Friday, November 6, 2009

Annabelle and Payton

Be forewarned: You may find this post boring if you are not an animal lover.

I have written about my birth children a number of times before. But I haven't really written about my 2 adopted feline children. I got to thinking about them the other day. Our family had cats when I was growing up, but I don't think I was nearly as attached to them as I am to these kitties. I didn't have the kind of mother-love that I have for Payton and Annabelle.

This is Annabelle. She was our first cat. Before that, we had only owned 3 fish and an African dwarf frog, all of whom suffered an untimely demise. Annabelle was a gift for Faith's 5th birthday. Faith had a fear of cats and dogs, so we got her a cat - isn't that nice of us??? We figured if we got a kitten for her, she would not be afraid and grow to love the cat over time. I mean, who couldn't love a cuddly little thing like this:

It turned out that Faith couldn't! Well, at least not for the first week. Faith finally warmed up to her new kitty after several days of being carried around, hopping from one piece of furniture to another so the kitten wouldn't "get" her, and asking if we could take Annabelle back to the pet shop. Sounds pretty traumatic for a 5th birthday present, huh? Well, she finally grew to love Annabelle, after the phobia had worn off.

The first night Annabelle spent with us - as a teeny, tiny kitten - she went into Evan's room and he started screaming, "Get her out of here!" Imagine! Children being terrorized by a miniature creature. But we thought it best not to make him suffer through it, so we shut her out of the kids' rooms. So, Annabelle struggled up the side of our bed (she could barely make it) and planted herself firmly between mine and Al's pillows, and there she slept all night long.

Here's Annabelle now - she grew into quite a tank!

Eventually we felt that Annabelle needed a playmate. So Hope asked for a kitten for her birthday this past spring. We went to a few pet shops in search of a kitten, and all we found were 2 $600 Persians. That wasn't gonna happen! So, we went to Petco and they had some cats from the local animal shelter up for adoption. Well, to be exact, they had one cat left up for adoption - Payton. Hope ran to her and begged, "This is the one I want!" Payton was a 2-year-old, mangy stray. She had all her shots, etc. but still. . . she wasn't a cute, cuddly kitten. But Hope insisted, so we adopted Payton. As soon as we got her home, she ran under our bed and didn't come out for the rest of the day. Poor thing was probably terrified. My husband had to coax her out with cat treats.

The first night she was with us, she began exploring the house. I got up to use the bathroom and stopped to pet her in the hallway. She flopped over on her side and tried to grab my hands, but her muscles were so atrophied that she couldn't even play. And her hair was so coarse and would fall out in clumps. She could be sitting entirely still, and you would see tufts of hair wafting through the air.
Now she is a very full, soft, furry and playful cat. Very healthy and still very kitten-like, despite the fact that she's about 2 1/2. I think maybe she's a little "slow". But it doesn't matter, we love her the way she is. She's the one who will now climb in our beds in the early morning and nibble on our fingers and toes, if they're exposed. She loves to play and chase anything that moves. She has been known to pick up small toys in her mouth, toss them around, and chase after them!
You may wonder how Payton and Annabelle got along. Well, there was a bit of hissing and growling at first. But they've grown accustomed to each other and now play quite well together. They have even become cohorts in crime as you will see in this video. Annabelle figured out that her treats were kept in this cupboard, and then she figured out how to open it. Time to find a new hiding place!

And those are my two feline babies. Hope you liked meeting them!

1 comment:

  1. Funny- we have a gray/black tabby who insists on sleeping in between our pillows at night too! It would be fine with me if it weren't for his strange habit of licking the metal on our headboard.


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