Saturday, December 23, 2006

My small heart grew three sizes today

After I got a new car earlier this month, and in anticipation of the extra expenses of a car payment and higher insurance, we decided not to exchange gifts this year. I was expecting a pretty low-key, uneventful Christmas; a nice dinner with Paul, some presents from my folks to open, a movie or two to watch.

Then a few days ago Paul told me if I still wanted one, he would get me a kitten for Christmas. He had considered bringing one home in a big box with a bow, but decided (rightly so) that I would prefer to pick it out myself. I lost my cats, aged 17 and 18, over the last two years and have been craving some new feline companionship. So this was shaping to be an exciting Christmas after all.

This afternoon we went to an adoption fair hoping to bring home a kitten. Instead, we brought home two! They are siblings, a male and a female. They're five months old, still quite frisky and kittenish. They are tiger-striped, mostly gray and black with some white on their bellies and faces. The male is bold and gregarious, a talker and a toy stalker. His tail has the markings of a ring-tailed lemur. The female is slighter and a bit more timid than her brother, but warms to you quickly. She is a cuddler and shoulder-climber with a sweet, dainty little face.

Many thanks to Bottle Babies Kitten Rescue and Guardians for Animals for making the adoption possible. These two had an adventurous few months, according to the volunteer running the adoption fair. They were discovered on a sidewalk in Hamtramck just minutes old, still covered with afterbirth. They were taken in and bottle-fed by foster parents. When they got old enough they were placed in two different homes but had to be returned each time after the owners developed allergies. So they spent a good while in foster care and were much beloved by their extended foster family, who knew them as Pablo and Lola.

So beloved in fact, I wondered whether their names should remain Pablo and Lola. But everyone wants to name his own kids, right? It's part of what makes them yours. I decided to call them Pee-wee and Elvira after my favorite Groundlings alumni, Pee-wee Herman and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. They both share characteristics with their namesakes: Pee-wee is playfully silly and Elvira is an enchanting beauty. Pee-wee is already responding to his name. I'm sure Elvira will too once she comes out from under my bed. They're still getting used to our giant dog.

A few shots of their first day home:



And a great shot of Cleo from this morning: