We have a surprise to share! Or maybe it’s not so much of a surprise if you follow me on Instagram since I did already announce this family update over there…At any rate, I wanted to hop on today to tell you all about our new kitten, Marlo! In case you’ve been reading the blog for a bit, then you know we got the devastating news that our sweet older kitty, Tonks, had cancer. She gave us two and a half beautiful, extra sweet weeks before she let us know that it was time to say goodbye. She passed away on July 4, and not a single day goes by that I don’t think about her.
I miss that girl more than I can put into words, but I was grateful that we knew about her diagnosis in time so that we could really cherish every single second. I was so mindful about burning every memory with her into my mind those last few weeks of her life, and I think that helped me now that I’m grieving. I don’t have any regrets and I know deep down that I made the very most of her time here. I focused on celebrating her life rather than letting myself get too weighed down by the thought of losing her since it wasn’t something I could control or do anything about. Nine and a half years was far too short to have been with her.
Anyway, I need to switch gears before I let my sorrow get the best of me. As you can probably tell, it hasn’t been easy for me lately. I needed something happy to refocus my mind on, and my gut was telling me that it was time to adopt again. We haven’t welcomed a new cat into our lives in almost 10 years, so I was giddy with the excitement of being able to do so again. I have no qualms about admitting that I’m a crazy cat lady (or, really, a crazy pet lady in general), so these moments in life are something I cherish. Pets are simply the best!
I had been keeping an eye on local pet shelter websites to see if anyone caught my attention, but I definitely did my best to have an open mind. John really wanted a black cat to honor our cat, Luna, who passed away in 2022. I was a little hesitant because, honestly, the pain of losing Luna is still so fresh, too, and I was worried that spotting a black cat out of the corner of my eye would dredge up even more pain. I gently hedged the idea to John of finding someone who looked nothing like our past fur babes—maybe gray or white? It was all I wanted to talk about leading up to our trip to the shelters that fateful Friday afternoon.
I finally convinced John to go to a couple of nearby SPCAs, taking along a bunch of pet supplies to give as donations in case we didn’t find “the one.” The first shelter didn’t have any kittens, which is what we were really after out of respect to Ginny and Chessie, our two older resident pets. Ginny the cat is 15 and Chessie the dog is 7, and we thought bringing a small submissive kitten into the family would feel less like an invasion of their established pack. Anyway, we left all of our pet supply donations at the first shelter since we weren’t able to adopt anyone, and then we headed a little ways out of town to a different shelter that I knew was positively stacked with kittens.
I had been studying all of the available kittens on that shelter’s website for days, and knew who I wanted to see—particularly a bonded pair, one sister and one brother. I know it’s a little sad to think about and say out loud, but Ginny is 15 years old, and has been battling Thyroid and kidney problems for years. Like with Tonks, we’re cherishing every second with her, but we know she’ll probably only be with us, at best, for a few more years. She’s such a strong girl, though, and we joke that she’ll live into her 20s, so who knows! At any rate, knowing the reality of her health situation, I was open to the idea of adopting two kittens. The deal I made with John was that, when Ginny passes, we wouldn’t adopt any more cats if we brought home two kittens that day.
It was so much fun meandering through the maze of kitten cages at the SPCA! I am crazy for kittens, and haven’t had a baby cat in 15 years (not since I adopted Ginny right out of college). We quickly found the bonded pair that I had seen online, and so asked to see them in a private room. John had also spotted a single female black cat that he wanted to consider, so we asked to see her next. I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened…
We ultimately took home the single female black kitten that John had spontaneously fallen in love with. The bonded pair of kittens were precious, but they didn’t pay much attention to us. They focused mostly on each other, and I really did have high hopes of bonding deeply with our new kitten(s). I knew it was going to help so much in my grieving process to have another cuddly cat to love and who returned that love just as fiercely. So, we put the bonded pair back, and brought the single female into the room with us. She was absolutely out of her mind with energy (maybe from being cooped up in the cage for so long), but there were moments when she locked eyes with us, and John really loved playing with her. I could see him light up around her, and decided to trust his instincts.
We brought Marlo home and have loved every single second with her. John was 100 percent right that she was the one for us. She’s got so much spunk and personality, and she absolutely adores her family. She is hardly ever more than a few feet away from me, and she’s getting along great with our existing pets, too. One of her favorite napping spots is on our rescue pup’s tummy, and Ginny scratches at Marlo’s door every night to go be near her (we’re keeping Marlo separated at night in the guest room until we can trust her around plants, breakables, etc.).
By the way, John let me name her, and I chose Marlo after Marlo Thomas because I love her show That Girl. Our new kitten’s jet black fur is such a great nod to Marlo’s character’s striking black hair in That Girl, and I just love the name, too. Welcome to the family, Marlo! You’re the “puurrrrfect” addition to our family…