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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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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