We’ve been talking for awhile about adding another cat to our family. Leo gets pretty stir crazy when he can’t go outside, pacing around and meowing, leading us to his food bowl and then not eating, leading us to his toys but not playing, begging at the door for us to put his leash on and then quickly running away as soon as we let in the slightest amount of cold air. We felt like it was worth seeing if it helped if he had a friend.
We tried this, of course, a year and a half ago when we adopted little Spencer. But Spencer had some serious genetic issues and couldn’t thrive on his own. We may have only had him for a couple of months, but he left a giant, gaping hole in our hearts, and it’s taken this long to get over the heartache.
I was in the pet store about two weeks ago, and saw a little black kitty that reminded me of Spencer – she was a rescue that the local humane society was attempting to adopt out. I mentioned her to Scott that night, and he ventured down to the store to spend some time with her. When he came back, he reported that she was super-soft and super-friendly, “but….um….. how do I say this? She’s kind of like if methamphetamine took meth.” She was apparently bouncing off the walls, so full of feisty energy that Scott couldn’t even get a good look at her. She destroyed both a toy and the adoption counselor’s shoe in a matter of seconds.
As all of this was playing out, a little tabby sat in his box and stared at Scott, and once the black hurricane was back in her cage, Scott asked to hold him – he immediately curled up on Scott’s lap and snuggled. His energy seemed to be a much better match for Leo (though I do hope the black cat goes to a good home soon). I went and saw him the next day, and fell in love immediately.
We were on our way to Ft. Lauderdale, so we decided we would wait to put in an adoption application and see what the universe told us (yes, I get mocked for this – CLAUDIA!). If the little tabby was still available when we returned, we told ourselves, then we would consider it.
But then while in Fort Lauderdale, we talked about the little kitty some more, and we became convinced that he was meant for us. We landed back home on Sunday afternoon, drove immediately to the pet store, and put in our application. The helpful volunteer told us that it would take 2-3 days to process our application and assuming everything checked out, we might be able to take him home on Wednesday or Thursday.
Two hours later – TWO HOURS – the humane society called and let us know that they would be requesting Leo’s medical records in the morning. Suddenly, 2-3 days shrunk to 12 hours, and he was ours. We were really doing this.
Scott works on Monday nights, so I dropped by the store to pick up the little guy. He had originally been a part of a twin set named Jimmy and Timmy - and his brother had been adopted. The store clerks were all really concerned about our kitty, since he had been showing signs of depression. The guy who checked me out and accepted the adoption fee had tears in his eyes as he said goodbye.
So I brought home Jimmy. Or maybe Timmy. No one seems to know. Adding to the confusion is the fact that his adoption paperwork includes a spay/neuter certificate indicating he is actually a she. So who knows what animal we adopted. But that’s okay. We love him (or her).
So far, we’ve been calling him JimmyTimmy, though that is a mouthful and we think something like Charlie might fit him better. We’re trying out Charlie for now to see what happens.
Since Charlie came home about 72 hours before we expected, we had a lot of kitten proofing to do in his “safe room,” where he will live for the next few days so that Leo can adjust to the new scent. Our safe room is the downstairs bathroom, which is one of only two rooms in our house with a door. Unfortunately, it’s a swinging door, so I had to jerry-rig it to keep from opening. The jerry-rig involves about 28 feet of ribbon, making it a several minute process to enter or leave. This morning, Scott was donning a lovely bruise on his head, having slammed it into the wall while trying to get through the ribbon maze.
I frantically swept all our bathroom supplies into drawers as Charlie started exploring his new home. That first night, he was such a snuggle bug, just wanting to sit on my lap and knead my legs whenever he could.
And then, last night, just 24 hours later, he blossomed into a rambunctious rough-and-tumble kitten. I think it’s safe to say the depression is over.
Scott spent a good hour playing mouse on a stick with him before I came home last night – and then I sat and played with him for another 90 minutes. Leo gets exhausted and needs a nap after two and a half minutes of activity, so this is a new level of action for us – and it’s great. Charlie’s content chasing toys around the room, and when he’s tired, he’ll curl up and start purring like a motor. He’s still a snuggle bug when he wants to be.
Leo’s handling the transition pretty well, all things considered. Both he and Charlie know there’s something happening on the other side of the door, but neither of them know what it is. This weekend, we’ll put up a baby gate and allow them to see each other. And hopefully, next week, we will be able to let them meet. And then… let’s hope they become best friends forever… or at least entertain each other on boring, snowy days.