I returned this evening, exhausted from travel and the heat of the desert. Those angelic kittens certainly had made a hyooge mess of the bathroom, which I cleaned up, after moving them into the bedroom (most recently occupied by Beatrice.)
Once in the bedroom, they both hid for a long while, although Mal was the braver of the two, exploring, as long as nothing startled him (like movement or noise of any kind.) When I went to bed at midnight, he came out from under the bed to see what was going on, but was still very skittish. It took him a while, during which he cried, but eventually he came up onto the bed and started to purr and suck on my fingers as I fell asleep. Zoe, too, came up onto the bed finally, and settled in on my pillow. (She was behind my head, and Mal was just in front of my face. I was surrounded.)
Well, it's almost 4 hours later and I'm exceptionally sleepy, but awake. Why? Because the kittens have, I'm fairly certain, been purring this entire time. Loudly. Like, really loudly.
And Mal has been sucking on my hand (whatever he can get to when I move in my sleep) the entire time, too (or at least whenever I've been awake.)
The purring and the dry-nursing are now keeping me awake.
The once feral kittens are now such cuddle-muffins that they are purring too loudly and keeping me awake. If I weren't so tired, I'd be amazed.
Tomorrow: research on what to do about Mal's dry-nursing. It's really adorable, but I thought for certain he'd grow tired of it once he had a person there for a long while. He may have stopped at some point, but as soon as he wakes up (or I do, and therefore he does), he's back at it.
I might be back to sleeping on the couch after all...