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Wednesday, December 7, 2011
What have we gotten ourselves into? Who thought getting a very small baby kitty was a good idea with a toddler and two very busy parents? Hell if I know. All I know is, we've got one now. His name is Bingley, as stated in the title, which is from Pride and Prejudice (Bingley is the sweet guy who marries Jane). The name fits too, since this kitty is extremely affectionate and sociable. He's in love with Patton. Patton is very sweet with Bingley, but I don't think it's a mutual love, not yet.
So I'm the idiot who figured, since we have been a catless home since October, and since Alexandra loves her dees (she calls cats "dee" by the way) so much that she will kiss pictures of cats, and since Todd and I both love having a cat to snuggle up with, that I'd surprise Todd with an early Christmas present.
My bestie Kendra has a friend who is a vet tech and was, coincidentally, fostering a litter of roly poly bundles of furry joy. So dear Kendra, acting as an adoption agency, helped coordinate the drop off or, as I guess it's called in the realm of adoptions, Execution Day. That was this past Friday. Kendra calls me: "Becky's outside!" and I run out, we do the switch and Todd and Alex are standing in the doorway, framed in Christmas lights, each with a WTF expression on their lovely faces.
Well, I was kind of worried that I'd pushed the cat issue too soon, but after approximately 3.8 seconds in the presence of this little bundle of joy, the entire household went to pieces over him. Patton licked him so thoroughly he should have bought him dinner, Alexandra promptly put her arms around him and stuck her thumb in her mouth, and Todd and I kept asking to hold him and taking him out of each other's hands.
We made a makeshift litter box, one that was smaller and less intimidating than the Olympic-sized litter box we still ha, got him his food bowls and settled into life with a kitten which turns out to be absolutely nothing like "settling down."
Alexandra was running around, having meltdown after meltdown since it was kind of past her bedtime; Patton was going insane over the new kitten and Bingley, bless him, was utterly overwhelmed and sitting in the middle of the den caterwauling at top volume. I'd say his voice box goes to 11.
We put Alex to bed and it calmed down... sort of. The meowing was still going on, the Patton freak out dance was still happening, it was 8:30pm and I'd yet to even start cooking dinner. I got the chicken rice casserole assembled, glanced at the directions and finally saw that it took over 45 minutes to bake. I had a meltdown, a drink, and then wrapped that dinner up and made another one.
Then we settled down to eat. At nine o'clock at night. Then Bingley went apeshit over my dinner, and I gave him a chunk of ground beef. Then I felt stupid for giving a baby kitty people food. Then I felt even dumber after he had a horrible, disgusting round of the trots in his litter box. Then I felt even dumber after Bingley stepped in it, and even dumber because I realized it after I picked him up and put him in my arms.
Needless to say, it's been an adventure as well as a culture shock. After all, Todd and I haven't had to deal with kittenhood since 2006 and back then there were no babies. We were dating but didn't live together, so all we had to deal with was the kitten itself. And dude, it's been five years. Five years of marriage, job hunting, baby arrivals, house moving, and everything in between. You forget a lot in five years.
You forget that you start out in the bedroom with the litter box, food and water in there so he is close enough to get to it in the middle of the night. You forget that kittens step in their own shit 9 times out of 10. You forget that they sometimes crap on your bed when you run a ton of errands because they've only been alive for 7.5 weeks, they've only lived in your house for 48 hours and they forget where the hell they are and how they got there in that handbasket.
But you also forget the joys of bonding with such a sweet creature. You forget the hilarity of a kitten first figuring out how to play with string. You forget the adorable sight of a 1lb kitten curling up with a 100lb German shepherd. You forget the cuddling, snuggling and purring in your ear. You forget how fun it is to walk around like a pirate with a kitten perched on your shoulder. You forget that, as a dog and cat lover, the home just isn't complete without a cat.
And hey, the little monster pooped today and didn't step in it. It was the best gift I could have received at 7:45am.