Category: The Triplets

Caturday: Escher

Escher at the Window

It’s been two years since the kittens came into our life and Escher still skedaddles if you come too close too fast, if there’s too much hubbub and if you even think about picking him up. Still, we have made enormous progress.

One of the lovely things about him now is that he loves to be near. When I was very sick this winter, he was my daily companion, curled up right beside me in bed. He’s been letting me pet him for quite some time now but mostly he walks away as I try. As a result, I mostly pet his tail, LOL! In the past couple of weeks, he’s started figuring out that if he alters his approach, he can get his head and neck pet, which he loves. In those moments, he’ll purr deeply and even start kneading. Bliss!

My heart just booms when this happens and all of this gives me hope that our trust will continue to grow, that we will get closer and closer and that one day, he may even sit on my lap.

Let me pick him up? Well, one step at a time.

The Studio Kittens Then & Now: Scout

Meet Big Brother
Big Brother

It’s hard to imagine that a year ago, I brought 3 abandoned kittens home. we called this little one Big Brother and though he was the first to explore, he was also the most skittish of the lot. This sweet, sweet boy has a sensitive heart, an aristocratic face and tufts on the top of his ears. Thankfully all of his fear and running to escape has turned into generous purrs and an oft-proffered belly. He is the one that will sit on my lap, keeping me company while I record the podcast or write on the blog. This boy is a heart-opener.

Meeting Scout

Big Brother Day 4

2015-07-12 Scout

Scout Update

JRS Scout Looks Up


Scout Sort of on My Lap

Scout at Living Room Window

Scout on Stool

JRS Scout in the Studio

Scout in the Studio

The Studio Kittens Then & Now: Escher

Meet Grey

For our one-year anniversary with the kittens, I thought I would share some photos of the journey. This little one started off as Grey and soon became Escher. Though his name changed, he has remained this irresistible toughie. His beauty draws you in but that raised paw keeps you out. To me the first sign that we were making real progress was when I found him sleeping on my pyjamas. Now we can pet him much of the time and occasionally he even comes for attention. He is watchful and quiet and can sometimes be found playing by himself in the kitchen. It’s hard to get to know, Mr. Escherpants, but we keep working on it every day.

Grey Day 4

Escher Waits for Art Day

JRS 10 Escher & Paper Ball


Escher Update


JRS Escher on the Mend

JRS Escher at the Window

 Escher in the Studio

Escher Daydreaming

JRS Escher Behind the Curtain

Kitten Update: 10 Months In

Kittens Sleeping in the Window

In some ways it is hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since the kittens found their way into our home and our hearts. In other ways it seems like they have been here forever.

JRS 2015-05 Jamie & Jinx

But just a year ago we were actually saying goodbye to our dear sweet Jinx who had been my constant companion for 20 years.  She was an oddball but I loved her from the day my sister Shannon said, ‘What about this one?” at the Humane Society. Jinx was just a little boo and a bit of a fraidy cat but she had lots of heart, an amazing vocabulary and loved to hang out and get cuddles.
Jamie & Gobo say Goodbye

Not long after Jinx passed away, Shannon’s cat Gobo became ill suddenly and we had to say goodbye to him too. He was the gentlest, sweetest cat I’ve ever known.  Nothing seemed to stress this little man out and he was always open to love and affection. I smile to remember the way he would groom the side of my head, licking me right on the temple with diligence and care.

I suppose the loss of Jinx and of Gobo left my heart wide open.

Jamie & The Two Black Cats

So when I came across these three abandoned kittens, they walked right in. (You can read all about that adventure here) So how are these wild ones doing? How, after all this love and attention are they settling in? Who are they becoming?

Scout in the Studio

Oh, sweet Scout! He has grown into a beautiful boy with a strong aristocratic face and silky soft fur that’s just a little long and raggedy over his belly. He was the first to purr and the only one who lets us pet his tummy. He loves to sit with me in the mornings when I write. In fact, sometimes he’ll whoosh by me, running up the stairs to get to the chair first.  He’ll drop and roll and offer up his belly, looking up at me with love and bliss.

We’re gently working on picking Scout up and have made great progress. It started with very small steps. I’d pick him up when he walked by, kiss him on the back of the neck and put him right back down. He’d look startled but after a while he didn’t run away. Then I started picking him up off my chair so that I could put him on my lap. The reward seemed to outweigh the indignity and so he got used to that too. This week I’ve managed to pick him up a few times, holding him close to my heart and giving him reassurance and cuddles. He’s last quite a while. Still, being the sensitive soul that he is he seems to have a sixth sense about when you’re going to pick him up and more often than not, he bolts!

Shibumi Portrait

It’s hard to explain but Shibumi is the heart of the pride.  She’s got more personality than seems possible to contain in her little body! She’s a very active cat and several times a day she’ll drop one of her favourite balls at our feet – an invitation to play fetch. She’ll play by herself too, dropping the ball from the top of the stairs, racing down to catch it and then running back up to start the game again. She’s a fierce hunter, so much so that it’s almost impossible to play with some toys, like the ones with balls or feathers at the end of a string. She catches the toy in .0001 seconds flat, clenches it in her jaw and growls before the other two even realize we’ve brought a toy out. Game over. #shibumiwins.

That signature Shibumi fierceness translates into a confidence that sets the tone for everyone.  She’s the cat who will come over when you kneel down to say hi. She’s the cat who will rub up against your legs, purring. And she’s the only cat who is comfortable being picked up. In fact, Justin has a special way with her. He holds her perched along his arm like she is a jaguar and he is a tree with arms for branches. In those moments she is clearly queen of all she surveys. When Shibumi is happy, everyone is happy.

JRS Escher Behind the Curtain

And then there is Escher, who I, for some strange reason, like to call Escherpants. He’s a beauty with those two-toned eyes and that silvery fur. He’s the one who hangs back, who watches carefully to see if everything is okay. It’s been the longest road with this nervous boy. He has an awkwardness to him, a body language that is different than any cat I have known before. One universal cat sign though that I am delighted to see him exhibit is that confident walk with happy tail in the air, sometimes even curling into that quizzical q. Whenever I see that, I smile.

With Escher we are still working on building his comfort with being touched and we’ve come a very long way. If it’s just him and me in the room and things are quiet, he’s more open to receiving this kind of attention. He’ll let me sit with him and pet him, especially around the neck and ears and face, and he’ll purr with contentment. Sometimes he’ll be so excited about pets that he’ll do a little prance and show me his butt and let me pet him once before he walks away. He loves to sleep on any of my clothes. He curls up in my spot on the bed. Last night just as I was falling asleep I opened my eyes and there he was just looking at me, purring. After a few gentle pets, he lay down and fell asleep.

My sense about Escher is tha the is open to love but that he can find physical affection overstimulating. The sensations can all become too much for him but still, particularly in the quite moments, it seems clear that he is happy to be here.

Escher Daydreaming

Sunday with the Kittens: Stress, Growth & Progress

Studio Triplets

Last week we reached a new level of intimacy with The Studio Kittens. With several days of work required to put new pipes in our basement, the kittens had to be contained in one spot for several days. Where did we decide was the best idea? Our bedroom! When did we rethink this? Several  mornings at 4:00 am, which seemed to be prime kitten activity time! Having said that, generally they were very well-behaved and we had lots and lots of time for cuddles and love.

Shibumi on Chair

Shibumi is still sick with idiopathic cystitis. Unfortunately, this is due to stress and I’m sure all of that construction did not help at all. The vet has recommended new food for her and also trying Feliway, which is a synthesized cat pheromone spray that helps calm the kitten nerves. I think this is going to be a boon for everyone! The amazing thing is that even though Shibumi is fighting this health issue, she is still full of vim and vigour! She has discovered the game of fetch and is relentless in her pursuit of her sponge soccer ball. She even stands at the top of the stairs and drops it so she can chase after it!


Progress with Escher is slow but I remind myself all the time that it is also steady. Now, if he’s lying down he’s generally open to some attention. He’ll even stretch out and purr. But if he’s sitting like this or walking around or if he’s in the kitchen and you move your hand towards him, he’ll raise his to swat. It’s okay, Escher. We’ll move at your pace. Gentle, gentle. Slow, slow.


Scout has turned into a real lovebug. He often sits behind me on my chair while I work. When I pet him, he often immediately drops and offers up his belly for rubs. When I hang out with him, I literally feel my breathing and heart rate slowing. He has some magic mojo, this one.

Shibumi & Scout

It’s amazing to see them not only their progress but also their transformation as they grow from kittens to cats right before our eyes. They are so clearly teenagers right now! It’s amazing just how often we walk into a room and they scatter, knowing they are about to get caught doing whatever crazy thing they’ve been doing. We’re likely to find Escher scrounging for a bit of food on the counter or sink. This week Scout we saw triumphantly strutting up the stairs with a sour cream container from the recycling bin. And Shibumi, well, Shibumi just wants to play.

Escher in a Box

No matter how much they grow, they’ll always be “The Kittens” to us.