Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wicked Wednesday

Last year, on October 16th, I lost a very special pet.

Rufus was a phenomenal cat, and I miss him every day.  His death was nothing short of disastrous for me, because I had taken care of him since he was 4 weeks old. He lived a great life.  We say good night to him every night (we told Emi he's in the sky, in heaven and he's watching over her as a star now.) and think of him every day.

I've been asking for a while now, to add another cat to our home - to be more specific, to add a "Gulliver" (or Gullie) to our home.  Not to replace Rufus, surely, nothing or no one could ever replace the Old Man - but to give Sera (our remaining cat) someone of her kind to play with, and keep company.  

Now, Sera turned 9 this year, and I know getting a kitten would require work on my part, and a lot of adjustment on hers.   Mike has been against this idea - since its inception .. steadfast, "no more cats" .. it's not that he "hates" them, it's more - he hates having to clean up the litter boxes, and the fur and all that come with kitties.  Me?  I sort of enjoy taking care of animals, I feel like - they deserve it, much like innocent babies (in some cases) - they didn't ask to come into this world, and are often left to fend for themselves - this is horrid to me.  Every animal deserves a happy, healthy, loving, caring, warm home.  Every.One.

Recently, a friend of mine rescued a stray kitten from the dashboard of a broken down car in a friends yard (her friend, not mine) ... he is an orange tabby, with short-ish hair.  They named him "Dash" and began taking care of him, soon discovering neither my friend, or hers, could keep him.   Convinced he would become my "Gullie" I began texting Mike ... it started like this:

Me:  Congratulations Daddy!  It's a Boy!!
His response:  No.
Me:  How can you say no to his face?  he's sooooo cuuuuttteeee
His response:  No.
His response:  They're all cute when they're babies.
Me:  Come on, just think about it - he needs a home!
His response: No.
Me:  Gullie says he loves you lots and can't wait to meet you.
His response:  We'll talk about it later.
(getting warmer!!)
Me:  Really???!!
His response: No.

Now, keep in mind, at this point I'm doing some research, I needed to find out how much a vet visit would be, what he needed when they saw him - and how much all that would cost too.  Since he was a stray, it would have been nearly 200 dollars, for the first visit - and another hundred dollars cumulative for the next few visits to make sure he was healthy, and the vaccinations were up to date.   200 dollars?  for the first visit that - since we have 3 other pets and a small child - in the home, would have to be immediate.   Yikes.  I can sense where this is going.

Needless to say, Dash did not come home with us that weekend.  However, he has since found a happy, healthy home and is loving being spoiled.

Fast forward 2 weeks.  Two Short Weeks.  I hadn't been feeling well and had somehow pulled a shoulder muscle either the night before, or at some point during the day at work - and decided to head to bed early, take some medication to ease the discomfort, and enjoy a few chapters in the current book I was reading.   From downstairs, I hear his cell phone go off .. he's texting!  But .. to who?

Sneaky and completely irresponsibly, I creep down the stairs and hear him talking .. okay that's weird.  His aunts cat had recently had a litter of 6 kittens, and were we still looking at getting a kitten for Emily (sha, that's it - for Emily) ... sadly, the runt of the litter didn't make it .. however .. Mike agreed that Emily needed a kitten and sure, when they were ready - we'd take one..

Specifically This One:

Clearly he didn't want me to hear this, however, I couldn't contain my excitement and hustled down the stairs .. much to my dismay, the sleazy smile on his face showed me he knew I was creeping.  Busted.

Now, to wait the 4 weeks until they'd be ready to go to new homes ... that was the hardest part.  Emily wanted to take Gullie home every day, and proceeded to beg - every day.  We tried to get to his aunts house to visit and get to know said kitten before it was time to take him home, but for one reason or another, it never happened.  Fast Forward to October 2nd.

Emily and I had placed a sticker on the calendar, a little gray and white kitty sticker, so that she could count the days until Gullie was coming home.   We put one on the September page, and one on the actual date in October.

When the time came, she FLEW out of her bed, ate breakfast and got dressed faster than the speed of light, I swear it.  On the drive up to Mike's Aunt Tammy's house - she was beyond excited ... I mean, beyond excited.  Silly mommy, forgot her camera at home - however, we were able to take some pictures with our cell phones.

While there, we got to spend some time with Mike's aunt and one of his cousins, and play with Gulliver and the other kittens - we were taking Gullie and one other home, the other was to go to a co-worker of mine, for his daughter.  His name is Brick (the new kitten, no the co-worker).  I was getting ready to say goodbye, while Emi was chasing the remaining kittens, and snuggling with the smallest kitten there - one we thought was a little girl kitty, when Mike turns to his aunt and says something - that shocked everyone in his presence, and every one we've spoken to since.  (remember - Mike was against me getting Gullie)

Mike:     So .. Aunt Tammy, would you be uh, mad, if we took two?
Tammy:  You *are* taking two!
Mike:     No, I mean, uh - two for us, AND the other one for Dave?
Me:       Are you serious?  You - who didn't want the one? (holding said kitten)
Mike:    Yeah, I know but - look how cute she is - I mean, I can't take Gullie from his entire family, and leave this one by herself.
Tammy:  You're out of your mind - and don't worry, I have 8 more kittens that'll be ready to go to new homes in the next 6 weeks - you're not breaking my heart ... (her other cat had delivered 8 healthy kittens 2 weeks prior)
Me:       Well, you know me, I'd be a crazy cat lady if you let me!
Mike:     Okay, we'll take Gullie, Brick and this one ... that Amy's holding.

We agreed to take the second kitten, said our goodbyes, and thank yous - headed out the door and got everyone situated in the van.

On the ride home we bantered over what to name our new found kitten, and had almost settled on Fluffy (a sort of, family joke) when Mike came up with something else entirely.

Amy:  What about Sully?  Sullivan?  Like on Monsters, Inc.?
Mike:  Nah, I know!  FLUFFY!   We shall name her Flufffy!
Uproarious laughter follows as we continue to banter names back and forth

Amy:   She's awfully Tiny.   I wonder if she was the next smallest after the runt (the runt, sadly passed away, leaving 5 kitten siblings behind.)
Mike:  I've got it!   Olliver.   Olliver and Gulliver.  Hell, our girl dog's name is DEXTER, why not?
Amy:  I like it, Emi, what do you think?
Emi:    I want to name her Emily.  Like Me.
Amy:  Well, that would be hard for momma, see we have the teach the kitties right from wrong, and it'd be hard to keep saying "EMILY NO!" when you're not doing anything wrong.  Can you think of another name?
Emi:   GULLIE!
Amy:  Through giggles - we have a Gullie, we need a name for the second kitten
Emi:    Daddy can pick *he* wanted her.
Mike:  Ollie it is!

Emi with Gulliver
(seriously, how can you say no to this face?)

The Mayo House is a little more crowded, in fact - we've grown by eight feet!
Our New Babies
Olliver is on the Left and Gulliver is on the Right

Gulliver with his fancy new collar
Olliver, after his bath

We soon discovered, after giving them quick flea baths with liquid dish soap (as instructed by the vet) and treating them with 1/2 a dose of flea protection, on the instruction of my Feline Aficionado Andrea - that they are in fact, both boys.

Having two kittens in the house, with a grown cat (she's nine this year) and two dogs is a lot more than Mike anticipated, but we're enjoying every single moment of it.

Now, we need a bigger bed - it seems the cats, the dogs AND Emily all vie for a spot in our bed, in the middle of the night .. the dogs, and Emily, are shuffled back into their own beds - and the cats are left to fend for their own space.  Gullie?  He sleeps on Mike's pillow, above his head - Ollie?  He sleeps with me, on my shoulder - much like Rufus used to do.   It's odd, in a way, I feel like Rufus would approve of these little guys, and it makes me happy to bring them into a safe, happy, healthy and loving home.


Jessi said...

This is, arguably, one of my favorite posts.

I have to say, I am a fan of Gulliver. The nose just does something for me

Enjoy the new babies!

J. R. Burke said...

Too friggin cute!!!