The Boys, Grendel and Loki, are old money. They never knew hardship when they were growing up; instead, they were graced with pleasant childhoods stemming from a litter of kittens borne “into the system” as it were. Raised in a foster home until they could be adopted out, neither of them has ever known desperate need or hunger.
The Twins, Kako and Kazon, are new money. Apparently the unwanted offspring of someone’s cat, they and their siblings were placed in a box and left on the porch of the local Humane Society, where they were discovered the next morning. It was cold and rainy, and it’s unknown how long the box was sitting there before it was discovered. All of the kittens were sick, weak, underfed, and in poor condition overall (ear mites, upper respiratory infections, fleas and ticks, etc.). Until I adopted them, they knew only the shelter, minimum care, and affection spread across hundreds of animals. Treatment for their ailments and parasitic infections had only just started when I stumbled upon them and decided to adopt.
It amazes me constantly how apparent the differences are between the old money and new money upbringings. Part of this, I’m sure, comes from Grendel and Loki being in perfect health when they came to live with me, yet Kako and Kazon required veterinary care, antibiotics, and all manner of treatment for their ills. That alone changed the dynamics of the bonding that took place between them and me.
To expand on the disparities, here are a few examples.
Kako and Kazon will eat from my hands. In fact, they both will lick my hands to ensure they get every last bit of whatever it is they’re after. Also, since everyone in the house likes yogurt, they too will lick yogurt smoothie from my fingers. Grendel and Loki, quite dissimilarly, will rarely eat anything from my hands. No matter how much they want something, neither will hardly touch it. Once in a while one of them will take something from my fingers or lick a bit of goodness from my hand, but it’s infrequent and always a surprise when they do it.
Note that all five of The Kids will eat from a spoon or fork or other instrument (although chopsticks are the most entertaining given the inherent struggle between the predator’s desire to eat the food and the predator’s desire to hunt/play with the chopsticks).
They’re all lap kitties. Because there’s only one lap in which to sleep, this can be entertaining insomuch as it’s a first-come-first-served system, yet neither Loki nor Kako is opposed to inserting themselves into the tiniest of available space in an attempt to crowd out whoever is already there. But in the sense of having them be on me somewhere, my lap and my chest (when we’re in bed) are as far as The Boys will go. The Twins, however, take it much further. Both enjoy jumping onto my shoulders and hanging out, although both also have different versions of this. Kazon will sleep on my shoulders, his head wrapped around one side and his feet the other, and there he will rest and purr and sleep as long as I don’t jostle him too much or too often. Kako also enjoys climbing up there, but for her it is an active event rather than passive. She wants to play, to be petted, to be talked to, and to move around as much as possible. Overactive would best describe her style in this regard.
While Kako and Kazon love just about every food offered to them, Grendel and Loki are more finicky. I’ve only seen Kako turn her nose up at one or two things; Kazon has yet to turn down anything I proffer. The Boys, on the other hand, both have a large selection of things they won’t touch. Whether it’s Loki’s dislike of shrimp or Grendel’s abhorrence of certain cat treats, I have to be selective about what I bring home for them since I know those two have picky tastes when it comes to what’s acceptable and what’s not. Vazra, so far at least, has eaten everything I’ve offered to him.
And speaking of Vazra… If I knew more about him, I could make some relative observations about him as well, yet I only know of his existence outside until I rescued him, and that only spanning the last few years. I can safely assume he was raised in a home with people. He’s talkative and responsive, he loves being with me, and he follows me around half the time. But was it a good life before being kicked to the curb? And what happened when he was a kitten? I just don’t have those answers, so all I know is that he had a home before finding himself evicted to the street.