejournal.com/update.bmlyhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhweeeeeeeeee22w. I'll have to make a note to explain the web to her and help her avoid costly 404 errors in the future ; )