I visited my mother yesterday, and by the end of two hours I was exhausted. This was the longest time—by far—I had worn a mask, and by the time I left I felt like I had been running up and down a staircase the entire time. This is why I need the space helmet that I outlined for you all a couple of weeks ago. Those of us who are weak breathers to begin with just can’t tolerate masks for long periods.

Naturally, though, as long as I was there I took some new kitten pictures. First, though, some disturbing news. Meowser, our surprise mother, had an appointment with the vet last week to ensure that we didn’t get any more surprise kittens, so of course she came home wearing a cone. She does not like the cone:

But here’s the disturbing part: the cats are working as a team. On Friday, the kittens apparently untied the knot holding the cone on so that Meowser could then shake it off. We could be in big trouble if this teamwork concept spreads, my friends. The cone has since been put back on, and I wrapped some tape around the knot, so hopefully we have foiled any future escape attempts.

Here is Stripey, one of the troublemakers:

Isn’t that an adorable picture? And check out those whiskers! Here is Blackie, hiding around a corner from the camera:

And here is Grayson, hanging out in the garage. The lighting may be lousy, but it is where all the food is kept:

Everybody is healthy and making trouble. What more can you ask from a litter of kittens?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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