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?

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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