Because we were travelling this Christmas, we did our official family present ceremony the weekend before, when Mabel got her big huge Playmobil thing and Dash got his scooter and B and I exchanged some things that were partly almost identical (but complementary). So on Christmas morning itself the kids weren’t expecting anything beyond their stockings until the big dinner with cousins later in the day. So, the stockings were ransacked, the oranges discarded, the chocolate eaten before breakfast, the small items admired or ignored… and that was it. Except we did have one more thing: an announcement.
No, I’m not pregnant. Don’t be silly.
The announcement was that when we got back home we would commence looking for a kitten. They were pretty excited about that. Mabel spent much of the rest of the trip saying “kitten kitten kitten kitten” at us for days at a time and saying we shouldn’t have told her because now she would obsess about it until we stepped off the plane. I cautioned that we would not be dashing straight to the kitten shop and getting a kitten the moment we got home; that this was simply the beginning of being open to finding a kitten.
And so it has been, because the animal shelter doesn’t have any kittens right now. (Yes, the irony. When we visited in the summer they had baskets of kittens, more than anyone needed; but it seemed that everyone had been adopted for Christmas. There were hardly any animals there at all.) We’ve taken a couple of books about cat care out of the library, I’ve nosed around PetSmart to see what there is in the way of litter trays and cat carriers, we’ve agreed that the ideal would be, in fact, two sibling kittens, to keep each other company and spread the love a bit. There were even two sibs at PetSmart (which offers adoptions, they don’t sell bred kittens), but they cost twice as much as the shelter and I didn’t fall instantly in love with them and the next time I looked one of them had gone so that was that.
It’s possible that I’m overthinking this. But even if we go to the big county shelter (on my list for next weekend … maybe) and they have bushels of kittens, how do you choose? These animals are going to be part of our family for years to come; can we just grab any two that look cute? Or the only two they have, if it’s like that? Perversely, I don’t want to get two more grown up cats whose personalities are already established, because they’re someone else’s cats already, not ours.
So, in short, I want some choice but not too much. I want a kitten (and its sibling) to choose us, so that we know we’ve chosen the right ones. I want a sign from the Cat God. (Is that Bast? I think it’s Bast. Dash would know, because he’s read Rick Riordan’s Egyptian series. He says they’re not as good as the others.)
But anyway, look out for some cute kitten photos on a blog near you, coming soon. I hope.