Friday, May 22, 2009

Today in the news...The demise of Moleville.

First, let me say that I am not a cat person. Frankly, I'm not an animal person. Don't get me wrong. I love, well at least like, Jake, our huge chocolate lab. He is sweet and loves the boys and barks when strangers come. I just don't want him to lick me. Or jump up on me. Or chew on my shoes. Or get hair all over the house. So Jake lives outside. He comes in some during the winter. But he is definitely an outdoor dog. And I tolerate the turtle who lives in the basement. He's quiet and doesn't eat much. And I don't even really mind the mealworms who are metamorphosing into darkling beetles in the hall closet or the snail and centipedes and caterpillars in bug boxes in the living room. And I even kind of like the minuscule sea monkeys just beginning to grow in their tank on my bookshelf.

But still, I'm not an animal person. And I especially don't like the moles who have taken over our yard. When the snow melted this spring, it was discovered that last year's moles were still around and had brought friends. Lots of friends. They had all begun transforming our yard into Moleville complete with malls and condos and trails leading to each other's houses. So we decided that we should get a cat to roam around outside and catch the moles. Or at least chase them to the neighbors' yards. We have been talking about it for weeks. So yesterday when Arrty got off work, I convinced him to take us to the local shelter. So we went in and there in cages, were all kinds of cats. Old cats, kittens, sleeping cats, active cats, friendly cats, hissing cats. Now, we have never owned a cat. So we had no idea about anything to do with them. I fully admit that the kittens were cute and the boys were instantly drawn to them. But I had to remind myself why we were there. For a mouser, not a lap cat. So I avoided the kittens and looked at the older cats.

There were a few that had signs that said "sensitive stomach." I didn't think they would be very fond of moles and mice. There were a few with signs that said, "caution." Not good for my animal loving children. So I looked for help. One of the ladies who worked there asked what we were looking for and I told her. She then took us to meet Ronnie. Ronnie is an 11 year old, big orange cat. He was owned by a family that she knew. The wife had died and the husband moved to Alaska and couldn't take Ronnie. He is an outdoor cat who had lived on a golf course. His story made me sad. To see him there in the cage probably missing his owners. But as much as I liked him, we still needed a mouser, not an old cat to lay on the porch. (If you want a cat, go get Ronnie. He needs a home.)

So we kept looking. As we walked down the aisle, Julianna was looking at all the cats and pointing and talking to them. When we got to one cage, she leaned in and was especially vocal. The cat in that cage came right over and put her paw up for Jules to touch. I was sold. She had sweet eyes and meowed quietly at us. So I asked the cat guy about her. He told us that she had come in as a kitten with her mother and 10 siblings. The price to adopt her was discounted which I took to mean that her time was almost up. There were two of her brothers left, too. One in the cage under her and one in the cage to the right. "Well," I told my reluctant husband, "If we get two, they would have company outside and could catch twice as many moles." He gave me "the look." But he looked at the brothers. One was gray and very hairy and kind of fat. The other looked much like his sister except with longer hair.

We looked some more. I went back to see Ronnie. Then back to the sister and brothers. Then back to Ronnie. Then to a few others. But we kept coming back to White Sox, the sister who liked Jules, and Yankees, the brother to the right. Arrty said that we couldn't get Yankees because, well, he was named Yankees. (The other brother was Astros. Apparently they had all been named after baseball teams.) But even with that name, Arrty seemed to like Yankees. "What should we do?" he asked me. "Well," I said, "we've been talking about it for a while. We might as well do it today." Mostly because I knew that the boys would be so disappointed if we didn't go home with a cat that day. So we made a decision. We were going to adopt White Sox and Yankees. The boys were thrilled. Even though they weren't cute little kittens. They were cats after all, and they've been wanting a cat for "years" as Josh said. So I went up to do paperwork and they got the cats ready to go complete with an identification chip.

It cost $42.50 each, reduced from the normal $65 fee. But taking into consideration that they have had all their shots, have been spayed/neutered, have the chip, and come with a free vet visit, that's a pretty good deal. Still, as I filled out the pages of paperwork, I thought, "Cats? Really? Cats?" But then, I saw the paper that said "adoption price reduced." And I got this warm feeling about saving these cats. Rescuing them after 11 months of being in the shelter. I admit that it felt good. So good, in fact, that I felt bad about not taking home more pets. Like Ronnie. Or the other brother. Or the cute little black lab puppies in the next room. But two cats was already more than we had planned on.

So we came home last night with two cats. So far they have mostly hidden under chairs. But I keep reminding the boys, and myself, that it must be hard for them to leave the only life they've ever known. To move into a house with people. To not being in a cage surrounded by other cats and barking dogs. We'll give them a few days and hopefully they'll love us as much as we, yes, I said "we," love them.

So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to our family mousers.

And to keep with family tradition, they do not have names yet. It's down to these options. Bonnie and Clyde, Fred and Ginger, Jack and Jill, or Jack and Socks. The boys get to pick and they are leaning toward Jack and Socks.

I never thought I'd be an animal advocate, but if you are thinking of getting a pet, please visit your local shelter. There are so many animals who need good homes. And if you live in North Idaho... GO GET RONNIE!


Alyson said...

Even though Jim and I are both highly allergic to cats, I briefly considered going and seeing about Ronnie after this story. I am the exact opposite of you in that I would have every pet in the world if I could! :) But it sounds like for a non-animal lover... you kind of love animals! :)

Anonymous said...

I have had cats in my family forever, and love them. They are definitely their own beings and do as they please. I had a Jack once, a truly great cat. Yours looks like a pair I had raising my kids that we called Chris and Tina. Good luck and thanks for saving them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, sent by The Stickman.

Idaho Dad said...

We adopted our two 13-year-old cats from the shelter, and they are brothers, and also look much like yours. One is fluffy, the other sleek. Back in the day, they were both excellent hunters of moles and mice. These days, in their old age, they're more apt to chase bits of paper and string around the house.

I'd love to go rescue Ronnie, but I'm afraid our two senior citizens would not take kindly to him.

Good luck with your new pets!

Ada said...

So I'm in the process of trying to talk Adam into going to get Ronnie. Thanks a lot!!! I love the cats, they are cute. I think you should name them Samson and Delilah.

Katrina said...

Well, I AM a cat person (leaving aside the fact that I'm also slightly allergic), and I congratulate you on the two new members of your household. I like Jack and Jill as names (or Ben and Jerry, but I'm pretty sure no self-respecting girl cat would answer to either of those.)

I'm glad to hear they come already spayed and neutered, lest your Moleville give way to Catville!

MarmiteToasty said...

Love the cats, being a cat person.... we lost one of ours a few weeks back, it got hit by a car one night and I had to have it put down the following day......

Im glad you got these from the rescue place :)


kathy said...

WHOA! i'm gone for a mere 4 days and i return to our beloved country barely recognizing the landscape of my beloved friend's blog! A CAT?! TWO CATS!!??!!! And they are in THE HOUSE?! who are you? i actually rechecked the link i clicked on to make sure this was MY jen's blog and not some imposter. this is seriously going to damage our street cred as cat haters. good luck on the Dark Side.