When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Poppy and Iris

There was an empty space left behind in our hearts and our home following the loss of our cat Maggie back in November. After seventeen years of her comforting presence, I found myself still expecting her to greet me at the front door sometimes when I swung it open, and hearing ghost echoes of her meow at random times of the day when I was home alone. Noah and Will felt it too; they had never known a life without a cat's companionship.  We all talked about this and knew that when the time felt right, we would welcome a new furry family member or two into our lives.

The time felt right a few weeks ago, and I began checking our local humane society's website to find a pair of kittens to adopt, thinking that would be an easy thing to do.  Apparently it is not so easy to find a pair of kittens to adopt in February.  The first day I saw kittens come up on the adoptions webpage, I waited for Matt and the boys to come home, showed them the photos, and we decided excitedly we would go after dinner and meet the sweet little creatures and hopefully bring two of them home.  But by the time we arrived at the pet store where they were temporarily living, all of the kittens had already been adopted in the few short hours since their profiles had appeared online.  (The last one, our favourite in the photos, was just being spoken for as we walked into the store.)

We were all really disappointed, but I reassured the boys that I would keep looking and that surely soon we would bring some kittens home.  Then I did what any Type A personality who has set her mind to accomplishing something would do:  I dedicated (too) many of my waking hours over the following week and a half to succeeding at Mission: Kittens.  I kept checking back with my laptop time and time again from morning until evening each day, refreshing the page on each of the many tabs I had open for all of the humane societies and animal rescue organizations within a reasonable driving distance, watching for photos of  new kittens to pop up (which they did very sparsely).  When a litter came up several days after our first failed attempt to adopt, I headed way across town to a different pet store, only to find that once again, the kittens were already spoken for by the time I got there.

This went on for another week.  (I know, it must seem that my fervour for this project was bit much, but what else is there to do in February?)  It got to the point where I knew every one of the many cats at the humane society by name, and Will and Noah and I would cheer for the older kitties day by day as some of them found new homes.  Still, there were no kittens, and it was getting hard to watch the boys' hopeful faces fall when I told them each afternoon after school that I still hadn't had any luck. Finally, on a recent Friday P.A. Day, a photo of an adorable little black kitten popped up online in the morning, and the boys and I went wild with excitement.  We jumped immediately into the car, drove all the way across town, and burst hopefully through the doors of the pet store... only to find that the kitten was not there.  It seemed impossible that she could have been adopted already when we had acted so quickly, and when we asked the store employee about it, he said that they hadn't received any kittens from the humane society that day.  We left our phone number with him and asked him to please call if the kitten arrived, but we were all feeling pretty discouraged as we left empty-handed once again.

The kitten's picture disappeared from the website shortly after we got home, so we didn't have much hope. The day dragged on as we waited... and waited... and waited for the phone to maybe ring. Finally, in the late afternoon I got a phone call saying that the kitten had just arrived at the store and was still available to be adopted! We trekked back across town with held breath during the time when I was supposed to be making dinner (while Noah was texting me frantically from the pool saying he had forgotten his swim suit), had Matt meet us at the store from work (because the humane society wants all family members to meet the animal before filling out an adoption agreement), and in the end we (finally!) very happily came home with a lovable little black kitten.  We named her Poppy.

Because it was our original plan to adopt two kittens so they could enjoy each other's company, we continued to check the humane society website every now and then over the next week as we were having fun getting to know our new furry family member.  This past Saturday, we decided that lovely little Iris should come and join us at home as well.  Mission: Kittens is now complete, and we're all so very happy.

These two tiny soft-furred girls have brought a new kind of love and laughter into our home.  It is such a joy to hold their warm, purring bodies in our arms and laps, to watch their playful, silly antics and to see the delight on Noah and Will's faces as they discover just how much fun kittens are.  Our hearts will always hold dear the many fond memories we have of Maggie from our long life with her; now as they follow us around the house with their happy little chirps and complete trust, Poppy and Iris are quickly and sweetly filling the remaining empty space.

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