On December 1st, we added to our family. We adopted a kitten, Cally!
After our sweet Jezebel passed away last year, we needed to take some time to heal from the loss. So for nine months, we were a one cat household with Avon.
Avon really stepped up with lots of cuddles and love when we needed it so much. But he was also lonely for a cat companion.
A few months after Jezebel had passed, I was looking through old videos on my computer. I found one of her talking to her toys. (She had a specific meow that she used when talking to them.) I took my computer into the office to show it to David.
Avon heard Jezebel’s voice and came peeling down the hall, looking for her. When she wasn’t there, he went over to the suitcase bed where they would cuddle together, and he started licking it. That moment was so bittersweet. It made me sad & happy that he loved her so much.
As the months passed, Avon became more and more needy. Whenever he’d see me getting ready to go to the gym or out to run errands, he would start climbing up me, desperate to be held. And when I came home after a short while, he acted like I’d been gone for days.
It was clear that Avon needed company.
So on the first day of December, David and I drove to a shelter to visit with their cats.
We were looking for someone who would be a good companion for Avon. Someone who wanted to cuddle, groom in the sun, and play. We also wanted to adopt a cat who wouldn’t be super territorial coming into his space.
I noticed a calico kitten who at that point was about 5 months old – Cally.
She got along well with the other cats. She enjoyed snoozing with them, slumped together in little round beds. When an older cat hissed at her, Cally just walked away unfazed.
I picked up little Cally. She immediately relaxed in my arms with one little paw folded over the other.
Adopting an animal isn’t a small decision. Like Sia says, “Puppies are forever. Not just for Christmas.”
And the same is true for cats. The relationship isn’t just for a season. It’s for all of the moves, the ups and downs in health, and the life changes that follow.
So it wasn’t a light thing to sign the papers, put Cally in a carrier, and take her home with us. But there was a lot of excitement too, getting to add to our brood. Someone we get to love for her whole life and beyond.
When we first brought her home, we kept Cally in the TV room apart from Avon. He was very curious. When he eventually saw a peek of her, his hackles were raised, and he hissed. But over time, he became less charged and more curious.
And Cally was completely oblivious to all of it. She’d been with other cats for the whole time she’d been in the shelter – about three months. And before that, she was with her siblings at the trailer park where she was born. (She was born in June, and the last of her litter to be adopted.)
But before we could get used to this new household, Avon got sick.
Avon started hiding away in Jezebel’s car bed and not eating. We assumed he was stressed about Cally’s arrival, but it continued.
Of course, cats only seem to get sick on nights and weekends. So we took him to the emergency vet. They thought it might be a stomach issue. They gave him some medicine for that.
But the next day he was worse. We were back at the emergency vet. They came to the conclusion that he had eaten something he shouldn’t have. It was lodged in his intestine, unable to come out on its own.
So that Saturday night they brought in a surgeon for emergency surgery. Avon spent two nights in the hospital, while we worried endlessly. And finally we were able to bring him home.
For two weeks, Avon wasn’t allowed to run, jump, or play. And he had to be kept away from Cally. We sequestered him in the TV room, and moved all of the furniture out of the room that he might want to jump on. He had to be so confused about what on earth was going on.
Luckily, we had some warm days in December. So we put a space heater on our three seasons porch, and spent some time out there during the day.
Those two weeks with an around the clock medication schedule seemed like it would never end. And then finally, it did.
It’s taken Avon quite a while to get back to his old self. But that hasn’t kept him from connecting with Cally.
Cally & Avon
They are so fun together. They love playing in a four-way tube we have in the living room, and chasing each other through the house. (When little tiny Cally is taking her turn chasing him down the hallway, it’s just too adorable for words.)
Avon would groom Cally constantly if she’d let him. But he usually has to wait until she is tired, and then he slides in for a cuddle.
Cally is very much in her element and seems so happy to have a hammock in the window where she can luxuriate, an office chair that she can quickly usurp when David moves off of it, and a bungalow in the front room, where she can watch the world go by.
She fills the house with cooing. She sounds like a little pigeon when she’s happy, which is often.
It’s so fun having this new little being to love. We all needed each other.