Thursday, February 19, 2009


**Warning - if you are an animal lover in general, a cat lover specifically, this is the post for you. If not...tune out now you'll be bored to tears.**

As many of you already know - since my very popular blogging hubby announced it some time ago, we have adopted two new furry friends into our family. After 6 months of turning items dropped on the floor into the ghost of our last pet - the memorable CK Dexter Haven - we determined we were ready to take the emotional leap into pet-hood again.

We knew we did NOT want to re-create our experience with Dex - the good or the bad - but to create a new one. I begain searching on for local charities that supported pet adoption programs. I specifically skipped any cats that physically reminded me of Dex, staying well clear of black fur. And I was mostly focusing on kittens.

The best laid plans.

After talking with a dear friend who is of the highest order of all animal lovers - the kind who takes in strays and DOES NOT reject them if they get extremely ill, destroy property, attack other house pets, or any other digression - we started to consider adult cats as an option. She said that usually the kittens find homes, but many of the adults are left to live in shelters, non-permanent homes, or worst of all be put to sleep because they are no longer as cute as a kitten.

So, new plan.

We decided to wander in to our local PetSmart who offer space in their store on weekends to some pet adoption organizations. We walked up to the glass and immediately separated. Hubby made eye contact with a wildly gesticulating 12-week old grey/black tabby, while I melted at the golden eyes staring soulfully out at me from (you guessed it) a big black furry face.

We've got a live one!

Within seconds the "crazy cat ladies" as I will affectionately and not inaccurately term the women of the adoption organization, descended upon us and wanted to know what we were looking for in a pet. They quickly opened cages and placed the kitten in Hubby's arms, and the black cat in mine. Immediate purring commenced from both animals and we were hooked. We placed them on the floor together where they...inspected? another. The kitten, being young, foolish and rambunctious, immediately leaped on the black cat until a warning hiss sent her scurrying. Still, they seemed compatible enough, and we were ready.

Red tape and paperwork.

I sat down at the table and began the paperwork. The adoption application that had to be filled out were 6 pages long! We had to pass a kind of fit test to ensure we were appropriate to adopt. They asked for references, commitment to spay but NOT declaw, commitment to not set limits on how much we would spend for vet care in event of illness, commitment to not allow the cats outdoors, etc. etc. etc. The paperwork warned of serious screening of references, imminent home visits, and retrieval of the pets should the home be considered unsuitable. In addition, we had to meet with the woman currently fostering the black cat as she required preapproval.

Crazy cat ladies indeed.

After about 15 minutes in walks the woman fostering the cat we wished to adopt. Complete with pink sweatshirt with sequined kitties, stretch pants, big Edith Head black plastic framed glasses, and jet black dyed hair down to her waist, she was a sight to behold. She gave us her own little pre-screening once over and pronounced us acceptable and then took us on a whirlwind tour of the store to pick out just the right food, toys, litter, and accoutrements to make our house perfect for the Queen. She also indicated that both cat and kitten might leap up on our table to be fed since she was currently fostering NINE cats and SIX dogs and she had to feed the cats on her dining room table so the dogs didn't eat their food. Ok, I love cats, but yuck. I really don't want something that licks its own butt and genitals eating off my dining room table.

The Queen and the Princess.

The Queen, who was christened Yasmine before we got her (we call her Yazzy or Yazmatazz) is only a little over 1 year old, and weighs twice what Dexter ever weighed. In short, she's a porker. And, despite my declarations to stay away from black cats, she is JET black.

She LOVES getting attention from us - but in typical cat fashion she has specific boundaries and restrictions. She wants to be petted, but does not want to be in our laps. She will allow herself to be carried, but not held. She does NOT like her belly to be touched, but arches her back and sticks her ass up in the air so we can pay attention to her lower back area - petted, scratched, patted, whatever we like all the time. She also is very fond of being our morning wake-up call and likes to crawl on our pillows and bat our faces at about 4AM. Maybe she will finally succeed in turning me into a morning person. And she does not feel that we deserve or should expect any privacy while in the bathroom. She wants IN. NOW.

The Princess, who was originally named Daphne and we re-named Penny, is a pistol. She likes to be in our faces (literally) and has discovered one of Dex's favorite resting places, wrapped around my laptop with the double heat source of sunspots and laptop motor fans.

She is a typical kitten - everywhere at once - up down and over - and using her claws to go vertical at every opportunity. She loves to crawl up the chairs we have in our home office, which have a tapestry like fabric that she can really hook into. I can't say the chairs (or I) are quite so happy about it. She will not leave Yaz alone. Ever. Ever. Ever. She likes to bat at Yaz until Yaz gets to a point where she either engages in a full out throw-down or runs away with the little kitten chasing her. I can't express how funny it is to see the big lumbering fat black cat being chased up and down the stairs by the skinny sleek little tabby. Rarely it turns the other way, which is almost as funny as Penny tends to turn at the last minute and jump about 4 feet straight up in the air always catching Yaz by surprise.

Our new family unit.

It's been an interesting transition again - having just become accustomed to life without an animal, to take in two new and strange creatures. I think it's going to work out.

But that commitment to not declaw? That's still up for debate.


Jeremy said...

Found your blog through Erin... and I promise to watch my mouth. ;-)

Wenderina said...

Welcome Jeremy - and trash talk all you like here. In real life I swear like a sailor, but you know, my mom reads this.

AmyBow said...

my favorite part of this post is your wedding picture in the background of Penny's photo. Tee-hee.

Jeremy said...

Sounds good... I won't get started in on the cats though...

Take care,

Kate Hanley said...

The cats are adorable. We go back and forth on getting cats because my husband is somewhat allergic. My kids want them though.

A's Mom said...

Too cute and love the stories of the porker getting her exercise. As for the declaw ... unless you plan to clip her nails every 3-4 weeks....