You will be relieved, or dismayed, to know that my photos and all things web are in the midst of a tussle, the consequence being I cannot upload really adorable photos, showcasing the below. If ever I figure out why and how of this situation, there will be photos to come. Meantime, read on!
To fill the void of our cats, Nick and Nora, having died this past year, and my mother’s Thanksgiving morning death (https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theday/obituary.aspx?pid=197233579) and the realization that the pandemic was ongoing, Carl and I decided to adopt kittens.
Let me rephrase that. I became addicted to PetFinder. When Mom was in her last weeks, she saw a dog—an hallucination—and I convinced myself that she was suggesting that we adopt/save a dog, and so while she dozed, I surfed PetFinder. Oh! The puppies. Ignoring the consequences and process of being trained by a puppy, I fell in love, again and again. But Carl—being made of tougher stuff than I, and knowing exactly what adopting a puppy meant—held strong. Until I found four of them–Dorothy, Oz, Tin Man and Lion–one of whom looked just like Carl’s childhood dog Satan, when Satan was a puppy. But (un/fortunately?) Satan Two was already adopted.
All the puppies I saw were adopted. Until I had a chat with a friend of mine whose Large Working Dog had had puppies. I had first choice of the two who were left. Ho to you PetFinder! The puppies were so cute. And growing so fast! Between the time I began debating which one to adopt, and the day we went to visit them—one week—the puppies had each doubled in size. Five pounds. And upon meeting their parents, I realized just how big Large Working Dogs can be. I tried to imagine a small couch charging through our house. And sadly, had to say no.
I moved on to kittens. PetFinder revealed no kittens in the environs of New Hampshire and those rescues with kittens would not adopt over state borders. And so I sighed over cute kitty pictures, and almost went so far as to sign on for a Maine Coon kitten that would have required a four months wait (it had to be birthed and weaned first, after all) before I could take the fur baby into my loving arms. But then came the moral conundrum. Since my fur baby search had begun, I had noted that there are far, far too many unwanted cats and dogs that used to be kittens and puppies. And breeders only added more mewling to the din, didn’t they? Never mind the crazy expense of a full bred Maine Coon kitten.
I was saved, not by chickens (surprise!) but by the friend of a friend who had a niece (?) who knew someone who was trying to rehome her cat’s litter of seven kittens. Down in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. All we had to do was tell her how many we wanted (TWO!) and figure out how to get them from there to here.
Under other circumstances, it would have been time for a road trip. Under COVID conditions, not so much.
Fortunately our brother-out-law, Tim, mentioned that he had heard tell/tale of a guy who made a living breaking in people’s leather shoes for them. Yes. People pay to have other people wear their leather shoes for them. Heaven forbid some people feel the agony of a blister on their pinky toe.
Tim’s point being not to judge others but to say that people make a living doing all sorts of things. There must be someone out there who drives kittens from point A to point B.
Indeed. Carl found a site and filled out a form to find transport for five kittens because I was sure I’d be able to find homes for the extra siblings. Within fifteen minutes, someone had emailed to say they were in Georgia and could pop in at Kitty Hawk and be in New Hampshire, with happy kittens, by New Year’s eve. This being the day after Christmas. By the time we had all the logistics figured out, we were down to three kittens (one adopted, one sick with conjunctivitis) due to arrive by New Year’s Eve. Happy New Year!!!
. . .Very long story short, and not a few gray hairs later, the kittens did arrive. On New Year’s Day at 6:05PM. They stepped into the house. Sticking close together, they inspected their environs. A nibble of kibble. A drip of water. It was time to PLAY!
(I have wonderful videos. They, too, refuse to upload.)
Tinkerbell, Tallulah and Tubby settled in nicely. Their wide eyes opening yet wider every time they farted a stench that simply could not have come from the insides of such a small creature. Tinkerbell (she can FLY!) developed a squint that turned out to be conjunctivitis and so she and I bonded over the drama of eye goop in the eye. A particularly jolly Tubby leapt off the couch and dislocated his rear leg, resulting in a week of jail time in the dog cage to allow the leg to heal. And then all three of them developed viral chest infections, worms, and more conjunctivitis.
Their personalities? Tink’s trilling elegance, her flying leaps, and her moodiness bring a fairy with attitude to mind. Tallulah’s otter imitation as she wiggles and flops backwards onto her back, exposing her belly that is in desperate need of rubbing. And Tubby’s absurdly long ear hairs, his waddle made that much more adorable by the slight outward swing of his leg that might never be the same after its dislocation, and his continuing shock and dismay at his potent flatulence. They go everywhere together,purring in three part harmony purrs and playing an unending game of hide and go seek. (They hide things; humans seek them.) I look forward to introducing them in person some day.
And so. A lot of change this past year. And now a New Year that holds a lot of opportunity, both good and bad. I might be well behind in everything but thought I’d introduce the kittens by way of saying I’m going to start up my blog again. Because there’s going to be a lot more than kittens going on in the coming weeks and months. I’ll tell you all about it next time.