When the hubs and I moved into our first apartment together 10 years ago, one of my stipulations was that we needed to find a place that allowed pets, and that we would adopt a cat. The hubs was a dog person. Luckily, he was open to sharing his house with a cat.
Shortly after we moved in, one of my coworkers at the time posted a notice on our company's intranet. She had found a pregnant cat wandering along the side of a busy road. She had taken her to her own cat's veterinarian's office, and the vet had graciously offered to board the cat until she delivered her litter. This had just happened, and there were now five kittens up for adoption. The woman who found the pregnant mother had decided to keep her.
After checking with the hubs (who was my boyfriend then), he agreed that we could adopt one of the kittens. One of my friends at work (hi Veronica!) came with me to the vet's office and planned to adopt a kitten as well.
Once we arrived, one of the veterinary technicians informed us that one of the kittens was already spoken for. My friend picked out her favorite, but I simply couldn't choose between the two gray (one light, and one dark) kittens huddled together in the back of the cage. They had their little legs entwined with eachother, and seemed completely bonded. Then and there, I decided to take the pair (one boy and one girl) home with me once they were weaned. Luckily, the hubs agreed.
Eight weeks later, we got the call that the kittens were ready to come home with us. Once I arrived at the vet's office to pick them up, I was informed that the woman who was to adopt their mother had backed out. My two kittens were the last to be picked up, and I couldn't fathom the thought of taking away this mama kitty's last two babies and leaving her there by herself. I called the hubs, and asked how he felt about becoming a three-cat household, when we had originally agreed on one, and then later two. Being the giving kind of guy that he is, he agreed to allow us to become "cat people." I took the two kittens home in one cage, quickly went out and bought another cage, and returned for the mama.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
10 years ago today, Claudia and Louie were born to Chubbie. The little family has never been apart for even one day of their lives, and it shows. The siblings love to snuggle with their mother to this day.
Louie is our prototypical "scaredy cat." He's a timid and shy boy who is not a fan of loud noises or sudden movements. Louie is not a fan of the hubs or of Isabella, as both are pretty loud, and Louie is most often in hiding when they're around. But Louie is also incredibly loving when he wants to be and enjoys hanging out with me when I'm home alone (which is pretty rare these days).
And because I couldn't possibly leave her out, here's Chubbie, the mama of the birthday kids. She's only a year older than they are (knocked up at the age of one, the hussy), and she is the most affectionate (and rotund) cat of the three.
When Isabella was born, I can't tell you how many times my relatives asked me if I was going to "Get rid of the cats," as if they were a cockroach infestation I needed to take care of. I have never for the life of me understood why people give away their animals or take them to a shelter when they become parents. I would read postings that said, "My wife just had a baby so we need to find a new home for our 12-year-old cat ASAP" all the time at my former employer's. I helped many of these cats find new homes by taking them into our home temporarily, and searching for suitable parents. Baring a horrible infant allergy or a suddenly violent display of behavior toward the new baby, there is absolutely no reason why animals and kids cannot co-exist. In fact, my daughter absolutely loves our cats. She cannot wait to see them when she gets up in the morning. And they are so incredibly tolerant of her eager displays of love.
So, happy 10th birthday, Claudia and Louie. It's been a great 10 years. Here's to 10 more.