Just like I did with Jake, I wanted to devote a whole post to the family who has been cohabiting with the Drakes over the summer, the Ragnaroks!
(For a bit more information on how I started fostering kittens—and once two puppies—or how we got involved with Furbabies spectifically, check out the post on Jake, our last foster kitten.)
Unless you’re a mega Marvel fan like we are, you might be confused by “the Ragnaroks”. When we picked up the cat with her three babies, we were really not into their names. (Mama was Joyce and the three kittens were Seth, Evan, and Lydia.) We brainstormed some ideas, but since Avengers: Endgame had just come out, we were in a Marvel headspace.
For a bit of simplicity, we decided to go with the names from the Norse gods turned superheroes, rather than using the superhero names like Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, etc. Iron Man just doesn’t work for a kitten, does it? Though Doctor Strange isn’t so bad… Anyway, I was hesitant to name the female Hela since she’s the villain in Thor: Ragnarok, but my mom, who was visiting at the time, convinced me. She was so fierce already. She was more confident and brave than her brothers in those first few days, so we figured she could make the name work for herself. Instead of naming the mom Frigga, like their mother in the movies, we went with Valkyrie, who might just be the most bad ass female character in Marvel to date, but is unrelated to the three siblings.
We got the family when the kittens were about four weeks old, on the 28th of May. (They estimate they were born the 1st.) They had been brought in by a family who claimed she was a street cat whom they fed occasionally, but the charity suspected she had actually been their pet. For the first three and a half weeks, they were with another foster mom, but they needed to move them, so they offered them to us.
She wasn’t much of a lap cat, but she did grow to be quite affectionate with us. She was such a great mom to them, jumping in and out of the box we kept the kittens in at first to feed them and clean them, pushing them to experience new things, and encouraging them in their own independence. The plan all along was to separate her after a few weeks and move her into another foster home, once they were eating dry food, so the kittens good grow more independent. A few days before she left us, we separated her from the kittens most of the day and she just did her own thing while the kittens just stayed in the living room. We took her back to Furbabies on June 25th, almost a month after we picked her up, so she could go to another foster home and eventually be adopted. Unfortunately, last I heard she’s still in a foster home and has not yet been adopted.
When we were decided which of the male kittens should be Thor, we simply felt that this one looked more like a Thor. I think at the time, they were about the same size, but he just looks softer and sweeter in my opinion. But in getting to know the kittens’ personalities, we might have misnamed our boys. Thor was a total mama’s boy. When we started separating Valkyrie, he just wouldn’t eat. He would lie in the corner for the entire day, totally lethargic, and refused to eat the dry food. As soon as she came back into the room, he would act just like you would expect a starving kitten to act, the poor thing. They recommended Thor come in with Valkyrie, not so they could be together, but so he could attend something of a kitten boot camp. He was also terrible about using the litter box, so they gave him a week to start eating and start using the litter box. We picked him up just three days later when they said he was eating like a champ (or like Thor in Endgame) and using the litter box with no problem. When we brought him home, he was eating without issues, but it certainly took a while for him to start using the litter box. Eventually, we got a different type of litter from them that he seemed to like a bit more. Though he still had accidents.
In the last few weeks especially, Thor has become so affectionate and cuddly. He especially loves Luke. Usually, he’ll fall asleep on Luke on the sofa and he’ll even sleep on him for part of the night. But, he whines and cries a lot. It’s just not very becoming of a Thor! He’ll absolutely be a lap cat and I think he’ll do best where he’s the only one getting attention. He LOVES treats. You’d have no idea he once went a week barely eating. We gave them raw pumpkin and he eats it up like he’s never getting food again. Plus, he’s really good about coming for little kitten treats. I suspect he’ll be easily trainable if someone wants to go that route with him. He’s also proved to be the bravest when we’ve had people over. He’ll be the first one down the stairs after they’ve all sprinted away. That week head start that his siblings had on him with dry food made such a difference for a while. He was literally almost half the weight of his “little” brother Loki for quite a while. He also had more of a kitten coat longer than Loki and Hela. Now he’s quite soft, but he’s still not as sleek as Loki.
As Loki has gotten bigger, it’s become very apparent that he essentially has a beard within a beard and I find that hysterical and adorable. Loki was by far the quickest to grow and for weeks he’s felt and looked very much like a small cat. He acts a little more mature and responsible than his siblings, even though he does play with them a lot of the time. It just seems like it’s Thor and Hela getting up to trouble. He’s certainly more dominate that his siblings and he won’t tolerate being held like a baby, while Thor and especially Hela have no problem whatsoever. He’s not as cuddly as the others, but he’s brave and curious and loves to be human-adjacent. Meaning, he’ll sleep near us, but usually not on us. At night, he usually sleeps between us, but down by our knees. He’s grown into an absolutely gorgeous cat. He’s had an adult coat for ages now and only gets softer and sleeker every day. Even though he’s much more independent than the other two, I love finding him wherever he’s sneaked off to (probably our bedroom) and cuddling with him for a bit. He loves the one-on-one time affections.
She’s quite the little character, let me tell you! Like I mentioned above, she was the first to jump out of their box. She was the first to figure out how to climb on to the sofa and how to climb the stairs. She’s a go-getter and she’s very brave. She was the first to try the dry kitten food. She doesn’t care about pumpkin at all unless it’s pumpkin muffin crumbs off the wrapper, which is lucky for Thor who eats up her portion in a second. She loves treats and usually gives her treat a swat or two before eating it, but unlike Thor, she seems to grow tired of treats after a while. But her absolute favourite thing is playing with the mouse toy that Luke put on the end of a string on a pole for us to play with them. She goes full parkour for that crinkly mouse! Unlike her black-and-white brothers, she’s a tortie with small tan spots on her face, a ginger and white belly, and ginger hairs mixed within her mostly black coat. I swear, every day I find new little markings on her, but my absolute favourite are the almost identical spots on the back of her two back legs, though one is ginger and one is black. She’s absolutely an independent lady, but only by choice, and it doesn’t stop her from being insanely affectionate. She’s got to keep up with her brothers and make sure Loki knows who’s boss, but she’s a total softie at heart. (And on the outside because she is SOFT!) She is so cuddly with us and is more likely to take a cat nap on me than her brothers. At night, she almost always sleeps curled up on my chest. I mean, it’s heaven.
All three kittens have been fully vaccinated and are growing well. Thor and Loki are currently available for adoption with Furbabies and they are requesting that they be re-homed together. As I mentioned above, Valkyrie is also still awaiting adoption. Hela, however, has been adopted. We’ll continue to foster the boys until they’re adopted, which is fine by us because we’ve grown quite accustom to sleeping under a pile of kittens.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
I’m always happy to shout out both organisations I’ve worked with, the Humane Society and Furbabies Cat Rescue, because both organisations need donations and volunteers. You can donate money of course, but they also accept food, litter, toys, blankets, etc. They provide everything for their foster families on top of caring for the animals that are physically in the shelter. There are also plenty of ways to volunteer. When I first started fostering for the Humane Society, I also volunteered in the shelter on Saturday mornings, cleaning the enclosures and playing with the kittens that were waiting to be placed in foster homes. I loved doing that! The Humane Society also had volunteers on the adoption floor for cats, dogs, and other small animals. Not to mention the dog walkers! And Furbabies definitely needs more foster families.
If you’re in the market for a new cat or two new kittens, consider adopting Valkyrie or Thor and Loki. Through Furbabies, they’re listed as Joyce, Seth, and Evan respectively.
Even if you’re not in Longmont, Colorado or Birmingham, England, there are likely organisation near you that need your help. Do some research about what’s nearby and how you can get involved. It’s seriously the best volunteer work I’ve ever done!