Life at “the funny farm” (as a friend likes to call our place), just got funnier.

Meet our nutty new additions: Emil and Katie Kat.

Emil’s the mostly-black cat with the glowing eyes, bearing a dear deceased friend’s name,

and Katie’s the white-faced cutie, the more kitteny runt of the litter—

two of four strays for whom Happy Tails Animal Shelter sought homes—and just what our current conditions demanded.

The gardens were teeming with moles, voles, chipmunks, and mice, the yards and flower beds riddled with holes, our favorite plants undermined and dying. To the rescue: Super Kitties! Set loose from their confinement, in three days they eliminated two moles, two voles, two mice, a whole host of grasshoppers, and a garter snake! In fact it only took Emil five minutes to run down the ramp of their “cat palace” and find and seize a field mouse beneath the chicken coop.

But there’s a lot more to them than business. If I need a laugh break, I know where to head: out to the patio, where they’ll meet me, demand their pettings, and then start their crazy carousing.

They disappear beneath the arborvitae. The tree begins to shake, down low at first, then higher, and higher. A little black and white face peeks out of the foliage, five or six feet up, and suddenly a furry missile cannons out onto the patio and lands on four white-socked feet. Shortly later, a more muscular feline emerges high up on the house side of the tree and steps onto the roof to parade around a while. Oh, boy, I think, now how is he going to get down? Will we have to get a ladder? But Emil eventually reenters the arborvitae, and the tree-shaking scene plays backwards from top to bottom.

Up and down the apple tree limbs, in and out among bushes and under porches, pouncing on crickets and mini-mounds of moss, tussling with chair cushion ties, they jump and dance and set me guffawing.

Katie leaps high like a baseball star to grab a cabbage moth—and nabs it between two outstretched paws. She sticks her head in all the upright watering cans. Emil crawls inside the prone one to turn around (somehow) and poke his head back out the opening.

(Sorry I couldn’t get shots of all this. They’re just too fast for me!)

Laugh upon laugh. The best of medicine for boredom or blues.

Thanks to the Good Maker for the gift of crazy kitties!