Consider this...

"A house without a cat, and a well-fed,well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title?" - Mark Twain

At least, in our house, with the arrival of Benny and Babette, aged 3 1/2 months.

sj08 111222510 j mFigaro and MackieWe had a dreadful summer with our beloved pets. At the end of June, Mackie, our 14-year-old Golden Retriever, had a stroke, but a cortisone injection got him back on his feet nicely. At the end of July, he had another stroke, and this time he could not get up again. So he made a one-way trip to the vet. The vet who did the deed said he had gone to "le paradis des chiens", dog paradise.

In August, our beautiful and wonderful black cat, Figaro, started going downhill. He had long suffered from problems with his kidneys, his liver and his heart. When he stopped eating and got skinnier and skinnier, our other vet diagnosed him with a cancer in the stomach area. Figaro stopped eating entirely and so he also made a one-way trip to the vet. She said, "Il est parti retrouver Mackie." (He has gone to meet up again with Mackie.) That would be nice...

But we were without animals. The house was dead. Then the second vet told us her mother-in-law's cat had kittens, which we went to see. Two were not yet vouched for and we decided unanimously to take both. But they were too young and we had to wait over a month. All we could think of doing was to flee the dead and empty house, so we went to Portugal for two weeks. When we got back, we picked up the kittens and renamed them from Panda and Pinceau (paintbrush) to Benny and Babette (she of the feast, of course). And life went back to normal.

We used to wonder what people do who do not have a cat. Now we wonder what people do who do not have two cats! This is a case where two is far more than twice one. The way they do everything together -- eat, sleep, play -- is a delight to watch.

We are happy again. And it is made all the better by the fact that they seem happy too.

They are a riot when they play together.