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.
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.