Big Cat Country

I was intending to launch my Africa series today, but something came up that has been demanding my attention for the past few days.

A little more than a week ago I volunteered to foster kittens for the animal shelter. Last Tuesday, I was offered a pair of adorable kitty brothers who just needed to gain weight before being neutered and offered for adoption. Over lunch Wednesday, I picked them up.

Meet Siegfried (left) and Tristan.

One of the perks of fostering is the privilege of naming the kittens. This is not an obligation if the foster parent is afraid of becoming too attached, but I see it as an honor. I chose to name my first set of boys after the Farnon brothers in James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small series.

As in the books, Tristan is the more sociable of the two. He is the first to greet me after a separation, the first to crawl into my lap purring, the one to try to get into my glass of wine. Even as I write this post, he is jumping on the keyboard to help.

Tiny but fearless.

Siegfried is a bit more reticent and studies each situation before leaping in. It took a few days for him to start purring; I think that’s an indication that it may take a little while to gain his loyalty, but once earned it will last forever.

Studying the lay of the land.

I think these pretty boys may have Siamese or Himalayan in their background giving them their lovely seal ears and the blue eyes that I hope they keep. Siegfried is fluffy, like a Himalayan, and very photogenic. Tristan has tabby markings as well as a ringed tail, like a raccoon.

I think I am going to love fostering. We’ll have adorable kittens in the house as often as we like, have the flexibility not to foster when we wish to travel, and with any luck never have to deal with them dying. I do envy the family or families that end up with Sieg and Tris; I am also honored to have a part in getting them ready for their next adventure.

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