Some of you may remember our cat June Cleaver that we had for some years.
She was a fat, old, cranky, just wonderful cat who dominated our home until her death this summer.
We have missed her, but didn't feel up to replacing her. Plus, until Sam's gluten free diet, we thought he may have developed an allergy to cats so we were a bit leery of adding another cat to the household (even though we all really love having a cat around here).
On top of that, when I was so sick this summer (thanks Cinco) I reached a point where we had to give away our darling dogs as I couldn't take care of them and kids and do all the things I have/had to do on a daily basis plus now that I travel a fair bit more than I used to with my position with IDVA and it just took the thought of finding another kitty for our family to an overwhelming place.
But, the kids have asked for months for us to get them another cat. They have really missed having a pet and honestly, cats are pretty easy pets, even if you travel. Stick them in a room with food and a litter box and they're pretty much okay for a few days.
So, Sam and I talked about it. How much work it would be for us (ME) and if we (I) could deal with it.
The cost of a new pet.
If we have time for a cat and if the kids are old enough to do more of the work than they have in the past.
Finally, we went to the kids and had the same coversation.
Of course they were very vocal about how much they would help with the food and litter box and all that.
Then we brought out the big weapon. Christmas.
You see, we decided some time ago that we would only get the kids 3 presents for Christmas. It just seems like kids are really grateful up until give 3 and then it becomes a greedy, paper ripping grab-fest and we don't really want that. Plus, we have a budget to honor.
The kids know this and they are fine with it. They tend to have low expectations of presents (hallelujah) so they tend to get exactly what they ask for every year.
Well, they wanted a cat.
So, we told them IF we got a cat it would count as one of their three presents because we'd have to buy supplies for a cat and we needed to budget for that.
Then we sent them off to a room to discuss this.
They had some heated discussions. Shockingly, the present thing never came into play. Belle was worried she would do all the work, Buddy was worried the cat would eat his favorite stuffed animal, Wa-wa and Xander just wanted us to get June Cleaver back instead of a new cat.
All valid thoughts.
Eventually they decided they would like to go for it.
Then Sam and I had to make sure we were ready for another cat. Oh, who am I kidding, I had a cat before Sam married me and we have rarely not had a pet cat in our outside our home. We love cats.
So, I looked online and found a local person giving away kittens and we went for a lookie loo.
We found a cute little calico and of course, I adore calicos so we decided to get her.
But, Xander had fallen in love with a little grey and white tabby (who was also a female) and he was really insistent on her being the cat for us. I don't think I've ever seen him get that worked up about a pet.
Being the suckers we are and after some lengthy conversations via telepathy, we took home two kittens instead of the one.
The kids were ecstatic.
They still are.
We set up the litter box and showed the kids how to clean it daily (the three older kids rotate days and so far they have been very consistent) and showed them how much food to give kittens. They are really doing the work on that.
For the first time ever, they kids named their pets too. That was weird as usually we adopt a pet with a name or Sam and I have named our pets, but Xander insisted "his" kitten be named Mittens and Isabelle suggested the calico be named Annabeth (after her favorite character in the Percy Jackson books) and Buddy and Xander loved that name so Mittens and Annabeth they are.
So far I am making the kids put them in the bathroom at night to sleep as I don't need the excitement of kitten wandering just yet. I am hoping to train them to consider the upstairs part of the house their domain and the rest of the house a place they occasionally visit.
I have two rules on these kittens of course. First time the kids don't handle litterbox and food duties the kittens are outside. First time the kittens get on my counter in the kitchen and eat food off it, they are outside. So, we are all working hard to hurry and clean up food after we are done eating and the kids are being very careful to check the food and the litterbox a few times a day. I have done very little work so far and I am happy. Of course, really, cats don't take much.
Sam has been loving it as he really missed June Cleaver. Oh, and his allergies don't appear to be cat related at all after all (thanks gluten) so yay! So far, so good.
So, there it is. Merry early Christmas in Towerland.
I am hoping these kittens are cared for so they don't go outside. All our outside kitties get run over and it bums us out.
You can see she is a very subtle calico. I prefer a brighter marked calico, but her orange and grey tabby markings are very pretty and I think they will brighten as she gets older.
Can you see why Xander named her Mittens?
They are about 8 weeks old and are just adorable.
They play a bit but mostly just want to snuggle up.
The kids are fine with that.
Cross your fingers for the kids that they keep up their good work of caring for their cats so they get to keep them inside. They really are sweet little things so I'm hoping too.