There’s a reason iJason thinks my life should be a sitcom. Allow me to tell you about my last 36 hours.
On Friday night, it was my mom and stepdad’s last night here after a lovely two-week visit (and lots of babysitting on their parts. Thanks again Gigi and DeDe!).
We decided to head to Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen for dinner, a favorite that we never seem to go to except for when they’re here. It’s probably better I avoid that place and its delicious beignets … and perfectly chilled schooner glasses for my favorite Abita Purple Haze.
Everyone was having a grand old time.
As we were wrapping up dinner, DadJovi decided to take E. over to the pet store in the same plaza while we took care of the check. Usually they go over there for E. to check out the hamsters, marmots and bunnies and to desperately search for snakes.
We settled our bill and we were in the store within 15 minutes. In that short amount of time, not only had they already finished looking at the animals but somehow DadJovi was on the verge of buying a fish tank and fish. A FISH THANK! Have you ever heard a worse idea? He actually had the box for the aquarium under his arm and was in the process of picking out fish and getting all the how-tos from the store employee.
Needless to say, I was not on board with the decision. I knew how this story was going to end. DadJovi and E. would be excited for it for about, oh, the 20 minutes it took to drive home. Perhaps it would even spill over to them actually setting up of the tank. But who do you think was going to be in charge of cleaning out the tank, feeding the fish and covertly replacing the inevitable fish with short lifespans?
As we were
arguing about calmly discussing the fish tank situation, E. and my mom kept walking about the pet store, in the process discovering a cute little shelter kitten who looking for a forever home.
To prove how bad of an idea I thought the fish tank was, I even gestured toward the kitten and I, the lifelong cat-allergy suffering and cat-hating person, said, “I’d take that kitten over those damn fish.”
Within what I would estimate to be .067 seconds, we were suddenly adopting a kitten. One member of our family was 100 percent on board with the idea.
My mom, who has owned cats for nearly 20 years, was there urging the plan forward. For every hesitation on our parts, she had a reason why it’d be OK. She was definitely not pushing it; she was just answering our concerns. So I called the one person who I knew would give it to me straight — Katy. She immediately started telling me all the reasons to NOT get a cat.
But I was too late. The cat train was leaving the station.
This is how my husband operates — he says no, no, no until one day, in a moment of impulsiveness, he says yes. Now you all know why I don’t want him to get a vasectomy — I’m still waiting for the day when he suddenly says yes to a second child!
Since we lost our dogs, I’ve been anxious for another pet but I haven’t been abe to talk him into another dog yet. So I figured why not? At least it’s another creature to love and hopefully fill my baby fever a little bit.
And the final tipping point? Guess what the cat’s name was … Disney! It was destiny.
Next thing we knew, we were fur parents again. And from the start, the kitten made herself right at home.
Of course, one of our biggest concerns was naming the kitten. Given her Disney beginnings, I suggested names like Tink, Belle, Tiana or Merida. All were shot down by E.
E. suggested Elephant, in honor of her current obsession with all things pachyderm. I countered with Ellie or Elle, which seemed to get her attention for a few minutes.
Then, out of nowhere, E. says, “I know what I want to name her — Blue Devil!”
Of course, her father started whooping and yelling at what a great idea that was. If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have believed that it hadn’t been his suggestion. But I heard it myself. It was all her idea.
So, for the time being, the cat’s name is Blue. I like to think she’s named after Blue Ivy Carter but I’m the only one. In any event, she sure is cute.
Of course, DadJovi and I have also said every “Old School” quote with Blue’s name in it … about 100 times. “YOU’RE MY KITTY, BLUE” being a favorite.
It’s also funny because my friend Julie’s uncle always called me Blue growing up because of the ’70s song “Jackie Blue.” Yup, it’s destiny.
All went well the first night with our kitty. On Saturday, E’s BFF was begging her parents to come meet the kitten after her parents showed her a picture of it on Facebook. They wanted to go car shopping anyway, so I said she could come over here for a couple hours to play with E. and meet Blue.
The phrase “loved to death” was clearly coined by someone watching two preschoolers play with a new kitten. They were ALL OVER her. I kept trying to distract the girls with other activities, like making Shrinky Dinks and watching the new Tink movie but they kept coming back to chasing down the kitty.
Eventually, E’s pal went home and DadJovi took E. to a basketball game with his dad. The last I saw Blue, she was darting under a coach. I left her be and went about with my Saturday, getting all the Christmas decorations down and cleaning up the house. At one point, I left the house to do a couple errands, carefully watching the front door as I left.
When I came back, I sat quietly in the living room, hoping Blue would emerge. She didn’t. An hour went by. Then two hours. Then, DadJovi and E. got home and they started helping me look for her too. We looked EVERYWHERE. I’d already had all the bedroom doors closed so there were only so many places in the main living area she could be.
She was nowhere to be found.
So I did what anybody does in a crisis these days … I turned to social media for help.
Thankfully, my friends not only confirmed that I’m not a monster but that this was normal. They even had great suggestions for where to look.
Who knew cats could be SO wily?
We tried all of their suggestions, and then some. She seriously is the best hider since bin Laden (hence the name of the post). We hunted and hunted, going over every teeny tiny nook and cranny of our 1,200 SF house.
And then my husband thought he was a comedian and kept piling on me on Facebook.
And you all wonder why I’m crazy?
Somehow we were able to talk E. to go to bed. Thankfully, she was exhausted so she didn’t protest too much. We then turned down all the lights and put out bowls of tuna all over the house.
By this point, there’d been no sign of Blue for more than 8 hours. I had two big fears a) she had somehow slipped by me when I opened the front door the four times since she’d last been spotted or b) we’d adopted a sick cat and she had curled up and died somewhere in our house.
Neither option was a good one.
Just as we were getting ready to go to bed, I heard a tiny sound that sort of sounded like a cartoon puppy barking. We both froze. Then we heard it again. I slowly got up off the couch and started looking around — and there she was. It was Blue! She was sitting under the dining room table making puffing sneezing noises.
She’s alive! And it’s not my fault. Thank you sweet Baby Jesus.
I was so happy to be wrong and let everyone else in the social media world be right — she was here all along. I just wish we knew where her secret lair is hidden in our house. We think she was probably in the kitchen somewhere.
So now we’re giving her all the space she needs to get used to her new house. E. is not allowed to hunt her down anymore until the cat has had some time to settle in.
Now, there’s only one thing left to do … for me to stop sneezing. This is what my eyes have looked like since we brought her home.
I’ve been popping Claritins like candy and thanks to a suggestion from one of the pet store employees, I’ve ordered something called Allerpet from Amazon. It’s a lotion you put on cats that supposedly cuts down on their dander. It should be here by Monday so hopefully it works.
Until then, I’ll be sneezing.
The things we do for kids.
Any cat owners? What do I need to know about owning a kitten? I know nothing. Dry food? Wet food? How do we ensure she’s a social kitty or is that just part of their DNA? Where’s the strangest place your pet or child has ever hid?