Monday, May 5, 2014

Murphy Baby

First things first: No, I'm not pregnant. Hah! A couple of months ago, a cat showed up on our front porch.

While I have always claimed to not be a cat person, I do have a huge soft spot for animals. Especially super friendly, little baby animals. Especially super friendly, little baby animals loving up on my little baby anim... er, babies.

So, when "Baloo" - so named by McKenna - first showed up on our front porch, the girls and I sat out there playing with him for a good hour after what was supposed to be bedtime. He was rubbing up on us and purring the entire time, and my heart melted watching him and the girls play so sweetly together. After a bit more curious exploring - us and him - Baloo climbed up onto the ledge of our courtyard area and then jumped onto the roof! McKenna and Kendall were worried about how he was going to get down, but I told them very matter-of-factly that "Cats are very good jumpers and they always land on their feet." ...Right? Well, our new little friend just meowed and meowed at us and paced back and forth trying to figure out how the heck he was going to get down. Don't worry, kitty! I'll save you! So, I valiantly climbed up onto the ledge and rescued this poor thing that so desperately needed me ;-) Finally, we went inside for the night.

The girls and I called Alex (he was out of town at the time) to tell him about our new friend and when they (I?) asked if we could keep him, he said, "Absolutely not. We don't need anything else that eats or shits." Woh, woh. But there Baloo was at the back door! Meowing and scratching to come in. Alex caved a little after I sent him the pictures of Baloo playing with the girls and told us that IF he was there in the morning THEN we could bring him in. Yessss! We were so getting a kitty, you guys.

But, alas, our friend was not there in the morning and my heart was broken into a million, bajillion pieces. Oh well, cats are assholes, I told myself. I should have known better than to get too attached too quickly...

Every day for about a week or two after that, McKenna, Kendall and I were still calling out, "Here, kitty-kitty!" as we walked around the neighborhood with Hanley, but to no avail. One morning, though, there he was! We were starting down our driveway for our walk and Baloo came running up to us from across the street. This self-proclaimed cat hater was pretty elated, and the girls were, too; I'll never forget that sweet moment. I scooped him up, brought him inside the garage and dialed Alex at work.

"Damn it. Well, I did say that if he came back we could keep him. You gotta take him to the vet, though, to make sure he's healthy and doesn't already belong to somebody." Woo hoo!!!

I called the vet, scheduled an appointment for 3:30 in the afternoon, and the girls and I went to Walmart to get a litter box, some food and two collars... You see, I wasn't exactly sure if Baloo really was a 'he' or a 'she.' Alex got off of work early, we borrowed a cat carrier from a friend and took "Sophia" - temporarily renamed by McKenna - to the vet.

I was stumped by a few of the questions on the new patient form; What breed? Um, cat? What do you feed him/her? Food? I don't know a single thing about cats other than they really, really like lasagna... ;-) Baloo/Sophia had no fleas, some ear mites that could be easily treated, no microchip, and no balls. Yep, "he" was a he that had already been neutered, and was only about 8 or 9 months old...

We took Baloo home with his new skull and crossbones collar, asked around the neighborhood if anyone was missing a sweet kitty, put Hanley on a leash in the house and kept this secret to ourselves for a while, i.e. did not post anything on Facebook, until a) We knew for sure that Baloo didn't belong to anybody (he was never claimed) and b) Baloo and Hanley could live together in harmony. Hanley is great with the girls - couldn't be better, actually - but he's... quite a handful; super territorial and protective over McKenna and Kendall, and just a big ol' pain the in ass. (But I love him, 'cause he da best.) After closing the door to our bedroom the next night - keeping Hanley in with us to give Baloo some freedom while we slept as he was spending most of his time during the day closed up in Alex's office - I collapsed into bed and thought to myself, "What the hell did I get myself into? I don't know if this is going to work..." I didn't see an end in sight to the leash-thing with Hanley, and he SUUUUCKS at being on a leash. Especially being on a leash inside the house (What the heck, mom!?).

Especially being on a leash inside the house with another animal (a freaking cat, you guys!) all up in his territory and loving up on his girls.

Ugh, I was pooped.

When my mother- and sister-in-law came down to visit for a long weekend, DeeAnna (SIL) really helped to ease my tension with the animals. I was so afraid that I'd let Hanley off the leash and then him and Baloo would get into it and somebody - one of them or the girls - would get hurt. She said, though, that Baloo has been in the house long enough for Hanley to know now that he has to behave (it had been about two weeks at that point since we brought him in) and that I really just have to chill out because they can sense my uneasiness. All went well and a few days later after our company left and I was out and about moseying around town by myself for a few hours, Alex sent me this:

Peace, love and harmony in the Murphy Animal Kingdom! Hallelujah! Since then, Baloo has really made himself at home here.

And him and Hanley are totally best buds.

I never thought I'd fall in love with a cat!

<3 <3 <3

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