Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Cats

This week we adopted a couple of furry family members.

I'm not sure how long ago we first spoke of getting a pet, but the discussion ended last week with a mouse. Living in this city, mice are just a part of life. But this little bugger avoided every trap, precaution, and tactic we threw at it. Late one night, standing in his underwear with a salad bowl in hand, Jason declared we were getting a cat and that was that.

We considered just getting a kitten on craigslist- kittens are playful, cute, cheap, and perfectly trainable, clean slates. But when I started browsing the website for the Animal Rescue League of Boston, I started to melt. There are so many sweet animals in shelters waiting for forever-homes. And for the amount of vet care that the ARL puts into them, adoption is an amazing deal. A new kitten would cost upward of $500 for first year care alone. I asked Jason and he agreed adoption was the way to go.

The ARL site listed a pair of cats that caught my eye- a 1 year old black and white tuxedo American Short-Hair and his all-white brother. I called the ARL and was given scads of information. I learned that they had come from a placed that was overpopulated with cats. This left them neglected and drastically shy. Their socialization had been the focus of their care, with great results, but they still had a way to go. This, their age, and a prior rash on the white cat's neck had all worked against them when it came to adoption. They'd been there for 5 months (that's a long time to be in a shelter, in case you didn't know). But there was wonderful news. Because of their special case, the ARL was willing to adopt them out for the price of one!

Funny little coincidence- that night I found out that it was "Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week."

We hadn't told the kids our plan, in case something didn't work out. So we broke the news the next morning to much excitement. Before I said anything about the cats I'd found, Lala said "Can we get an all-white kitty?"
"As a matter of fact," I grinned.

We went to the ARL after Cal got home from school. We finally got to meet the cats, and despite their timidness had a great experience with the children playing with them. Five minutes in the room with them and I was in love. They were so sweet and full of personality! As we moved forward with the adoption the shelter started buzzing- volunteers kept spreading the news "The Brothers are getting adopted!" There were cheers and high-fives, congratulations and assurance of the cats' general awesomeness. It was such a happy day.

They were already in their carriers, so we had to hold up their pictiures 
Now the newly named Sherlock and Watson are getting acclimatized to their new home and family.   I'd be lying if I said that their timidness didn't get to me now and then. But they are warming up in strides and I have great hope and assurance from my Cat-people friends. And it's nice to just have them around. They are already a pleasant addition to the household.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Scary Things

Have you ever tried something that scared you a little?

Somewhere growing up, in between the American Dream and New Wave Feminism, I got the impression that if it scares you a little, you're doing it right. I can't say that I actually ever experienced what that means, being alternately  too crazy/stupid or too cowardly. Yes, my name is Heather Louise and I am a chicken.

Now I'm experiencing it.

I've been skating with a few other beginners about twice a week for three weeks. It's done about a tablespoons worth of good. Saturday was the first day of Fresh Meat Training and I got the piss knocked out of me. Seriously. By time I got home I was bruised from my butt to my ego. I started to question whether I could actually do this.

Part of me wavered till the other day when I got a good talkin-to from an unlikely source- my mother. Ms. I-don't-like-this-but-I'll-play-along-with-your-shenanigans. She spent a good ten minutes telling me about all the skills Derby would give me and how they could be applied to the real world. She talked about how when we pay attention to life, life tends to hand us exactly what we need. And she told me that if I was feeling chicken, so stare the situation in the face and say "Bring it on!" It was just what I needed.

It got me thinking about other things that scare me, like speaking up about values I believe in and "getting involved." I think it's time I make a list of scary things and start doing them.

Am I still afraid for the next practice? Yes. But I'm ready to face it head on. And I'm armed with a puke-bucket.