Yesterday was the highlight of my whole year.
I had a cat my entire life. A cat is the earliest pet I can ever remember having (a calico named Shala, who choked on a hairball, and died right in front us :(), and also the first pet that I had into adulthood (a beautiful Siamese named Zoya, who I got when I was 16, and who lived a long happy life of nearly 20 years)
I have wanted another cat since Zoya passed away four years ago, and my daughter – my fellow little animal lover – has wanted one nearly as long.
If it were up to me and Tegan, we would likely have a house full of pets. But, well, a respectful marriage and a family with six people and six opinions = decisions aren’t always mine alone.
To make a long story short (because this really isn’t about HOW we ended up getting a cat), after much discussion, a side of creativity, and a healthy helping of compromise, yesterday morning found us at a local feed and animal supply store. Once a week they hold an adoption clinic by a rescue organization that saves and re-homes abandoned animals around the valley.
We didn’t tell Tegan the purpose of our visit until we were actually there, standing right in front of the cages filled with adorable little cats and kittens. I think she was a little bit in shock, excited but quiet, responding to questions with one word answers. She held two kittens, and was eventually chosen by the very first one that had caught her eye: a sweet, affectionate little seven-month-old grey female.
We had to meet a guy from Craigslist about a bed for Paxton, plus we weren’t yet set up with a litter box, food, etc. So we asked the lady in charge if it was alright if we did all our paperwork, paid our adoption fee, and came back for her a little later. She said that was fine, as long as we were back by 4:00.
And now we have a cat.
I’m enjoying the cat energy that the house has been missing for so long. I’m enjoying watching her explore every nook and cranny and finding a way to play with everything that comes across her path. I’m enjoying watching her run from the room, only to come bolting back in two seconds later. I’m enjoying her snuggles. I’m enjoying hearing her purrs of happiness. I’m very much enjoying seeing her trying so determinedly to make friends with Mike, who compromised more than anyone in this deal.
But more than anything? I’m enjoying the happiness and joy it brought my daughter, and the huge, ecstatic display of excitement that actually didn’t come till quite a while after she’d picked out the kitten. Mike and I were on our way home from picking up the bed for Paxton (we’d left Tegan home with the boys) when I got a strange text from Spencer.
“Are we keeping her?”
“Keeping who?” I asked him
I was confused. ”What do you mean? Of course we’re keeping her.”
It turned out that when Tegan had heard the lady say, “As long as you’re back by 4:00,” she thought that meant that we were just borrowing her, and that we had to bring the cat back to them by 4:00, not that we had to pick her up by 4:00. She understood it to be a temporary kitty play date, not that we were in fact going to be (as they like to say in animal rescue) her new “forever home.”
But once she understood, her screams of excitement could be heard clear across the county. I got more thanks, and more hugs – not half-hearted little side hugs, but full-on, with a running start, hurtle all sixty pounds of herself full force into my body sort of hug – in five minutes than I’ve gotten in the past year.
She’s one very happy little girl.
And this is going to be one very loved little kitty.