When we sent Opie over the bridge on April 14, he was the last of our long-time cats. I said the next day I didn't know if I could foresee getting another cat, at least not immediately. Over the following weeks, I actually liked being able to put the cat food dishes away, and have a kitchen free of them and the covered litter box (don't judge; we have a small condo, and it's the only place we can put it. Sixteen years of experience has shown us it can work and not be disgusting). I liked not having to watch my feet when I got up, or check for cat vomit, or pick up furballs, or anything having to do with cats, frankly. When Bob mentioned the possibility to me a couple of weeks later, I just looked at him, and he shut up.
And then somehow both of us were checking various adoption agencies' websites, looking to see when they were going to be open for adoptions again.
One of them is just a block from us in Far North Rogers Park. And somehow, once again, we went up the day they reopened for adoptions and checked out a bunch of cats.
About a week and a half later, we welcomed Gerry and Carter to Casa Kathbob. They are about five years old, are bonded although they're not sibs, and - kind of important - they've never been outside the shelter. Carter, the ginger and white boy, was born either there or at another shelter, and Gerry, the black and white tuxie, was still a kitten when he arrived there.
It's been an interesting process. For one thing, it's pretty clear the lady who runs the shelter loves these two and, given her druthers, would have kept them. But it's also clear that she knew getting them homes was the best thing to do for them.
The dichotomy has led to her being ... shall we say ... rather more willing to insert herself into our daily life than we'd like. We had to buy the expensive cat food she feeds them, we had to buy the expensive cat litter she uses for them, she bought and gave us loads of toys for both of them, she wants us to put screens in our windows so they can have fresh air, she''s checked on them almost daily either by text or phone - I just got off the phone with her..- yeah, a bit intense. We're bearing with it because the contract we signed gives her the right to do that for about two or three weeks, and ... whatever. We want to extricate ourselves from her without her having to worry about the cats. .
Once that happens, we'll see if we can gradually introduce them to the healthy but less expensive food we've used, and we want to see if we can wean them off the litter they've been used to, and introduce them to the litter we've used for years. We may not be successful. If not, we can live with what they're used to, but I hope we can make the changes. Especially with the litter - god, I hate clumping litter; it's nauseating.
But none of that matters in the end. We have two new kitties, and we think they're going to fit in. They've been sleeping with us fairly regularly, even the first night, and although they don't like being picked up, they are definitely happy to be petted and cooed at. Carter was originally named Cotter, but Bob always hated "Welcome Back Kotter," so it's been amended to John Carter of Mrrp. Gerry was originally Jerry Garcia, but neither of us are fans of the Grateful Dead, so he's now named in honor of my late beloved union mentor Gerry Minkkinen.
We have to take Gerry in on July 7th to check on a growth in his throat, which the shelter didn't know about. Til then, his nickname is Mr. Sniffles; with any luck, the growth can be easily removed or otherwise dealt with. Carter is the dopiest cat I've seen in a long time - very flat head with ears and nose so big they make his eyes look tiny. I hate to say that I've got a favorite this early in the game but ... yeah, I kind of do.
Here they are: Carter looks almost handsome. Heh.
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