Let’s see, we’ve got a murder of crows, a flock of sheep, a school of porpoises.
There would be a leap of leopards, a bloat of hippopotamuses, a skein of ducks.
You could find a gaggle of geese, a flight of butterflies, a mob of kangaroos.
What do we have here?
A clowder of cats!
On a bundle of laundry.
We have a kyndyll of kittens and two adult female cats, Sox and Drea (pronounced “Dray-uh”). Yes, we know how it “happened.” The one night in six months I “happened” to be out to dinner with some girlfriends, Drea, the mama cat, “happened” to get out when it happened that our four-year-old could not close the door properly behind himself. We were waiting to have her neutralised until the two young kittens she had at the time were done nursing. Ahem.
“We” (that rhymes with “me” ) finally were able to get her back in the house 48 hours later. Approximately nine weeks later… well anyway, now we have eight cats in our house. The youngest four are five months old; the two older kittens are nine months old, and Drea is about a year and a half. We are guessing Sox could be the same age as Drea, but Sox is much bigger.
You could see a run of salmon, an exaltation of larks, or a parliament of rooks. Dodge a bike of hornets, an ambush of tigers, or a crash of rhinoceroses.
There is a feline relay race going on around me right now; the typical early morning exercises. Sometimes I have to put up a blockade to slow them down. On the wooden floors it sounds like a string of miniature ponies galloping through the house. You wouldn’t guess by looking at them that just about a month ago, several of them were at death’s door.
In December, after the effects of the “ice storm” had begun to subside, at least enough that folks could move around more freely on the roads, “we” took seven cats to the clinic to be neutralised. Two males, five females. About a week later, they started sneezing. No big deal, one would think, it’s just a little sneeze, maybe a little head cold or something. My bob, I thought a couple of their heads were going to pop off—seven, eight, nine sneezes in a row! One of the male kittens, Jerry, started hissing and growling at the sneezers every time they sneezed in his face, at first, and then each time he passed them by.
The females seemed to be affected more severely. One day a couple of them were a little slow, the next day they weren’t moving, just sitting there, miserable. I gathered up the two inanimate cats, mother and daughter calicos, and took them off to the vet. Came back with a diagnosis of bronchitis and enough antibiotics for everyone, for four days--renewed four days later, as everyone was still sneezing. The boys, T2 and T3 were great assistants. T2 even helped syringe feed the three girls, Drea and her daughters, Sparkles and Sweetheart, when they would not eat on their own. I made a large pot of chicken soup for them.
The first two nights I was up for a couple nighttime feeds. The three who were down were closed in the bathroom with the heater the second night, to keep them warm. Then next day, they actually walked out on their own. By the end of the day, they were beginning to eat on their own. I was so very worried. I have not had a cat ill to this degree before. I am guessing they picked up the germs at the clinic of neutralisation; the females were under anaesthetic longer, so they were more greatly affected. It’s a theory.
We still have a few sneezes going on, but I am counting on these creatures now being stronger and healthier generally, and that they will get over this soon. By the way, Jerry ended up catching the cold bug last, and soon stopped growling and hissing at everyone else. He was too busy sneezing.
Whether your home includes a charm of finches, a sute of bloodhounds, or a knob of toads, I think it’s important to keep the numbers within reason. Eight cats is clearly too many, nor had we ever intended to have this many. I have come to the conclusion that we will find homes for at least the four youngest kittens, with the caveat that they take the little darlings to a veterinarian and get them a check up. It is much more affordable to do this for one than it is for eight!
It has been a pleasure in so many ways to be entrusted with the care of these kitties. The boys have been very grateful to have them. I get a kick out of the fact that whatever room one passes through in our house, a cat can be picked up and stroked, cuddled. Very soothing. Even my hardworking spouse will stop to caress a kitty.
I had some fun finding the “collective names” I have included here. I saved these for last. They seem to be inspired somewhat by the human panorama:
A business of ferrets; a mess of iguanas; a party of jays; a congregation of magpies; a labour of moles; a plump of moorhen; a watch of nightingales; a pride of peacocks; a family of sardines; a pack of weasels.
Some of the more evocative terms I found:
A bouquet of pheasants; escargatoire of snails; flick of rabbits; army of ants; a caravan of camels; murmuration of starlings.
I was thinking along the lines of “a hangout of teenagers.” However, son #T1, who recently turned 18, let me know it would be “a gang of teenagers.”
So what would it be, a bevy of bloggers; a colony of chroniclers?