Sunday, January 17, 2010

Our New Pet Project

Bob and I had talked about getting cats in the new year, but I didn't expect it to happen so quickly! I was playing on the internet during some downtime on a Monday morning a couple weeks ago and clicked on the Anti-Cruelty Society's "adopt a cat" link. When I saw this Glamour Shot staring back at me I knew we couldn't pass up the chance to take these brothers home! Their story matched what we were looking for: 2 cats - not kittens - who wanted to be adopted together and came from a home where the owner could no longer take care of them. We had also been secretly hoping for at least one of them to be charcoal gray. Of all the cats we've had at my parents' house, we've never had a gray one! These guys were perfect for us - if nothing else, I wanted to meet these model cats who could take such a perfect picture together.

I sent the link to Bob and he called the shelter - they were still available! He stopped in after work to check them out and then headed home to get his car in case we could adopt them that night. I walked over after work and we spent a good chunk of the evening going through the adoption process. When the volunteers first took the 7 month old cats out of their cage, I grabbed the one named "Charlie" and Bob took the one named "Buster." Both calmed down immediately and, although a bit shaky and scared in our laps, they nestled in and let us pet them. The volunteer said she had not seen them act so calm before, a good sign I thought! We also immediately christened them with our chosen names, or rather, the names I thought of a couple years ago and Bob supportingly agreed to: Sonny and Fredo. Godfather fans, I had a vision of grabbing Fredo's little cheeks and saying "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart!"

The kitties had to be neutered yet, so we completed the adoption process and picked them up the next evening. The rest of that night, however, was spent at PetCo! We had plans on getting cats, but at the time did not have anything to bring them home to! Flushable Litter and Extra Large Litter Box, check. Grooming supplies, check. Lots o' Toys, check.

This also prompted me to take down all of the Christmas decorations - I did not want a curious kitty climbing the tree to knock down an ornament or two, or to use my stockings as a climbing post to the mantel!

The next evening, Bob picked them up on his way home from work. The description of the cats said that Charlie (now Sonny) was the more skittish of the two and looked to his brother to lead the way. Boy, was this accurate! Sonny almost immediately took refuge under the couch and would not come out. Fredo, on the other hand, ran around like a crazy cat checking out the entire living room!

The good news was that Sonny, though it seemed like under the couch was going to be his permanent residence, was not scared of us. If we reached under to pet him, he would start purring and roll around. He just wasn't at the point where he wanted to join us. Within a day though, Sonny would peek his head out and get something to eat. The next day he'd come out for longer periods of time, and by the time they made their way to our bedroom, they both enjoyed laying next to each other on the bed and meowing for attention!

Now, Sonny almost seems like the more outgoing of the two: he certainly is a ham, as indicated in this pic:

We adopted Sonny and Fredo from the Anti-Cruelty Society here in Chicago. There are several other options if you are looking to add an adorable ball of fur to your house. Think of no-kill shelters like PAWS and Tree House Humane Society. Click here for a list of more area shelters. If you are not in the Chicago area, a quick google search is all you'll need. Find out how you can help through volunteer opportunities, donations and more.

Lease your car. Rent your apartment. Why not foster an animal? This is not an option we considered, but a worthwhile one to promote. Fostering a shelter cat, dog, or maybe something more exotic, means the shelter has additional resources and the pet becomes more adoptable. Special Needs animals also get a second chance. The only caveat is that you have to give them back!

Kittens are cute, there is no doubt about it, but they grow into cats pretty quickly. Think about adopting older cats from the shelter who may be there because of an owners' need to give up their pet. We sort of went in between and got young cats, but there were so many sweet looking 3-7 year olds peering out of the cages it was hard to pass them up!

Sonny and Fredo still have their claws and I know there are differing opinions on declawing cats. Even though they will be indoor, apartment cats, I would like to avoid the process if it can be helped. However, my mind may change if my couch legs turn into a pile of shreds. We made sure to buy scratching boxes in our marathon PetCo run that first night and it seems to be doing the trick. They know the box is for their scratching and so far have been very nice to our furniture.

2 weeks in, Bob and I very happy with our new friends. (I am doing my best to avoid using words like "kids" and "babies" when referring to them, but it's getting tough to do!) The boys are settling in well, As I'm typing this they are curled up together on one of the guest room beds.

Our biggest challenge? Telling these two little twins apart!

PS. Sonny is a bit darker than Fredo and their faces are slightly different, but even so we keep second guessing ourselves! And seriously, how did the shelter get such a perfect picture of them??


  1. I need to plan another trip to Chicago so I can meet these guys. They are so cute!

  2. I just had to let you know how precious these two fellows are. It was so sweet of you to adopt them together. They'll love you for it.
    My Angel kity is now 14 years. Two of my cats were rescues too.
    I also debated about the declawing.
    In the beginning I'd get my kitties professional trimmed. It was only $4 at the time. Now that we just have one kitty we trim her nails ourselves. The nail covers is what I'd highly recommend as an alternative to declawing. You can apply them or have them applied by a groomer. I've heard they're great.

    Sweet wishes,

  3. Thanks Sara - we were thinking about the nail covers but still unsure. They really have been good about not scratching though so hopefully they will keep that up!