10 Years of Feline Fun

Since I was a little girl, I've always shared my house with an animal companion or two.

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).

Claudia, his sister, craves love and affection. She was "Daddy's little girl" before "Daddy's human little girl" came around, and when the human daughter goes to bed, Claudia seeks out the hubs for some one-on-one attention. Claudia loves the sun, and like her mother, is extremely tolerant of Isabella laying all over her.

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.

12 Responses to “10 Years of Feline Fun”

  1. # Blogger Tracey

    We grew up always having at least 1 dog, which was usually MY baby. My husband always had dogs and cats, as well. So, when we moved in together, we got 2 cats and loved them to pieces. Well, these 2 cats ended up liking to pee on ANYthing that is left on the floor... so, you can imagine my joy when, after having a baby, they continued that lovely habit. It doesn't matter how clean we keep their litter box, they will find the laundry on the floor and pee on it. I have since sadly lost much of the love for the felines...

    It's good to knwo that some people truly have good experiences with animals. I am SO deadset against getting any other pets because of this experience...  

  2. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I agree re: people getting rid of their pets for baby. Sam is so much better for growing up with our dog and cat.  

  3. # Blogger Riley & Tiki

    Happy Birthday to the kitties! Life is more fun with multiple cats!

    Vincent Who Came Before did the same thing to laundry on the floor. So even though we don't do this ourselves, Mommy's rule is still no laundry on the floor. She has hampers with lids in the bedrooms and the bathrooms. She doesn't want to give us ideas.  

  4. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    What a sweet post! We are a two cat household (and my husband was also a newbie to cats). There are times, since Little Elvis has been born that they've made me really mad, but I still wouldn't give them up. The good times outnumber the bad, and Little Elvis adores (seriously) our big cat Wally. I don't know if you saw his music video with Wally, here's the link - http://www.pregnantlyplump.com/2008/01/friends-fur-ever.html  

  5. # Blogger Mom24

    What a wonderful story! I love cats. They are so affectionate, and so easy to take care of. Don't you just love all the internet rumors about cats smothering the baby, or "sucking all the air out if it's mouth"? Stupid. Kuddos to you for giving them a home. We adopted two kittens a few years ago, they were litter mates also. They were absolutely wacko their first year! Fortunately, they calmed down. Sadly, one of them left home one day, and we never found her again, but my other kitty is curled up, purring, on my lap as I type this! Enjoy your kitties.  

  6. # Blogger beagle

    Awww . . . you know I am a sucker for a gooey mushy cat story.  

  7. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    As much grief as my Louie has caused us in the last year, we love him to pieces. The picture of your Louie totally cracks me up! What adorable cats!!

    I was never a cat person until I met my husband. Both my mom and sister are very allergic, so we had a dog instead. But cats are great and *usually* a lot less work (nice when you already have three kids!).  

  8. # Blogger Jesser

    It always amazes me when people think you can just "get rid" of pets ... like they're an old pair of shoes!! They're part of the family!! I guess they just don't "get it."

    Love the photos of your kitties.  

  9. # Blogger Shannon

    I totally miss having a pet cat now after that post... but Jeremy, my MIL, and my sister are allergic... but I think we will have a puppy one day for lore... she loves them soooo much... tried to take one from the mall today lol...  

  10. # Blogger Christine

    Amen on the animals and kids thing. We always had a pet growing up and frankly I think we ended up better for it.  

  11. # Blogger Quasi

    Happy birthday to your cats! Now, here's the perfect gift for them. I’d like to tell you that I’ve written a scathingly funny book, The World Is Your Litter Box, which will be out in May. The book is cleverly disguised as a cute cat book so humans will buy it, but is, in fact, a how-to manual FOR cats. Check it out on my website, www.theworldisyourlitterbox.com.  

  12. # Blogger sher

    Oh Kristi, I just love you! The kitties are so adorable. And I also don't understand why people get rid of their cats at the drop of a hat. They treat them like lamps, and kick them out when their fashion changes. Happy Birthday to the feline crew. They were certainly lucky to find you and the hubs!  

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