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.

finding joy.

Let’s face it. It’s been a rough weekend and start of the week. What with the earthquake and avalanche on Everest, the uprisings in Baltimore…so much life lost. There is a lot to make my heart heavy.

And yet, life goes on all over the world. That means good things along with the bad things. Is it okay for me to find joy when times are so troubled?

Blossoms!!! #spring #Chicago #tree ????????

Here are the things making me happy right now:

Meeting author friends who are positive and amazing.

Tuesday, I got to see Susane Colasanti again. The last time I saw her was in 2010. She’s one of my favorite authors because she is so positive. She dreams big, chases those dreams, and achieves them. She’s beautiful on the inside as well as outside, and her brightness is contagious. I am so LUCKY to know her.

So grateful I got to see @susanecolasanti, author of @citylovetrilogy. The last time I saw her was five years ago. She's such an inspiration to me. ???????? I know so many amazing people. My cup runneth over. #author #booksigning #inspirat

This was us in 2010:

Susane Colasanti and Me

mantrabands

I got another @mantraband today! ???? #mantraband #jewelry #believe #love

I wear these bracelets called mantrabands. They’re so pretty and such an easy reminder to keep certain words, thoughts, and feelings going through my head. My friend Reshma put the idea in my head a few weeks ago when she was in town for the weekend. (I miss her so much.) She wears them. I saw them a few days later at The Dailey Method and grabbed one, fell in love and ordered another one online that night!

My Mickey Mouse beanie

I really like this hat. #disneyside #mickeymouse #selfie #latergram

Boy do I love this beanie. I picked it up from Hot Topic one day on a whim and have been attached to it every since.

It’s Spring!

Blossoms!!! #spring #Chicago #tree ????????

Trees are blooming all over Chicago! I need to go out and take pictures. They’re so pretty and my favorite tree down the street is pink and bright and beautiful so I HAVE to get photos of that. Soon, the lilacs will be out.

Temps are holding steady in the mid to upper 50s during the day, and that feels a lot nicer when it’s sunny out than when it’s rainy out. We haven’t had a crazy amount of rain, though, and I’m OK with that. I’ll be excited when the temps are in the lower to mid 70s and holding, but that won’t be for a while. But hey, I will take this over freezing, snow, and ice.

Finding joy in the little things every day helps when the big bad things threaten to overwhelm me. There is so much in our world that’s broken and sometimes I just wish I had the resources, time, and energy to fix it all. But I can’t, and I have to be okay with that. I just have to do what I can and hope it’s good enough.

holiday wish meme 2014.

Magic Kingdom Christmas

For the 2014 holiday season, I have so much to be excited about and thankful for!

– My awesome Aidan. He’s now eleven years old, in sixth grade, and absolutely the best little boy ever. EVER.
– My family.
– All the cool stuff I got to do this year! Acting classes, TV shows, movies, and more.
– The neat places I got to visit this year: Los Angeles, New Orleans, Jekyll Island, Disney World.
– My work study opportunity at Moksha Yoga. It’s still awesome.
– My friends, old and new!
– The abundance and blessings that have been and keep being rained down on us.

It’s now time for the Holiday Wishes meme. I started doing this in 2006, and I encourage you guys to do it as well.

Step One
– Make a post (public, locked, filtered…whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ/blog. The post should contain your list of up to 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fun (“I’d love a Doctor Who icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.”) The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.
– If you wish for real possible things, make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.
– Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your entry, or link to this post (it’ll be public) so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two
– Surf around to see who has posted their list. And now here’s the important part: If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes someone’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use—or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free—do it.
– You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf—to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not—it’s your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just…wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.

With that said, here are my wishes for 2014.

1. A gift card, or for you to make donations to, DonorsChoose.org. DonorsChoose focuses on education. Teachers ask for classroom project materials. We donate. The kids learn. Most of these schools are high poverty, and the teachers are already doing all they can. Any amount is welcome.

2. Donations to Paws Chicago, the shelter where we got Helena. It’s a cage-free, no-kill shelter, and they are run completely on donations; they receive no city, state, or federal funding. It’s a great place. A shelter situation is stressful for the animals involved, and every animal I came in contact with there was happy and friendly. They have an extensive screening process to make sure you’re aware of your decision and commitment, and if somehow things don’t work out, the animal always has a home at PAWS.

3. Anything from my Amazon wish list. BUY ME ALL THE THINGS I mean wait what?

4. Gift cards to bookstores. I love bookstores. And books. But you already know that.

5. I also wouldn’t mind gift cards to Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, Target, or Kohl’s.

The things that I’d like your prayers/happy energy for:

1. My mom to be as healthy as possible and to live a long time.

2. My friends and family to be happy, healthy, comfortable, and secure.

3. Myself to be happy, healthy, comfortable, and secure.

It’s December now, the holiday and giving season really is here! YAY!

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