Sunday, November 18, 2007

Brother and Sister

You don't get to pick your family, they are already picked when you are born. I could grumble/giggle about the cast of characters that comprise my kin, but I'm more drawn to a pair of black-pajamaed feuding siblings that live in my house. Brother and sister who were fated to spend life next to each other, Hansel and Gretel have a reluctant acceptance relationship that is fun to observe.

They look so much alike that when they were little we confused the two. A pink collar for Gretel and blue for Hansel was the only way we could keep them straight. With their silky black fur and almost identical white spots on the tummy, they were so similar as kittens. As they have grown their bodies have changed. He's taken on the long, lean look of a Tom, and she has the shapely thing going on. Gretel is kind of Romanesque.

Were there others in the litter? Did we adopt the left-overs in the batch? They were the pair waiting for us at the adoption center, so they seemed fated to become a part of our lives. But I sometimes wonder how they feel about being stuck together.

Did Hansel have a brother he played with? He sometimes plays rough on his sister, and she doesn't stand for it. Sure, Hansel may think that sneaking up and biting the rear of your unsuspecting sibling is a great gag, but Gretel is none too amused. A chase and smack-down usually ensues, but no matter how many times she puts him back in his place he tries it again. She's not a good sport when it comes to play.

Does Gretel lie awake at night wondering, of all the cats in the litter, how did she end up with him? Did she have a sweet sister in the group, with whom she shared her giggles watching the antics of their goofy brother? I swear that sometimes I see Gretel rolling her eyes when Hansel's shenanigans get out of hand.

Certainly they have their moments. Sharing a windowsill, they wag and squeak in harmony when a bird is at the feeder, or when a lizard dashes across the hibiscus. Sometimes he'll approach her during her grooming, and she uses her little pink tongue to smooth the stray fur between his ears. Companions in the box on the trip to the vet and during the long days they are home alone, surely they appreciate one another's presence.

I suspect they care for one another more then they'll ever let on. I can imagine them as senior citizen kitties, twenty years from now, snuggling together on a soft blanket and reminiscing about the fights of their youth.


EJG said...

I know we got two black cats because we wanted to honor Figaro by not "replacing" him. Two instead of one. Black instead of orange.

But now I don't think we can ever go back. H & G taught us that, yes, two are better than one... and that once you go black, you can never go back.

MJ said...

Oh, this post made me so sad--feeling that everyone should adopt entire litters so no kitties ever have to be separated again.

I love the part about Gretel giggling with a sister.

It's your place on the next get together. There have been too many cat posts coming from the "island." I need to see them. :)

Cora Spondence said...

You have a sharp way of peering into your cats' day and pulling us all in gently without a note of intrusion. And that's quite a feat.