Today I took Hazel to a local cat shelter to see kittens. I asked her beforehand if she was going to be ok with walking away without having adopted a kitty. She said yes. We got there, I filled out their paperwork, and was told that in order for us to adopt kittens they’d have to clear it with a manager since we have small toddlers in our house.
I am pretty confident we could handle that situation. The babies were already learning to be gentle with Satchmo and Chester. They had a strong tendency at first to pull and tug, but we have been successfully training them out of that. We did so with Hazel when she was really little, too. “Open hand, open hand,” was our refrain. I think the other important thing when you have cats and kids is to have plenty of vertical escape routes for the cats. As much as she might want to, Emily will not be able to climb our cat towers.
Once I’d filled out the paperwork and had a little interview with the staff member, we were allowed into the cat and kitten rooms. It was lovely. I sat down on the floor and kittens came running to sniff and explore. Hazel petted them, played with them, and after a while, picked one up to snuggle. There was one fluffy grey kitten in particular who was super friendly. He settled down in my lap and purred. The kitten energy is so different from that of old cats, it felt like a totally different thing from being with Chester and Satchmo. I had a harder time with the older cats. What I came away with from the visit (not kittens, darn it) was the knowledge that if we were to adopt adult cats I would have to wait a while longer, or at least would prefer to wait longer. Kittens are a different experience. I enjoyed being with them so much that if I weren’t soon heading out of town for a week I would have been strongly tempted to attempt talking Ted into adopting two today. As it was, both Hazel and I left the shelter saying that we wished we could take all the kitties home with us.
The Mommy-Hazel time was good, too. We got to share something we both love, but to do so individually. We got to walk around outside on a gorgeous sunny day. We got to share sadness that we couldn’t take kitties home with us, and that we’re looking forward to doing so in the future. It was a nice way to cultivate positivity after yesterday’s challenges.
This evening before I left for my writing group, I prepped the remaining veggies from our CSA box to be cooked in the wok. When I got home Ted had stir-fried them, and it turned out to be a fortuitous grouping, because the dish is delicious! It’s a combination of golden beets, mushrooms, broccolini, chard, and escarole, cooked in a bit of coconut aminos, the Paleo alternative to soy sauce. Yum yum!
The other big event of the day was that Emily learned how to climb all the way up into her high chair by herself. I was sitting at the table talking to a friend on the phone, and I realized that her head was up higher than anticipated. Then I realized that she was reaching for the seat with her knee. Then I realized that she was hanging onto the back of the chair with her feet completely off the footrest below. I was astounded. This was a moment (and there are so many) in which my kid did something so far outside what I’d considered to be within her capability that it had never occurred to me that she’d do it. When I picked my jaw up off the floor I reached out to help her knee contact the seat, and that was it, she was up. I lifted her down, and she repeated the process, sometimes with my help and sometimes unaided.
I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified, a state I find endemic to parenthood.
Go, Emily, go!