it’s a girl!

It’s Top Secret everything here in The Dungeon lately!  On the heels of last month’s very sad news about Miss Precious, I feel it’s only fair to share a bit of good news that I’ve been keeping to myself for going on two months now.  (Though you may have gotten a hint from this post back in late October; I led you to believe it was research for a work-in-progress, but it was really related to this… :smiley78 )

And here’s the refrain—sung to the tune of “The Theme from The Brady Bunch“—that keeps going through my head:

Here’s the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up two very lovely girls.
Both of them had hair of gray…unlike their mother…the youngest one with curls (in her ears).
Till the one day when this lady had some trouble…

In an attempt to make a very long story at least a little bit shorter, let’s just say that the day this happened, I had a lot of running around to do.  But when I got to town a bit ahead of my first appointment, I realized that the frozen raw cat food I’d just purchased & that had to be kept frozen was still on the porch—not in the freezer where it definitely needed to be.  Aack!  As much as I hated to, I really had no choice but to turn around & race home to get that taken care of. :smiley64

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baby’s first picture in the veterinarian’s office 🙂

So I pull up to the house, take two steps away from the car, & from around the back of the garage comes a little gray kitty cat.  I’d seen it (him? her?) wandering around the house before, but was ever so hopeful it belonged somewhere else & would wander off again.  Well, this time, it came right up to me, sweet as a damn button.  Purring, rubbing.  And you know furry cuteness is my freaking Kryptonite!  But I was going to be strong, truly I was.  Until I happened to pick it (him? her?) up & take a closer look. :smiley68

“It” was a girl.  And we all know that if they’re left unsprayed, female cats can start popping out litters upon litters of kittens every few months beginning at the age of 6 months. :smiley63   (Which is not to say male cats aren’t equally guilty of the overpopulation problem, but…well, you know how that goes. :smiley52 )  But not on my watch!

I ran inside to get a bowl of food for her, then while she was eating, I ran inside again & picked up the phone to call my veterinarian.  These folks are so amazing to me! :smiley61  I explained the situation, which A.) amused them to no end, but B.) didn’t surprise them one bit. :smiley53   Because they’re awesome & know me ever so well, they agreed to let me bring the little girl right in, where they’d test her for FIV/FeLV, etc.  (Always the first step when it comes to a new kiddo, before any other actions are taken or decisions are made.)  And they very generously said that they had an opening the next day, so if her tests came back clean, they could keep her overnight & spay her first thing the next morning.  Huzzah!  How perfect would that be? :smiley33

Into a carrier she went, & off we headed back to town.  (Thankfully the same town I’d been in earlier that day & still needed to be in later that afternoon. :smiley62 )  After I dropped her off at the vet’s office, I went on with the must-dos of my day.  The entire time, though, I was nervous & concerned, worrying that her blood tests would come back positive the way Simon’s had only weeks before.  Finally, a couple hours later, my cell phone rang; it was one of the vet techs telling me the tests had all come back negative.  (Thank God!)  And telling me again that if I wanted her spayed, they could keep her & do it the following morning.  So of course I said yes.  The whole point was to get her altered to avoid even more unwanted, homeless kittens from entering the world, whether I ended up keeping her or finding her a home with someone else.

Keep in mind, I had no idea what I was going to do with her after that.  I was still living under the cloud of fear *Simon’s FeLV+ diagnosis had caused, worrying not only about him, but about the other Kittehs, & knowing I couldn’t bring another healthy cat into a possibly unhealthy home.  :smiley74   But you do what you have to do to save the world—one animal at a time—& my mindset was that I’d figure it out later.

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Jump ahead to post-surgery…  The little gray darling had to be kept isolated for at least 10 days while she recovered, & also until she could receive the FeLV vaccine & booster—again, in case she was going to be running freely in the house with *FeLV+ Simon.  All in all, I was going to have to keep her in a room by herself for up to 4 weeks.  Thus began intense babysitting & double-duty for me while I took care The Kittehs, as usual, plus Miss Precious’s special needs, & the baby in “her” room…not wanting anyone to feel lonely or neglected.  It was quite the workout, let me tell you! :smiley79

But to wrap things up, can you guess what happened?  You guessed it—the little gray kitty who we temporarily called Smokey Jo because of her beautifully colored fur is now named Pippa and she is officially a permanent member of the Betts Brood.  I adore her & could go on for days & days about all of her wonderful, positive attributes.  She’s adorable & sweet & quiet & friendly & playful & adorable &…  Yeah, days & days. :smiley60

I will say this, though:  Pippa arrived almost one month to the day before Precious passed away.  At first, all I could think was that I didn’t need another cat.  Now, all I can think is that I actually needed her more than anything.  As Madam Mommy Dearest said, “God knows what He’s doing.”  I think He brought Pippa to me, knowing I was going to need her love & playfulness, her youth & distraction of her newness to get me through the heartbreak of losing my sweet, oldest baby girl.  She kept me busy when I wanted to crawl under the covers & never come out…& she made me smile when I didn’t think there was anything to smile about.

When I was at the vet’s office with Pippa that very first day, I said to my long-time doctor, “It happened again!  What am I going to do?  Do you think I should keep her?”  And he replied, “I don’t know if you should, but I think you will.  Even if you find someone willing to take her, I don’t know if they’ll meet your standards of pet parenting.”  (I’m telling you, these people know me tooooo well. :smiley73 )

Well, not only would I not look for someone to take her at this point, I’d fight to the death anyone who tried! :smiley70

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(*NOTE:  In case you missed it, a few weeks ago I received the AMAZING news that Simon is actually FeLV-negative! :smiley56   It took some added testing & more than a bit of panicked fretting, but I am hugely relieved to once again be a Feline Leukemia-free household!  And I no longer have to worry about Pippa or any of the other KittehsWhew!)


19 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Mary Kirkland says:

    Oh Heidi, that is great news. For this new one and for Simon to be completely fine too. Congrats on the sweet new addition. I’m sure she is very happy to be with you.


    • Heidi says:

      Thanks, Mary! It was definitely unexpected, but she’s such a treasure. After a wee bit of growling & hissing while everybody got used to everybody, she just folded in so well. They get along like she’s been here for years, & she’s such a sweet little darling! :smiley15

      And on Simon’s re-diagnosis…you have NO IDEA how relieved I am. An absolute miracle, no doubt about it. :smiley14

  2. Donna A says:

    She is fabulous. Look at those beautiful eyes. I wish you both much happiness

    • Heidi says:

      Oh, yes, those beautiful eyes. :smiley62 Of course, I’m a sucker for everything about fuzzy little critters. But I’m very glad she showed up before the weather turned frigid; I don’t want to think about what she’d have done out there by herself. :smiley75

  3. Kathleen O says:

    Congrats on the new addition to your family…. :smiley61

    • Heidi says:

      Thanks, Kathleen! Not that I needed one, but as I always told my uber-religious, animal-hating grandmother: I don’t go looking for them, God sends them to me, & who am I to tell Him no? :smiley73

  4. Mary Lynn Ostrum says:

    Congratulations on your new addition, Heidi. She is beautiful. I agree with you that God sends them to us exactly when we need them. I know you all will be very happy and contented together! Have a wonderful holiday season.

    Mary Lynn in Altoona
    :smiley78 :smiley4 :smiley71

    • Heidi says:

      Thank you, Mary Lynn! He totally does…every pet I’ve ever had has been a rescue, & every time God has either put me smack in front of them or them smack in front of me. LOL :smiley65

      Hope you’re doing well & gearing up for a fun Christmas! :smiley4

  5. Anita says:

    :smiley61 Congratulations on your new family member! I love the way you make decisions. I jump in and sort things out later, often myself. Hello beautiful kitty. :smiley33

    • Heidi says:

      What else can you do? Sometimes you *have* to be proactive & do something, then simply trust you’ll work out the details later. And sometimes, when you’re very lucky, things turn out like this. I probably wouldn’t have done it intentionally, but I sure am happy with the results. :smiley44

  6. LeeAnn Pratt says:

    That is wonderful Heidi! She is gorgeous!! Congrats on the new family member
    :smiley56 :smiley33 :smiley60

  7. Laura J. says:

    There is so much AWWWWWWWW in today’s post I can’t stand it!!!!!

    My thought as I was reading this was she was a gift from Miss Precious.

    (and yep on the female cats and 1+1 = 1000. My parents finally -4 traps later- caught mamma cat that has had at least 2 litters of which my parents currently have 3 of the kittens, she is being fixed and will be brought home she hang out at my parents house–she won’t come inside ever because she is so timid–where she will still enjoy a warm spot that they made for her and daily food)

    • Heidi says:

      I know! I can barely keep from squeezing the stuffing out of her every time I pick her up. Turns out she’s not a huge fan of that, tho. :smiley50

      I’m so glad your parents were able to catch the mama cat, even if she had a couple litters first. :smiley59 And I’ll bet if they brought her inside & kept her in a room by herself for a while right after her spay, she’d turn into a house cat soon enough. Timidness is really just fear from begin abandoned & neglected for so long; but you give them a warm, quiet place & as much food as they can eat & they come around pretty quickly. :smiley23

      Your parents are AWESOME to care so much & do so much, btw. I hope you’ll tell them I said that! :smiley69

  8. Brooke C says:

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Sometimes the world knows what we need long before we do. :smiley11
    She looks very sweet, and I love the name Pippa. You made a great choice on her name, and I hope she’s getting along with the other kitties in the house. :smiley78 :smiley22

    • Heidi says:

      So true, Brooke! :smiley73

      She *is* getting along with the others, thank goodness, & the name suits her *so well*—she really is a total pip! LOL And also a bit of a diva, so when she’s being naughty, I call her Pip, but when she’s being regal, I call her Princess Pippa. :smiley62

  9. Hollie says:

    Congratulations on your new fur baby! Miss Pippa is a perfect addition to your family!! :smiley73

    • Heidi says:

      She really is. :smiley60 And she’s brought fun & lightness at a time when things were kind of sad & dark. Plus, have I mentioned she’s a pip? Every day is something new & extra cute with her! :smiley78

  10. Dee says:

    That is great news! Not only is Pippa a very lovely little girl, but she knew you were going to need her even if you didn’t. You both are very lucky to have your feline family.

    Welcome, Pippa!

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