You can just stop it, all of you, big soppies that you are. He is NOT getting a name, and he is NOT being adopted by me, because he is NOT going to be a live version of my usual nine-day wonder story, in this case being a kitten fosterer. I could have a new career glittering in front of me, and I need to get past the probationer period! His future owner can name him.
Margery came today, to vacuum the house and spoil the cats with their weekly dose of lavish praise and one-sided conversation. The kitten had at least five names tried on him before she left: Socks, Smudge, Sooty, and so on. Sooty is rather apt today - the Berlin Wall in the fireplace wasn't impregnable after all, and he got into the chimney while my back was turned, but fortunately only as far as a little ledge within grabbing reach. He was very relieved to be rescued, and I was relieved too, and ashamed to have let this happen. I am a kitten-neglecter....
But he isn't a Millie, the cat who likes to wash for a hobby, and I fear his sooty, cat-littery paws will need me to apply a wet flannel later on. Mr Filthy Feet can be added to the list of names he might have had.
But he has had several deliriously-happy, galloping, ducking, diving, pouncing football sessions in the sitting room when only the dog and I are present. He greets the dog with little cries and an eager upright tail; she, meantime, too dim to understand that she could be kitten-snuggler of the year, looks embarrassed and gets up on her high cushion, fast.
If it wasn't for Millie, who is still exuding ill-feeling, although not quite so often or so vociferously, he could be left out for much of the day. But I daren't risk it; try explaining to PARRT that one of their graduates has slaughtered and devoured one of their babies! I'd be struck off, and Millie would have a criminal record. Kitticide. Cattibalism.
Which reminds me - I heard a woman this morning, in a back yard across from mine, saying crossly "Shoo! Go on, f*** off!" and I just knew.... so I called, bracing myself for neighbourly hostility, and right enough, over the wall popped a certain tabby. ASBO Millie. We slunk indoors quietly and shut the back door before we could be tracked down and shouted at some more.
Later, we all gathered round the kitten's cage like carol singers at some poor housebound person's door (how I hate that cage!) and they all ate morsels of chicken together, quite harmoniously. The kitten thought he'd gone to heaven. Not that he'd be allowed in - at least not without wiping his feet.