What I’m Really Trying to Say.

Her name is Penny, short for Penelope. As in.. “Desmond loves Penny.” “Not Penny’s Boat.” (LOST reference)

As many of you know, our cat Dinah ran away a few months ago. For weeks upon weeks, I was convinced she was going to come home. Then I thought that maybe she wasn’t going to come home. Now I think that probably, she’s not coming home again. I missed the warmth and interaction. I missed her weird little meows and the way she walked across my desk and swished her tail into my face. As a former non-cat-person, I realized I had turned. I’m a love person and I loved that cat.

It took me a lot of nerve to tell Cassidy I wanted another cat. I emailed one of my best friends to tell him how nervous I was. It wasn’t about Cassidy being mean, or me being meek. Neither of those things are true. At all. It was just that it meant a lot and I wanted him to know how serious I was. I didn’t email him because it’s so easy to fall back on written words. For some reason, we didn’t talk at home either. It just expanded in my mind one day enough that I thought it might burst. I took a few deep breaths and called him at work. “Do you have a second?” “Yes.” Then I launched into a whole speech about how serious I was and how badly I missed Dinah and how I wanted someone else to keep me company throughout my work days. (no offense, Athena, but you don’t sit on my lap) I told him I would take as much responsibility as was necessary – financially, emotionally, domestically, etc. I rambled. He listened. I rambled some more. He said, “Ok.” “Ok?” “Ok.” I told him my plan.




I had been following a local homeless cat shelter’s Facebook page. The shelter is near Cassidy’s work. They have adoption hours three times a week or so and I wanted IN on that first day. So I took the kids to his work one day after school, went to the shelter the second they opened, and looked for love. Actually, I pulled up a few minutes early and when I walked up the driveway, one of the staff members was pretty rude about me being a whole two minutes early. Like she actually pretended she didn’t know why I was there. Inside was a bit of a zoo with cats and cat hopefuls. I did find two cats I liked – a tiny, gray kitten too young to come home as of yet, and a super friendly adult cat. I called my family to come over and help me choose.

Scarlet surprised me and liked the adult cat and we got serious enough to inquire more about her (Margaret) but it turned out she wasn’t dog-friendly. So then we went into a room with tiny kittens, and found a litter of three gray cats – two little to adopt. We could apply, though, and fell in love with a tiny gray (non-striped) cat that they called Cuddles. For obvious good reasons. I liked her and I liked her foster human and I liked the way she fell asleep in Scarlet’s arms. So I submitted my application, was told it could be up to a month before adoption, and we left. With visions of tiny kittens dancing in our heads.

I didn’t put all my eggs in one basket, though. (first time I’ve ever used THAT expression) I kept my eyes open. I took Scarlet to Dakin for one of their big “Caturday” events and unfortunately for us, we got there too late. Fortunately for Dakin and many pet owners, they adopted out about 60 cats and kittens that day. I also kept seeing photos of three adorable kittens on my Facebook friend’s page. We became Facebook friends through blogging and attending the same blogging conference, but I had never met her in person. She lives in New Jersey and was fostering two calico kittens and a white one. I commented on one of her particularly adorable pictures, saying I wished I could adopt the white kitten. The calicos looked beautiful too.

We wrote back and forth, here and there. She said the white kitten was one of the friendliest cats she had ever known. She had cats of her own and couldn’t keep the kitten. I started to dream a bit. I also kept in contact with the tiny, gray kitten’s foster mom. Apparently, “Cuddles” was getting really attached to her brother and the organization was looking to adopt them both out. For awhile, I was in a bit of a standstill. It looked like nothing was working out, but I was calm enough for a change.

I was pretty sure Cuddles wasn’t going to work out, so I set my sights more on the white kitten. My friend took her to an adoption fair and she wasn’t adopted. This baffles my mind, and I can only believe it’s because it’s not a great time of year to adopt a kitten. Or maybe it was the impending Thanksgiving vacation. I have no idea how anyone could pass this little girl by:

We wrote back and forth more and I said we would like to meet her if she was still around during Thanksgiving break, because we’d be in NJ. She was. I went through the whole application process with the NJ organization, and then it became real. Cassidy and I got in the car and drove to meet her on Black Friday. Some people bought TVs, and we brought home a kitten!

I was really excited/nervous in the car and I was happy Cassidy came with me. I started to feel anxious/breathless when we pulled into my friend’s driveway but I pulled it together fast. The calico kittens were more shy, but the white kitten wasn’t. She cuddled with both of us within minutes. I knew she was the one for us. None of this took long at all! It was a flash.

The name that came to Scarlet was “Penelope.” “Penny” for short. We liked it because it’s another LOST reference. Desmond and Penny! Penny stayed at my mom’s house that whole afternoon and was totally relaxed with strangers coming to greet her.

We all survived the car ride back and settled in home. It’s been about a week today. It’s been fairly smooth, but we’ve had a lot of cat gear and we’ve learned a lot. I’m not going to say it’s perfect. She definitely walked across us in the middle of the night and sharpened her claws on our comforter. Sometimes she runs away or attacks toys or swats at Athena. For the most part, though, she’s pretty mellow. And strikingly cute. I like to call her “Little Bit.” She also looks like an ice weasel.

A wise elder.

She may hold all of the secrets to life itself, or maybe she’s just pondering how to steal a piece of pie.

And honestly? That’s sort of how I work too. With just a few more added dimensions.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m in it. I’m in this. I will do everything in my power to keep her loved and safe.

Today’s Finish the Sentence Friday topic is “What I’m Really Trying To Say Is.. and there’s still time to write yours. Do you have a cool cat or dog adoption story? What do you think Penny is pondering over? Come link up if with your spin: HERE.

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  1. I have to say she is a very pretty and elegant cat plus picture-perfect. I never realized though that adopting a cat can take long and a little tedious but I guess I understand why. Anyhow, I’m so happy for you!!

  2. I am not a cat person, at all, buuuuuut Penny is breathtaking gorgeous!!! Her eyes!! That fur!
    While reading this post I was getting anxious and excited for you, I’m glad you have a writing/photo editing companion.

  3. Penelope is SOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!!! I love Waffle even though he gets on my nerves, esp when he takes a #2 and my house suddenly becomes infused with the odor. Makes me cry. Straight up like this: http://giphy.com/gifs/crying-psa-commercial-12SBwtRR9BnWg (I’ve used this gif so many times this week it’s pitiful) LOL 🙂 Get ready to have your patience tested. Is there any place Penny is NOT permitted to go? Waffle’s forbidden area is the kitchen. We have a collar to remind him because he’s too good for rules. Lol Happy Friday love! -Iva

    1. Gross about the #2! We usually keep the litterbox downstairs – and make her do all the work going up and down the stairs. Ha!
      That gif is so sad! I cry like that too. Why has no one made a gif of me?
      Not sure where her forbidden area is yet. Dinah never made any messes. Very non-destructive and calm. I really hope Penny is the same.

      1. Umm yeah gross, lol no one wants to smell that! This gif is one of my favorites of the month – I use it daily. Lol. Hahaha we need to make a gif of you! That’s awesome 🙂 How is Penny doing? Yeah Waffle is now calm but he was quite the rambunctious little kitten. I’m glad he’s getting older and lazier. Lol. He’s getting to my level. 🙂

        1. I definitely need a gif of me!! I’m going to hire you for that, I think.
          Penny is doing great! She’s really mellow and adorable and looks like a snow leopard and a marshmallow.

  4. Ok so I am totally not a cat person at all (really horribly allergic) but she is gorgeous! I love her eyes and I’m so glad that you found her and brought her home. Of course, this will be the week that the lost cat finds its way home, right? That’d be okay too though 🙂

    1. Oh dear – does this mean you can’t come over??? And cuddle???
      She’s really the most perfect cat for me.
      And if Dinah comes back, so be it!

  5. Not Penny’s boat!!! I love it and she is so beautiful! There is something amazing about a small furry animal curling up in your lap. I never thought I would like a small dog, but after rescuing Stark, I don’t think I could live without one!

    1. Aw, I’ve never had a small dog! And I thought the same as you. Then I see friends who are able to take their dogs on planes because of the size, and I realize, it seems like it has some benefits!

  6. She is adorable 🙂 It seems she was meant for you because I can’t imagine her not being adopted at the fair as cute as she is.

  7. Those eyes!! Wow! I have never seen that in a cat before! I love her name. My kids want a cat so bad, but alas I have rotten allergies. Such a bummer! We can do rabbits, fish and dogs though. So it is kind of a menagerie around here. I am so glad you guys were able to bring a new family member home! She looks like a keeper for sure.

    1. Oh yes. I think allergies are no joke. If you have them, you have them.
      Scarlet wants a bunny too. I always say, “only dogs and cats!” I wonder how long I can keep that up for.

  8. Penny’s very cute!

    I never liked cats. Several years ago a little black calico kitten showed up at my door. I happened to have an old dog biscuit so I tossed her half. She took it and ran away. The next day, same thing so I decided to start feeding her. It took a month before I could touch her and three more months before she came into the house (I built her a shelter on the front step for the winter cold). I think she was the only survivor of her litter. Now we are bonded. She is my first cat and I am her first person. I am yet to figure out the kitty mind, but we have a trans-species understanding 🙂

    I still don’t like cats, but I like this cat.

    1. She is cute, right? I want to say “thank you” but I didn’t make her! Thank you, anyway.
      What a cool story about your black calico. I really feel the same way. I’ve never really liked cats, and even the ones we’ve had in the past didn’t fill me with the kind of love I’ve had for every dog in my life.
      Like you, I don’t care much for other cats, but I sure do care for Penny.

  9. She is such a striking cat! I’ve enjoyed seeing her pictures pop up in my FB feed. I just realized on one of the last photos that her eyes are two different colors. Our cat is also super mellow — unless toddlers are around 😉

  10. Penny has a beautiful white coat, Tamara. The way you described in detail the events of the days leading up to last Friday allowed me to create these pictures in my mind of how the events took place with all of you in the pictures. I’m sure that Penny will be very happy and content in your home.

    1. It was really exciting! And a bit nervous too. All good.
      Penny has blended in wonderfully. As much as you can blend in when you look like a mixture of a snow leopard and a marshmallow!

  11. She is absolutely adorable! You know we’re cat people here so I’m in love with her. She almost reminds me of our Snowflake that we lost a few years ago although she has the bi-colored eyes and our snowflakes was all blue. She was also snooty so your Penny is so much nicer. Madison would go gaga over her!

    1. Aw, Snowflake What a cute name. Was she deaf in one ear or both? People say that about white cats with blue eyes. It’s a chance, anyway. Ours seems to hear us very well but I’m going to bring it up at her next vet appointment.
      She’s not snooty at all! Dinah was, though.

  12. Whoa look at those different-colored eyes! I’m a cat person too. I mean, I like dogs but I like how self-sufficient cats are lol. And I LOVE the Lost reference, especially since Scarlett came up with the name! How random is that?? Desmond and Penny were two of my favorite characters on the show.

    1. Me too! I had a pretty big crush on Desmond, and all of their episodes were truly romantic!

      I do enjoy how easy it can be to get used to having a cat. The dog is very different! Although our dog is easier than our kids!

  13. She’s absolutely gorgeous, and I think the first cat I have seen with different colored eyes. I always adopt my dogs from rescues. Good luck with her!

  14. I’m so sorry to hear your other sweetie ran away, I know that must have been tough:-( Your new baby is absolutely gorgeous though, those eyes! I can’t wait to hear all the wonderful adventures she brings to your family!

    1. Yes, it was very sad about Dinah! I sort of threw it into posts here and there. I kept thinking she’d come back! I wonder if Penny can smell traces of her.

  15. Ok – well, I’m NOT a cat person – I’m actually very allergic, BUT she is cool and her different color eyes are mesmerizing and your photos are stunning as always. So happy for you that you fond “the one” and were able to bring her home.

    1. There seems to be a lot of cat allergies! Sorry to hear!
      She’s quite fetching. And her personality is really good too. She’s like a total package.

  16. I’m not a cat person…but then again I wasn’t a dog person either (Ha!)…but Penny is beautiful!! It sounds like she was meant to be with you.

  17. Wow, isn’t she stunning? Congratulations on your new kitty Penny!! Your snaps are amazing. It’s quite the adjustment I’m sure, especially for Athena. My daughter is a foster mom for pups and kitties. She hasn’t done it for a while but she loves it.

    1. Athena was so confused at first, but they sort of ignore each other. I really keep waiting for them to cuddle. I guess that’s a lot to ask for!

  18. We are converted cat people at our house, too. Beautiful and great share and I’m so happy you all found each other! Now I have to go send this post to my husband. 🙂

  19. I didn’t notice to the different colored eyes on Facebook. I’d say she wasn’t adopted that day because she was meant to be photographed – by you. These are excellent photos! I’m not converted but I do think you could sell me a cat with your photography 😉

    1. Photography destiny!
      I would totally sell you a cat with my photos. What if she had a sister who was her twin and as friendly as her?? Worth it?? Yes.

    1. I’ve never had a cat allergy! I’m pretty sure my dad told us he was allergic to both dogs and cats when we were kids. But it was a scam! He just wasn’t ready!

  20. She’s beautiful Tamara! I know how it feels, the need to fill the void our pets leave behind. After our beloved dog died in August, it took less than two months to get another.

    1. My husband took YEARS to get another dog after his dog died. I was ready much, much sooner. I’m sorry about your dog and I hope you’re enjoying the new one!

  21. Penny is so pretty! Years ago, my mom adored my sister’s sweet adopted cat, so she asked my sister to find one for her for Christmas. There were hardly ANY cats around anywhere at that time of year, so my sister gave my mom one of the few she could find. It was an ugly brown cat, whose markings looked as though she had been caught in a house fire. That cat LOVED my mom (and no one else!) (P.S. For the claw sharpening thing, we had success with those corrugated scratchers (like a box with cardboard in it.) We kept one in the rooms where Lucy scratched the furniture the most. It worked!

  22. Oh, that picture of kitty looking through the doll house. Wow! What a moment. I love the one of your child on the couch even better, like an angel watching over. No cats in my house. Husband is sooooo allergic. But I can’t imagine losing our dog, Oscar. He’s what keeps the peace between my kids and what helps me pass through my baby fixes.

    1. I think this kitten is helping with the baby fixes for sure. A third child is tempting sometimes, but other times, not at all for me! I have a dog and a cat and that’s fine!

  23. I love the photos. And I love that you weren’t a cat person, but that you are a love person. It makes me nervous that I too, could someday become a cat-owner, b/c I, too, am a love person (I might have to steal that:) And I would give you all the credit if I did. It’s brilliant). Congratulations on the newest member of your family.

  24. Ok, as you know, I am not a cat person, I’m allergic, and they love to scratch me, but I can appreciate their beauty, and Penny is gorgeous. All that white, her fur, the bed and then those eyes! I love that she has a blue and green eye, but they are both the prettiest shades of the color. Just gorgeous. I certainly hope that she is going to stay home and that you live “happily ever after”!!!

  25. The couch pic tho “hide and seek: Level Master” LOL
    She is beautiful and the name reference was not lost on me at all. Har har. I love the two different coloured eyes – that is wild!! I hope you have many happy adventures and that no troubles came upon you like smoke monsters out of the jungle! 🙂

  26. Such a beautiful cat! And those eyes…wow! Penelope is also the name our kids gave our ‘dog’ we got this summer (an outdoor sculpture…the closest we’ll come for a while). Congratulations to you and your family. I hope that she becomes a wonderful companion for you all.

  27. A white cat on Black Friday – if I steal that for a book, I’ll be sure to send you cookies. We got a cat from my dad’s friend when were in high school, named her after Cybil Shepherd, and she was my dad’s close companion to the end. Penny certainly is pondering if she’s more beautiful than Grace Kelly.

  28. Penny and Desmond – love it! The white on white makes for stunning photographs. Penny’s eyes look like Matt’s – I thought only he and huskies had different colored eyes. Enjoy her!

    Btw- did you watch OUAT last night? Do not Google it before you watch, but message me after you do.

    1. I haven’t watched it yet! I think I’m only one behind. I know it must feature a lot of Hook. Swoon.
      My good friend has two different colored eyes!

  29. She is beautiful, Tamara! And I feel like all the stars aligned so you could be her forever home. I just know she’s going to have the best life ever with your amazing family. And her eyes!!! Stunning. 🙂

    1. And she’s from around your parts! Verona, NJ! That’s why I thought maybe we’d get to meet you. That will be something else that will happen when the stars align.

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