Our Family Has Grown By Four Paws

Published July 31, 2015 by Malia

When the boy and I first got together, I made it pretty clear that to love me is to love (or at least gracefully tolerate) any various pet (live or stuffed) that I may hold up in front of his face, while squealing something along the lines of, “Doesn’t he have just the most precious widdle face you’ve ever seen?”  We both agreed when we got married that eventually we’d have a dog or cat, but the timing wasn’t optimal at present.  I still needed to finish (and by that I mean start) unpacking, and we just needed to settle into being a married couple.  This is the first time either of us has lived with someone as more than just a roommate.  Adjusting has to happen.

The first few months, I did good.  Yes, I desperately wanted to go to the shelter and get a little unwanted kitty, but I knew the boy was right.  We needed to wait.  And then I got mono.

If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you’ll know the whole “yay, I got mono for the second time in my life”  story.   If you don’t know the story, basically I spent all of May trying to figure out why I felt so rotten.  Beginning of June, found out I had mono.  It was a pretty “magical” time in my life.

So, I was beginning to recover, when one of my friends let me know that the Humane Society was having a half-off sale on adult cats.  (I realize I should clarify, they weren’t selling half of a cat, it was half-off the price.  Wait, none of you needed me to explain that?  Oh well, here’s hoping at least one person out there found this terrible joke slightly funny…)  Thinking that it couldn’t hurt to at least look at the shelter’s website, as long as I stuck to my guns about not giving in to my desire for a kitty, I went browsing.  I’ll be honest, there were some pretty cute cats.  However, as I went from page to page, no image really leaped out and grabbed me.  Until I came across the image of a cat that looked exactly like my poor, dead Howie cat (except this cat had amber eyes instead of Howie’s green).

I stared at that picture, and I fell in love.  He was purrrrfect.  I wanted desperately to rush over to the Humane Society and adopt him immediately.  However, I knew the boy might have some issue if I did that.  Instead I waited until he got home, and then I kind of attacked him with all the information I had about the cat.  I’m relatively certain my ramblings went something like this, “He’s just so precious and adorable.  He really needs a home.  He’s four, and he’s been at the shelter for a month.  No one is going to want an older cat that’s already been there that long.  Just look at this picture!”  And that’s when I shoved my phone in his face, forcing him to look at the “perfect” cat.  I ended my sales pitch with, “We REALLY need a cat.”

I believe his response was something along the lines of, “I believe that you believe we really need a cat.”

“So, you’re saying we don’t need a cat?”

“I didn’t say that, I said that I believe that you believe we really need a cat.”

“So, if  I went and adopted him tomorrow, that’d be okay?”

“As you wish.”

I feel I should interject here, that when the boy says, “As you wish,” it’s super romantic and quite swoon-worthy because he’s actually saying, “I love you.”  And if you’re thinking that it sounds like I lifted that straight from Princess Bride, well, there’s a good reason for that.  I love when he says it, and I think he knows it.

Anyway, the next day my mom went with me, and I spent nearly two hours waiting to get to spend some time with the kitty.  Mom and I sat facing the row of windows, right in front of where he was sitting.  He came with the name Ziggy, but there was absolutely nothing about him that screamed Ziggy at me.  Maybe Garfield, but not Ziggy.  I spent the whole two hours being desperately afraid that somebody in line ahead of me would be there for Ziggy, and they’d get him before I could.  However, there were bunches of kittens, and they were definitely garnering more attention and visits than the big, fat, orange cat.

Finally, my number got called.

I found myself sitting in this little room with my mom and a humane society worker.  She asked some basic questions about my lifestyle and home, and then asked me why I wanted to adopt Ziggy.  I realized that I probably shouldn’t say, “He looks exactly like the reincarnation of my dead cat who I miss terribly.”  So, I gave some pat answer about how from what I’d read on Ziggy’s info, it looked like he would be a perfect fit for our home, and that I just wanted to give him at home.  I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I’m sure it sounded trite and formulaic.  I must have satisfied their questions, because they let him in the room to see how he’d do.

He did great.

I adopted him.

Then I texted the boy (who was at work) an adorable picture of Ziggy sticking his nose out through the holes in the carrier side, and captioned it, “Hi, dad!”  Unfortunately, the boy didn’t get the picture and only saw the text, and because he doesn’t equate pet ownership the same as being parents, he immediately thought that I meant a miracle had happened and I was pregnant.  Which led to him calling me with great excitement, and me realizing that maybe I should’ve worded my text message differently.  I had to burst his bubble, and tell him I was just referring to the kitty.  Later on, I had to give him a hard time about the fact that he actually thought that if I found out I was pregnant I would let him know via a text message.  Um…hello…that would be huge, life-altering, amazing news, and there is no way I’d tell him in a text message!  I could be 5000 miles away, and I’d find a way to get home so I could tell him face to face.

Ziggy came to live with us, and by that I mean, he spent the next few weeks primarily living under our bed.  He turned out to be afraid of  everything (side note: he’s only scared of mostly everything now, I see this as progress).  Since I was adamant he wasn’t a Ziggy, we started trying out new names.  For the first two weeks we called him Ajani (a cat character from Magic: The Gathering), but then I found out that Ajani is actually a girl’s name and put my foot down.  I said something about the fact that I didn’t care if he was fixed, I wasn’t giving him a girl’s name.  Which led to me calling him Monk, as in Adrian Monk, Tony Shalhoub’s character from Monk.  I figured that if the cat was scared of everything, it was a good fit.  And then the boy finished building the greatest cat house ever…


He build a cat sized TARDIS.


I’m 5’0″ tall, and I can barely see over the top of this thing.  And if building a TARDIS for my cat wasn’t enough, the boy came up with the most perfect name ever.

Doctor Mew.



One comment on “Our Family Has Grown By Four Paws

  • Dear Divine Miss M.! Congratulations on the wonderful acquisition of you and The Boy’s first furred chile! I really enjoyed reading about your experience and you write so eloquently, I felt just as though I was right there in the room with you, for the whole process. Your new baby is just beautiful! He has such a sweet “Remain. Calm. Step. Away From. The. Cupboard. Door. Will. Open. In. Approx. 2. Mins. Commence.. Feeding!…..” I can see why you found him so immediately irresistible — the way he’s looking at the camera — eyes slightly slitted, he is definitely in charge of the home already! How much does he weigh, he looks really big in the photo? Do you have him on a prescription diet good from your veterinarian, to help him get to a little more svelte state? I don’t mean to be sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong, but if you haven’t already talked to a veterinarian at the Shelter at the time you adopted him, about how big he appears in the photo, at least :), I would encourage you to just run him in to a veterinarian there in town, and have him checked over, probably will run a little more lab work on him than what the Shelter does, and maybe talk with you both about maintaining this beauty boy on Rx food, and regular weigh-ins, to try to get him down into a more comfortable weight zone. The food is usually obtained from your Dr. and Hill’s Co. in Kansas makes some R/D (Reducing Diet) in canned and dry forms, I have recommended Hill’s and used it for 35 years, I have never felt any hesitancy in its ability to deliver the results you feed it for! I just think you picked out a really special kitty, here, just from what you’ve shared, and shown me, in this first report! The Boy is really a talented woodworker, I see, the CAT TARDIS is pretty amazing, I couldn’t believe how good it was built! Would you like one of the extra litter boxes that I have 8 of, since I had to find new homes for my kitties, when I first began seriously considering what I would need to be doing, IF I went on and tried to honestly imagine the rest of my life without Sweet Ronny in it….and so, in order to combine our households — where the other person can’t “be” with cats, he has such a sensitive sense of smell, he literally gets clinically physically sick/puking at the smell of cat urine/litter —boxes — honestly, it’s a reflexive response, I only saw it once, and it was just real! I can send you pics of the fancy-dancer ones, once I learn how to do my antique I-phone, I have gotten a “Computer Tutor”, at long last! I know you’re supposed to have 1 litter box per cat plus one more, so there’ll give them a less-pooped-in choice of boxes to use, so the carpet doesn’t start looking like an acceptable substrate, et.,). If you would like me to send you 1-2, they don’t weigh much, and shouldn’t be that much to ship on U.P.S.! If you don’t want me to, just tell me! But, I’ve got to start clearing out my garage, and if you can use an extra box – I’ll be glad to send you some, otherwise, mine are going out to our Shelter for the purpose of being sent home with a new adoptive cat owner! This excitement (re Mister Mew!) is exhausting, I must feed….. (I am talking like an invading creature from Outer Space) (I know you will understand! Lol!). Y’all have a happy few days off (yea, it’s da week-end!!) and play, play, love, love dat Puddy! Love to you both, so good to read your latest! Bye for now :). Mary Jane

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