What gives, indeed. I don’t know why I don’t like them, but I have a few theories. I watched “Alf” as a kid. Enough said, right? It can end there, but no. I had friends who had about 17 cats and their houses smelled like cat piss. My mom boarded her horse at a farm overrun by cats and kittens and an apparent allergy to the words “neuter” and/or “spay” and I remember being very disgusted. At my high school, the older kids dissected… well, I can’t go into it. It involved me needing to leave the classroom.
It all started when Scarlet got obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. She decided she wanted a cat just like the cat, Dinah, from the Disney version of the movie. I can’t even tell you how many times she said she wanted a kitten, but it probably got lost in the folds of her wanting a puppy, a bunny, an ice palace, and a baby sister. (sorry about the sister, Scarlet). Over time, her dreams grew and she started wishing on candles and stars for a black and white kitten named Dinah. Recently she decided she was going to leave a note in our fairy garden for the magical fairies she sees who live there at night. (fireflies) Imagination overload? Whatever. I love it. She wrote a note, with a little help from us. I went over the checklist in my head for why I don’t want a cat. (money, they smell weird, their pee smells horrible, I heard they throw up a lot, hairballs, lack of personality, long claws, not even that cute after the kitten stage, smell really weird, act really weird, hide under beds, and torment people and dogs)
Obviously you know from my Magic Mailman story, that this is our version of making our kids’ childhoods magical, because we believe these ideas grow organically from her, and every now and then we get the occasion.. no.. privilege to make dreams come alive. It was my grandmother’s death. That was honestly it. Suddenly life felt even shorter to me, after watching someone stay alive for 100+ years. I couldn’t say no anymore, not that I ever said no. It’s all on the fairies, you see. So she wrote that note to the fairies. I made the final decision – that part was on me. We would get her a black and white kitten, we would.
Cassidy did a little research and went to an adoption fair last weekend. He had looked online and found a tiny black and white kitten, then named Lilly. She looked like she could be our “Dinah.” So off he went. Guess what? Lilly/Dinah had a cuddly sister – Brie/Bella. I honestly had no idea what he’d do – take both, take just Lilly, or come up empty-handed. My heart was pounding and I felt nauseous all that morning. I wanted him to come back empty-handed, but I also would have been totally disappointed if he had. Does that make any sense at all? I wanted the magic of it all, but I didn’t want the litterbox or other horrors.
Cassidy called me on his way home. He had gotten both. Yikes! I raced to keep Athena out of the way and to keep Scarlet distracted with snacks and TV. LOUD TV. All so that Cassidy could come home, pull up near the garden, and put a cat crate with two kittens in our fairy garden. Yes. And people who know and love Cassidy will say that idea is very him, but that one was actually my call. Put them in the fairy garden! Why not? Doesn’t Dinah look thrilled to be in a cat carrier in a random garden?
Cassidy came in through the front door, as if it was nothing. He suggested we go out and pick strawberries from our garden and that’s what we did. It wasn’t long before she discovered the giant cat carrier next to the fairy garden!
There was a lot of exclaiming of, “Is that.. a kitten? It looks like Dinah! There are two! The fairies brought me two kittens!”
I love that in the middle of the excitement, she took a bite of the strawberry she had picked and had been holding. Priorities.
She was adamant about naming the gray one “Bella.” Bella was my paternal grandmother’s name and is also Scarlet’s middle name. I love it, but I already had an evil foster kitten by that name! I wasn’t sure about it, but it wasn’t really up to me.
Athena & Des are mostly fine with them. Des wants to hold them the way Scarlet does and it doesn’t quite work out for him. We had them stay in just one room for a few days to get them acquainted with us. (hence the terribly lit photos below) They made their way upstairs eventually. They’re adorable. I’m still not positive about them, but I am positive about Scarlet’s happiness.
Ultimately, we always wanted to get puppies and kittens at the same time, so that they could grow up together and with the kids and maybe teach them a thing or two. People have asked me what we’ll do next for our kids and how we can possibly top 2014 – which is only half over and has included a Disney World vacation, a puppy and two kittens. Crazy, right? The great thing about dreams is that they don’t die – they multiply. I’m 33 and I sometimes get the chance to fulfill one of my dreams, or have one fulfilled for me, and then I make more, or I dream about extending and expanding on the ones I have. The greatest thing about toddlers and preschoolers, and older kids too, is that they’ll just build more dreams – and some of them? We can fulfill.