A Tale of Two Kitties

I won’t lie. I’ve been avoiding writing this post for a while. If you’ve visited my site regularly than you know that my family has lost several of our beloved pets. See here and here.

And I’ve also written about my two cats.

I’m sad to say that we lost Madeline. When she was diagnosed with thyroid disease a few years ago, we knew that sooner or later her kidneys would fail. In this case, they did along with her heart. It was swift and sudden. One minute she was fine, the next not. And with cats, because they are predators, it’s in their nature to never show weakness until it’s too late to do anything about it.

The vet laid it out straight. She was suffering and she wasn’t going to get better no matter what we tried. We made the painful choice to say goodbye to her. Once again, we found ourselves in our vets “private” room saying goodbye to another member of our family.

After losing four pets in two years, we had decided no more new pets.

Until we were faced with the reality of that choice. Pepito (Maddy’s brother) was our only pet. Younger son missed his lap cat. His lovey girl. While we love Pepito, he’s not a cuddler. I think he missed having other cats around too.

As fate would have it, we happened to be in our local PetSmart when we decided to check out the cats. PetSmart has a partnership with with a local cat rescue group and supports adult pet adoption.

That’s when we met Nene.

She was abandoned by her owner to a New York pound and landed on the “death” list. Luckily, she was rescued by Mary’s Kitty Korner.

Because Pepito is fourteen, I didn’t want a kitten or another male. Nene was perfect. Calm, affectionate and four years old. The volunteers at Mary’s were fabulous, letting us spend time with her and assuring us that no matter what happened (if it didn’t work out) they would take her back. They are a no kill shelter and will keep cats forever if they need to. And they vetted us carefully to be sure we would provide her with a safe happy home.

I’m happy to say Nene and Pepito are getting along fine (it was tough at first because cats need time to meet each other, not like dogs where you can introduce them immediately). As you can see below, she and squirrels hit it off.

We have always adopted our dogs and this was our first adult cat adoption. Nene seems to be happy and I can tell that someone loved her because she is very cuddly and seeks out human company. She chatty, loves to play and purrs, purrs, purrs.

We still miss Madeline, Ollie, Sparky and Oreo, but we still have a lot of love to give and we’re happy to share it with Nene too.

20 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Kitties

  1. Fantastic that you did an ‘adult’ adoption. Kittens and puppies are totally adorable, but so much more good can be done by taking on an older animal who needs a forever home.

    1. Hi Andra. We are big believers in adoption, especially adults. The oldest pet we ever adopted was our Dalmatian, Captain. He came from a wonderful family who loved him very much. And I know it hurt them to give him up (due to allergies), but we grew to love him too. He was a great dog and, even though it hurt to lose him, I wouldn’t want to do anything differently.

  2. Congrats on the new family member! I can’t wait to meet Nene. You know I have a soft spot for tuxedo cats (my Elvira “Ellie” is a tuxedo cat, though a few pounds smaller, I think). Ellie is a lapcat only if conditions are right: human must be sitting in recliner, with blanket over legs, and an indentation for the cat body must be premade by the human. She prefers to lie on keyboards and on paperwork on the desk.

    1. Ellie cracks me up. She is such a cat. Madeline was the same way – had to have a blanket too. And, yes, Nene is a bit tubby. We recently deduced that she must have had canned food because she comes running whenever anyone opens one. I also caught Scar giving her tuna this morning (shameless attempt at bribery, if you ask me).

  3. Casey, Condolences on the loss of your animal family members. And good for you for opening your heart even though it’s painful and giving an adult cat another chance at life. I wish all shelters were no-kill shelters. Someday. Nene is gorgeous, and the nice thing about adult cats is you know their personalities, whereas kittens can change a lot. I have to admit, as someone who’s been adopted by 2 rescue cats, your post made me teary.
    Carla 🙂

    1. Thank you Carla. And you’re right, it really is painful. We had vowed no more pets, but I knew not having any cats wasn’t an option. I can’t think of a time in my life with no pets. Even when I was in college, we had a rescued dog that someone had abandoned at the Vietnam Memorial with her puppies. 🙂

  4. So sorry for you loss. We’ve been there three times ourselves. I’m so glad you got a rescue, they want so much to just be loved. Hubby said no more pets after we lost our last who had been here for 18 years. (The other two 11 and 14 years with us at the same time. All were rescues.) Our situation is different in that we never had to fine them. They all found us. When Jake, who turned out to be Jakette showed up sickly looking we took her to the vet and she moved in. Then Smoki arrived as a feral kitten. She couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 weeks old. It took me all summer of sitting on the porch every might playing when she arrived with another feral cat. Finally one night she actually came in the house. We love her. Hubby still says, I didn’t want more pets, I can’t take losing them. Adult daughters answer, “Don’t worry, Dad. These two cats will probably out live you.”

    Since the cats are now 2 and 3, and he will turn 72 on his next birthday. I sometimes wonder who will take care of these kitties if they out live us. After all 18 and 72 are 90. Here’s hoping will live that long. lol

    1. Hi Pat. I sometimes wonder if pets help us live longer. I’d like to think so. I understand your husbands feelings about the pain of losing them. Ollie was our oldest. He was 18 1/2. We had him before my oldest son was born (he’s nineteen now), so basically he was in my life for most of my adulthood so far. I miss him all the time. I swear I can still hear his toenails clacking on our floorboards sometimes. I know when Pepito’s time comes (getting teary just thinking about it), I will be wrecked. He really is my buddy and he chose me. Which is a great feeling 🙂

      1. You know, I’ve never really believed in ghosts, but I have to tell you that sometimes I feel two of our passed cats race up the bed. I look and see nothing but I can actually tell which cat it is when they do it. Hubby says I’m crazy but them every once is a while he tell me he thought he dreamt that the third cat was in the bedroom. But it was dream because he doesn’t believe in ghosts. I’ve changed my mind on that. I think they are still around and sent the newest kitties to our door because they thought we needed them.

      2. I’ve had the same thing happen to me. I’ve definitely had dreams about all my dogs. Not too long ago, I woke out of a sound sleep because I could hear Oreo barking. It was surreal.

      3. Casey and Pat,

        You are not alone. 40% of people report what are termed “EE”s – extraordinary experiences after loss – whether human or animal. This can be visual, auditory, things happening in synchronicity, objects moving, etc. You can interpret them as you will, but most people find it comforting and a gift from heir deceased loved one. I hope these experiences bring you peace.

        – Heather Merrill, C.T.
        Certified in Thanatology
        Founder and Director, New England Pet Hospice, Inc.
        President, GRACE Animal Hospice Consortium

    1. Thanks Julia. Nene is such a lovey and I know she’s helped take the pain away a bit for my younger son. It’s hard losing so many pets so often.

  5. I found your other post. I love the pictures, worth a thousand words, eh what? Good luck with this one. She is beautiful.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about Madeline. I remember when you got her and Pepito as kittens. Your new kitty reminds me of my Winnie cat. I have a soft spot for black and white cats – I had one growing up. I had Winnie for 19 years until last October. It is so hard to lose them. I have to avoid the cat adoption area at the store. My two cats did not get along and I promised Belle she would be an only cat Congratulations on Nene – she looks beautiful and so glad that she gets along with Pepito. .

    1. Carol, I’m so sorry to hear about Winnie. And, yes, I am so relieved that Nene gets along with Pepito. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around that fact that Maddy is gone.

  7. Awh :< I'm sorry to hear about Maddy… Can't wait to meet Nene, though! She's so cute, and sounds wonderful~ ♥

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