The new mantra totally works, along with some judicial internet access dieting and a willingness to have leftovers two nights in a row.
Poor Ruphis spent his month under our staircase, terrififed of the children. He emerged only when they were safely asleep. This gave him a human contact window of about an hour.
The Pet Rescue people agreed that this was no way to spend a life, much less nine. Ruphis is destined for a quiet apartment free of kids and scary dishwasher noises.
In his place, are two cats that I can safely say are here to stay.
In part because I promised Maya.... In part because they are cats with delightful personalities. They're still kittens, at just 6 months old. The seven of us are smitten.
Smitten with kittens.