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...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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