This is Ms Abigail Eliza Trouble. Known to her friends as Abby, or Trouble.
A very petite kit, and only seems to become more angular and rakish as she grows. She's been a climber right from the start, loves to sit on your shoulder, is quite chatty (particularly when she wants attention), and is very affectionate – in her own weird way. She fancies herself a bit of a hairdresser, and likes to lick and nibble your nose, ears, and mouth if she can get it. She can be very, very persistent about that. Recently she’s started to curl up in my lap for extended petting sessions, where previously she insisted on climbing to shoulder height and being the one doing all the grooming. She keeps trying to take off my glasses.
She's smart. Her sister will happily chase the catnip ball in circles, but Abby will watch. Her gaze will track the string up, observe that the stick is the control mechanism, and set her sights on obtaining control of that. She has been observed rolling the bell-ball between her paws solely with the intention of luring her sister out to be pounced upon. Abby is the one who comes up with new ways to get into trouble.
They are both good purrers, but Abby could purr for Australia. It is no exaggeration to say you can hear her from the other side of the room.
She also does an amazing imitation of the Shrek Puss-in-Boots cute gaze. Ears folded back, eyes huge and black. Although she’s doing it to try and look fierce, which doesn’t really work for her.
This is Ms Ella Strife.
The delay in this introduction is partly because we felt she should also have another name, but next to her sister who is such a character nothing has really sprung to mind for her. So for now she is just Ella, which seems to work for her, not that either of them answer to names anyway.
She is also shaping up to be a fairly small cat, with a bit more classic-cat beauty than Abby, although next to her sister she tends to look huge and muscular. She tends to be quiet and well behaved, but she does quickly learn from whatever schemes Abby comes up with. She too has discovered the fun of climbing to shoulder height, and been seen flinging a catnip mouse to distract her sister prior to pouncing on her.
We called her the pouncer, she's a born hunter and loves to stalk and pounce on things. Catnip toys to marks on the floor, nothing is safe, certainly not her sister. She loves to sit on a lap for a long petting session, but only when she’s in the mood. She’s an independent soul and doesn't feel the need for constant attention.
Although she has taken to climbing more recently, she is queen of the vertical ascent. Curtains are no longer safe, and I'm working to discourage her from hanging on the insect screen on the door. She was also the first to climb trees (both Xmas tree and real tree), although Abby responds by climbing higher. Ella is also the first to take an interest in the TV - A crow caught her attention, and she spent the opening credits of Labyrinth trying to reach the owl and looking behind the TV for it when it flew off-screen.
She's smart in a different way to Abby. Abby will come up with all sorts of ways to get up onto the dining table, but Ella knows she just has to wait until after we leave the room.
Yes, they're both being spoiled rotten.
Click on the photos to go through to the gallery and see some more photos, if you didn't already do so with the Xmas photo.