We adopted two cats over the weekend. The picture above was supposed to be of them, but they are, shall we say, a little shy right now. So please stand by. I’ll post a picture one of these days. In the meantime, a brief description. They’re a brother and sister, about 2-1/2 years old—we so did not want kittens. They’re domestic short hairs—the male mostly black and the female black with some white markings—handsome and healthy.
If you’re a regular at Blue Kitchen, you may recall that in early October we had to say farewell to Cosmo, our family cat for more than 17 years. These two new cats aren’t replacements for Cosmo—anyone who’s ever lost pets knows you can’t ever replace them. I think of them more as tributes to what Cosmo taught us [well, me, anyway]: That there is something interesting and rewarding about sharing your living space with creatures of a different species.
The newbies came home Monday night. We have a tiny laundry/storage room off the kitchen. That’s where we put the litterbox. Driving home from the shelter, I said I thought they might hide behind the washing machine at some point early on in the proceedings. They didn’t keep us in suspense. The nanosecond the female was released from her carrier, she made a beeline back there. Her brother was a tad braver, but soon followed. They must have built-in GPS for locating such hard-to-reach spaces.
We figured that was where they would spend the night—we were told at the shelter that the sister was particularly shy, but would eventually follow her brother’s lead in coming out. Marion planned to poke her head back their way at some point in the evening, just to talk to them and get the whole acclimation process underway.
She didn’t have to. In the feline rock-paper-scissors world, curiosity almost always beats fear. As we sat in the living room, two cat silhouettes appeared at the opposite end of the apartment and gradually worked their way toward us. After a series of retreats, semi-retreats and wide circuits around us, they were both in the living room. And after more elaborate maneuvering, the boy was first allowing and then insisting upon much petting by Marion. Later still, he decided he could let me pet him and actually live to tell the tale.
The girl never submitted to petting Monday night, but made closer and closer passes by us throughout the evening. All much bigger steps than we expected from either of them. Even more impressive, the boy spent part of the night in bed with us—totally unexpected. Well, so did the girl, for that matter—about 2.3 seconds is Marion’s best guess.
Tuesday night, a fair amount of shyness had returned, but the girl was actually the first one out. She came out and settled on the couch next to Marion. And then on her lap. And then in her arms. Still plenty of skittishness on both their parts, but they’re coming along nicely.
Okay, by now the more astute among you have noticed that no names have been mentioned. The loaner names from the shelter were quite dreadful, and we’re still in negotiations for replacement names. Please don’t send any suggestions—there are already too many suggestions swarming around and too many interested parties weighing in. Also, don’t expect loads of kitty updates. I will post a picture when they sit still long enough for one, but that will about do it, I think. If you’re not finding sufficient cuteness here at Blue Kitchen, check out I Can Has Cheezburger or Cute Overload. That should take care of you.
A little about the shelter. We adopted our new cats from the excellent Tree House Animal Foundation here in Chicago. As its website states right up front, it’s a “cageless, no-kill cat shelter dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured and abused stray cats.” Multiple cats live grouped in large, bright, airy rooms giving them plenty of room and opportunity to interact with other cats and plenty of places to retreat when they want to. Everyone on the staff we met knew every cat by name—and there were easily more than 100 cats there when we visited. Katie, who helped us, was able to guide us as to individual cats’ personalities and needs, making it easier to choose the right cats. I can’t say enough about what a great place Tree House is. If you’re looking to adopt a cat—or two, if it’s decided that’s the number your household needs—this is the place to do it.