They are Alex Hamilton (the gray one, who talks a lot, is hyper, and gets into everything) and Erin Burr (who alternates sitting back and waiting for it with beating up Alex and stealing his food). They are two months old, tiny and adorable, small enough to be picked up in one hand and to sleep together in my lap, which they do often.

They are my former cat-sitter's neighbor's cat's kittens (neighbor pictured). [I forget if I mentioned it, but my other cats died of old age last year. No condolences necessary.] I told my cat-sitter it wasn't really a good time for me to get more pets - I'm too busy, I'm not home much, I'm trying to save money, etc. She texted me that photo with the caption, "Get two, they will keep each other company. Otherwise they go to the pound."

Erin Burr is currently living up to "feline disaster" expectations; when I took them to the vet, I was informed that the bald patch on one ear was ringworm and given a pamphlet recommending quarantining them for a month, washing hands after touching them, and scrubbing the entire house with bleach. Luckily I already had confined them to the bathroom and the hallway to make sure they'd use the litter box.

I then googled ringworm, which I should know not to do for any medical condition, and found an amazing level of hysteria, full of phrases like "treat it like ebola" and "be strong, some day this hideous nightmare will be over," and recommendations to strip naked before entering the quarantine room, put on a set of clothes and shoes that never leave it, never touching the cats without rubber gloves, boxing all my possessions for two years to make sure the spores are dead, throwing out all my furniture, and repainting the walls.

I am not leaving my new kittens alone without human touch for a month and destroying all my possessions for fear of catching... athlete's foot. I have had that sort of skin infection before. It is not a big deal. I'm treating the ringworm, keeping them where they are, washing my hands, and cleaning, but I am not acting like my new kittens are lepers. They need love and cuddles. (I tried the "shoes and outfit stays in the room," but it's really difficult as they kick the shoes around. Also there's a half-inch gap at the bottom of the doors, and they regularly shove toy mice, blankets, etc through it. DEFCON ONE precautions are not a realistic possibility.)

That being said, once Erin Burr is released from custody, I expect she will find new ways to wreak havoc. Luckily I don't have firearms.
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