There was one more side to my visiting my sister's barn, and it relates to the eye-booger-plagued cats. My sister asked my parents several weeks ago if they wanted one of them (``as a Christmas present'') and my parents eventually accepted. My mother and I wondered what a third cat would do to the two already present: would she be something to distract the younger cat from aggressively playing with the older cat who would rather be sleeping somewhere warm right now, or would she team up with her half-sister to annoy the older more? My father spent two weeks telling the cats at every opportunity that the new one was coming, which the cats accepted with the equanimity of someone who hasn't got any idea what those funny sounds you make represent.
Though the pre-existing cats were nervous when they saw the two cat carriers on Saturday morning, they didn't go into full hiding. My mother told me I should take up the larger carrier. To me they appear to be the same size. Later on when I was getting ready to leave, though, one of the carriers had disappeared, so I supposed that ``existing'' was what was meant by the ``larger'' carrier. I realized on this disappearance that I have no idea where the cat carriers are kept in those long hours that they're not carrying cats. All the obvious answers are wrong and it's just not that big a house to have unobvious answers.
While I got to meet the kitten at the party and it got to meet me by being tossed onto my shoulder the moment I got in, I was still surprised how hard it felt for me to take the kitten away from its siblings and mother. It's thirteen weeks old or so, an age when Google search results suggest this is fine, and my sister would certainly never imagine giving away cats that were too young, but when the bunch of them were all huddling together earlier in the evening it got me feeling pretty low to be taking one off to where it'd never see its direct family again. This wasn't helped by my sister supervising the giving-away of another of the siblings earlier that night, to a family that had to leave earlier, and gleefully pointing out that ``this is the last time they'll all be together'' and now they were ``breaking up the family''. I shouldn't have to feel guilty about bringing a pet home.
Trivia: Simon Marius proposed the names (Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto) for the four Galilean satellites, which were not officially adopted until 1975. Source: Jupiter, Reta Beebe.
Currently Reading: Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal, Zachary Karabell.