Little Spoon and I have been talking about adopting a fur baby or two for a while now, and in April, one of her friends at work found a stray who ended up having kittens. When Little Spoon found out about this, she immediately wanted to snatch one up. I demurred, worried about her allergies and our ability to take care of pets at this stage of our lives.
However, Little Spoon has gotten treatment for her allergies, which makes her much more able to deal with having cats around. We also have talked through the responsibilities entailed in pet ownership, and we realized that we'd probably be able to handle raising kittens just fine. Dogs would probably be too much work on account of the housebreaking, need to walk everyday or have a fence installed, and their general desire for lots of attention. It's one thing to have a kitty curled up beside me on the couch while I'm working that I can pet or play with until it gets bored. It's a whole other thing to have a dog whose playfulness and devoted energy know no bounds!
After talking about this off and on for weeks and letting the kittens grow up for more than six weeks, it finally came time to make a decision about them. We took a look at them today and found two that stood out from the rest of the litter. Neither of us had allergic reactions to them, so we drove them home! We chose to adopt two both to give them playmates during the day when we're at work and to give them another cat with whom to be socialized in feline behavior.
We initially thought of keeping them in the back seat with a towel to avoid overstimulating them. However, they cried on the way home, probably in shock at both the separation and the unfamiliar sensation of riding in a moving vehicle. We pulled over so that I could hold them while Little Spoon drove us to the pet store and then home. After a solid 15 minutes of crying instigated by the black one and joined intermittently by our chipmunk-colored one, they finally settled down and fell asleep on me. The black one fell asleep in the palm of my left hand, and the chipmunk-colored one dozed along my right shoulder. However, the one on my shoulder was slipping down, so I eventually got them both sleepily situated in my lap, where they stayed contentedly until we got home.
We've got a kitten-sized bed, dual ceramic food bowls with kitty chow and a stainless steel water dish, a litter box with litter and a scoop, and some little mice that the black kitty loves to gnaw on and growl at. Next up: a sisal scratching post, a mini-kitty carpet gym for them to play in, and some kitty nail clippers. We'll be scheduling them for wellness checkups, vaccinations, microchipping, and spaying/neutering in the near future. We're keeping them in a spare bedroom for the next week or two to let them adjust to their new surroundings and get used to where the food and potty are. We'll open the upper floor up to them and let them prowl around there for a couple of weeks before giving them free reign of the house.
Personally, I feel better about inviting them into our home after talking about the pros and cons of pet ownership. I needed to let the decision percolate for a while, but after giving myself time to weigh the options, I'm glad to be daddy to a couple of furballs. Ultimately, the minor loss of freedom is outweighed tremendously by the love they give, the companionship they provide, and the privilege of helping them grow into happy and healthy cats.
P.S.: I think I may be the kitty-crazier one of us two. The picture above? That's one of about 50 I took in the parking lot of the pet store with my camera phone. Along with three videos of them sleeping and jostling for position on my lap. Yeah, I'm kitten smitten already. More kitten posts will likely be coming soon.