One flew over the Pigeon’s nest

Dear Pigeons inhabiting the balconies and windows of our apartment,

I swear I am tired. I am a nature lover, I am. I love all things green, and respect all of God’s creations. I accept that I do not understand the purpose of certain creatures (like lizards, to be precise, I have no clue what purpose they solve in the environment, or the food chain. I mean, fine, they eat insects, yay, but who even eats them. They are very purposeless, but let’s not digress), but I still respect their existence, and maintain a dignified distance if they decide to co-inhabit my home.

But birds, I always liked, sincerelt. They are pretty, and chirpy, and nice, right? No harm to anyone, living on trees, laying eggs there, flying around where no one really goes, so there is no need to honk because they are sleeping in your path (like this brown eyed dog on our road, who I believe owns that street) or strolling across the street (like that herd of buffaloes on this huge road, who just decided to stop and look around at the oncoming vehicles, while we tried to make it to work on time). You guys know what I am talking about right?

Right. Then what is with this new found attitude I ask. If you act ignorant to what I referring to, think again. There is a lot that I have been noticing for a while.

First, ok, so 2-3 pigeons I understand, 10-15 pigeons, I don’t understand really, but I still go ahead and accept. But seriously, have you seen the number of you that have invaded out building? Have you?  Too many I think! Ok, so it is raining, so all of you form this row right outside the TV room’s window and sit is it? Do you know how scary it is to open the window now? Let me tell you. Very. Especially, when all of you look magnified with your ruffled feathers, and choose to stare at me with those big beady eyes, there is no way I can keep that window open. Ever.

Then, coming to why there are so many of you. Have you ever heard of family planning? Ok, so the first time I saw eggs in our bedroom balcony, I was all like ‘Awww, pigeon babies, aww’ and there were babies of course, except the mom went berserk every time we even tried to peep at them and would attack quite viciously. So we stopped. Fine. And then, we reopened after quite some time, when the chirping stopped, and we were sure you were all grown up and gone. Only to see what? Two more eggs! That cycle has been on  for a while, and that door can never be opened now. Do you know how stuffy it gets when there is a power cut? But no, why should you bother! You’re too busy in mass production aren’t you?

Also, the new found angry birds attitude. We are not pigs who stole your eggs. We are nice people who are letting you be. Ok, we are scared people who are letting you be. Then, why in the world does it sound like you are launching yourselves against our door every morning? What’s with that incessant flapping, and short, explosive sounds? I get the little ones are practising the art of flying, but isn’t this a little violent? I mean, assuming from the sounds of course, no one actually has the guts to open the door while you are out there. And don’t deny it, we even found a broken glass bottle there. We being our poor household help, who we pleaded to check the status.

And lastly, do I ever enter your home? I mean, one peek and you attacked us the way you did, but do you ever respect my need for privacy? Don’t act like you don’t remember, I am talking about that day when I was sitting at the computer, and you very comfortably flew in through the window and settled on the bed next to me. Do you know I could have had a heart attack right then? Or tripped and fallen on my way when I rushed out screaming? And what did you do? Made that weird guttural noise, and blinked. Like it was the most normal thing. It was not. I swear. I still can’t get over it.

So, all I was saying was , I will be leaving this place soon. And I wouldn’t be bothered as much by you guys at the new place guess. Can you fly 19 floors high? Anyway, that being said, do note that chimneys inside the kitchen are not good places for making out, you can actually get hurt. And also, remember, the next set of people here, might not actually be as patient and nice with you as we are. Though honestly, I wouldn’t mind if you gave us our life back for a little while, when we can open doors and windows without bothering as to who would storm in.

Till then, take care, and give a thought to my complaints, if you can, that is. I would never dream of bugging you with my life’s little issues.

A very hassled, newly pigeon-phobic,

Me

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WTF Wednesday

Gotcha! The title I meant. It is not really a WTF Wednesday, it is a pretty normal Wednesday, to be honest even better than usual. Only, I had decided to use this title on an appropriate Wednesday a couple of months ago, but then assuming that you will be able to post a post on a day which you have already called a WTF day is being way too optimistic, dontcha think? So I never got around to using this title, and I kept having one WTF Wednesday after another, with no time to write, and I can see that I have used the same two terms over and over again in these few lines and if there is something in this world called an over-kill, this is it, this is it, this is it. 

Anyway, this post is in response to all the blog lou that was showered upon me in the one week I have been missing. So in other terms, if it makes no sense, you asked for it. Thing is, if you notice, these are the first 2 weeks of the month, which in the life of someone who calls herself a Finance person, pretty much justify the paycheck she gets at the end. And for the sawaal of the paapi pet, have to be attended to.

Anyway, this is going no where, and I have started two paragraphs with anyway now. That can’t be good. For my readership that is. So, I will try being a little more interesting (!) now. We broke our movie fast last to last weekend, by watching 3 movies. I am going to copy Abi’s brilliant review mechanism, and give my verdict out here.

Shutter Island – Wow!
A-team – Meh
IHLS – Hmm, ok!

It is not that easy I note. So I will elaborate just a little bit. While Shutter Island is a must watch ( and must-like, else I will judge you, I will so judge you), A-team can be watched for the heck of it, it’s fun, and forgettable. IHLS was as expected, cute,  timepass, a bit of a drag, and with music I had endorsed quite some time ago. And oh yes, I am impressed with Sonam Kapoor.

A lot of White Collar is being watched these days. It is not in the same league as Bones or Castle, but it is good anyway, so we are watching it. Plus, we don’t have a choice really.  A lot of Whose line is it anyway is being watched too. Very very fun that is. And guess what? Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are doing a show guess where? Yes! In Hyderabad. Only, I am dead sure the passes will be way beyond affordable. So we can just feel happy about the show happening, rather than for being able to watch it.

The hair has reached a disgusting half curly-half straight stage, and I am hating it. Happens every year, six years into the straightening. And now amount of hot irons can put it right. So I have decided to chop it off. Yes! No, it won’t make it any better, but then there will be less hair to straighten and handle no? Very smart idea this is I think.

Oh this should be interesting. The last weekend, we went to the Zoo. Yes, big adventure you say, wait till you hear more. So we go to the zoo, and we go to that small piece of land where there are two tigers. Small piece of land surrounded by water at a lower level, surrounded by wall which is as high as the land, but much higher than the  water level, you get the drift? Anyway, so we are four people, ok five, ok four and a quarter, all looking at this tiger standing at the other end of the piece of land, and looking straight at us. Looking at us for sure, because there is no one else around. So I say “ Ooh, look it is looking at us” and The Dude says “ Let me click a pic”, and we all stand. When it crouches. Crouches in the true “I am going to run and leap at that deer looking at me” crouches. That is panic enough for even a brave soul like me, so I say “Let’s go” a thought reciprocated by the other 2 and a quarter people. But The Dude being The Dude, continues to click, when the tiger, decides to run. No, sprint, full speed, right towards us. And like any normal human beings, the three and quarter of us run! But no, The Dude continues to show his Dude-ness, and keeps clicking. So it sprints, reaches the corner and leaps. And falls right into the water. “Haha” The Dude says, “Obviously it won’t be able to jump across the water, Haha”. The tiger swims, looks around a bit and clambers back onto the land, and walks away. We look like idiots. Since then he has been going around telling all and sundry the story of his bravery, and how his wife deserted him in the face of danger. The BIL explains to him that it was in fact a good idea to do so, considering someone had to be around to use all the money made from that awesome picture he would have captured when the tiger leapt at him. Haha, very funny. Whatever.

I leave you with the two pictures he ‘risked’ his life for.

What? You want more? Oh, there is actually nothing left. But yes, if all goes well, there will be plenty of time in the next few days, and more time means more posts hopefully? Till then, manage with this? Please, pretty please?

Oh and if you’re seeing this right next to picture instead of under it , where it was meant to be, it is WordPress acting funny, as usual. Kindly Adjust. Danke.

Jungle book

 Prologue : What happens when Republic day (or for that matter any national holiday) falls on a Tuesday? Erm, in our case, we take the Monday off, and set of for another mini holiday! This time around, Pench was the chosen destination. For a variety of reasons ofcourse, like we hadn’t been to this place before, and we had heard good reviews of it, and ofcourse, the most important reason that this apparently was the only exit out of the city that the Dude hadn’t taken on any of our drives. I find travel very exciting, it brings out a side of me which you would otherwise never see. That of a happy early riser. This works very well with The Dude, who has an in-built alarm clock, which rings before the first rays of the sun hit the earth everyday, irrespective of when he goes to sleep. And he roams around bright and chirpy and wide eyed, when the rest of the world is still lost in the virtual world of dreams. And this makes him choose absolutely ungodly hours to start on  his drives. And I don’t mean ungodly by my standards alone. Really, 2 AM, you take the call.

Getting started :Anyway, this time we were a bit more lenient with ourselves. So we start at 5:50 AM, and hit the highway at 6:20. And The Dude says ‘ Man, we finally took the last exit!’. And I think, and say ‘ You kept the Resort booking receipt right?’ And then there was this Honda City driving precariously close to the divider, the driver looking frantically for a gap to take a U-turn. Yes, we went back. Not a good start at all for an otherwise well planned trip.

The drive : But luckily for us, things were smooth for a long time after that, and we were at Nagpur by 3, much ahead of our expected time. The idea was to stay put at Nagpur for the night, and then head to Pench the next morning. Anyhow, Nagpur for some reason had it’s peak traffic hour at 3 PM on a Saturday. And all the people who we asked about hotels, though helpful, suffered from what we called ‘ the 3 kms syndrome’. A typical conversation would be ; ‘Bhaiyya yahaan x hotel kahaan hai?’ (x being a random hotel found on google), and the reply would be ‘3 Kms aage/right left/peeche’. But no amount of 3 km driving found us a single hotel, and before we knew we were out of the city.  

The bad  :To cut the bad story short, we ended up staying at the dingiest hotel in the world at this place called Ramtek. I don’t want to get into details, but let’s just say I refused to even wash my hands in the loo there. The only good thing about the place was this super friendly Dalmatian named Lucy. Totally aww inducing. The Dude clicked a pic of the place (‘ we can look at it later and say, ‘Man we stayed here?”‘), and in the pic the place looks so bright and cheery, and totally misleading!  

The good  : Next morning, we reached our resort, MPTDC’s Kipling’s court (Pench is where Jungle book is based people, hence the name, and a lot of pictures of Mowgli, and Bagheera, and Sher Khan everywhere!).Lovely place. Very serene, amidst dense forests, and super-comfortable. Totally recommended to anyone who plans a visit to Pench. So the highlight of the place is the safaris ofcourse, but even if all you want is an idyllic holiday, it’s a good choice. People are friendly and helpful and smiling, and the food was great. We booked an early morning safari for the next day, and whiled away our time walking around the outer areas of the jungle and clicking random pictures  

The awesome : The next morning, we woke up bright and shiny at 5 and set out on the safari in the Gypsy we had booked. (Note to self : Early mornings are frigging cold, and one jacket is not enough.) One word for it. Awesome. I have done and early morning safari once before. The nip in the air, the break of dawn, the silence of the forests, I had loved it then, I loved it now. Spotting the deer, jackals, peacocks, monkeys all in their natural habitat is an amazing experience. But this time we did what safari’s are officially meant for. Yes! We spotted tigers! Ok-ok, before I get ahead, the tiger was actually spotted by mahouts who are on the look out each morning on their elephants, and then they take you for a ride in the forest on these elephants and you can see the tigers what, like , a couple of feet away? And we did! I could see just 2, but apparently there were 4. And it was wonderful except that I was kinda worried that my legs were hanging too low (our elephant was the shortest too, talk about luck!) and the tiger could attack if it wanted. What? They jump almost 12 feet up it seems. Thankfully they didn’t , and we returned a happy twosome from the safari!  

The awesome (part deux) : And so, we decided to go again, this time for the evening safari. And yes people, we were lucky again! Picture this. Almost bare land, where we stopped because we heard a couple of distress calls. That stopped, and all we see are trees, and grass, and two deer happily grazing. Complete silence. And then, out of no where, the deers sprint! And behind them, a tiger! Whoa! Though at the moment I stood on top of the seat of the gypsy to catch a better look, a moment later, all I was worried about was what if it ran our way? Seriously scary! Plus every time I would quote one of the sign boards on the way which said ‘ Tigers don’t attack for fun, or until provoked’, the guide would reply fervently saying ‘ Nahi Madam, kar sakte hain attack, bilkul kar sakte hain’. Thanks Dude, so comforting. Hmph. Anyway, a couple of more ‘look there it is’, ‘ now it’s stopped’, ‘now it’s walking’ and a few shots in our camera, it was time to leave, and frankly, I was slightly relieved.  Here’s one of the more complete pics from the vehicle. Awesome huh? 

Some gyan : There are apparently 33 tigers in the forest as of now. And the area being huge, spotting a tiger is not that frequent. I guess we were lucky that way. However, the census methodology used the last time is pretty much outdated, and this time around they have had cameras fixed all over the jungle to do a better count. The tigers we saw, were apparently 16 months old and cubs of the same tigress. There are 40 leopards too, and till last year they were frequently spotted in a certain area, which now they have left because a tigress moved there, and leopards are scared of tigers. Duh. Oh, and also, Langoors and spotted deer at BFFs.This is actually true, we spotted the two species together everywhere, and even saw langoors drop fresh green leaves from trees for the deers to eat! Very cute.  

The end: That was enough excitement frankly, and we were super-exhausted by night. Almost 9 hours of sleep and then started back at 6 in the morning. The journey was comfortable, and silent because the vacation was getting over and we hated it. I know you know.  

Epilogue : I’m at work, vacation’s over, and I don’t know when the next one is. Need I say more?

Look what we got!

 After years and years of wishing and praying and begging and hoping that I have a pet, I finally do! Ok, I don’t really have him; I just get to keep him for two days. And it’s not that I get to keep him, he basically stays at home when I am working. But then he is going to be around for two whole days, and literally so, because this little guy is crazy active for the laziness its kind are usually credited with.

So let me introduce to you, Tortuga – the tortoise star! Ok that was not very original, and I am sure he has a name, but the brother in law conveniently forgot to ask the friend who the tortoise belongs to, as to what the name of the little thing was. So I being me, had to come up with something fast, and what better than a short form of what you are! No, I take that back, it is not much fun to call your dog do, or cat ca, or rabbit rab. But Tortu sounded fine to my exhausted self at 12 in the night, and then it automatically developed into Tortuga (we just re-watched Pirates, so kindly excuse). And the wonderful tag he gets is again kinda unoriginal; he is in fact an Indian Star Tortoise. And ya, he is a he out of our choice, the main reason being, what kind of a girl tortoise would be called Tortuga? Tortugee probably, but I have not heard that word, so a he he is.

So he stays with us for two days. He is small, will fit a regular palm.s He is very pretty, thanks to the shell, without which, I am sure he would look more like his amphibian cousin frog, or even his disgusting other cousin, the lizard. But he is with a shell, and a very pretty one at that, geometrically accurate and colour coordinated. 

He has a small orange tub of his own but he hates it. So much that he will turn and run away (or attempt to), if he is put in front of it. What he prefers is to be left on his own, and once he is, he will sloppily plod around the house on his ultra weird feet and search for corners. And after spending a minute there, he would proceed on his quest for a new corner. 

And he eats, a lot. Bottle guard and coriander. He prefers bottle guard, and needs them sliced in tiny cubes which he can chomp on them one at a time. And the whole chomping activity is damn cute in itself; the entire head and neck move up and down making him look like an uber-cool hip-hop fan.

You pick him up; he will stick out his neck and flail his limbs as if he is swimming in this imaginary pond. You put him back and he will withdraw into the shell completely, with only his tiny nose sticking out. And he blinks in slow motion, giving you a full view of his translucent eyelids each time.

Overall, I think he is adorable. And in two days time, I will only pine more for a pet. But provided he is no trouble to handle, might use that as evidence to my amazing pet management skills. Let’s see J

Yet another dose of blah

Yoo-hoo! New look for the blog! Ok fine, sad excuse for a new look. But not my fault. I spent quite some looking for the right theme for it, and I found out that for using 90% of the available themes, I need to upgrade the blog to a paid or plus account. The plus account being, you allow advertisements to be posted all over your page. Now that I believe is extremely ironical. In order to make your page pretty by choosing one out of the hajaar awesome options, you need to allow ugly advertisements all over it. Tut-tut. Very sad really. Yet another indication that I might as well move to wordpress. Anyways, all we did was flipped over from one free theme to another, actually the same one, and of course changing the color, and the clothes that DJ girl on the top right hand corner is wearing. Smart eh? 

By the way, anyone see the new Sony Ericson music phones, the shake-it-to-change-the-song-one? And did anyone else feel that it actually makes no sense it all? For one, how is shaking the instrument easier than clicking the button. Not to mention the enormous risks of dropping the phone every time you shake it. And what if you are travelling in a vehicle on Indian roads? Doesn’t that mean every time you go over a pothole, or the driver happens to be a Schumacher fan and brakes suddenly every time he realizes that the rest of the world isn’t, your song changes. Wow. Awesome feature this. Wonder what they will come up with next.

Last weekend had us visiting a Dog show in the city. And I fell in love with the canines all over again. And I am glad that my preferences are still the same as they were 3 years ago. I desperately want a pug. The ones I saw at the show were all so adorable, with their flat noses and sad eyes. And they are not too furry or big, so maintaining them shouldn’t be an issue really. The Dude was inclined towards the Rottweiler, more because sources claimed that 8 out of 10 of these snap at you for no reason. And by some weird analogy he claims snappy & unpredictable = alert and so he likes the dog, which looks menacing in general, very wolf-like. Anyhow, the practical issues of who would take care of it during the day crop up, and I am left with no choice but to give up. No Rottweiler and no pug. I am destined to stay pet-less. Hmmph.

And ya, last weekend also had us visit some kind of a get-together for Honda’s recent customers at their showroom. We went expecting some free gifts and gyan and a party, and it turned out to be a family event of sorts. So we had children running around, and painting competitions and lotsa gyan on car maintenance. Halfway through they announced that the men would continue with the gyan, while the women should go play tambola. So very sexist I think, as if women don’t need to know how to maintain the tires better. So I didn’t go, even though I still can’t drive, and The Dude was all fine, till he realized that the shiny gifts in the corner were only for the winners of the competitions. He was all miffed that I didn’t try my luck at the game; little does he know that I never win at all these luck games. I still remember at K, when we had tambola, and a last person standing round wherein the person who is the last to get any number on his card called out wins. I was among the last 2 of the 240 people playing, and still managed to lose. Because I do not win at all this.Period.

And we also wrote a CD for Honda City, called the Honda CD, The Dude’s idea, very smart I think. This has a mix of all our favorite Angrezi and Desi music, and of course all of our songs. So that’s all we listen to these days and it’s nice to be able to hum to the same tracks.

I notice that I have given up writing about a particular topic these days, it’s all so random. And nice in a way, don’t have to think at all while typing. So I will stay this way. Though I still wish I could make the page look nicer, and post pictures on it. I would post the pug’s pictures. Trust me, awesomely cute it was. Anyhow, that’s enough for now. Ciao.

 

A tale of two Kitties…

Once upon a time, there was a very cute cat called Momma cat .She lived in and around a huge 6 storeyed , old appartment in the middle of the market in an old city. Momma cat was extremely pretty, with white and grey fur and huge pearly cat-eyes (which all cats have, but hers din’t have the scary look in them).

 

On the particular day the story began, Momma cat was frantically looking for a cosy place. Not that she minded sleeping on window sills, or even on street corners, getting drenched in the rains, but this time she needed some place more comfortable real bad. Reason being, Momma cat was going to have kittens. And though she was very happy about it, she was worried that if she didn’t find the place soon, the kids might have to suffer the dreadful weather.

 

That was when Momma reached the terrace of the building. She usually didn’t need to go up there, but since she had failed to find anyplace since the morning, and it was pretty dark by now, she decided to check it out anyways. But a big surprised awaited her, as she saw that this terrace was not bare like those of other buildings! It actually had a few houses on it ( obviously illegally constructed, she knew more than five floors were not allowed here!). But it really didn’t matter to her then. She noticed that one of the houses actually had some 4 windows looking into the terrace, and was very excited! On top of that, one of those windows had the glass pane missing. So very carefully, after checking that there was no sound coming from the house, she squeezed in through the grills.

 

It was a fairly big room, and for its size was pretty bare, except for a TV, a fridge,an old rusted cot, piled with clothes, two really dirty chairs, and a few empty cardboard boxes…Hey wait! Cardboard boxes! That seemed good! So, she explored each of them, till she found the one which best suited her. It was a big box, very high, and would definitely take her some effort to get into it. But that was a good thing in a way too. It would take even the humans there, if any , some effort to meddle with her kids. Also, the box has a few other papers, thermocol pieces, which would be perfectly cosy.

 

For the next few days, she maintained a watch over the place, as to how many humans lived in the house, how much time they spent there, and how interested they were in her new found home. There were three of them , and luckily for her, they were hardly ever in the house. Either they were out, or they were sleeping and they never even touched the boxes. And so, a few days later, Momma cat, finally gave birth to two really cute kittens. Both extremely tiny and helpless, one was pure black, while the other had grey and black spots all over. She carefully placed them in one of the smaller boxes inside the carton, so that they were hardly noticeable.

 

But alas! As luck would have it, the babies seemd to have an incredible enthusiasm , and they seemed to use it all for wailing at the top of their lungs. Momma cat was very scared. She was sure that this would grab the attention of the always sleeping humans in the house. And obviously it did. First she heard one squeal “I think there are kittens in the house!!” Then she heard this information being relayed to the remaining two sleeping humans too, and surprisingly, it seemed to really interest them. As if her kids were some kind of entertainment objects. She peeped out of her box indignantly just in time to see, three curious heads peeping in. And as soon she did that, all three of the heads yelled, and ran back to their rooms! Momma cat sighed,” tsk tsk, these humans…”

 

For the next two days, Momma cat was very relaxed. She had realised that the humans around were nothing to actually be scared of, infact, they seemed to be scared of her! They also seemed to have this continuous curiousity about her children, and peeped into the box every now and then. But, none of them ever seemed to make an attempt to touch the kids, leave alone harm them. And that was all that mattered. She actually heard them discuss that, she might not accept the kids, if they tried touching them! As if! She would defnitely scratch them for touching the babies, but why would she abandon them?

 

But it was not to remain that way forever. Billa, a huge brown, ugly cat in the neighbourhood, was spotted on the terrace. That was very dangerous, as Billa was known to kill helpless kittens all the time. Momma cat was alarmed. So that evening, she picked up the kittens, and hid them right outside the house. When one of the human’s returned home that night , Momma cat went back to check if the box was safe again. It all happened at once. Billa jumped into the box, and the human ran out of the kitchen, screaming, into the other room. Billa obviously was highly disappointed, to find the box empty. And this irritating human was bent upon creating a ruckus with all her screaming.  He turned to find Momma cat entering the room, and lunged at her. There was a short scuffle, but Billa was too hungry and disappointed to continue, so he left Momma cat and went searching for an alternative dinner.

 

Momma cat was nearly in tears, but she was glad that her babies were safe. As she walked back to them thinking of the long night ahead when she would have to search a new home , she could hear the humans trying to check out whether the babies were safe. They weren’t so bad after all!

 

That was when it stuck her! These people seemd to have no trouble with her staying in the house, and they seemed to love her babies, so why couldn’t she just search for some place safer in their house? Their rooms seemed pretty warm, and there was one where one of the cupboards wouldn’t close. It had some old clothes too. It would be just perfect for her and the babies. So the next morning when the humans left the house, she shifted her babies to the cupboard.

 

The human whose room it was returned the first that night. She didn’t seem to notice anything, and went back to the hall to watch some TV. Momma cat was worried that she might hear the babies squeal, but she was too engrossed in the loud programme she was watching. But the babies seemed to grow louder and louder, till finally the light was switched on. The human, along with her other friend came in. Momma cat kept praying they wouldn’t see her, but that was impossible, what with the noise the kids were making. So finally, two heads, emerged from behind the cupboard door , and saw her. Momma cat just stared back, wondering what they would do. But she seemed to freak them out completely, as they yelped once again, and ran out of the room. She heard them crib for a while and then sigh as to how cute her kids were. The human also moved her bed into her friend’s that night.Now she was sure that they would do nothing to her or the babies, and she could safely stay there as long as she wanted. With this thought, she snuggled with her kittens and went to sleep.

 

*********The End**********

 

P.S. I still don’t know how long I will have to stay in my friend’s room, but am sure not going into mine till the cats leave. Btw, both kittens are extremely adorable, and their eyes are open now. We call them ‘Chaen-Chaen’ and ‘Paen-Pean’, thanks to their continuous ‘Chaen-Chaen, Paen-Paen’, that doesn’t allow us to sleep. But I maintain, they are adorable J.