We'd been considering getting either a pair or kittens or another dog for a while. David was delivering something to a farm just south of the city and the owner had two or three litters of kittens that were from 5 to 10 weeks old. There were probably about two dozen cats of various ages running around. There was one tiny little 5 week old moggie whose siblings had died either from the cold or from getting into the dog pen. The mother cat had stopped lactating and the wee one was struggling, so we were going take it even if meant a few weeks of bottle feeding.
We made a vet appointment for the upcoming Saturday and arranged to go pick him up and take him straight in for a checkup (Thalia isn't exposed to other cats so she's not vaccinated against everything), but when we got there he and his mother were missing. The owner hadn't seem them since the previous afternoon. We ended up taking two white with orange girls and David named them Eldath and Lliira after two Dungeons & Dragons goddesses.
I've had faith from the beginning that Thalia would warm up to kittens; she grew to like people after being an abused stray, she grew to like the children (well, one of them at least), and she clearly really cares about Zeus and sleeps on the bed with us and him at night. David was sure Thalia would be perpetually miserable with kittens in the house, but I have a good grasp on what she's been through and how she adjusts to things.
They were in isolation for a few days while under treatment for ear mites and an eye infection. We started bringing them upstairs for short periods, and also stroked them and Thalia with a cloth to mingle their scents. After a little less than a week of them coming upstairs, Thalia is eating next to them at meal times, will approach to within a few inches, goes downstairs to watch them play, and has no qualms about sharing water dishes or litter boxes with them. She still hisses and growls when the kittens invade her personal space, but she hasn't once postured aggressively or taken a swipe at them. In contrast, she wouldn't even be on the same floor of the house as Zeus for the first week we had him and I had to put her food up on the kitchen table or a chair where she felt safe from Zeus for a few more weeks. I think it's helping that the kittens much prefer being in their room downstairs to anywhere else, so Thalia is afforded a lot of peace and space.
Eldath is very much like Thalia, very reserved and quiet. She is her own cat and very much likes to be left alone until she's ready and demands attention. Eldath really seems to want Thalia to like her but is being very respectful and patient in how she goes about it. Thalia is getting more comfortable with Eldath every day, so I have hope that they will settle in together well. Lliira is very much like Zeus, wanting constant attention and to play with everyone and everything. I've more than once seen her in a full bum-wiggle ready to charge and pounce on Thalia. So far she's thought better of it at the last minute, but she's going to end up smacked around a bit before long.
Zeus is smitten with Lliira and she is very fond of him. Last night she started grooming him while he gnawed on his rawhide, then he stopped to lick her face while she tried to have a taste of the bone. I'm not sure I've ever witnessed something quite so sweet and endearing.