I have big news to share today: John and I have adopted a second rescue cat! It’s a bit of a long story, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit down to learn all the details. It all started in July. If you remember, we brought home our kitten, Marlowe, after losing our oldest cat, Tonks, to lymphoma. We’ve learned over the years that adoption after loss helps us heal, so it was instinctive for me to feel the urge to visit our local shelter after Tonks’ death.
You can read Marlowe’s adoption story this way in case you missed it, but I actually did my best to convince John at the time to let us adopt two kittens. I was reading about cats a lot in the days leading up to Marlowe’s adoption, and almost every article I read insisted that you adopt Marlowe two Cats were better than one. Having a playmate helps them adjust to their new home faster, and it also distracts them from biting or scratching humans – they bite each other instead! It seemed profitable to me, but in the end we decided to adopt our only daughter, Marlowe. Again, the full story this way so you can get a sense of our big picture.
Immediately after bringing Marlo home, I called the vet to schedule her first checkup. Shortly after setting it all up, our vet called me in person to chat about Marlowe. Our vet and I had become very close over the years as we dealt with both healthy and unhealthy fur babies, so she was excited to hear about our new addition. While talking to her on the phone, she tentatively popped the question: “Does Marlowe want a boyfriend…?” She said: Turns out our vet performed an emergency medical intervention on a newborn Siamese kitten from Flame Point who had a really bad abscess on his forehead, probably from a cat fight while she was out in the country somewhere. Our vet sent us pictures of the kittens, whom I named Coconut Jo, and immediately showed them to John.
The other concurrent thing that you need to understand throughout this situation is the condition of our other cat, Jenny. Our last oldest pet was when she was 15 years old, and she’s been suffering from kidney disease and hyperthyroidism for years. She was fine at that point, but she was definitely starting to show her age. Jenny had been losing weight slowly since her diagnosis, and we knew any extra years with her would be more of a blessing than a guarantee. I asked John if he thought it would be worth going ahead and adopting this second cat in need with the long term view we are going won’t Follow back after Jenny’s eventual death. In other words, this will be the case for us for a while.
As you can guess from the pictures in today’s post, John and I decided to do just that! He and I always ask ourselves what we can do for our wonderful vet, and generally don’t know how we can pay for all the care she gives our family. But when I mentioned this kitten who needed a loving home, she knew this was the one we really wanted could do for her. We said yes to Coconut Joe, and counted down the days until he joined our family in the middle of August after making a full recovery with our vet at her home.
And this is when the story gets sad. I think fate was gently nudge us in a very specific direction because Jenny’s health unexpectedly began to decline in early August. By the time Jo got home, it was clear that she was in very bad shape. She had lost all of her remaining weight, and the loss of muscle made her unsteady on her feet. She was still so lovable and sweet with us and the kittens, but we knew she was trying to tell us it was time for her.
The photo below shows the kittens the morning we said goodbye to Jenny. I remember passing them like this on a chair that looked like a little heart and bursting into tears again. It was a really tough day, especially after losing Tonks just 45 days ago, not to mention all the stress that comes with new cats…but we got through it.
It’s been two weeks since Jenny died, and three weeks since Joe came back to us. Things are finally looking like they’re settling down a bit, but I’ll admit this wasn’t the easiest transition. We’ve been kicking around this summer, but we’re so lucky to have these two sweet cats who love each other (and our dog, Chessie, too, of course!). I have plans to write a whole blog post about incorporating new cats into your home, so stay tuned for that in a bit if that interests you. Until then, we miss you every day, Jenny, and hope you take good care of our kittens. I’m so glad Marlowe and Joe met you before you left us. Sleep well, sweet girl! And welcome home, Joe!
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