So excited to present to you, our two new family members, Brysco (in the blue collar) and Wyatt (in the red collar)!!!! These two crazyboys have already brought so much laughter and joy into our household, I cannot evenn begin to describe it.
Tim and I both grew up in households with pets. For him it was cats and dogs, for me it was cats, dogs, fish, birds, turtles and whatever else happened along. It was almost unfathomable to us to not have some sort of pet in our home. And yet, and yet, for the past seven years, we have been petless.
It wasn't really the plan, it was just a matter of timing. Just before we moved to Florida from Colorado, our one remaining cat passed away. It was very sad of course. But we didn't really have time to grieve or consider getting another because we were so busy with the process of selling the Colorado house, finding a Florida house and all of the fal-de-rol involved with moving. Once we moved into our Florida house, with next to no furniture (having gotten rid of almost every single piece before we left Colorado), we immediately began construction and renovation. And buying furniture. And painting. And learning our new town. And settling into a new routine. And, well, time flies by.
The chaos of construction is not a good environment for toddlers or pets (and come to think of it, most pets are very similar to toddlers), so we postponed even thinking about whether or not we should get a new pet. And as 7 years of nearly constant construction and projects going on, we continued to not think about it...............most of the time. Occasionally we would meet up with friends and neighbors who have pets and we always found ourselves lavishing attention on their cat or dog. Then we would return home with a vague longing. But shook it off. It was something not to be remotely considered until construction and projects were done.
Last year, during my constant round of surgeries and recoveries, I found myself missing the comfort of a pet more than ever before. Tim and I discussed it and decided that once the family room was done, we would give it serious thought.
Owning a pet does require serious thought. Pets, like children, are an enormous responsibility and, let's face it, expense. Their food and vet bills (which are sometimes more expensive than humans), the toys and beds, the collars or harnesses and leashes, carriers and treats...well it adds up. And like with a human child, you do not take that on unless you are prepared to do it right.
We debated whether we should get a dog or a cat and landed on cat, mostly because cats are easier. Yes, I know that sounds lazy, but honestly, neither of us is getting any younger and easy is, well easier. Tim and I both agreed that two pets was the right idea, not just one for each of us, but also so that when they tired of human companionship, they woudl have another feline to commiserate over how stupid we are ;) So are bonded pair was an ideal plan.
Last week, I filled out an application to adopt at an excellent cat shelter up in Sarasota, The Cat Depot. We tried looking at the photos of their available cats online, but every kitty picture is so adorable that we just couldn't make the decision that way. Nope, we had to see them live and in person. So last Saturday we did just that. We met so many very nice cats and liked all of them. And then we met these two goofballs.
They are absolutely identical brothers, six months old and originally ferals captured in a TNVR sweep. That is: Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return. They each have one ear that has been docked or tipped if you prefer, poor babies. But are still very handsome devils. We were told by the folks at the shelter, they nobody, not one single solitary person, had shown interest in these two sweet boys. So, clearly, we had to take them. For some reason, which absolutely baffles me, people do not seem to adopt black cats. They would have been doomed to live out their lives at the shelter.
Don't get me wrong, Cat Depot is a wonderful shelter staffed with loving, caring knowledgeable people but it's not the same thing as being in a loving home. Without even checking out all of the cats available for adoption, we knew that these were our boys. We paid the fee, signed the papers, loaded them into their carriers and brought them home.
They were surprisingly well behaved on the long car ride back and once we arrived home and let them back out of their carriers, they were more curious than anything. We allowed them to just sniff and wander and check the place out. Clearly we passed their inspection because with each passing day, they become more and more relaxed and goofy and fun.
For ferals they are surprisingly affectionate and love getting pets. Because they are physically, carbon copies of one another, we put different coloured collars on them immediately. Otherwise, we'd never know who was who. Their personalities are a little different, which helps. Brysco is a little more trusting, a little more outgoing, but Wyatt is relaxing more and more all the time and now, (less than a week later), will sometimes walk up to Tim and I to request pets rather than hiding in the far corner under the guest bed which was where he choose to be between meals the first two days.
They are very easy going so far about mealtimes. They don't get noisy or pushy about wanting to eat, which is nice. But if I call them to breakfast or dinner, they thunder up like a herd of ponies. And, like most ferals, they aren't at all particular about what they eat. I, however, do care and read every can and every bag in the cat food aisle before purchasing any.
They are slowly learning the word no. They are not fans. No you cannot be on the stove. No you cannot scratch the furniture. Same goes for the rugs. No you cannot chew wires. No you cannot climb the window screens. No you cannot help yourself to our food. But as I say, we are making progress.
They are endlessly curious about everything. Shockingly, they are not afraid of loud noises so when I dry my hair, they sit and watch. When I vacuum, they follow the vacuum around. Both boys love sitting in an open window watching the world go by, bicycles, people and cars are mildly interesting but bunnies, squirrels and birds are awesome!
They want to help us do whatever we are doing, tying shoes, making the bed, typing....oh yeah, they are big on helping type. The number of sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs that I've had to delete are legion. All typos from this moment forward I'm blaming on the cat. They want to help wash dishes, read the newspaper, fold clothes and wash floors.
Brysco is especially good at helping Tim watch television. Every day, at least once, there is a battle for cube supremacy which Wyatt usually wins. And then somewhere along the line, usually late morning or early afternoon, they disappear and we wonder if it was all a dream. Do we actually own cats ? They vanish into closets or the little "clubhouse" on the cat tree or under the coffee table. And seriously, a black cat in the dark is totally invisible unless they have their eyes open.
There is all sorts of literature about the positive health benefits of owning a pet. They lower blood pressure and anxiety, decrease risk of stroke, lift depression, and because they want to playplayplay, get us up off our arses to play with them which is exercise! And best of all, they make us laugh.
I will say that it's hard to get decent photos of them. They are in near constant motion! But I try. Here are some other photos of our new house panthers:
We are delighted with our new kitties and know that they will bring us great joy in the years to come. But I feel so very sorry for this years Christmas Tree. Making a mental note now to only put unbreakable ornaments on it!
Tell me about your pets!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.