Backstory: I grew up with a dog, two cats, and a verifiable zoo of other animals (birds, fish, a rabbit). But once I left for college and was no longer around the cats frequently, I developed an allergy. Flash forward 13 years, and my kid is cat-crazy. It would just make his life if he could have a cat, but he knows I’m allergic, so he doesn’t even ask.
Then I start sublingual immunotherapy because I’m allergic to our state (thanks, Tennessee, allergy capital of the world!). Sublingual immunotherapy is like allergy shots without the shot; the medicine comes in the form of liquid drops taken orally with small amounts of what you’re allergic to steadily increasing, to teach your body that it isn’t something to attack. That was two years ago. So recently, I’d begun toying with the idea of adopting a cat. I didn’t know for sure if I was still allergic, but I haven’t been having reactions when we visit my in-laws and they have two cats. I began combing adoption websites, getting heartbroken over the sheer magnitude of animals, and pausing, then starting the whole process all over again.
I was looking for a girl cat, because I’m a boy mom that also wants a girl and I need all the girly-ness around me I can gather. I wanted a black cat, because I’ve read they’re less likely to be adopted and of course I root for the underdog, even when the underdog is a cat.
There I am, scrolling Facebook, when I see that my vet has shared a video. These two black kittens were rescued together, though they’re not related, and they’re the last two from both rescued litters to be adopted. They’re really bonded, and they have Disney names! Hocus and Pocus. And they’re both boys.
Of course they are.
So I ooh and aah over the cuteness, and my heart is yelling, of course you have to adopt these cuties! How could you not?!
My brain disagrees, citing the number of cats I wanted and how I could still be allergic and we don’t know how our Shadow will do with cats and two? Two?! Two BOYS!?
Our dog, Shadow, was due for his annual checkup. So while I was at the vet anyway, I asked to meet the two little kittens, and I did not sneeze a single time. No watery eyes, no eyes swelling shut, nothing. Long story short, now we have two dogs, two cats, and a fish.
Ha! Like my overthinking brain could just make a decision after meeting them. No, I had to make more pro-con lists and see-saw back and forth before deciding.
What swayed me, once and for all?
2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year. And if I can do this small thing, letting these two kittens from separate litters who became best friends stay together, then I should do it. It would help redeem this year in some small way if we could have a positive impact on these kitties. And we know they’ll have a positive impact on us, too.
We surprised the kids and brought the kitties home the weekend before Fall Break. Then we had all week to get them used to us, used to our dogs, and slowly introduce them to the house.
So far, we’re keeping the names Hocus and Pocus. I’d intended to change their names to Binx and Salem, from the movie Hocus Pocus, but then couldn’t discern who would be who. Other contenders are Burr and Hamilton, but it feels mean to name one of them Burr! The kittens are identical except for size, so we had to get them color-coded collars so we can tell them apart when they aren’t standing side by side.
We introduced them to the dogs slowly, and even though the kittens have been here a week and a half, we don’t leave them and the dogs together unsupervised. They’ve gotten along really well and are sharing space nicely, but we want to be certain. Of course, this cuddlefest totally melted my heart:
Long story long, that’s the story of how we now have four and a half pets.