Yes, I still refer to Softie and Scratchy as the kittens.
Even though they're huge and Blur, the smallest, looks more like a kitten than they do.
Anyway, they love Alex.
Maybe it's because he doesn't grab them roughly.
Maybe it's because he is patient and kind and doesn't demand anything of them.
Maybe it's because he doesn't lock them in his bedroom. Or the bathroom. Or any room.
Maybe it's because he tolerates their strange displays of affection.
Softie will come into Alex's bedroom while he's asleep and rub up against his head, purring. For a long time.
Scratchy will hang out on the bed near Alex's feet and attack them if they move.
Alex used to ask that I keep the cats out of the bedroom. That was when the kids were still sharing a room. Now? Most of the time he wants the door cracked. He doesn't mind the cats coming in. He kind of likes the fact that they want to sleep on HIS bed.
One night I was putting the kids to bed, and I'd already tucked Julia in and was doing the same with Alex. Scratchy hopped up on the bed. I asked Alex if he wanted me to boot the cat out and shut his door. But Alex said no and got out of bed. He scooted around the end of the bed and took a fabric-covered bin off the floor and put it on his bed. Inside was a small pillow. He tapped on the edge of the bin, and Scratchy hopped in and curled up.
"I made him his own bed! This way he doesn't attack my feet!"
And with that, Alex snuggled back down under the covers.
I kissed him goodnight and said goodnight to Scratchy as well.
And then I shut out the light and left the room.
I left the door open.
Softie would no doubt be arriving soon to purr around Alex's head for a while.