The best part about college is the month-long winter breaks where students can travel back home and spend the holidays in peace and relaxation with their family.
Or, in my case, I loaded Chuck and Barry up into their carrier and listened to them cry and meow nonstop for two hours on the drive from the City of Brotherly Love to my mom’s house up in the mountains. Once there, I reacquainted them with their grandmother (my mother), and introduced them to their great-grandmother (my grandmother, also known as Baba) and to their long-lost furry siblings!
Naruto and May May are the king and queen of my mom’s house. Naruto is about ten years old and we adopted him from the shelter when he was a kitten. He was a small little thing at the time: snow white, bright blue eyes, and a pleading meow to come home with us that just wouldn’t stop! Many years later, Naruto is a huge, fat cat. My mom always claims that she’s putting him on a diet, but he honestly looks bigger every time I come home for a break. It doesn’t help that Baba sneaks him treats anyway.
May is probably around fifteen. I got her when I was just a little girl, unsure what I was doing with cats. I used to lock her in the bathroom with me and dress her up in my dolls’ clothes. It’s safe to say that for a few years afterwards, she did not like people, especially me. Now she has warmed up a little bit, and she’s a cuddly little love bug when she wants to be.
I was nervous to introduce Chuck and Barry to Naruto and May. Chuck and Barry, at only six months, are rambunctious and playful. Naruto and May (not to be rude, of course) are well past their prime, and they prefer laying on the back of the chair over full contact wrestling.
When Chuck, Barry, and I finally made it to my mom’s house, I brought the cat carrier into the living room and opened the door. Immediately, every cat in the house was on alert. Ears back, crouched low to the ground. Naruto watched from a distance and May ran from the room. Chuck and Barry sat in the carrier for a while, terrified. Finally, Chuckie started venturing out and exploring the house while an irritated Naruto watched on. Barry didn’t leave the cage for over an hour.
The cats all casted a lot of wary glances at each other. Occasionally, there was some hissing or running, but nobody attempted to kill each other!
Chuck and Barry Fall in Love
I don’t think that Chuck and Barry have ever been around another female cat, besides their mother and any female cats in the litter they were born with.
I’ve heard of female cats in heat announcing that they are ready to mate, but I had no idea that male cats make the same noises! So when Chuck and Barry started howling, my mom and I were confused — what are these strange noises coming from these two male cats? Why are they doing that?
Well, apparently, when a male cat is around a female cat, usually one in heat, they start howling to announce their presence to the frisky females. May is spayed, but Chuck and Barry aren’t (yet!), so that set off their little kitty hormones and they were going crazy! Therefore, they made noises that sound like a mix between speaking, howling, and meowing (just like the cat in this video).
Fortunately for May, Chuck and Barry were still too shy and scared of her to try and do anything besides gaze across the room. Thankfully, they never made those sounds before, and as soon as we got home to Philadelphia, they stopped.
My mom was really hoping that Naruto would warm up to Barry and Chuck and play with them. She said that Naruto needed somebody to play with, and also, that he could stand to burn a few calories.
Unfortunately, it was not to be a vacation full of bonding.
The good news is that Naruto finally stopped hissing and swatting at them whenever they came around! It was progress. Maybe by Easter break they’ll start playing together.
My mom adored Chuck and Barry. Of course, she is the cat lady that raised me!
And of course, Grandma has to spoil her grandchildren. They got wet food for breakfast every day, a lot of treats, lots of playing time, and more cuddle than they could deal with! For Christmas, they got a lot of toys and a big fun tent to play in. Of course, they found their own toys to play with (or should I say in), too!
My mom also gave Barry and Chuck some nicknames. She nicknamed Barry “Einstein” because of how quickly he learned how to play fetch with a tin foil ball (he really loved fetch). He even helped Grandma do laundry!
My mom nicknamed Chuck “Marilyn” after Marilyn Monroe. Although beautiful and dainty, Chuckie does not possess the same quick wit as Barry and did not pick-up any new tricks.
Christmas break at Grandma’s was a great time for Chuck and Barry! They got lots of love, affection, and treats — I know they’re already missing their grandma and kitty siblings!