that time we randomly got a new kitty.

It started off as a normal Wednesday. I was tired and cranky because of having to wake up early. I had meetings at work, and work was busy busy busy. And freelance work came in. I was so glad when the workday was over. Adam suggested we hit the Noodles & Co. for dinner. That came from the fact that we needed to get the kitties a new bed—their oldest one was falling apart and really gross. So we picked the Noodles & Co. by Petco.

Dinner was yummy—I went for the spaghetti & meatballs instead of the mac & cheese + crusted parmesan chicken I usually go for. We had our food, and then headed to Petco, where I picked up a new bag of food, and then we headed (in the wrong direction) to find the dog beds. (Cat beds are just too small for our fine fellas.)

We ended up passing a set of four cages that housed three kittens. Adam and I fell hard for one named Tweetie and Tweetie seemed to like us too. He was two months old, seemed calm, and seemed taken with us.

But there were a few concerns:
1. We had just lost Helena, and honestly, going through a pet loss SUCKS and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it again
2. Did we *need* another kitten, with Fi being so sick and fragile?
3. We were no longer outnumbered by cats; the household was fairly stable despite Fi’s health issues (which we are working on managing with diet and probiotics, puppy pads, and lots of cleaning and patience)
4. Tweetie is FIV+
5. Kittens and elders? Would that work? (Crookshanks just turned 16. Fi will be 18 in a few months)
6. The adoption center was closed

So we decided to talk about it. Go home and sleep on it. (But by this point, Adam had already named him so…). Thursday morning, as I logged in to work, he said, “We don’t need another cat,” and I said, “I know.” And he said, “But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get another cat.”

I could barely concentrate on work as we waited for lunchtime to arrive. And once it did, we hopped in the car and drove back to Petco. Adam had the carrier out and everything. He was ready to bring home that little guy.

When we got to Petco, they directed us across the street to PAWS, as they were the ones officially handling adoptions.

We’d adopted through PAWS before (that’s where we got Helena in 2008), so we kind of knew the drill with them. PAWS is a no-kill shelter, and the cats are not in cages—they are together in rooms that are filled with toys, things for them to climb on, and friends.

We filled out the application, and then got led to the back…where they informed us that they did not allow people who already had cats to bring home one that is FIV+. The worker had to have seen the disappointment on our faces. It was really sad because we’d already gotten attached to the little guy. But then she said that eight new kittens had arrived that morning, two months old, would we like to take a look?

So we went into the little kitten room to see what would happen.

Some of the kittens were terrified and growling and hissing. One was in a basket with a blanket covering her, and she sang a constant chorus of distress. Some of them would not stop fighting, and a few just lay low, but recoiled if I reached my hand out.

But then, as I was watching and waiting and chatting, a tiny grey tabby kitten played beside me and kept bumping my leg while she was playing. Then she sniffed my fingers and went back to playing. Suddenly, she was climbing into my lap. She hissed at any other kitty who tried to get near me. And then she fell asleep as I stroked her little back.

Adam was becoming partial to a little black and white kitty named Kit, but this little grey one, whom they called Zig Zag, didn’t even have a collar, stole my heart as she napped on me. Adam asked if he could hold her, and so I passed her over. She settled right on him and dozed again.

But now even more roadblocks were coming up. There was talk about us needing to have Aidan with us before we could take her home. There was talk about us needing to have a copy of our lease. But we explained that Aidan is away at school, and that we already have cats. So those were easily taken care of.

They asked if we’d like to move forward with her, and with a tiny nod from Adam, I said YES.

And Adam immediately started thinking of names for her. He was considering Halsey, which would have been cool but didn’t seem to really fit her.

When we left the room for our adoption counseling, she looked around like “but but but where are you going?” And once the counseling was over, we went out to pay. She cost $125, came with all her up-to-date shots, is fixed, and is in great health. They also gave us a bag of Merrick kitten food which she loves.

When I went to pick her up, she was in another person’s lap, which says to me she is affectionate and cuddly. And she IS. On the way home, I sat by her in the back seat, and she showed us she is also very talkative! And when we got her home, she was not having any “safe room” nonsense. She was all over, establishing her place here. She tired out quickly. She’d had a big day! From foster, to shelter, to forever home in the span of hours!

She slept a lot her first afternoon here, curled up in my arms for the most part. If I needed to go to the bathroom or something, she was right behind me. She hissed and growled at the other cats (and she still does). Fi takes it in stride. He’s always been chill like this, and couldn’t care less as long as he still gets his share of the loving and food. Crookshanks is a more sensitive soul, and his feelings were hurt. He gives her space when she needs it, but he really wants to be her friend!

By the evening, I’d picked out a name for her. Because with all the cats I’d had, I’d never gotten a chance to name one. I ended up picking Charlotte, which suits her more than I even anticipated. And she answered to it right away.

This sweet girl was the most random impulse I’ve ever given in to, but she’s already enriched our lives in a million ways. She’s brave and curious and astonishingly smart. Her little mew is the cutest thing I’ve heard in ages. Her purr is powerful and strong, and she is so very affectionate. We are very excited and happy and grateful to have Charlotte as part of our family.

back to the grind.

After 90 days that included major surgery, recovery from that surgery, author visits, writing, lots of Netflix and DVD bingeing, travel, a writing workshop, visits to family, signing with an agent!!, losing my sweet Helena, and freelance work, tomorrow I head back to Humana. The DayJob™ is back.

I have mixed feelings! On the one hand, it’ll be nice to make money again, and after what happened the past couple of weeks in/on Amazon, Anderson’s Bookshop, Target, Whole Foods, Sephora, The Disney Store, Memebox, Planner Chick Designs—you get the idea—this is a good thing. I have a few credit cards to pay off, I want to start saving big time again, and also buy fun stuff.

I’ll once again have some structure to my day, which I’m both sad and happy about. It’s a good thing to have structure, right? But also, I’ll have structure, and accountability, and expectations, and sometimes that is scary. It shouldn’t be. I’ve been doing this a long time. I know I’m sad about losing the ability to keep my own hours. My body naturally wakes up between 1030am-12noon, and I tend to stay up until 3 or 4am. That’s just how I work best, and going to bed early tonight for a 745am alarm is going to feel weird. I have some melatonin to help with that!

I plan to continue working from home the majority of the time, which will help. Except my kitty cat has turned the living room into his giant litter box. We took him to the vet, and since he is so old, we opted not to do the biopsy. Instead, I’ve switched his food. I want to get him on all prescription food, but I need to get a MedCard since the vet is always out of the stuff. In the meantime, I have him on single ingredient food–the expensive stuff from Petsmart. Money is no object when it comes to my remaining kitties. I couldn’t stand a loss so soon after Helena. Maybe I’m overcompensating, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

My brain is all over the place, apparently. Sorry, but not really. I will have to spend mornings cleaning up after Fi before I can begin working. I have puppy pads everywhere to help with the clean up. He’s old—nearly 18—so I can’t be too mad at him.

I’m finishing up the revisions for my agent (!!! This is still very thrilling to me !!!). I have a write-in this weekend at Rena’s place (YAY I get to see Rena!), so I plan to really buckle down and knock it all out. I told my agent I’d have my revisions to her by 4/17. So I have time… but this weekend I’ll be in a place to really focus. I’m excited!

But for now, I’m going to spend my last night of “freedom” eating fish and chips, watching the OC on DVD, and reading. I’m going to take a long bath, do a face mask, and get everything laid out tonight so I won’t be a mess in the morning. I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday, which means I have a weekend to look forward to right away!

Wish me luck!!

angel kitty.

Beautiful Helena

I lost my precious Helena Tuesday, March 14, 2017. I was out of town, so Adam found her. He said she was acting drunk the night before, and she was gone the next morning. The vet thinks it was as a stroke.

Helena came to live with us July 12, 2008. She was a special case. She’d come from a hoarder’s house, had dental issues, and obvious psychological issues. She’d been returned to PAWS, a no-kill shelter, numerous times.

But her first night, she and Crookshanks bumped noses and got along right away. She also trusted and loved Aidan from the first moment she set eyes on him. It took her a minute to warm up to me, and then to Adam.

Pretty Helena

Helena was a naughty kitty. There is no way around it. She peed everywhere, she bit people, she was always on the counter or stove. She would use the litter box only if we were watching. And sometimes she wouldn’t even go then. We’d considered taking her back, but we just could not. I simply refused to give up on her.

Once she realized we weren’t going to take her back, she relaxed and warmed up to us big time. When I came out of my bedroom, she’d run to to me and rear up on her hind lets so she could get pet. She howled when she was ready for her canned food, or simply a head rub. She followed me into the bathroom almost every time I had to go, and she’d lie on the floor and roll around meowing until I rubbed her belly. She loved cat treats and she loved eating.

She also loved us. She’d cuddle with me every chance she got. She wasn’t a lap kitty, but she loved to lie behind my head when I was working. She’d roll down my back when I leaned forward. Or, she sat next to me, purring like a purring thing that purrs. I got the long blinks from her, and she licked me a lot, which meant she thought I was part of her family. She trusted me, and that’s a big deal for a cat.

Beautiful Helena

She was also so beautiful. Female orange cats are very rare. So she was special in more than one way. I did love her, idiosyncrasies and all. And I miss her every day.

I hope where ever she is, there is a lot of canned food, cat treats, and pets for her.

RIP my second sweet angel kitty.

Now I have two.

Kitty Love: Lucy, My Angel Kitty

Little Lucy

Baby Lucy

Lucy came to live with me in September of 2001. My friend Jennifer’s dog had found three kittens in their field, and little Lucy was among them. It was love at first sight. She was so teeny tiny and loving and sweet that I begged, absolutely BEGGED Chris for us to take her home. We already had two cats, didn’t really need another, but this little kitty clung to me and squeaked like her life depended on it.

Lucy II

Pictures don’t do her justice. She was a breathtakingly beautiful cat with the most adorable squeaky meow. The first night with her, I gave her a bath and then cuddled with her for hours in a little bathroom. I was determined to have a lap cat, and Lucy was more than OK with that. She purred and purred and ever since then, she’d made her home on my lap. Sometimes when it wasn’t the most convenient.

Annoying Little Lucy

Lucy was super skittish. Most people probably really didn’t believe we had a third cat, because she was NEVER around when there was company. She’d disappear, only coming out when the company was gone and just the family was around.

She was naughty, getting into everything. Christmas was always… interesting with her around. She had a fascination with all sorts of Christmas trees.

Lucy Regards the Tree Lucy Loses

She loved orange processed cheese products, so Doritos and Cheetos were not safe around her. She’d come and lick all the “cheese” off. Other than that, she had no interest in people food. She liked to nibble on my hair (usually when I was sleeping) and she’d fidget and fidget and fidget until I blew my breath in her face. I guess she needed to know what I’d eaten that day before she could rest easy.

Little Lucy

Unfortunately, Little Lucy had to be put down on May 30, 2008 due to severe illness that set in very shortly after I moved to Chicago. She spent most of her time in or under the bed, too weak to even make it to her food and water most days. She never did adjust to living in Chicago and her health deteriorated quickly. I think about her every single day and miss her terribly, and I never stop wondering if there was anything I could have done to save her.

RIP my kitty angel. You will always be loved.

Little Lucy

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