Hi guys! A long overdue Tuesday Tales post today - I think my last one was way back in August! If you follow me on Twitter you will know that my little family grew by two in September when kittens Marcel and O'Malley arrived! Of course this wasn't a impulsive decision and was the subject of much deliberation and planning for months and months, but now they're finally here and we have been so busy keeping up with them - I've only just thought to introduce them over on Bee's Knees. So ladies and gents, meet Marcel and O'Malley...
(Marcel is at the back, O'Malley is at the front)
They are brothers from the same litter, although Marcel is the 'runt' of the litter and much smaller than his littermates! They are pedigree cats - a breed called Ocicats which I came across almost ten years ago when working in my first job in a cattery and kennels. Ocicats are a really special breed, they're so different to regular cats! They're much bigger and have distinct colours and patterns - you can see that both Marcel and O'Malley are spotted but it is possible to get them in different patterns. Ocicats come in a range of colours but the most special ones to me are silver, lilac and chocolate. Marcel is lilac spotted and O'Malley is chocolate spotted. They grow to be between 1.5 and 2 times the size of regular moggies, and have a really athletic and sleek shape to them (pretty much the opposite of my little chunky monkey Clem!)
The most special thing about Ocicats is their temperament - they are much bolder, boisterous and demanding than regular cats and in many ways behave like dogs. O'Malley has recently learned how to play fetch and it's his favourite game! As cheesy as it sounds, ever since I met my first Ocicat all those years ago I have been desperate to share my home with one. Although I am a massive advocate of rescuing cats and kittens, Clementine and my old cat Jerry are both rescues, having Ocicats has been a dream and one I could only achieve by adopting kittens from a breeder. Selfish, yes, and I do carry guilt with me because of my decision. But I do not regret bringing these beautiful boys home with me one bit.
So as soon as I knew when I would be moving back to Leeds I got in touch with some Northern breeders to see if they would have any litters around August/September. We decided to get two boys because we already have Clem and she is a complete primadonna - we weren't sure we could cope with any more madams stalking around ruling the roost! I've had a lot of boy cats over the years and I've generally found them to be more laid back and easy going.
The breeder we spoke to had a litter that would be available in July but agreed to hold them a little longer for us until August when we would be all settled in to our new house. We visited them and completely fell in love - as mischievous as they were it was impossible not to! We made the decision after we'd met them, and seen their home and their mum (important if you're buying from a breeder) and then the countdown began! By the time we brought them home in August they were 12 weeks old but they weren't any less kitten-y or snuggly than they had been at a younger age. I actually think being able to spend that extra month with their mum and littermates has made them more settled and confident cats. We decided to get two brothers from the same litter because we thought it would be easier for them to adjust if they were already best friends, and also easier on Clem because they'd entertain each other rather than jumping all over her!
Although I've had many cats in my family over the years, I've never had kittens (pretty much because they've all been rescues!) So I was really excited to see what they would be like and how our lives would change because of bringing them home. Well nothing could have prepared me for how things have been. My life with these little monsters is a perfect balance between tearing my hair out at their naughty moments and having my heart warmed by their adorable personality quirks. It's madness and mayhem but I really feel like my life is full to the brim with things to be happy about!
As you can see from the photos - they are little monkeys! Their personalities have really started to shine through in the past month. O'Malley has grown so much and is already dwarfing poor Clem who is a fully grown cat! He's quite demanding and does like to get attention all the time - if I'm stroking Clem he doesn't think twice about strutting over to butt her out of the way so I'll stroke him instead! He's also incredibly playful and athletic, one of his favourite games is when we dangle a toy in the air above him and he leaps up to get it. He's so agile he can now jump about one metre off the ground! O'Malley loves snuggles and sitting on knees but doesn't like to be held so much (which is just as well because he's so big!)
Marcel on the other hand is a complete cuddle bunny and loves being held and carried around. When he's feeling particularly snuggly he'll shout at you until you pick him up for a hug. But he isn't the biggest fan of sitting on knees for cuddles - so they are both completely different personalities but put them together and they're perfect! Marcel is a really food-orientated kitcat and we have to put him (and O'Malley otherwise they get sad) in the hall when we're eating. If we don't he will climb all over whoever is eating to try and get a bite! It's quite funny how much he eats given his size, although he's grown lots since we brought him home.
So now the boys are almost 6 months old - the time has flown by! We're going to have to book them in for their op (neutering) soon, which Neil is dreading but I've heard it can calm them down a bit which would be a relief. That said, they are such wonderful little monsters to come home to and I wouldn't change a thing about them. They've settled in perfectly and are pretty good pals with Clem, which was something we were worried about in the beginning. She was a little sceptical of them at first but has come around to them, albeit with lots of swipes to keep them in their place when they try and play too rough!
This has turned into quite the mammoth post, apologies! I probably should have posted this a good few weeks ago but I hope you don't mind the delay (and overload of photos)! I think it's clear to see I am smitten with my kittens, and I hope you are too!