Becoming a pet parent

Since bringing our kittens home on February 6, I’ve struggled to write a blog post about them that doesn’t make me sound like a new mom sharing the miracle of birth with the Internet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not really my thing. I’ve tried writing about our girls — Tommen and Jojen, named for characters in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series — at least three times in the last few weeks. The problem is that I don’t really have an angle other than, LOOK AT HOW DAMN CUTE MY KIDS ARE!

So I’m giving in. I’m here to talk about how damn cute my kids are. (This post contains a lot of photos. I’m not sorry.)

Adopting furry babies is a decision AR and I discussed for months prior to the first day of the new year, when I finally took the plunge and looked for local pet adoptions on Craigslist. I emailed several posters and heard back from just one, a young woman looking to adopt out six newborn kittens. After several emails, AR and I committed to bringing home two of them. A week later, we met them for the first time (just days after they’d first opened their eyes!) and fell head over heels in love.

Jojen (upper right) and Tommen (lower right), born December 25, 2014. Photos taken January 8, 2015.
Jojen (upper right) and Tommen (lower right), born December 25, 2014. Photos taken January 8, 2015.

Because of our respective schedules, AR and I are in and out of the apartment all the time. We had agreed at the start of our pet adoption negotiations that we needed to adopt at least two, so that they could keep each other company when their humans aren’t home. According to the woman we adopted from, Tommen and Jojen have been close since birth: they were born one after the other and took to sleeping away from the rest of their siblings, curled up together, almost immediately.

Jojen (left) and Tommen (right). Photos taken January 19, 2015.
Jojen (left) and Tommen (right). Photos taken January 19, 2015.

We visited twice in January with the expectation of bringing them home at 12 weeks of age, which would be the end of March. Without getting into details, plans changed pretty significantly and we actually brought them home at 6 weeks of age. The night before we picked them up, we made an emergency trip to the pet store to get all of the supplies we hadn’t yet purchased: litter, toys, food and water dishes, a scratching post, etc. We barely slept for nerves and excitement and the next morning, we brought the girls to their forever home.

AR and I have both had family pets, but neither of us have had pets of our own that we were expected to take sole responsibility of. Having Tommen and Jojen has taught us a lot. For example: you know those cute cat memes like “if I fits, I sits”? One hundred percent accurate. Kittens are exploratory and silly and kind of weird. They like to hide in and under things and will absolutely figure out a way to scale the cinder blocks holding your bookshelves together if it means they can explore a new space. Within five minutes of bringing the girls home, Tommen managed to get herself stuck behind the fridge and we had to rig the ironing board into a barricade for the space between the fridge and the kitchen counter so she couldn’t do it again.

I’ve also learned that the expression, “kids grow like weeds” is COMPLETELY TRUE. Since we brought them home, both kittens have grown noticeably. Their faces have filled out and their legs have gotten longer and their bodies have gotten bigger. I mean, look at these kids then:

February 6, 2015.
February 6, 2015.

And look at these kids now:

February 20, 2015.
February 20, 2015.

Our next adventure is setting up a vet appointment. Our current adventure is teaching them not to play with cords or bite. They’re really well-behaved girls; they’re just kids, and kids love to play. Tommen and Jojen are both super active and very social, with each other as well as humans. Their personalities shine through more all the time and they’re so, so beautiful. My entire camera roll is photos of them and they’ve all but taken over my Instagram. Every time they do something new or funny or cute, everyone hears about via Snapchat or text. I successfully trimmed their front claws a few days ago (they kept getting stuck in things — my socks, AR’s shirts, the blanket covering the altar table) and bragged about it for the rest of the afternoon.

Long story short: LOOK AT HOW DAMN CUTE MY KIDS ARE! Adopting them is one of the best decisions AR and I have ever made. I suspect I’ll never actually stop talking about them, so more posts will probably be forthcoming. Maybe if I write about them more, my co-workers will have to hear about them less?

Probably not.

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Becoming a pet parent

4 thoughts on “Becoming a pet parent

  1. Y O U N G & T W E N T Y says:

    Adopting my fur baby was the greatest decision of my life and I completely agree. Sometimes I want to talk about her like a new mom. I don’t, but I don’t think we should have shame in doing so. Raising animals is a lot of work and they love they give you is not like any other. Congratulations! Can’t wait to see more photos of them 🙂

    1. You have a point — I guess I just didn’t feel like what I was writing sounded anything like me, new mom-esque or not. Raising these babies IS a lot of work, but it’s 100% worth it. They’re both sleeping on my chest even as I type this comment.

      Thank you so much! There will definitely be plenty of photos to come.

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