What the heart wants

My Dad cooking in the kitchen of my childhood home.

My Dad cooking in the kitchen of my childhood home.

This afternoon when I woke up from my nap and was snuggling with Angel before finding the strength to get up, I realized exactly what I wanted to make me feel better. I wanted my father to make me my favorite comfort meal of mashed potatoes and chicken and then sit down and talk to me about anything. I miss the sound of his voice and I miss hearing about everything he knew in that amazing mind of his. I wouldn’t care if he talked about wars, trains, planes, or the origins of math, I just wanted his company. Alas, what the heart wants isn’t always possible.

My pup and the kittens have been doing their best to look after me but snuggles and shadowing aren’t the same as making me chicken soup or getting me fresh water. I’ve heard that knowing exactly what you want is the first step toward getting it but that doesn’t work in the case of wanting my father and I know that. I like to imagine that there’s at least one guy out there who would be willing to take care of me like my dad did, but perhaps that’s a fantasy. Maybe what I’m looking for only exists between daddies and daughters and men my age are all like my ex: babies when they’re sick and in need of my TLC but unable/unwilling to take care of me when I feel unwell. Perhaps when a once-beautiful chick with a healthy flush in her cheeks and pep in her spirit turns pale, tired, and slightly whiny, she loses all her appeal. Perhaps the whole idea of being with someone through thick and thin is just a fantasy these days or something that just doesn’t apply to me.

I admit, being sick brings out the “wuss” in me and I long for what I don’t have. Even sick I’m capable of taking care of myself, but it would be nice to have someone to help me when I don’t feel good. To acquire at least some of what I really wanted today, I went out, bought a little rotisserie chicken, then came home, and made Potato Buds like my dad used to do. Well, kind of like my dad used to do. In my semi foggy state I misread the directions and added more milk than I was supposed to, but they turned out edible eventually. I then cut some breast meat and a drumstick from the chicken, spooned some mashed potatoes onto my plate, poured myself a glass of eggnog, and settled in the living room to watch an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation while I ate.

Like the “superwoman” I am I did all my freelance work today despite feeling tired, sore, and foggy. I won’t be walking Jazzmin daily again until I feel better because my body obviously needs and wants rest. Thankfully, Jazz doesn’t have a great concept of time so as far as she knows it could have been 30 seconds or 30 years since our last walk. We’ll get back out there eventually and I’ll find my stride again, but for now, I’m snuggling with my furbabies on the couch watching The Nine Lives of Christmas on Hallmark Channel. I’ve seen it three times now but it has the cute guy who played Superman in one of the more recent remakes and it’s about how he falls for a chick kind of like me with no life, a cat, and a love for large quantities of ice cream. Even if such things only happen in movies, it’s nice that a hopeless romantic like me still appreciates the notion.

kitten in bed

Angel wasn’t eager to get out bed today.

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Furry purry balls of love (and chaos!)

Daisy and Angel snuggled up watching The Christmas Shepherd on Hallmark Channel tonight.

Daisy and Angel snuggled up watching The Christmas Shepherd on Hallmark Channel tonight.

I’ve had my kittens Daisy and Angel for a little over a month now and it’s definitely been an adventure! I forgot how crazy kittens could be and there are days when I think I’m nuts to be dealing with babies again. The “little darlings” go from being snuggly little furry purry balls of love to absolutely unbelievable balls of chaos in the blink of an eye sometimes!

They run the length of my house and into the basement, they climb curtains, jump at pull chains for ceiling fans, frolic in the bathtub, and happily drag out every bit of string-like substance they can find from hair ties to shoe laces. They’ve retrieved all of Jazz’s tennis balls from the various pieces of furniture they rolled under and they go after flies and ladybugs as though it’s their main mission in life!

Just like when I adopted Jazzmin from the shelter and wished she could tell me what her life was like with her previous owners, I wish the kittens could tell me what their lives were like. They do tell me quite a lot with certain behaviors that are unlike anything I’ve encountered with previous cats or kittens. Whenever I fill the cat food bowl, Daisy and Angel come running from wherever they were and eat eagerly as if it were their last meal. They’re obsessed with water! They’re constantly trying to drink from the dog’s water bowl when I fill it, they jump in sinks, and even tried to drink out of the toilet more than once. When I clean out their litter box, they’re immediately ready to use it, sometimes trying to jump in before I’m done. I do wish they had a bit more patience for such things…

The kittens first encounter with an ice cube. They were fascinated!

The kittens first encounter with an ice cube. They were fascinated!

When I first brought the kittens home, they didn’t seem to know what cat toys were. I had some jingle balls and a trackball toy with a scratching pad and when I showed it to them, they seemed uninterested. The first time I got out the laser pointer to play with them, they were utterly fascinated and had to compete with Jazzmin to chase the elusive red bug. Angel didn’t even know that her tail was something fun to chase until I took it and tickled her face with it one day. Ever since then, she’s loved chasing it while on the couch or the kitchen floor. I find it so difficult to comprehend that such sweet little kittens didn’t know how to play with toys and their own tails!

From everything I’ve witnessed the kittens do, I’ve concluded that their lives before they were brought to the shelter involved fighting for everything they wanted. They treat every meal as if it’s their last, every drink like it will suddenly evaporate, and every toy as if it’s the greatest treasure in the world. They adore snuggling and purr whenever I picked them up. I know they’re happy here and they’ve certainly brought new happiness to my life and the lives of my daughters.

Jordan and Angel

Jordan and Angel

Jaycie petting the snuggling kittens.

Jaycie petting the snuggling kittens.

The kittens snuggled up against Jazzmin.

The kittens snuggled up against Jazzmin.

Angel says "I wuv you, Jazzmin!"

Angel says “I wuv you, Jazzmin!”

The kittens always look the most adorable when I need to get out of bed.

The kittens always look the most adorable when I need to get out of bed.

 

Angel was more snuggly than Daisy when we first got home but over the past month, Daisy has become a good snuggler too. The sister kittens love to sleep on each other and Jazzmin and they always know when I’m a bit down and need some extra furry purry attention. Even when they’re driving me crazy by climbing screens, de-ornamenting the tree, chewing on power cords, and wrestling on the bed when I’m trying to sleep, I still adore them and wonder how I ever survived without them.

Daisy snuggled up against me tonight as I typed this blog.

Daisy snuggled up against me tonight as I typed this blog.

The best kind of crazy!

Staying warm with my pets on the couch.

Staying warm with my pets on the couch.

More than once in my life, I’ve been asked if I’m crazy. My usual reply is that I’ve discovered being a little bit crazy keeps me sane and I honestly believe that. If I was 100% sane, I’d be extremely boring and I’d never do anything exciting or fun! What a waste that would be. 😉

My particular kind of crazy struck me at a rather odd, but useful time today. It snowed today and it was the first undeniable snow full of big, fluffy flakes that blew about in the frigid temperatures. I stayed warm by working at my desk where there’s a heat vent right underneath it and an Angel on my lap keeping me cozy. At one point, she was using the spacebar as a pillow so I had to slide my keyboard over to a more accessible spot, but enjoying her warmth was worth the minor adjustment. Certainly nothing crazy about seeking warmth on a cold day.

During my lunch break, I snuggled on the couch with Jazz by my feet and Angel by my head. Well, she was actually sleeping in an odd position on my collarbone at one point because she was weary of getting too close to the dog. Jazz and Daisy seem to get along okay now but Angel is a bit more persnickety and still swats at Jazz if she gets too close. The balance of power will settle into its proper place eventually…

This was not what I'd call comfortable.

This was not what I’d call comfortable.

After lunch and a bit more work, I decided a short nap was in order since my sleep last night was plagued with dreams of being chased by dinosaurs. I should know better than to watch Jurassic Park 3 before bed, but obviously, I don’t. As soon as I settled into bed, Angel and Daisy came and snuggled right up against me creating instant warmth. I can say with great certainty that I won’t be cold in bed this winter as the little furry hot pockets keep me nice and toasty!

Feeling refreshed from my nap, I went back to work at my desk and had just finished an article around 4 p.m. when I looked outside and realized it had stopped snowing and almost appeared to be clearing up. It was a balmy 27 degrees out and the sun was going to be setting soon, but I was suddenly struck with the overwhelming urge to take Jazz for a walk. I didn’t do so well walking her last winter. In fact, there were entire weeks when we never got out walking because I couldn’t stand the thought of being cold. Unfortunately, that lack of walking made me squishier than I like, so this year I’m determined to get back out there come snow, sleet, rain, or yetis!

Now this is where the crazy part comes in. A totally sane, warmth-loving person wouldn’t decide near sunset on a frigid windy day that it’s the perfect time for a walk. But I’m the best kind of crazy, so I changed into my walking gear, put on my warm winter walking boots, saddled Jazz with her backpack, donned gloves, and headed out the door. Jazzmin was thrilled! Until she almost fell down the deck stairs from slipping on the ice. After that, she remembered what winter was about and paid better attention.

The wind was still stirring the cold air as we walked and within moment my cheeks were frozen but I really didn’t mind. I was out in the fresh air and Jazz and I were getting much needed exercise! The nice thing about walking in the colder weather is that we never encounter other dogs because we’re the only ones crazy enough to be out. Another bonus is that I figure shivering burns more calories and it certainly makes me walk faster to keep the blood circulating!

The sky during our walk tonight. Yes, there's snow in those clouds.

The sky during our walk tonight. Yes, there’s snow in those clouds.

Though our walk wasn’t very long, it was a great first step toward a winter full of outdoor exercise. Eventually I’ll need to put Jazz’s booties on her and wear a thicker coat, but for this evening, we made do with just her backpack and my thick fleece hoodie. When we returned home, I was so proud of us and I felt like I’d kicked some serious butt, even if it was just my own. To warm myself up, I did the Zumba abs workout and the fun, 15-minute program on a chair thawed my icy bones and had me sweating in no time! It certainly might be more sane to spend the winter snuggled up on the couch covered in kittens, but I prefer to be a bold, brave, and a smidge crazy.

Exactly what I needed!

Angel looking at the camera, Daisy looking out the window.

Angel looking at the camera, Daisy looking out the window.

I can honestly say that Angel and Daisy are exactly what I needed right now in my life! I forgot how wonderful it feels to be a Mama Kitty! I did still have Owl before I got the kittens, but she’s an indoor/outdoor cat and only ever snuggles on her terms. Angel and Daisy are happy to snuggle and always nearby no matter what I’m doing.

Last night both kittens slept in my room on my bed. Angel wanted to be as close to me as possible so she was sitting on my sternum while I tried to play on my phone. When I’d lift it up to text, she’d sniff at it and make it nearly impossible to see the screen. When I finally put the phone down for the night and turned off the lights, I rolled over and she promptly arranged herself on my shoulder. That was a rather awkward position and not comfortable but I put up with it for a while.

Angle on my shoulder. =)

Angel on my shoulder. =)

Eventually, Angel climbed off my shoulder and snuggled up by my head while Daisy snuggled at my feet. Every now and then Daisy would sneeze during the night but they both seemed to sleep okay. Unfortunately, Daisy is feeling a bit under the weather with the little kitty cough and sniffles that some shelter animals get, but I’m sure she’ll be feeling better soon. I remember Zoey had the same sickness when I adopted her. She’d be happily snuggling and purring away and then suddenly sneeze in my face, much to my dismay. Daisy sneezes now and then but mostly she has the sniffles and sounds congested. It’s not overly surprising because she’s the runt, but Avi was a runt and she lived longer than any cat I’ve ever owned! It’s amazing how the littlest creatures can be the most resilient.

Jordan snuggling with Daisy last night.

Jordan snuggling with Daisy last night.

I woke up a few times in the middle of the night (like I always do) and when I’d reach for my phone to check the time, Daisy would come up from the bottom of the bed and try to pet herself with my hands. I played with a few apps on my phone and she seemed fascinated by the light. After putting the phone away again, I finally had to tuck my hands under my pillow so she’d forget I had them and then she went back to the end of the bed. It made my heart so warm and fuzzy snuggling with kitties again! I have a huge bed but they managed to snug me in like a tight sleeping bag. I’m sure I’ll really appreciate that snugness during the cold winter months!

I took a shower this morning and both kittens wanted to be in the bathroom with me, which surprised me. They also both tried to get in the shower with me and that was just odd! Once I got out of the shower, they jumped into the tub to investigate and I was so astounded I took a couple pictures.

You go that way, I'll go this way...

You go that way, I’ll go this way…

Ooo the drain!

Ooo the drain!

Daisy just got dripped on from the faucet, hence her expression.

Daisy just got dripped on from the faucet, hence her expression.

While I worked today, Angel would come over periodically and snuggle into my lap. I forgot how nice that is! Well, it was nice once she stopped stepping on my mouse, chasing my cursor, and turning around 27 times.

Angel the lap kitty.

Angel the lap kitty.

When she’s not in my lap, Angel likes sitting on top of my laser printer and Daisy usually sits in front of it on my desk. I’m not sure why they like it so much since it’s rarely ever on and certainly not generating any heat.

They had a few more encounters with Owl today and while the kittens don’t seem to mind Owl, she’s not thrilled with them and hisses and growls. She doesn’t let it keep her from filling her fat tummy though…

Daisy sniffing at Owl.

Daisy sniffing at Owl.

Well excuuuse me, porky cat!

Well excuuuse me, porky cat!

I snuggled with both kittens on the couch this evening and they certainly are efficient little space heaters! I was looking at their paws today and realized they have pink and black paw pads just like Avi did and that was one of the many neat details I loved about her. I know the sweet furballs will continue to warm the hearts and bodies of my girls and I  for years to come and I’m so grateful they’ve come into our lives!

snuggle kitties

Daisy on the left, Angel being squished on the right.