At least with the Mesoamerican kittens currently occupying our guest room. Mind you, we’ve had kittens who like nothing better than to curl up with us when we lie down, content to find a warm spot under a chin, against the curve of an armpit or crook of an elbow, or nestled in my hair, and just purr. Haggis and company (the litter by which all kittens are held in measurement) would cling to us for hours like little cockleburrs when we sat on the couch. I used to call them our little lapel pins before they grew too big to cling without ripping fabric.
But Aztec, Toltec, Olmec and Maya?
Not so much.
Oh, they are adorable and sweet. They love it when human company enters their room. Evaki (momcat) starts purring almost immediately when she sees us. But if I lie down, curling up and napping with me is not on the agenda. They can be sound asleep when I come in (their favorite new perch is the lowest tier on the cat tree) and will stare at me sleepily, doing that adorable kitten blinking and yawning for a few minutes while I settle myself comfortably on the futon. I’ll burrow under the quilt and settle myself for a nap.
And then they wake up, one at a time, and decide to come explore the new object (me) in the room. I’ll have my eyes shut and hear the ominous sound of kitten paws skittering across the hardwood floor. I know something is looking at me; I can feel the heat of its stare through my closed eyelids. Opening my eyes, I’m confronted with the wide, slightly
sociopathic stare that only a kitten can manifest (and still look adorable) as Maya, now nose to nose with me, raises one paw … “Ooh! Those fringe things–” my eyelashes –“they move! Must. Swat!”
I try hiding under the quilt, but she just wriggles her way underneath and finds new things to attack, such as the string on my pajama bottoms, my hand and fingers, my elbow, my hair, my neck, my chin…
And then her three brothers join her in a leaping, nibbling, swatting, springing, skittering display of feline acrobatics that is truly impressive, even if I am being used as a combination trampoline, springboard and protective cover. Lots of places to crouch and hide behind, including more burrowing under the quilts. They’re like little feline jumping spiders.
Evaki, in the meantime, generally comes up next to me for some love. Her expression suggests she really appreciates me giving her a break from her off-springs’ manic attention.
The payoff (aside from the fact watching their antics is better than television) is when they wear themselves out, falling asleep in exhausted kitten piles wherever they’ve happened to collapse, little purring bundles of love. I may be tired a lot these days, but I never get tired of the experience.