Monday, September 21, 2009

We have a cat!

Some of you may remember this post from back in July, when I wrote that we were wanting to adopt* a cat, but that the shelter cat we'd seen online had turned out to be aloof and a bit aggressive--not the best with children, especially with children who desperately wanted a cat and most definitely wanted one who would enjoy a lot of loving attention.

We've kept looking, and encouraged by the advice many had given us started looking at kittens instead of older cats. Sure, older cats are more in need of adoption, but in a home where no pets live currently an older cat might find the love and attention of three young ladies a bit much to deal with.

So we kept our eyes open, and Thad, in particular, started dropping by shelters on his lunch hour and taking a look at the kittens there. We went as a family to look at a few, but there wasn't one among them we felt really drawn to--and one in particular, which my girls nicknamed "Fireball," was the most aggressive and wild cat we'd ever seen. I started wondering if we'd ever find a more placid, but still friendly, feline companion.

Then Thad went to a local vet clinic/shelter to look at some kittens that had been advertised online. He called me to tell me about another cat he'd seen, not one of the kittens at all, and I could tell from his voice that he thought he'd found the right cat for our family.

And when we got there, and passed this purring young male cat around from person to person, and marveled at the gentle way he'd put a soft paw--claws retracted--on each of us in turn, and how he didn't mind being held and absolutely loved being petted and handled, and I knew Thad was right.

The lady at the shelter had named him "Emmett." She meant to name him after Emmitt Smith, but spelled his name like Emmett Kelly, which probably works just as well. I'll be honest--I'm not crazy about the name, but we didn't have the heart to change it on the vet records, and didn't really have another name for him in mind anyway.

Emmett came to the shelter as a tiny kitten. He was found during a bad thunderstorm by a woman who kept hearing a cat crying amid the sounds of the storm; venturing outside, she found Emmett clinging to the branch of a tree. As she approached he leaped from the tree into her arms. She was allergic to cats, and so she brought Emmett to the shelter attached to the vet clinic the next day. He was with them for almost four months before we came along--and, sadly, his chances of being adopted by that point were growing slim, despite his utterly sweet personality and placid, gentle nature.

We brought him home Saturday morning, and are having a lot of fun seeing his playful side expand--after so much time in a little room at a shelter, our family room seems like a huge world to him! Soon we'll let him explore the rest of the house as well, but so far he seems content and less intimidated to be in just the one room.

And here are some pictures:

Kitten, Bookgirl, and Hatchick are very happy with their new cat!

*I know that using the word "adopt" to speak of pets is sometimes offensive to those who have adopted children; certainly the two things aren't at all the same, and a different word would be better to speak of the process of acquiring a pet. That said, unless one actually purchases a purebred animal from a breeder, one is usually not "buying" one's pet--so the linguistic dilemma remains. There should be a different word for pets than the word we use for children joining one's family; I don't wish to be insensitive to the concerns of those who find this use of "adopt" distasteful. However, at the present time it's the nearly-universal term for such an acquisition, and so I use it here.


Todd said...

Adopted both a daughter and several pets. No problem from us. My wife and I know the difference.

Nice looking kitty. I always thought orange cats had the leverage on personality.

Charlotte (Matilda) said...

You could always call him "Little Boy Cat". It worked on Psych.

And I always thought that orange cats were like the redheads of the cat world, so it seems very appropriate to me!

Leanna said...

Congrats on the new addition to your family. He's adorable!

Kerri said...

Sweet story, lucky cat!

freddy said...

Congratulations -- he's adorable!

LarryD said...

What a nice addition! He looks content in those photos.

And any cat owner will tell you that the cat 'adopts' you, not the other way around. Then there's the old joke - "dogs have owners; cats have staff"!


Dawn Farias said...

Yay, congratulations!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the cat, sis! Psmith may have a rival...Gerard can't wait to see your kitty.


Rebecca said...

So sweet! I wish I could have a kitty, but I'm daughters are dying for a pet!

Mary Liz said...

You could always ignore the last "T" in his name and say he's named for the Irishman Robert Emmet.

MommaLlama said...

1) He's purty cute. I really like cats, and wish I wasn't allergic.

2) May I suggest "rescued" or "took in" or "got"?


3) I have lightened up some on this issue. Dr. Ray, adoptive father of ten, pondered one day, "At what age do you tell a highway that it's adopted? Is there a certain age that you break the news, or do you wait for it to realize all on its own that it doesn't really look like the Rotary Club?