Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Meet Arya & Kaiju!

Russian Blue Kitten

On Easter Sunday, my mom was over for brunch, and she showed me a picture of a kitten that a friend of hers was fostering. She does this often, and moreso since we lost one of our babies last fall. Usually I'd get a sharp "no" from Matt and a hesitancy from me because we were trying to focus on moving. But there was just something about this kitten....her coat resembled a mixture of the three cats Matt and I had shared since we started dating.

Odin, our 15 year old cat is solid white. His original litter-mate that we'd adopted with him in 2004 was solid grey. And our Edward that passed away in September was a tuxedo. This little girl had all of those elements combined...and I wanted her.

this is Addy, the kitten that introduced us to this litter

We had to wait weeks (over a month, actually) before we could go and meet them, but when we finally did, it was heaven! There were seven kittens in the litter, and if there's anywhere I want to be, it's in a pile of kittens.

The foster mom was there and had informed us that Addy, the original kitten from the photo had become kind of nasty and taken up the habit of biting and attacking feet. She warned us away from her because of the kids, and while I was sad....there were 6 other kittens that needed a home. Two of them that looked nearly identical to Addy.

Addy is the one up by my neck, the other lower down is our Arya!

We fell in love with all of them (naturally, how could you not?), and we had about a week to make up our minds. Matt and I both voted for Amelia (who seemed like a more chill version of Addy), while the boys voted for a solid grey kitten named Porkchop. My mom and one of the shelter employees kept encouraging us to get both, but Matt had his foot down preeeetty firmly citing the sheer amount of litter scooping and hairballs. And so we agonized over the decision for seven days. How do you choose? They're all cute, they're all sweet, they all need a home. It broke our hearts to say no to any of them.

The day came - it was a rainy one. I remember being too warm in my rain coat and already sweating because of the anxiety around picking just ONE kitten. We picked each of them up again and passed them around. I noticed Matt studying our two front runners specifically, and then he put them together in their little pen and they immediately snuggled up to each other. I was reaching in to pet them, feeling sad about the choice we had to make, when Matt abruptly declared, "We'll take 2."


My head snapped up at him in disbelief and the kids eyes all lit up. The foster mom had tears in her eyes and told us she was so happy she couldn't help but cry. We had a stack of paperwork to get through, but the mood in the whole shelter had shifted. TWO babies were getting a home, and a set of siblings would get to live out their days together.

It was slow going at first. Their mom had been nearly feral, so their natural dispositions were not the friendliest. They were scared without the rest of their family, and took a full week of having their own room before they were brave enough to venture around the rest of the house. They spent most of their days hiding and leary of us, and for a while I was worried that they wouldn't come to love us as much as we loved them!

It also took us a few days to nail down their names, but we finally decided on our favorites and kept their foster names as their middles.

Kaiju Porkchop - the Japenese word for "city destroying monster" is Kaiju, and the best known example is Godzilla. Henry has been in looove with Godzilla for years (well before this summer's movie), and Kai had been H's top pick from the get go. He's grey like Godzilla, and he is for sure a hunter. He spends his days in the windows stalking the birds, and his evenings attacking our toes under the blankets. The name fit him so well. We usually just call him Kai, or Kai-Kai. His foster name, Porkchop, was super cute and we almost kept it as his first name. It was given to him because he was always the biggest kitten in the litter - he's still significantly bigger than his sister!

Arya Amelia - we had a whole list of Game of Thrones names ready to go, and I didn't even watch the series! Matt did, though, and I liked how a lot of them sounded - different, yet current. Her name was easy to settle on. Arya was a small but mighty warrior, which we thought was a perfect name for a kitten. Her foster name was Amelia Earhart, and we kept Amelia both for the homage to her origin, and for Jake's passion for airplanes and pilots.

Arya is my sweet, sweet snuggle buddy. She has, for sure, chosen me as "her person", and whenever I stop moving for any length of time, she finds her way into my lap or some other location that pins me in place. We snuggle multiple times a day. She is chatty - she'll respond to you in meows and go back and forth with you in a full conversation. She is teeny-tiny, so silky, and the sweetest little friend.

Kai is a bird kitten of a different feather. The shelter believes that he is a Russian Blue (they didn't say as much about Arya being a Russian Blue mix, though they are siblings so she should be?), and their personalities and temperaments are much more reserved and independent. They like to sit back and observe, investigate, and do things their own way. Kai is absolutely that way (he also has the physical markers - the silvery grey double-layered fur, the triangular face, the mauve pads on his paws, the darker nose, and his eyes are turning green from the pupils outward). He is big, feels like a cotton ball, and has the loudest purr I've ever heard. He will also tolerate being held and carried (I think he enjoys the different vantage points), but he doesn't want to be pet or snuggled AT ALL. He only enjoys it when he was already asleep.

Together, they are the sweetest siblings (always snuggling and grooming each other), and the wildest playmates (throwing each other around and getting into loud, dramatic scuffles). They've only been home with us for two months now, but they are already a key fixture of the Rych Fam, and we're already not exactly sure what life was like before they came along.

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