Jeremy and I had spent a wonderful morning shopping in a couple of stores we both know will be relatively quiet. I found a birthday card for my youngest nephew in Marshalls while Jeremy scored three bags of vegan white cheddar flavoured popcorn. We hit two aisles at Superstore then headed home before making a quick stop for cat food. That’s all we needed.
We were halfway there when a dream started rattling inside my head. I have absolutely wild dreams that are as rich and intricately detailed as a movie and its book counterpart combined. This one was giving me almost nothing, just a white kitten. Had I adopted one? Seen one? Danced the flamenco down King Street with one? Considering my usual dreams the latter seamed more likely but the former felt right.
“I wonder if there’ll be a white kitten there?” I mused.
“Umm why?” Jeremy looked startled, which was understandable considering we already have three adult cats, the baby being eight year old Oreo.
“I don’t exactly remember but I had a dream about a white kitten…”
“And you want to adopt one?”
“Only if there’s a white one,” I assured zir. “You don’t have to worry though, I dreamt about finding a white kitten and my dreams never come true.”
I didn’t bother pointing out that the store only holds adoptions about once a month for one day so the chances of a cat being there were slim to begin with, let alone finding a white cat. Except there was a one day only adoption sign out front. Hope began to fill my heart. Zie opened the door and made a beeline to the adoption cage. Jeremy didn’t crouch, zie stood looking.
“I take it there isn’t one,” I said a lot more cheerfully than I felt.
It wasn’t a question because, as I said above, my dreams don’t come true. Which, considering how bizarre most of them are, is a good thing.
Jeremy took a few seconds to reply. “There isn’t one white kitten,” zie said hesitantly, “there’s two.”
I was over there in a heart beat to see them then started working on getting the clerk to open the cage so we could check one out. She’d never held the kittens before and was hesitant to have anyone touch one. I pointed out it would be hard to adopt a cat if no one touched it. The kitten was not going to levitate itself to a carrier. I watched them both while she dithered. One was quiet and peaceful with a faint outline of M between her ears. The other looked about two seconds away from mischief, complete with a smudge of grey on her forehead that looked like a smear of dirt.
Jeremy was staring just as intently and wanted one equally as much. Luckily for both of us, zie had zir heart set on the peaceful one while I had mine set the one I’d already named Smudge. Then came the fun. They wanted cash only because the payment went directly to the Humane Society and couldn’t go through the till. So we had to go a block over to get cash. And the cash machine at the grocery store was broken.
“Umm, my teen and I are adopting two kittens and we need to get cash back. May I buy a dollar water bottle and get $180 back?” I asked the cashier. Luckily she was a regular who’d chatted to us about Doctor Who before.
“You can buy a 5 cent bag and get cash back if you want,” she offered cheerfully.
“I’ll get the water bottle,” I replied. “Jeremy can buy the bag with zir card.”
With the money out of the way, we ran to the dollar store to buy balcony proofing materials. The kittens can’t fly any more than I can. I ended up buying a roll of mesh to cover the gap in the bottom of the railing and lattice fencing to add height to the top. Then we hurried back to the store so I could sign tonnes of paperwork and Jeremy could cart around both kittens while cooing and talking baby talk to them.
The kittens are, hands down, the best purchase I’ve made in a long time. Jeremy adores the kitten zie’s named Lara (pronounced Lar-ah like the character Lara Croft) and is absolutely besotted. The kitten loves zir just as much and comes running when zie calls. My kitten is a ball of independent fuzz who snuggles up against me at night, looking at me like I’m the most important person in the universe.
I wake up early these days, likely a side effect of my medicine. But the kittens wake early too. The past two days I’ve shooed them onto the balcony and sat, with a mug of hot chocolate, to watch them tumble, bounce and roll from one side to the other before relaxing on the outside cat tree.
Our older cats are unimpressed but the kittens are ignoring them and the cats are slowly relaxing. Blackie (our most skittish cat) ate beside Lara this afternoon, which is an amazingly positive sign.
Jeremy’s already talking about taking zir cat for walks once she has her shots.
“I could take Lara into the woods,” zie informed me happily. “I bet they’d like it. And maybe when they’re older, I could take them to the conservation area to see the big woods.”
Jeremy uses gender neutral pronouns for both kittens because zie doesn’t want to assume their gender or preferred pronouns for them, which is very sweet of zir.
I can make no promises for the future but I can be reasonably sure that tomorrow will find me, hot chocolate in hand, watching the kittens while the sun comes up. I can’t say that will be fabulous but it’ll be very nice.