Before Little Man was born I had a miscarriage. It was the most devastating event that we had ever gone through as a family. I wanted to help lift my family’s spirits and decided to allow the kids to get a cat, which they had been begging for incessantly for years. My husband grew up with a cat and was on board. I knew nothing about cats, but figured something warm and fuzzy to love would help all of us heal.
We decided to give the kids their new pet as a Christmas gift. My husband and I went out and bought all the supplies we would need for a new kitten in the house; food dish, litter box, litter, toys, brush, etc., and wrapped them up. When the kids opened it Christmas morning, they were ecstatic.
We went out the following day to the Humane Society. We wanted a tabby or grey, female kitten. Apparently we weren’t the only family interested in adopting a cat that Christmas. There were no kittens. We finally found a 5 month old rescue cat at a pet store. It was a black male. We named him Chief and took him home.
Chief lived with us for 5 years and I grew to love him dearly. He was there when we brought Little Man home from the hospital. He went for walks around the block with me. He played fetch. He laid on my feet at night and kept them warm. He kept our home mice, squirrel, and bug-free. Sure, he bit people. Almost everyone actually, especially Little Man when he started walking and getting into Chief’s space. But other than the biting, he was a pretty chill dude. Very low maintenance. All he wanted in life was some food, some fresh air, and to be left alone. When he was given that, he was a happy camper.
It was Chief’s love for the outdoors that eventually led to his ultimate demise. One night this past September, as we were all returning from a soccer game, Chief tried to sneak out of the garage as the door was shutting and didn’t make it. While I told the kids what had happened and told them to say their goodbyes to Chief, my husband got ready to take him to the vet to be put down. It was absolutely heartbreaking.
The next morning, everyone was so darn SAD. I wanted to do something that would lift our spirits. I opened my mouth and these words came tumbling out… “Let’s go adopt a cat!” My husband looked at me like I had lost my damn mind. And maybe I had. Or maybe it was just clouded in grief. All I knew was that I wanted to see my kids smile again.
We loaded up into the car and went to the Humane Society. September was not like Christmas. There were A LOT of kittens. We went into a room where there were kittens that we could pet. There was an orange tabby that would not leave us alone. He followed us and wanted to be picked up. My husband picked him up and the little thing rubbed his head in my husband’s beard. He was sweet, but he was 5 months old and we really wanted a kitten.
The first one the worker brought to us was very skittish and shy. The second was pretty aggressive. We didn’t even see the third we had on our list, we asked for the orange lovey cat instead. We all fell in love with him and decided to take him home. We named him King.
King has fit right in at our house. He is affectionate and sweet. He is good with the kids. We still miss Chief, but we love King too. I did tell my husband that, if I ever die, he is not allowed to go out the next day and find a new wife. I expect a little more grieving time than we gave poor Chief. I did learn, though, that it is possible to grieve and still love a new cat at the same time.
King is super sweet, but, holy hell! the thing is WILD. Maybe it’s because he’s still technically a kitten, maybe it’s the reddish hair, I’m not sure.
He gallops around the house like a bat out of hell. He wants to sleep all day and party all night. He is CONSTANTLY getting on the counter and will not stay off. When Chief got on the counter, we would just pull out the spray bottle and he’d jump right down. It only took a couple times of that and he rarely went on the counter again. King is on the counter 98% of the time and it drives me crazy. I can spray him 57 times before he gets off. My husband said he read somewhere to put tinfoil on the counter because cats don’t like to go on tinfoil.
He goes in the sink, the dryer, the dishwasher, drawers, my shirts. While I’m wearing them. He’s so darn cute he gets away with a lot. And he’s still a kitten. He may mellow some as he grows.