Five-almost-six years ago, Caitlin and I cooked our very first "real" Thanksgiving dinner--with "real" grown-ups (Kenny's parents) in attendance! It went really well, for the record. I stayed overnight on an air mattress on her living room floor, since going home to an empty house didn't appeal when the next day was my birthday.
For my birthday, Caitlin and I went down to the local animal shelter to look at kittens. Gen and I, recently roommates, had decided to get two cats. One for her, and one for me, so we'd be clear whose cat was whose at the "inevitable divorce," as we called it. Since Gen was out of town for the holiday, I was going to look at one kitten. And probably not take one home at all. Probably.
But then, there was this two-headed ball of fur in one of the cages. Two tiny kitten bodies wrapped so tightly around each other in sleep that you couldn't tell what limb belonged to which kitten.
"That one's Sweetie Pie," the shelter worker said, pointing, "and she's Baby Girl. They're not from the same litter, but they've been together since just about birth."
Two kittens. Two kittens who came together as a package deal, as far as I was concerned. I got to hold and snuggle and pet both kittens, and my heart melted.
I called Gen. "I came to the shelter just to look, and there are two really adorable kittens here!"
The shelter worker took my phone and explained Sweetie Pie and Baby Girl's story.
Since Gen really wanted to be involved in kitten-choosing, I told her I'd wait and we could come back Monday, when she was back in town.
Then a family with about thirty-seven kids (four or five, really, but they were everywhere) came in, and immediately found my two-headed bundle of fur. "Only one," the mother said. And then pointed at Baby Girl and asked to see her.
I urgently hissed into the phone, "There's a family here, and they're going to split up the kittens!"
"...We're changing their names, RIGHT?" Gen asked.
That's how Gen and I came to have kittens. Monet (mine) and Cymbeline (hers).
And now, we're on the verge of that "inevitable divorce." Not just of Gen and me as roommates, but of Monet and Cymbeline as adoptive sister kitties.
And it is so freaking sad!
We're splitting up the kittens I adopted because I couldn't bear to see them split up! I thought long and hard about keeping them together. Maybe Gen should take both of them? But I couldn't do it! I couldn't just hand Monet off. And besides, then Gen would have three cats (her future-roommate has a cat) and I'd have zero.
Gen's future-roommate's aforementioned cat will (hopefully) be Cymbeline's
Monet friend. And Steve and I plan to get another cat so Monet will (just as hopefully) have a friend. I'm reading up on how to introduce new cats to a household and all that.
But for now, I'm soaking up every ounce of Cymbeline-time I can get. And I feel like I've taken advantage of her over these past five years. Every morning, while I'm getting ready for work (usually during the coffee-drinking, news-watching portion of my morning), Cymbeline climbs up into my lap and starts purring and kneading and sucking on the fur of her own arm. And usually, when I need to get moving and actually, you know, get ready for work, I gently nudge her off my lap.
Lately, I just do everything I can from a cat-sitting-in-my-lap position. I do my hair and make-up with her in my lap, bring my breakfast upstairs so I can eat it when I'm ready, with Cymbeline in my lap. It's kind of crazy, I know. But I'm going to miss my little ball of Cymbeline-fur so much.