It was a warm morning, and would later be a very hot day. In the container, nestled among a bunch of warm old jackets, were seven tiny kittens. They all had colds and infections and they were infested with fleas.
I remember my friend Marian posting about it on Facebook--I used to volunteer for AFC, and they are the group from which I adopted the late Harley Dude. Marian and I have kept loosely in touch via social media, and I even commented on her post about the abandonment.
A couple of weeks later, Millie was gone. I saw occasional updates about the seven kittens and thought it would be sweet if I could adopt a pair of them...but circumstances were such that I couldn't adopt again just yet. It bothered the hell out of me that while my heart broke at losing Millie, someone else in the world could dump seven helpless kittens like so much garbage.
Meanwhile, three kittens went with one foster mom, and four went with another. The group of three were named Archie, Angel, and Popcorn.
Angel later passed away, and the boys struggled a little, too, but persevered.
Eventually cured of their maladies and with fleas washed away, they grew into healthy, adoptable cats. Eventually they were adopted, by a couple.
Fast-forward to this past summer, when papers were signed and a condo was closed on. I sent a message to Marian on Facebook, letting her know I'd be in the market for a pair of kitties within the next few months. AFC has a hard time with overpopulation and finding homes for their animals, so she was ecstatic to hear from me. Even though I no longer live in Stockton, it's an easy enough drive and I know the people of AFC well and believe in what they're doing.
August was full of painting and cleaning and new floors. September was move-in time, as I unpacked boxes and found places for everything, and purchased furniture. October and November had some added financial burdens--my car's registration, a plumbing repair--that made it impossible to spend money on adoption fees and litter boxes and everything else cats need to get started.
Through all this, Marian sent the occasional "how are things going?" message, and while I was chomping at the bit to find a pair of sweeties, it just wasn't quite right yet. I eyed December with a lot of hope.
Last week, another message. It had two pictures in it, of a pair of boys.
Turns out Archie and Popcorn's couple are divorcing. There's a baby, and the mother can't afford to keep cats. Nothing has been said about the father, so I assume he doesn't want them.
Marian convinced the lady to keep Archie and Popcorn in a sort-of foster situation because the sanctuary was full, and so were all the foster homes. And she sent me two sweet pictures, while I was out drinking wine and painting with a bunch of work friends.
I looked at the pictures. I cooed. I showed my friends. The next day, I showed Mom. "I'm thinking about it..." I said. I thought about "the boys" and how sweet they looked. I thought of how a young-but-not-tiny pair (they'll be two in April) would fit my current lifestyle very well. They're completely bonded to each other, which is perfect.
So I messaged Marian again. "I'm really considering Archie and Popcorn." By the time she called me on Sunday evening, I was telling her, "Really, meeting them is a formality. I want them."
And there you have it. We spoke on Sunday, and on Wednesday, she took them out of the lady's house to visit the vet for shot updates. They're now waiting at the sanctuary, where I will meet them on Sunday morning. This week has felt excruciatingly slow, as I wait and wait for Sunday to roll on so I can meet my boys.
|Popcorn wears orange striped pants. Archie wears white. They're so flippin'|
cute with those pink noses, I am about to start bouncing off the walls.
I shared my news on Facebook, and Marian, in turn, shared it with her friends, including the boys' foster mom. Everyone is very excited to see them get a new home--apparently they're known as being very sweet boys (shy initially, but totally unable to resist cuddles). Their pictures show them to be bright-eyed and healthy. Their journey thus far has had its ups and downs, but they're about to embark on one last big change--a drive from Stockton to Antelope with a very excited lady (and her mother, who is coming along) to settle into their forever home.
Their former foster mom shared baby pictures with me, and the story of how Popcorn got his name.
Being me, I've gone a little overboard with the toy-buying.
Yes, those are Star Wars break-away cat collars and Star Wars mice.
Anyway, this rambling blog post is all a way of sharing my news that I'm finally adopting a new pair of sweeties. I'll never replace Millie, or Harley, but I have a lot of love to give and rather think my sweet babies would approve. There are far too many homeless kitties in the world, and I'm in a position to help. These boys need me.
And I need them.