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Diary: The Great Kitten Search

There have been times I worried that this day would never come. If you've followed this series, you know what a rollercoaster ride it has been as we've travelled the whole Northern California area in search of two GuideKitty interns. We left you hanging about six weeks ago, when Bubba pulled his "disappearing" act on the very day we were going to visit and possibly select kittens from a litter in Sacramento. At that time I had reluctantly told the volunteers at Happy Tails to go ahead and place the kittens, as we needed to rethink our plans, now thinking that we would just wait until "kitten season" was in full force, instead of selfishly taking the first kittens available.

So, though it's not really kitten season yet, we've been visiting local humane societies, shelters, and the weekend Adoption Day events at PetSmart and Pet Food Express, looking for those kittens with my name on them. In the process, I've met some very nice rescue people, and I'm going to try to arrange my schedule to do some volunteer work for them.

One Door Closes...

Kitten at 4 days oldA friend recently wrote me that "when one door closes, another always opens," and that is exactly what happened in this case. A few days after our ill-fated trip, I received an email from Jill, a Cats forum member who knew I had been looking for a "marmelade boy." Jill had seen an ad in Petfinders.org for a litter of kittens, including an "orange male tabby," and emailed to ask if Tracy was near us.
Jaspurr at 4 Days Old Photo Credit: © Wendy

Indeed, Tracy is only about a half hour's drive from us, and I immediately phoned Wendy, the person who had placed the ad. The ad had been a bit misleading, in that it gave "8 weeks" as the "age," and I soon found that it meant the age the kittens would be available for adoption, and that they were only four days old at the time. This fit in perfectly with our altered plans, as it gave us time to regroup, plus we'd have the added joy of being able to watch our kittens grow, almost from birth.

The "Arrangement"

Wendy's agreement with the family who owned Jaspurr and Joey's momcat was that she would find good homes for the kittens and the adoption fees would pay for the spaying of the mother cats. This was the third mother cat and final litter of kittens to benefit from this arrangement - a real win-win situation for all involved. We were able to visit the kittens (not nearly as much as we wanted), and Wendy was great about sending photos on the weeks we couldn't visit. We'll never be able to repay her for her efforts on our behalf, but we'll remember the Tracy Animal Shelter, where she volunteers, when making donations.
The J-Boys at 5 Weeks, Photo Credit: © Wendy, used with permission

Hard Decision

It was a given that we wanted a marmelade boy, but we were pretty open about our second kitten. Although I had been leaning toward one of the girls, possibly the dilute calico (to be called "Jennifur"), Joey's sweet personality won us over, coupled with the fact that he's also a tabby, my favorite pattern. Although we've had a number of tabbies over the years, this is the first one we've had with white feet, and I told everyone that I absolutely refused to call him "Boots." Asa selected the name and it fits Joey to a "T."

Big Surprise at 6.5 Weeks

We arrived home on Saturday, April 6th from a daytrip to the coast, to find an email asking if we could pick up the kittens that day. They were 90% weaned and had had the "run of the house" for a week, and with five other adult cats and at least one dog, it was more than their owner could handle. After weighing the pros and cons, we decided that it was in the best interest of the kittens to bring them home. As it was past the window of opportunity timewise, we had to wait until Sunday to get them. Needless to say, I didn't sleep that night, and was up at 5:00 a.m. for our 10 o'clock "appointment." It was a very touching ceremony. The kittens' "human Mom" came with her young daughter, and the little girl was well-coached. She hugged each kitten in turn, gave him a kiss, said, "I've been taking good care of them," and handed them to me. I promised her that I would also take very good care of them. (No doubt, and I have several thousand readers who will hold me to that promise.)

After just one week with these two boys, I simply can't imagine life without either one of them. They each have their own distinct personalities. Joey is definitely a lover. He'll fall asleep in an instant when we cuddle with him. Jaspurr is a little more independent; he'd rather play than cuddle most times. Both of them are very adventuresome and curious, as might be expected. They have been staying in our son's room until we're absolutely sure the rest of the house is kitten-proofed for them. Their integration with Bubba is going smoothly. He sniffed at the door for a couple of days, then we allowed him in for a short visit, where he sat quite near them and "talked" to them. He and Jaspurr have exchanged nose-bumps a few times with a minimum of discouraging noises. In fact, Bubba sometimes utters little groans of pleasure when the kittens are around. He doesn't know quite what to do with them yet, but I'm sure he will soon find out. We're hanging onto our hats because the real fun is yet to come.

Jaspurr and Joey's Baby Book can be seen here. Two full pages of kitten photos for starters.

Epilogue: > Happy Birthday, Jaspurr and Joey! > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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