Quince with two of her seven babies: Audrey (behind) and June (front)

The kittens turn Terrible Two today! They are two weeks old in this picture, and their mother was around nine months old. My neighbor, the wonderful and compassionate P, had finally managed to lure the cat close enough to cut off the flea collar which was nearly choking her. P had seen the young cat around all through the winter, but she had shied away. By the time P got the newly named Quince’s trust, the cat was already pregnant.

P valiantly looked after Quince and the kittens, who were born on her tax returns. All seven survived and found happy homes, ranging from a musician in a bohemian neighborhood to an adoring fashionista in a fancy one. Quince and P have been living happily ever after, and June and Audrey have been living naughtily ever after. For all my complaining about them, I don’t know what I’d do without my beautiful girls.

*Italian for “naughty”. The fact that it contains the word “cat” and mine have been so naughty lately made me think of it. My niece is celebrating her birthday today in Italy (not that she’s naughty, of course – she’s completely wonderful) and I’m reading Bill Buford’s delightful memoir “Heat”, which is set in Italian restaurants, so I kind of have Italy on my mind right now.