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Cat nap

In my quest to open myself up to more love and joy, I acquired a pair of adorable, male kittens – Beignet and Cannoli. In case I didn’t tell you before (I’m pretty sure I did), that was one of the best things I did in 2016. I love them! I traveled on a business trip a few days last week and I missed the kittens more than I did my own kids (it’s the truth!) My kids are getting more independent (16 and 11 years) and don’t want to be around me as much, but my kittens can’t seem to get enough of me. Both kittens got neutered the day I flew out last Wednesday, so I wanted frequent updates from my husband on how they were doing. Beignet had it rough. They had to get my husband’s permission to give him extra anesthesia because he was biting and wouldn’t allow the vet to insert the IV.

My husband didn’t know know what he had gotten himself into because he was getting calls practically the whole day after he had dropped them off early in the morning. Had I brrn in town, I would have been receiving those calls, but I was in Lubbock, Texas anxiously waiting for updates. The kittens did fine and are recovering well from what we can tell. They definitely missed me while I was gone. I love receiving their cuddles.

It has definitely been an adventure with two kittens and I’m having a hard time imaging our lives before them. They’re lovable, adorable, comical, frustrating, fun, mischievous, and calming. In the featured picture, Beignet had fallen asleep in my TJ Maxx shopping bag next to a pile of my dirty clothes. I’ve learned from my kittens that when the urge for a cat nap hits, any place is fair game!

 

 

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Our family is expanding 

A lot has happened this week and I’m too tired to write about it all right now. I do want to share one of the highlights. Our neighbor moved out of town this week and my husband came home to a note (see picture) on our door from our neighbor asking us to take care of his outdoor cat, Baby, because he couldn’t take him (correction..Baby is actually a “her”, but with the male kittens, I’ve been getting confused. Now, I know how my mom feels when she calls her 4 children by each other’s names. Also, English is her second language and as she’s gotten older, she’s been getting the male and female pronouns confused, so I can relate). There is a back story regarding the cat as my family and Baby have been living in this neighborhood well before the neighbor. In fact, I’ve maintained all along that Baby is my cat because I’ve been feeding and allowing her to stay in the garage when the weather has been rainy and/ or cold and when the neighbor has been out of town during the holidays. Baby had been abandoned by a previous neighbor a few houses down, who has since moved away, and she never left the area. It is true that we both had been taking care of her simultaneously for a while, but Baby is really mine. 🙂

I was so happy when I saw the text from my daughter on Thursday. She was very happy too and asked right away if we could bring Baby in the house. I explained that it was more complicated than that because we already have 2, nearly 5-month old kittens and we’re not sure how they, or Baby, would react to each other in the house. We’ve attempted to stand at the door with the kittens, but once they saw Baby, they would claw themselves out of my arms. Plus, Baby, who is about 5 or 6 years old (or maybe even older), is used to living outdoors. It came in handy spending Saturday afternoon watching about 4-5 back to back episodes of Jackson Galaxy ‘s (I don’t remember the name) show on the Animal Planet network. My coworker had been telling me about this so called “cat daddy”, and from what we’ve seen, he is knowledgeable. We learned a lot. As a result, I have some ideas on how to slowly introduce the cat and kittens to each other.

I fed Baby this morning before church and that was the last time I’d seen her until about 9 o’clock this evening, as my son and I were returning from the grocery store. I was worried and hoping she was okay for most of the day. We had been working in the garage and yard for hours with no trace of Baby. When our garage door has been opened in the past, Baby wouldn’t hesitate to sit down and relax while we were doing whatever we were doing. For example, I exercise in the garage, and if the garage is open, Baby freely lays down near me while I take care of business. She even likes to participate (more accurately, “interrupt”) while I’m doing stretching exercises such as yoga. My husband and I were wondering if someone took her because she’s such a friendly cat. Don’t they know she is mine? My son had been reassuring me that she would return. He thought she might have gone with some other stray cats from her litter. Well, I don’t know if she did, but she was definitely someplace else because I called her name many times to no avail.

I fed her again, rubbed her a bunch of times, laid down a pillow near the rocking chair on the porch, and said “good night”. Our little family is growing: 2 children, 2 kittens (Cannoli and Beignet), and 1 cat (Baby). It’s become painfully clear to me, especially since my breast cancer diagnosis (you can can read about it here), how fragile life is, so I welcome love in all shapes and sizes.



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Make room for the sweet stuff

It’s been 2 weeks since we welcomed our sweet babies, actually our new kittens, into our home and it couldn’t have come at a better time. My 15 year old son took one look at one (supposedly the more outgoing of the two) rolling around and said that kitten reminds him of a cannoli because of the contrast of the solid white on his tummy against the grayish stripes on the rest of his body. And just like that, my son proclaimed with a grin, that he should be named Cannoli.  I laughed because he is characteristically usually thinking food, but I kind of liked the name. So then my children and I agreed that their names should have a theme and since Cannoli is an Italian dessert, we’d find a French dessert name for the other.  After a quick google search, we landed on Beignet, which was PERFECT because my husband has made beignets (our first time ever having this dessert) twice to help my son earn extra credit in his French class. So there you have it, our kittens are named Cannoli and Beignet. As it turns out Beignet is the more outgoing of the two and Cannoli is more chill. Cannoli is also completely litter trained unlike his brother.

In June, my coworker was going around telling folks about a litter of kittens that her mom’s cat had and they needed a home. I jumped in right away and not only said that I wanted one, but I was thinking about two. The look on her face was of surprise and delight. I had never been so sure of anything in a long time, at least sure of one kitten, but I had thought about maybe two in the past so they wouldn’t get lonely while the family was away at school and work. You see, my children and I created a 2016 vision board in January and a picture of a cat is on there.  Yup, I told my husband that this was the year, so he’d better get his mind right. I’ve missed having cats, and in the 19 years of living in Texas, I haven’t had one, except for the neighborhood cat that we feed sporadically.

The kittens are a complete joy and everyone, including my husband, is in complete awe of them (ok…maybe my husband isn’t in complete awe, but they make him smile a lot, especially when they fall asleep on his lap). I know families who have pets when their children are much younger than mine, but my son used to be allergic to both cats and dogs, so that was a big part of the reason that we didn’t have pets. When he was tested a few years ago, we found out that he was no longer allergic to cats, but still allergic to dogs. Now my children are ages 15 and 10 (11 next month), which is old enough to really appreciate and help take care of them. It’s been a joy  to see how loving my children are to them. This really was the perfect time to receive them into our home because we’re getting them litter trained while we’re still on summer schedule and we have more time to play and enjoy them before the school year hustle/bustle starts. Plus, with my husband’s surgery in May, and disappointment with not making it to Florida for my cousin’s wedding that same month (see my first post), we needed a burst of joy.

I see why some animals make great therapy pets.  Pets don’t judge you. They just want to be loved and cared for. This whole experience makes me think about how you have to open yourself up to receive joy. I wrote a previous post in response to the daily word prompt about being open. I’m convinced that being open is a conscious decision that you have to make. I could be bitter about a lot of things, but it’s my decision on how negative experiences affect me.  I know it’s easier said than done, but it takes work, and for some, fight. If negative internal dialogue is an issue, then it will take consistency to keep your internal dialogue positive and in check.

I could type more, but I want to end noting that there is a lot of misfortune, hate and injustice in the world, but seize opportunities to receive and express joy. Be grateful. Make room for the sweet stuff.