So the big day finally arrived to pick up our kittens from the Pima Animal Care Center. Yes, you heard that right: plural. We ended up adopting two of them, both roommates at the center (in fact, the girls had me already calling the center before I completed my previous post). In my opinion, it could not have gone any better. Here are the first 24 hours with the newest members of our family, Merlissa, a six-month old female Tortie (Tortoiseshell)/Brown Tabby, and Aurora, a six-month old female Orange Tabby.
This was a long week waiting to pick up our kitties. Ever since we got the call on Monday evening that the reserved period had ended (in case a previous owner called asking about them), all three of us could not wait to finally bring the kittens back to our home.
With Elaina in school until the afternoon, Gabriella and I headed to Tucson early to pick up the cats.
We were planning to finalize the adoption and get back in time to pick Elaina up from school, allowing for maximum time with the kittens prior to the 6pm showing of The Addams Family on post; it was Pajama Night, so there was no way the girls were going to miss it.
Gabriella and I got to the Pima Animal Care Center right as it opened and immediately rushed to see the kittens (we probably should have gone to the front desk first). And they seemed to remember her, as they both jumped up to meet her at the door. Unfortunately, we had to go back to the front desk to finalize the adoption, so we had to leave them for about 30 minutes. But they remembered Gabriella, so this was a really good sign. After finishing the paperwork, we went back to pick up our kittens. They seemed more than happy to get into the carrier and were pretty quiet during transport to the car.
In a short detour, let me take the opportunity to thank Pima Animal Care Center for everything that they do. The permanent staff and plethora of volunteers were extremely professional and were absolutely invaluable to helping us find the right pets for us to adopt. Could not say more nice things about them. Thank you for everything and know that Merlissa and Aurora have a good home with a loving, caring family.
While the hour and a half drive was not ideal, the cats did the cat thing and just went to sleep. I kept talking for most of the drive, trying to reassure them that everything was going to be alright once we stopped.
When we stopped to pick Elaina up from school, I made sure to open the carrier and check in on the “other” girls. And, sure enough, they were both purring. They were certainly ready to get out of the carrier, but it looks like their accommodations for the trip were good enough.
Before we got home, I reiterated with the girls that they need to give the cats some space to explore, including no loud noises or quick movement that would frighten them. And they certainly explored.
The girls did a great job at letting the kittens lead and not following behind too closely. While Aurora went straight under the couch for an hour, Merlissa led the charge, going from room to room for about three hours. By the time we left for the movie, Merlissa was acclimated and already started taking a nap on the couch.
After we got back from the movies, Aurora felt a lot more comfortable in the house and has not spent any more time under the couch. She even spent some time that evening helping me write this post.
The kittens were very happy when we returned from the movies, just as much as the girls were happy to see them again.
The girls continued to play with them, as the cats got more and more comfortable being around the girls.
At one point, Elaina got mad because Merlissa was not letting her color. “Dad, Merlissa won’t stop sitting on the paper when I’m trying to color!” is what I heard from her bedroom. Welcome to life with cats, Darling.
I continue to explain to the girls that the cats will come to them when they want to play, so they need to take advantage of the six hours a day that they are actually awake. So we introduced them to the laser pointer.
Safety Disclaimer: The girls used my laser pointer in a controlled environment; I did not just hand one to each of them and say “Go!”
As expected, both the kittens loved the laser pointer and it provided some great entertainment for my girls. They could not believe how fast cats are or how high they can jump. Eventually though, the girls got tired and needed to go to bed. After a long argument between the girls about where the cats would sleep, I casually let them know that “Cats sleep wherever they want to sleep,” which was immediately followed by a YouTube video of cats sleeping in bowls and stuff. Good thing we had this talk, because Merlissa ended end sleeping on Gabriella’s bed (Elaina picked her out); Aurora passed out on the couch.
When the girls woke, they were ecstatic about seeing how their babies did during the night. Apparently, Merlissa was on a blanket at the base of Elaina’s bed when she woke up, so she was pretty happy about that. Aurora was already exploring, but was perfectly comfortable with the girls when they stormed in the living room.
And since they were comfortable and knew they were home, they resorted to doing what cats do best: Sleep.
Of course, sleeping meant being pet as well.
But I do not think anyone minded too much. So, after a day, it already seems like the kittens were the perfect addition to our family. The girls obviously love them and the kittens have let their guard down a lot faster than I would have anticipated. And it does not hurt one bit that the kittens are already using the litter box… and that the girls are already cleaning it out. Double-win.
Thanks for checking in on us.