For some reason, the final Furry Friday post of any year since about, oh, 2010, has been about kittens. There's no special reason - I think I just wanted a tradition to uphold.
Well, maybe there is another reason. The reason is kittens. All pets are beautiful, but kittens have a particular beauty that's fun, and fragile, and goofy, and brief. A lot of today's photos were taken on the kitten's first day at home, no doubt to create a record of a look or a trait that would be gone a week later.
Also, now is a time of year when there are too many kittens. So if you can, and these photos inspire you, then go adopt one. Take good care of it and give it a long, good life, the way the owners of today's kittens have done or are doing.
Our cover-kitten is named Taco, whose life began by being dumped with his siblings. Things look better now for little Taco.
All eyes and ears: Harry.
Ollie was a handsome kitten. Now he's a handsome 12-year-old cat.
Don, at eight weeks old.
The nearly-symmetrical Walter.
This is Myah.
This is Paddy, on his first day at home.
Sophie wedges herself in.
Sinda has grown into those ears a bit since this photo was taken.
Reader Lisa sent this photo of the kitten she's fostering for the Lonely Miaow Association, an Auckland nonprofit that rescues and cares for cats. Check out their page of kittens available for adoption.
Meet Mika, and get a load of her paws.
Another set of sparkling blue eyes: Iggy the Ragdoll.
The luxuriantly coated Charlie.
This is Roger, holding on to his new dad's hand, one day after his adoption a year ago. I'm told Roger is still a daddy's boy.
This kitten looks far from wolfish, but her personality has earned her the name Wolf. Says Wolf's owner, Tabi: "She's beautiful, sweet, but rather staunch against our older cats and two puppies."
A previous star of Furry Fridays: Todd.
This is Ginger, on the verge of nodding off to sleep. She must be channelling Yoda.
Kit decides that the air needs a bit of a wash.
The next kitten doesn't have a name - well, it didn't when the photo was taken a few weeks ago. But by now it's recently adopted and no doubt the centre of somebody's attention. It was among four kittens rescued by Cat Help, another charity that saves cats. Volunteer Laura told me their story: "At a day old (their cords were still attached) a kind lady found them in a corner of her garden. The mother was nowhere to be found. We took them home and gave them formula every two hours. Through the night, we got up a couple of times to give them a feed because they were so dehydrated (normally you don't feed through the night). Come morning, they were still alive so we kept at it." The kittens were due to go to their new homes last week, "free to live their lives full of love and food and safety". Check out Cat Help's adoption page.
Luigi the young Scottish Fold.
Tiny Malcolm was just 10 days old when this was taken.
Oscar's pretty adorable.
Eight-month-old Catface is full of life.
Plossum posed for this photo, only to be renamed Bobbin a little later.
Four-week-old Asha hangs out with mum.
This photo records the moment when Sadie, on her first day at home, finally came out from behind the couch.
Finally, Merry Christmas from Poppy. And from Four Legs Good.
If you're keen on adopting a kitten, look out for rescue groups in your area. There are links in this post to two, one in Auckland and one in Christchurch. Kitten Inn are holding an Open Weekend on December 20 and 21 in Lower Hutt.
Thanks to all for posting your photos. Please email me your own photos, or go to the Four Legs Good Facebook page and use the Upload Photo button. Help keep Furry Friday free of embarrassing mistakes by remembering to include your pet's name, and its sex if it's not obvious!