Listening to them talk about feeding the cats snapped me to attention and I whipped out the kitten manual. “Yup, and we need to get going on that. The manual says we need to weigh them to figure out how much to feed each kitten.”
“We have a scale in the gym,” Hunter said.
“And we’ll need to warm up the milk,” I added.
“We have a microwave in the office,” Gary said.
I held up the manual and pointed to the warning printed in bold font. “It says not to microwave the formula.”
“Then we’ll just run it under hot water until it’s the right temp. Can’t be that hard,” Hunter said. “Let’s go.”
Preparing the formula was quite an ordeal, but we managed to get it in the right amounts and the right temperatures. Hunter had the bright idea of weighing himself with and without the kitten rather than placing the little creature on the dirty scale, demonstrating practical use of his physics knowledge. He might’ve been a tough MMA fighter, but he was also pretty smart.
We had three bottles and three people, so we fed the kittens in two shifts. Even in my hand, the kittens felt small; they practically disappeared in Hunter’s and Gary’s. As powerful as they were, though, they were gentle with the little kitties, especially Hunter. He took particular joy in tickling the kitten’s tummy after feeding it so it would burp.
“I think it farted!” Hunter said, laughing.
I looked over and narrowed my eyes.
“What? You said that was good!” he cried.
I shook my head. “You’re such a little boy,” I teased.
“Yeah, but you love it.”
Gary took the kitten he was feeding and set it back down on its blanket in the box. “Okay guys, I gotta bounce. Get the kittens home safe.”
“Will do,” Hunter said. “Later dude.”
We put our kittens back in their box shortly after Gary left. They all fell asleep almost immediately after being fed. Apparently kittens had to sleep a lot. I got a little sketchpad out of my purse and decided I would sketch them. Maybe the kittens could be a subject I could use for my portfolio.
“What do you want to name them?” I asked.
“I was thinking of naming them after MMA fighters. You know, Rampage, Iceman, that kind of thing.”
“You want to name a kitten Rampage?”
“Yeah, after Quentin ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Then another one could be Iceman for Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell, and then maybe Bones for Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.”
“Hunter, they’re kittens.”
“Yeah, and they would have awesome names.”
“I’m not taking care of a kitten named Rampage.”
“Come on! How about this: there are three boys and three girls. I’ll name the boy kittens and you can name the girl kittens. That’s fair, right?”
I sighed. “Sure.”
“Awesome. So those are my three names, what are yours?”
“I don’t know, give me a minute to think.”
Since Hunter chose fighter names, I figured I’d choose painter names. “Okay, I’m going to name one Georgia after Georgia O’Keefe.”
“Ah, the woman who paints flowers that look like vaginas.”
I chuckled. “Yeah, she’s a good artist. Then I’ll name another one Frida after Frida Kahlo.”
“Is she a painter too?”
“Yeah, haven’t you seen that movie with Salma Hayek? You know, the one where she has that unibrow thing going on?”
“Oh, that’s right! I remember it now.”
I struggled for a third name but couldn’t think of another famous painter. Why did men have to be such dicks throughout history and not let women paint? After a minute, I gave up and decided to go another direction. “And then the third I’ll call Taylor.”
“Which painter is that?”
“It’s not a painter. I’m naming her after Taylor Swift.”
“The singer?” He looked genuinely perplexed.
“Yup. Got a problem with that?”
He laughed. “Other than the fact that she always blames the guy for screwing up the relationship— never taking responsibility for her own part—no I don’t have a problem with that. I just didn’t realize you liked Taylor Swift. Isn’t she kind of for middle school and high school girls?”
I playfully stuck my tongue out at him. “Taylor Swift is universal, damn it! Her songs are catchy and fun. Plus, she does take responsibility. She’s just never the one at fault.”
“Fine, fine,” he said, still laughing. “So Georgia, Frida, Taylor, Rampage, Iceman, and Bones. I like it. We’ll figure out which kitten gets which name later. I’m gonna go find a bag to put all this stuff in.”
He went away and I sketched the kittens, thinking about which one would get which name. It was only a couple minutes before he came back. He started putting the supplies into the gym bag he’d found.
“Ya know, you should come down to Bigg’s to train with me sometime,” Hunter said with a smile on his face. “I’ll show you the ropes.”
I shot him a wry grin. “I don’t think I’m interested in a sport where I have to wrestle with gross sweaty guys.”
“You think I’m gross?” he teased, taking mock offense.
“No, no, that’s not what I meant.” In fact, I loved the way he smelled when sweaty but I’d never tell him that. It would be too weird. “I guess I just don’t want to get injured that’s all.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you. Since it’s your first time, I’ll be gentle,” he crooned.
I slapped him on the arm playfully. “Shut up, Hunter. Why don’t you just offer to show me the ways of the Kama Sutra while you’re at it?”
“Whoa there! I never suggested that. You’ve got a filthy mind.”
“Sure,” I replied sarcastically.
“But if you want me to show you how to do the ‘rear naked choke’, I can certainly do that.” He wiggled his brows.
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “Is that even a real move?”
He laughed. “Real move, unfortunate name. No, but in all seriousness, it’s fun and it’s also a good workout.”
“Yeah, I can imagine. But I’ve already got swim class to give me a good workout. Oh speaking of which, my instructor for my swim class is Mitch McHenry. He said he knows you.”