It's officially one week since I met Archie and Popcorn and brought them home. By the time Sunday morning rolled around, I was so ready to meet my boys that I was pretty much bouncing around this place. Mom arrived a little before ten, and we set off for Lodi, about a forty-five minute drive.
It was great to see Marian--she's a fierce advocate for cats in the Stockton and Lodi communities, and gives so much of her time and her heart to Animal Friends Connection. After we climbed over some just-walked pups in the dog part of the sanctuary and into the cat room, we exchanged a quick hug and then she pointed to a closet with a screened door. "Your boys are in there," she said with a smile.
Mom and I squeezed in and found Popcorn lounging in the cubby part of a large cat tree. Above our heads on a shelf, another head poked out of a small cubby--Archie, checking us out. While Popcorn stayed in his cubby and allowed us to pet him, Archie came rushing out to greet us--in the week since I've learned this is very typical for them.
|Archie and I getting to know each other.|
|Popcorn wasn't stand-off-ish, he's just quieter.|
|Popcorn holding his grandma's hand.|
|Popcorn, coming out a bit more.|
Finally, it was time to load them up in their carriers and start the drive home. I was nervous about how they'd do, but both were very quiet with only the occasional confused "meow" from the back seat (which always prompted Mom and I to start a chorus of, "It's alright! You're such a good boy!!")
Mom helped me bring them up to my condo, and we got them unloaded. Then she left so I could settle them in and start getting to know them--but they were already showing signs of being incredibly friendly.
|"But how does Santa Claws fit?!"|
|Popcorn was the first to do some serious cuddling.|
|Later, I had both on me.|
|Nearby fire station? Not a problem. Traffic noises? No worries.|
My printer? OMG HIDE!!!
|This was Day 1. Obviously they're lovebugs.|
In the week I've had them, they've proven to be generally laid-back and very, very sweet. They're clearly a bonded pair and separating them was never an option, so it's good I was looking for two cats. They've been staying in my bedroom when I'm not home, and when I sleep.
Archie is the slightly smaller of the two (by about one pound, but you can see a size difference in them visually), and definitely the more outgoing and curious. He's the first to explore a new space and wants to know everything that's going on. He's also the escape artist who got out on the balcony on a rainy evening this week, making me chase after him in my socks, which promptly got soaked. If I'm in the bathroom, he's in there with me, and shows great interest in the shower. He loves the catnip mouse toys and getting attention.
Popcorn is also curious, but he's a bit quieter about it. He's more likely to be behind Archie, watching the goings-on from a foot or two away. It's like he wants to know everything, but he lets his brother do the work and report back. When they cuddle together, I see Popcorn grooming Archie more than I see the reverse (though it does happen). Popcorn is also extremely affectionate and when I settle in on the couch or in bed, he's usually the first to join me (in the pic above, he's the one half on my lap). He was named because he would jump up like popcorn popping when he saw his bottle coming, and indeed, he's the first to line up for wet food. He seems to be starting to understand the words "Tuna Time!!" and will rush into the kitchen and meow at my feet.
Is it love?
Yes. Yes, it is.
It's funny, I've thought of Millie quite a few times this week and how much I still miss her. She was one-of-a-kind, and you never replace someone you love. But it's possible to love again, and to open your heart and home to new, and it has been wonderful to do so. Something about these boys, when Marian sent me their picture two weeks ago, called out to me. I don't really feel like I chose them, but, as happens with cats, they needed me, and the universe made it happen.
|I worked out from home on Monday, and Archie, of course, was|
the one checking out my kettlebell.
|Popcorn grooming Archie.|
|Sweet, sweet Popcorn.|
|They LOVE the Cat Dancer and it's fun to play with them.|
|Popcorn at bedtime.|
|On Thursday I spent about fifteen minutes just lying on my bed|
when I got home from work. Archie was off exploring, but
Popcorn just settled in and accepted all the cuddles.
|Archie cuddles, too.|
|I've had a cold this weekend, but my boys are taking excellent|
care of me. (That's Archie.)
|They're not a fan of the little vacuum.|
|I finally put their new collars on yesterday.|
|Who needs meds when you've got a blanket, a book, and two|
|Popcorn, you slay me.|
|Melted. Meg Goo on the floor.|
|Santa Claws (aka "my parents") came by today with a cat|
tree for the boys. Archie was the first to check it out.
|And he was the first to get in it.|
|Popcorn was still thinking about it and waiting for Archie's|
report. (You can see him in the background.
|Archie gave it a four-purr rating, so Popcorn joined him. (Archie|
on top, Popcorn below.)
|Then this happened and lasted for about an hour, with some|
mutual grooming and then some serious napping with heads
together. I melted again.