We’ve Re-Taken The Plunge

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 11:45 pm

Meet our new housemates: Flit (top left) and Pogo (bottom right).

Flit & Pogo

We’ve been preparing for this for a some time now, both strategically and emotionally. Neither of us wanted to jump back into cat ownership without a period of reflection. Not mourning, really (though there was plenty of that after our last cat died), but something more akin to a moment of silence. I won’t speak for Margaret, but I wanted to spend some time feeling what it was like to not have cats in my life, to sort of examine the hole left in my environment by their passing before filling it up again.

Additionally, the weeks immediately following Scrum’s death would have been a bad time for new kitties: new construction both inside and outside the house, the insecurity of my recent medical problems (no, I STILL don’t know what the fuck is wrong with my kidneys; more tests have to be done on the tissues they biopsied. Given how long it’s taking, you’d think they were using them to grow new fucking kidneys to slap in place of the old ones), and the then-upcoming 4th of July holiday all conspired against the idea of bringing new mewlings into the home.

So instead we gathered up all the necessary accoutrements—cat boxes, pet beds, dishes….everything we gave away or was buried with our previous kitties—and waited for the Right Moment. Which just happened to turn out to be this Friday.

Before we left to go cat shopping, I spent a few minutes of quality time with Scamper and Scrum in the back yard, stroking the leaves of the climbing roses under which they are buried and assuring them that no one was ever going to take their place. This choked me up a little, which means I’m probably a much bigger sap than I normally give myself credit—or blame—for. But I felt better afterwards, more prepared to give my heart away again.

This doesn’t come easily for me. Losing three cats over a period of about seven years just about did me in. Each one was harder to let go of than the last. Fact is, I just don’t handle loss of this type with any sense of grace, and it took a fair amount of emotional buttressing to get myself ready to do it all over once more.

We picked these two up from the Kent Animal Shelter, a very well-run branch of greater King County Animal Control, which is itself a top-shelf operation. They have, as one might expect, a lot of kitties looking for homes this time of year: over three hundred at the time we showed up. We were were directed to a large multi-cage assembly of “showroom models”—kittens who were all healthy, recently spayed or neutered, and vaccinated—and these were the first we looked at, a brother-and-sister pair. We checked out a few others after that, but we were pretty kitten smitten from the get-go.

A two-page questionnaire (the form we had to fill out was somewhat daunting; lots of questions about the conditions under which our new pets would live, about the disposition of any current pets we might have, etc. The Animal Control Officer who assisted us said that she had denied adoptions to more than a few applicants based on their responses, which is just jim-dandy by me) and eighty bucks later, we had them packed into a carrier and on their way home.

Kitty Rumble!

The girl’s name came pretty easily. She’s the more adventuresome of the two, and shot out the carrier and began investigating her new home the second the door was opened. Watching her zoom around the house, the name “Flit” came to mind. So Flit she is, aka Flitten, aka Flitterbug. The boy took a little longer, but after a few hours watching his prowess at springing onto high or precarious perches, we elected to name him Pogo, aka Pogo McBoing. Yes, by all means, you can stop reading for a moment to go vomit. I’ll wait.

I don’t know if this is what happens in other two cat/two person households, but pretty quickly the cats decided with whom they were going to primarily associate. Flit chose me. I kind of wonder if she did so because our fur is of a complimentary color (she’s got this great Tortie/Tabby—”Torby”? “Tattie”?—thing going on that gives her lovely russet inclusions throughout her pelt), but whatever her reasons I’m cool with it. The attraction was obvious early on, when the little fiend got really happy and decided to start nurking on my beard:

It only seems fair that the cat who is undoubtedly going to be more trouble should cleave to me this time, seeing as how last time ’round Margaret’s cat had the mind of a Shaolin safecracker. Pogo is bright and a very affectionate cat, just a little more sedate than his sister.

Pogo and Margaret

It’s kind of freaky having to re-learn everything one needs to do with kittens. We bought about ninety spray bottles to seed around the house, so that one is always at hand with which to administer a little liquid discipline whenever a cat gnaws on a phone cord or climbs a screen door. We have to remember to remove every scrap of food from tables and counters whenever we are going to be out of eyeshot—lest we return to find our sandwiches nommed and our beverages overturned. And we had to relearn the Kitty One Step, where you pass through a doorway using an outstretched foot as a cat-catcher to prevent jailbreaks.

But it all seems to be coming back. It’s like riding a tiny, furry bicycle….one that constantly tries to crush itself under your big steamroller feet while you’re fixing its breakfast.

Don’t worry; we will do our very best to keep the “oh, aren’t our little woogums adorable?” crap to a minimum. These are just the inaugural festivities. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming of liberal whinging and pictures of odd comestibles in short order. 😉

6 Responses to “We’ve Re-Taken The Plunge”

  1. Tony Lenzer Says:

    Well, the little woogums ARE adorable, and so are you!

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Well, that’s sweet of you to say, Dad, but you have to say it, don’t you: they’re your grandkitties. 😛

  3. Meg Acton Says:

    While I can’t deny the newest members of the family are adorable, I must object to seeing quite so much of Pogo’s anatomy–“kitty porn” if you will.

  4. Meg Acton Says:

    Sorry, I meant to say Flit! I’m reading this at work and got distracted by actual work-related business.

  5. Uncle Andrew Says:

    No, that’s Pogo. And you’re quite forgiven; just happy to see you checking out the blog! :mrgreen:

  6. Dalek Says:

    They do look adorable! We’ll have to come down for a visit sometime soon while they’re still small. :mrgreen:

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