We made a pretty big change to our family this week. We added a pet!
I know, for most families that's not such a big deal. But for our family, it's huge - and here's why.
Our family has been living in chaos.
Pretty much forever at this point.
In fact, I don't remember a time when our family wasn't marking time from trauma to trauma.
Dusk and I both grew up with pets. We absolutely fundamentally understand how good pets are for kids. But, with all the trauma in our life, we just couldn't bring ourselves to bring a pet into our home. (And I don't just mean because of Bodie's heart defect - we know tons of HLHSers with pets. It's because of everything else - Dusk's medical issues, the fire, and just everything else. We just didn't think we could handle a pet on top of everything.) That wouldn't have been fair to the pet - or to us.
But this past weekend, Dusk and I decided that we were ready, that the kids were ready. That maybe our life wasn't ever going to be free of trauma and chaos, that maybe this is just the season God has called us to. So maybe, instead of waiting for things to be perfect, we just needed to make the most of this season we're in and add a pet. (But just a cat - a cat we could do. A dog we're not quite ready for.)
So we put ourselves on all the local shelter lists for (what they so eloquently described as) "a bombproof, sweet cat" that could handle a household that runs on chaos. We walked into our local no-kill shelter on Tuesday afternoon, and wanted a male, orange tabby kitten or maybe a 1-2 year old (so basically either one we could mold, or one who had been manhandled a lot and could handle us).
And we walked out with this.
A beautiful, sweet 6 ½ year old, white, female kitty.
She wasn't at all what we wanted.
But, as it turned out, she was exactly what we needed.
An unbelievably sweet and mellow kitty, who can't help but purr the second you start petting her.
Dusk and I are both in love.
She loved me…until she met Dusk…and then it was over.
I'm not even kidding when I say that.
The kids and I were home tonight and she had run under the bed. She had been under there for awhile. Within minutes of Dusk coming home, she was out on the bed, purring away, just waiting for him.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to remind her that he is MY husband on a regular basis.
But I'm ok with it, because if someone in this family needs some pet therapy, it's Dusk.
And the kiddos absolutely love her…which she tolerates, for the most part.
She's getting better. She opened up to Dusk and I really quickly, sleeps on our bed already and loves to lie next to us. She acclimated very quickly for any cat, let alone a rescue kitty. It's taking a little longer to warm up to the kids. She likes them, but will only let them pet her for a short period of time. Yesterday, she shot under the bed the second they got home from school. But today was better and she let them pet her for a bit. They were over the moon.
She's opening up to Sierra and definitely vibes with her more mellow side.
Bodie…well, he's a whole nother Oprah. He is obsessed with her and she is pretty scared of his crazy energy. He's trying to learn to be calm (which is GREAT for him), but is a hard lesson. He's taking it pretty personally that she looks like a deer in the headlights when she hears him running down the hall.
I was feeling so bad for him tonight when he was crying about it. I was almost regretting the whole cat thing. And then I walked into our bedroom to see Bodie hanging out with Dusk and the kitty was right by his side. For the first time, she was cool hanging near him.
(Yeah, I know, she looks pissed in this picture. But his face is priceless.) We're so hopeful that the more she adjusts, the more she'll bond with the kiddos.
So for now, we're embracing the chaos in our life. And this sweet little kitty is helping us do just that.