Master and me went to the shelter Saturday morning, and I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that I shed a couple of tears in the car on the way there. My guilt over whether or not Samantha would have approved of a new kitty or not was bothering me a little bit. I shared all of my feelings with Master. How inadequate as a “Kitty Mommy” I felt. How I ultimately felt like Samantha’s broken bone was my fault (since I locked her out of the bedroom the night she somehow broke her leg), and as her broken bone was what led to her death, I felt that was my fault too. Master reassured me. He told me that Sammie could have broken her hip even had I let her into the bedroom with me that night. There will likely always be residual guilt, but it is also difficult to not believe Master. Logically, I know he is right anyway. I’m not sure if I just want to find someone to blame, even if that’s me.
My tears melted quickly once we got into the shelter. We were the first people to sign in, and once we did they gave us a piece of paper and told us to walk around the shelter and write down the room number and the animal number of four pets we would be interested in. As we wandered around the only two rooms we initially saw, we wrote down five. Whoops!
We took our ticket up to the front, and a wonderful woman (we will call her D) took us into a room, and told us about each kitty in turn, telling us about its health, and anything they knew about the life the kitty or cat had before it was brought in. After she went through the history of each kitty with us, she asked us if we had seen the other two wings in the shelter. We said we hadn’t! She gave us back the slip of paper, and showed us the other couple of rooms. We went in there, myself stifling a tear or two again, as I saw a whole lot of kittens, and younger cats.
There were easily fifty kitties in the last two rooms we looked at, and Master was drawn in particular to two of them, Timpani, who was a black kitten about 8 weeks old, and Mercedes, who was an older calico. Timpani was really sick with a respiratory infection (but she was on medicine), and Mercedes was an older cat, about six years – who answered Master when he used her name, and walked up to the glass, mewing.
As Master was looking at Mercedes, I was two “rooms” (they were glass rooms, and so I was only about three meters from Master) down, and I saw an adorable kitten group! They were all torties, and one of them called out to me. Her name was Redwood. I saw Redwood being snapped up and into a pet carrier, but the woman who was packing her up told me that another couple just wanted to look at her and her sister, and was only going to take one of them. I felt a surge of “No! No! Mine!” inside of me, and since this was also the end of the kitty line, Master and me dashed back to our room to talk with the pet counselor again.
D came back into the room, and she looked over our newly starred kitties. She explained to me that if Redwood was going to be chosen by the other family, that I could have her sister if I wanted. I saw her sister. Her sister was a beautiful cat, but I felt automatically attracted to Redwood. Love at first sight, you could say. I thanked her, and while the other couple was looking at Redwood, we were brought two kitties to play with and meet paw-to-hand. Those kitties were Timpani and Mercedes.
It’s funny, but, I wasn’t thrilled at all to see Timpani. Master wanted her, but she looked so like Sabrina that I didn’t want two kitties who looked exactly alike. They’d be easy to tell apart while Timpani was growing up, but when they got older, it’d be tough. Mercedes was given to Master, and Timpani was placed in my arms. The poor little girl! She had an upper respiratory infection, and was wheezing, and had stuff coming out of her eyes and nose. I felt so sorry for her. Putting her in my arms felt like nothing else. I just wanted to comfort and love this docile, sick little baby. Samantha was the sickest, ugliest kitty Master tells me he ever saw, so I wasn’t deterred. Unfortunately, when Timpani got put in Master’s arms, she was disinterested in him, and kept squirming in his arms until her little face could see me. Poor mite. Since she wasn’t that into Master, she wasn’t going to fit in.
Mercedes was a pretty cat, mostly white and orange, and very large! I’d say she was at least fifteen pounds. She liked Master a lot, but she wouldn’t like to be held, and she kept walking from in front of him to three or four feet away, and kept coming back. She didn’t seem too interested in me. She seemed shy, and we both thought that with time, she’d come around. Our biggest worry was that she may not like me (and this was supposed to be a present for me), as well as being unsure whether Sabrina would adjust to an older cat.
D came back, and Mercedes was crossed off of our list, and we said that Timpani was not a “no”, but we’d want to see a few more cats. D told us that Redwood was not chosen, and if we’d like we could see her right away. I practically bounced up and down, and Master and me said “Yes”.
Redwood was brought in alone, and she was the tiniest kitten I’d ever seen. I’d never had a kitten before either. Right off the bat, she was given to me, and I got cut up immediately. Her claws hadn’t been cut in a long time, it seemed. My arm and thighs were totally clawed. I handed her over to Master for a moment, not knowing what to do with my clawed up skin, and she cut him deeply enough that he was bleeding a bit heavily from the finger and needed a band aid. So, poor Redwood was put on the floor for a bit, and we played with her without holding her too much.
Redwood is exactly what I’d imagined a kitten to be. Having never had a kitten, I imagined a small, furry, fun, playing little thing. I had imagined that she would be affectionate, but not necessarily a snuggler. She liked to play with the little plastic ball with a bell in it, and the fringe on a stick the most. She absolutely melted my heart, and when I was with her, I didn’t feel like I wanted to cry. I just felt happy.
I knew in my heart that I wanted Redwood, and I asked Master if we could keep her. He seemed enamoured of her as well, and he was happy to say “yes!” I wanted to be sure that he wanted Redwood too, and that he wasn’t just saying that because this was supposed to be a present for me. I asked him if Redwood was what he wanted in a kitten as well. He told me she was exactly what he wanted, and then I had to fight off tears again because I was so overcome with joy that what Master wanted was the same as what I did. I was so happy.
“I’m going to name her Serenade,” I said.
Master got a big smile on her face and said that it was a beautiful name for our new baby. Redwood was a cute name, but to me, she seemed like a Serenade. She responded to the name Serenade a lot better than to Redwood, which I found amusing. Maybe she didn’t like being “Redwood”.
Unfortunately, little Serenade needed to spend a night in the shelter, because she hadn’t been spayed. We were told we could pick her up at 5PM the next day though. We didn’t want to leave her there, but we completely understood why, and we knew we needed to have her spayed. We paid for our kitty and left.
* * * *
The next morning, we had a lot to do to prepare for our little girl coming home. First off, I cleaned out the entire girl’s bathroom. There wasn’t anything on the sink, except for a bottle of liquid soap. We put a blanket on the floor, and Master made her an adorable bed in her new crate for her to sleep in. It was so soft and plush looking, and she seemed to like it. We put Flatapus in there for her too, because we’d read that kittens sleep better with a stuffed animal. She had part of a scratching post, some food and water, blankets, a kitty toy with a bell inside a ball, like she seemed to like at the shelter, and a stuffed animal.
We ran out to the store because we still needed some cake mix (so I could make her first birthday cake!), a child gate, (because I need to keep her and Sabrina separate, and also because I’ll still need to work even with Serenade to watch over), a cat litter pan that was small enough for her to get into and out of easily, and a few other things for her.
It took us most of the day to procure everything, and in the end we wound up going to Home Depot to secure some wood to make a makeshift gate, since we really only need the gate for a couple of weeks (Until we move and can put Sabrina and Serenade together). It wound up being a much better plan too, because the cheapest gate we found was $20, and the wood cost $0.51! Awesome. I wouldn’t mind the $20, but like I said, she’ll be able to jump the thing in a couple of weeks, so there was no use buying something extravagant.
We picked up Serenade, and she was so happy to see us! She purred excitedly, and was curious and adorable the entire ride home. While we were out, we had stopped at Ikea to get her a plush Ratta. Master chose the right one for her, it was black with grey paws. She seemed to love it, because she used it kind of like a body pillow the entire ride home. We “aww”ed and “squeed” the whole ride home. Master would stick his finder in the holes on the side of the crate during red lights, and she would lick his fingers and give him kitty kisses. Absolutely adorable. Neither of us had any doubts about our precious bundle at this point.
We got her home, and we both went into the bathroom with her to set her free. She bounded out of her crate like she owned the place, and immediately started hopping and jumping around! :) We could not help but to find our new girl to be the most adorable thing ever.
Unfortunately, we could only really let her out of the box for about and hour before we put her back in. Whatever medicine they had given her for pain was working really well, and she kept jumping around. She isn’t supposed to jump though, because of her surgery, so we had to leave her in her box over night. I felt so guilty, but it isn’t safe yet for her to be doing any jumping like that.
This morning, I’m going to let her out, and she should be OK to jump all she likes. I’m going to be doing my best to give her lots of attention today, and I have a feeling not much will get done around the house. What a sweet distraction. I could not be happier right now. Good thing the packing is all caught up until next Sunday, when we’ll need to pack the remaining stuff we have in the house.
We did manage to get a couple pictures of our new little one, but there’s not many. A lot of them never came out because filming a kitten is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Here’s a couple though. I hope you enjoy them.