Thursday, August 19, 2010

A New Addition

Last week I hinted about a possible big announcement coming. I guess there's no time like the present to tell you all about it.

When Elaine was about to turn two, we started to get the questions. "Are you going to have any more?" "Wouldn't you like to try for a boy?" "Don't you want to have another baby?"

At that time I was adamant. No way. My stock answer is: I've got two hands. Both of them are full. My pregnancy with Elaine was difficult. She was premature. I've got thyroid disease. It's not going to happen. Besides, we're happy with two. And they are...what's the word I'm looking for? I think it's spirited. They wear me out (in the sweetest possible way).

People got more insistent. "You've got to have a third," they'd say. "Three are great. The girls would love it!"

My dentist told me, "Definitely have another one. Three is what totally pushed my wife over the edge." (Uh, that's not really selling me on the idea.)

But as time went on, you moms know what I'm talking about, I started to get a little of that baby longing. Seeing maternity clothes. New baby gear. People with dear little babies. Sigh. I love babies.

Darren and I began to talk. He would say, "Wasn't it so much fun, when the girls were born and we just carried them around in those carriers? And now it's all over."

"I know," I would answer. "Elaine is so tall. And she's going to junior kindergarten this year. Junior kindergarten!"

I came across some of the girls' old baby clothes and would get all teary-eyed.

We talked some more. Were we crazy? Were we ready for being wakened in the night? Another little creature who would get sick at all the worst possible times? Potty training? Extra new gear around the house? More needs, more money, more worry? We've gotten fairly serene over the last couple years with just our two. Should we add a third?

After much discussion, we have come to a decision.

The decision is....yes. We're ready. We're going to have someone new here at Guilford Road.

So, for the third time in my life, I am so pleased to announce:

It's a girl!

(sound of record screeching)

Yup. We're adopting a cat. We've never had a cat! We were strictly a dog couple (though I still can't really talk about my boys much. I get too weepy. I miss them.) But the girls have been begging us for over a year for a cat.

"No way," Darren said. "We don't need a cat."

But they worked on me until I started wanting one, too. I had criteria though, a long list. I love Siamese cats, so I wanted that breed. They're supposed to be loving, loyal, and very intelligent. Also, I love the movie, "That Darn Cat." I wasn't picky about seal point, lilac point, whatever (don't I sound like an expert?) just Siamese. I didn't want a kitten, i.e., I want one that already knows how to use a litter box. I didn't want a fluffy one that would shed all over. I kind of wanted a female. And I wanted one that was declawed. Now before you freak out, I would not personally declaw a cat. But I also am not having some animal sharpen its claws on my leather furniture.

So, I began an almost yearlong search on Petfinder. Let me tell you--filling my criteria was next to impossible (the lady at the shelter told us a declawed Siamese is the Holy Grail). Until one day a few weeks ago, a dear little cat's profile popped up. She was four years old (they approximate), short-haired, chocolate point, front declawed. She had been abandoned in the basement of a foreclosed home with five other cats. By the time the shelter found them last March, they were starving. One of them died. It took until July for them to even be ready to adopt out.

We decided to take the plunge and foster this little cat--just to see how it goes. We've had her for almost two weeks now. We kept telling the girls that the kitty is just here for a 2-week vacation. Then she'll need to go back so she can find a forever family. Before they go to their school open house tomorrow, they'll need to say goodbye (We love to mess with their heads). When they come home, we'll tell them that we are going to be her forever family!

I'm sure you're dying to know her name. The shelter named her Cleo, which actually quite suits her. The girls had already decided that any cat they got (they were so positive it would happen someday no matter how many times their dad told them no) they were going to name "Miss Marple." Consequently, we're naming her Miss Cleo Marple and most of the time just calling her Cleo. As my friend Mary says, "She'll be the lesser known Marple sister."

She appears to be adjusting nicely. At first of course, she just wanted to hide in a laundry basket bed we made for her in the back of the closet. But now she is getting intrepid and roaming around. She's beginning to talk to us (Siamese are big talkers) and lets us pet her for longer and longer periods of time each day. She's even purred happily for one of us. I won't tell you exactly who, but it's the household member who was adamant about not getting a cat.

So, there you go. Our new addition. As my mom told me a long time ago, "When your youngest goes to kindergarten, you'll get sad and think you want another baby. Just go plant some flowers."

Or...adopt a Miss Cleo Marple!


Laura Brown said...

You had me going for a minute there. Cleo is a beautiful kitty. Congratulations!

(Oh, and I love your mom's advice!)

Chris said...

you had me. I even texted Jamie. I hope you are proud of yourself.

I've never been known for reading all the way to the end.

Alysa said...

okay, little missy. you had me HOOK, LINE, SINKER ... i already had tears in my eyes as i scrolled down to see the adopted baby girl from Africa. And voila, a CAT .... =)

looking forward to next week.

Shannon said...

Oh Alice!!! You TOtally had me! I was going to call Jamie, too! I almost DID before I finished reading!

May Miss Cleo Marple be the best Darn Cat on Guiliford Road! :)

PS. You MUST video the before and after of the girls going to the school open house. :) It's a moment they'll want to remember always.

Melanie said...

Awww, she looks sweet! Many congrats to you guys!

Julie K. said...

Oh that is hilarious. You totally had me. :)

Heather said...

Awesome! Just saw your newest addition. Cats are a wonderful addition to a family. Enjoy your new kitty!