Sunday, October 2, 2011


Saturday morning I needed to pick up a few groceries at Aldi and get some flea medicine for Tiger at the vet's office. Kaylin loves Aldi because it's a quick trip and I always cave on buying her cheap baking supplies. When Logan heard we were going to the vet's office he decided to come along so he could look at the kittens.

Big Hollow usually has a cage full of kittens for sale. They spay/neuter, test for feline leukemia, give first vaccinations, deworm, vet exam and sell the kittens for $100 apiece. It turns out to be a really good deal because all the same services on a free kitten end up costing at least $300. I'm all about adopting from shelters, but baby kittens at shelters are soooo likely to have upper respiratory infections or other illnesses that can be $$$ in vet bills or even be fatal. The Big Hollow kittens are unwanted litters that would otherwise be dropped off at shelters. Anyway, going to look at and play with the kittens is something the kids and I love to do. We have done this many, many times and have always walked out without a kitten. There was absolutely no plan to bring home a kitten on Saturday. The kids knew that and I knew that.

We walked into the packed vet's office and immediately plunked down by the kitten cage. There were 5 or 6 kittens of many colors and hair lengths. There were two kittens who were awake and playful. One liked to claw and bite, the other knew how to keep her claws sheathed and understood how to mouth and not bite. She was tiny compared to the others, but incredibly spunky. We played through the cage and waited and waited our turn. I finally got bored and pulled the kitten out of the cage. The second I touched her she purred like a little motor. She was perfectly comfortable with the bustle of many large dogs around her. She was happy to be turned on her back. She actually seemed to enjoy being passed back and forth between the kids. She was the perfect kitten!

Now, we certainly did NOT go looking to buy a kitten, but it wasn't a complete impulse buy either. Kaylin asked for a kitten for her birthday. She made an adorable kitten box and was terribly disappointed when I said no. I recently asked Logan what he wanted for his birthday and he said the number one thing he wanted was a kitten, though he knew that probably wouldn't happen. I strongly believe a pet belongs to the family, not to an individual. There was no way I could get a kitten for Logan's birthday when I had refused to do the same for Kaylin.

The vet's office cleared out and my turn at the counter finally came. I got Tiger's flea stuff and asked one of my former coworkers if I could take the kitten for a weekend "test drive." They were only open another hour and there was little chance someone else was going to swoop in and buy this kitten before Monday. She said sure, laughed at me and sent me on my way. So long, sucka!

We spent the rest of Saturday making sure the kitten would get along with Duncan and Tiger. Tiger was amazed at the tiny fireball, but didn't get too worked up about it. Duncan was excited and had many bouts of paw on kitten back and nose in kitten butt. Overall, he was pretty good and far more gentle than I could have imagined. He's a little jealous, but he's too independent to care deeply. Oh, and of course we had to run the new kitten by Gene. He acted annoyed, but couldn't help almost immediately falling in love with the weensy furball. She will be staying.

After many hours of suggestions and deliberations, we settled on the name Willow. It was just something we found and liked. It also goes well with the Warrior (series of cat books) names Kaylin wanted. Right now she's Willowkit. When she's 6 moons old she'll be made an apprentice and her name will be Willowpaw. When she is ready to be a warrior she'll receive her warrior name which will be determined by some outstanding feature like WillowWhisker or WillowHeart. If she doesn't grow into her ears she'll be WillowEars.

Everyone should come see her while she's still tiny. Seeing this dinky 1-2# kitten next to 20# Tiger is hilarious. This morning I was eating breakfast and reading the paper. Willow came and meowed and meowed to be picked up so I grabbed her and put her on the table. In a split second she had her entire head dunked into my cereal bowl. This cat may like food even more than fatty-boy Tiger! I don't think she'll stay tiny for long.

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