Adoption Anniversary


I’m interrupting our Prague visit with a very special adoption anniversary blog entry. Exactly four years ago to the hour, I made a lifestyle altering decision to adopt two 3-weeks-old kittens from Bark Avenue LA.  It used to be an animal shelter in downtown LA but apparently they now provide other services besides adoption.





and Shogun…


were flea-infested and not quite weaned from their mother. I named them about a week after adoption, mostly influenced by a recent visit to Japan.  I’d actually seen a picture of their other twin, Willem, at a website and felt immediately compelled to go see him in person. I know, it sounds a little weird but I was NOT surfing the net looking at pictures of naked kittens like some sicko–a friend of mine was looking for a second cat and I was helping him find one. Seriously.


Anyway, I was five minutes too late–the gal who arrived before me wanted Willem “more than ever” as soon as I showed interest in him. All the while she was on the phone telling her roommate she wasn’t sure.  I’ve seen that behavior before in some women–especially during sale season…as soon as they see someone else express an interest in a bag they’re not quite convinced to buy, they feel they must now have it.  But no, I’m not bitter. These two were meant to be mine…


This is from a journal entry I kept during the first year with them–once I figure how to link it, I will post the entire journal at this blog.


It all started with a picture of Willem at Had to have him. After some calls, Tom and I went down to Bark LA, a shelter in downtown LA, to pick up my little boy. We were a few minutes too late. Another couple saw that we were also there for Willem and they decided to take him then and there, even though from their conversation they were on the fence till we pushed them over it. Would have liked to push them out the window instead…


But losing Willem led us to his two brothers, two ordinary gray kittens with extraordinary gray eyes. The mostly gray one immediately took to Tom’s shoe and decided he was going to claim it as his own. The left foot, I believe. There he sat all afternoon as the other kittens ran by us. The other gray and white striped kitten made it clear that he was going home with me. And that was that.


After $150 and a lot of cold sweat, we had two 3-weeks old kittens in basket and drove back to Pasadena. More money fell out of my wallet when we went to Petco. Food, check. Litter, check. Toy, check, Scratching post, check. Food/water dishes, check.


No one ever tells you that you totally rethink how you live when you become responsible for two little lives. Very young lives. I decided to keep them in my home office since it was small and had nearly no dangerous traps or corners. But once they started running around in it, everything started to look like an accident waiting to happen. I had to comb through the floor for every little lost staple, bead, or anything that they could accidentally swallow. Dust bunnies had to be swept. God only knows what other traps I’ve laid out for my little guys in here.


Suffice it to say the first night was stressful, even though one of them used the litter box right away. Both numbers, thank you. I waited till the second one used the litter and got them ready for their first night here. I probably had only a few minutes of sleep when I woke up in an almost panic state. It was 1.29am. After my eyes got used to the bright light, I found them under my desk, curled up next to each other near all the computer cables. Oy. I spoke to them and they seemed to recognize me. They came out and licked my fingers. They looked so toasted and fragile. We played a bit and I left them where they were. Around 6am I went in to feed them. They were now well hidden behind a clothing rack. One was sitting inside a plastic bag. This is stuff that will keep me up the next night.


Besides the fact that they had grey-blue eyes when I first adopted them, their personalities have not changed all that much. Shogun, the super affectionate loner, is still an inquisitive cat who thinks he’s a goat. He’ll shred any piece of paper he finds and eats it. He will reach for anything you put in front of him. He walks like a slinky, stealth leopard.





Shifu, affectionately known as the attention slut, is a people person. He’s a bully, a wrestler, and a mama’s boy. Takes love more than he gives it…so when he offers it, you feel honored. Ladies, you know the type, am I right? He’s prone to sleeping with his tongue out. He walks like an intoxicated African lion; king of the jungle in his own little mind.





Here are a few more of my favorite pictures of my furkids:





I’ve since given this shirt away in the last four years,




but the furbabies, who are now a full grown adult cats, are keepers. They seem to think they are still babies, though, squeezing themselves on my lap as soon as I’m in my PJs–ugh, you probably think I wear nothing but flannel from these pics, but I can’t exactly wear couture while holding cats with sharp claws–



there’s just now more of them to love.




I was uploading pictures for this entry when I found out that my dear friend A’s 16-year-old cat had passed last night.  I emailed A back, hoping to console her even if I know her loss seems inconsolable right now.  Life and death hardly ever seem fair.  Rest in peace, Sooshi.


  1. larkie

    aww you have cats AND a dog! i’ve always wondered what it’d be like to raise cats and dogs together! but knowing my furkids they’d prob try to convert the new puppy into a cat!!

  2. Sabrina

    Your furkids are the cutest. My cats are 16 and 17 years old (they are from different litters.) I hope they live for a long time yet every now and then I shudder to think about the dreaded day when they will no longer be with me. Until then, they are spoiled with lots of love. So is the dog, but he is the baby at 13 years old. Love your furkid pics! They are precious.

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