I’ve been without a cat in the house for just under a year, and for a few months now, I’ve been feeling the urge to get a kitten to keep me company. I did a little research into cat adoption and was surprised by all the online stories I’d seen about how complicated it is – it seemed like a lot of rescue groups were more focused on putting up roadblocks than uniting pets with owners. (For example, I read several examples of people who were subjected to home studies, unannounced drop-in follow-up visits, and a variety of hoops far more suitable to human adoptions.) As someone who found her first pet through a newspaper ad and kept him alive, unsupervised, for nearly 17 years, I thought this seemed excessive. I did know, however, that not all shelters are so stringent, but I wasn’t sure how to find a good one.
And then, about a month ago, I noticed a woman I follow on Twitter and had met in passing through DC’s nonprofit circles, was posting pictures of kittens she was fostering. I was totally smitten, but didn’t reach out right away, because, well, it seemed totally awkward to be like, “Hey, I’ve met you like once, but I am totally Twitter-stalking your kittens.” As luck would have it, however, our paths crossed a week or so later at a conference, and I mentioned that I was in the market for a kitten or two. They were too small to be adoptable at that point, but she promised to be in touch when they were getting closer – which she expected would be shortly after my big trip to Alaska (and her even bigger trip to Southeast Asia).
To make a long story short (I know, too late) we met up this evening so I could meet the six foster kittens and pick out the ones I thought were meant to be mine. I gotta say, that was a hell of a challenge, because these kittens are ridiculously cute, and very sweet and playful. I ended up with going with my initial impulse, and picking the runts of the two litters:
I almost went with the black kitty’s two sisters, however, because they’re big enough to adopt right now, whereas my runty friends need to get up to two pounds – the weight at which they can be spayed – before they’re allowed to be mine. And the two sisters (gray kitty and tan kitty as described here*) were super-adorable and climbed up on my shoulders like Dingle used to do, which made them almost irresistible.
So, I have to wait a few weeks until black kitty and calico kitty are mine, but this gives me time to do important things like decide what to name them – though I think I may already know the answer. When I was on vacation, I had a dream one night that I had kittens named Harper and Carlson – yes, my subconscious named one of my future pets after the young superstar of the Nationals, and the other after one of the best defensemen on the Caps. On one hand, I think a) letting my dream decide is slightly kooky and b) naming them after sports stars might be fandom run amok, but on the other hand, I actually think they sound like pretty good pet names.
No matter what I end up calling them (feel free to discuss in the comments!) I think we will be very happy:
* The other four kittens remain up for adoption (technically, mine are too, in case I somehow don’t get approved or change my mind, but you can’t have them!) and since they’re being fostered by two of the nonprofit world’s top social media chicks, they have their own website. If you’re in the market for a cat – or just want to see kittens being cute – check it out.