Sunday, December 08, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Christmas

This year for Christmas my girls both had the exact same thing at the top of their wish list: a kitten. 

As any parent of a child who begs for a pet knows, by and large the answer to these kinds of a requests is a "sorry, we can't". Our home has been cat-free for over five years, since my beloved Benjamin passed away. We have been waiting for the right moment to bring another cat in to our family . . . and finally the time felt right. Matt and I were both excited about the idea, and the more we talked about it, the more excited we became. We quickly jumped on board with the idea of two kittens, since two cats for two girls is easier than one cat for two girls . . . and because we had heard that kittens very much like to be in pairs. 

Matt and I went around, and around, and around about how exactly we would surprise the girls with kittens for Christmas. How do you literally put them under the tree? Should the girls get a kitten IOU and then pick one out themselves? It was a tough call. 

I went to speak with an extremely knowledgeable volunteer at PAWS Cat City in Seattle's U-District last Wednesday (I posted that sweet picture of Alexander!) and left more ready than ever to bring cats in to our home. After some more discussion and a few more phone calls to cat rescue places, Matt and I decided we couldn't wait. We surprised the girls early and told them we were going to go look at the kittens at a nearby rescue on Saturday. 

While our overall experience at the nearby shelter was much, much less desirable than it was at PAWS, we did end up adopting two amazing kittens. It was a little hard for me, because while we stressed that it would be a family decision, we did end up going with the two the girls liked the best. They weren't the two Matt and I would have picked, but now that they are home, we adore them, they are awesome little kittens with cool personalities and perfect temperaments. 

I introduce to you, Opal (the gray one, a female) and Inky (the black one, a male)!

Opal meeting Heidi for the first time. Both kittens seem super cool with the dog. 

Opal asleep in Eloise's arms. Eloise and I stayed in PJ's all day, 
which was perfect for being on kitten-duty. 

Opal and Inky asleep on Iris's favorite blanket. Inky especially LOVES this blanket. 
He kneads it and kneads it and it's so darn cute. 

Opal seems to use Inky as a pillow. Inky seems to, uh, tolerate it? They hadn't been 
together at all until we brought them home and so far they love each other! 

We didn't have a single piece of cat equipment for these guys when we adopted them, so a quick-ish stop at our favorite local pet store helped remedy that.

As luck would have it, the amazing volunteer, R, that I met at PAWS on Wednesday is a cat groomer, and overall cat expert, and I emailed her when we got home from adopting the kittens. I was in a total panic, we were told NOTHING about how to care for the little guys! Luckily R was able to come over to our house today and spent a ton of time with us talking about kitten care, helping us know how to make our home safe, and she helped with the kitten's first foray out in to the house with the dog (they are staying in the bathroom for now). She basically rocks all around. If you are in Seattle and need kitten help, cat grooming help, or cat-sitting, let me know and I will pass along her info.

Before R left I joked that we got more instruction on how to take care of the kittens than we did for how to take care of a new baby. It wouldn't be funny if it wasn't true! 

So, expect to see a lot more of Inky and Opal around these parts! We're a little obsessed! 

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