Our Family #RecipeForMoments
You know how sometimes when you’re baking or cooking and you’re trying to follow a recipe, but something goes wrong? Maybe you put in a wrong ingredient, or put in too much of an ingredient, or missed a step in the recipe altogether. You might get frustrated for a minute, but when the recipe is finished, you realize that it came out a million times better than your original one; a million times better than you could have ever imagined. That is my #RecipeForMoments.
I will warn you — this recipe is kind of long 😉
Full Name: Delilah Marlutha Obsequious Hall / Nickname: Deli
The first ingredient in my recipe for special moments is Delilah. She was given to me as a gift from my husband (then fiancé) and his parents. It was just before Christmas 2011 that I opened the card that contained those magical words, “Our gift to you will be to give you one of your biggest wishes… A KITTEN! It’s a little early but we wanted you to pick out your new baby.” I was ecstatic.
Because of obligations with school that were keeping me busy, I decided to wait a month to go pick out my Christmas kitty. I knew that having a kitten at home would distract me from the things I needed to get done to graduate.
It was towards the end of January 2012 that Bobby and I took a trip to PetSmart to check out the adoptable kittens. Delilah came home with us that day. Since then, she has been nothing but a bundle of joy and love, and she is mommy’s little girl for sure. Unfortunately, we later learned that Delilah has luxating patellas (“floating knee caps”). Her knees slip out of place sometimes, which causes her pain and discomfort. She has had surgery on one of them, which seems to be helping for now, but we know that this, along with arthritis, is going to be something we will have to deal with for the rest of her life. But that’s okay!
I love all of my moments with Delilah, but some of my favorite ones to think back on are from when I first adopted her. Every night, she would sleep right across my neck or on my shoulder. She could never get close enough to me for her liking. As she has gotten older (and bigger), her sleeping spot has had to evolve. She can’t comfortably fit on my neck or shoulder anymore (though that hasn’t stop her from trying sometimes), so she now sleeps on my pillow, right on top of my head. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The second ingredient in my recipe is my husband Bobby. We got married just a few months after we adopted Delilah – April 2012. Bobby is the foundational ingredient of our family, and I am so thankful for him every day. I know this is a pet blog, not a romance or relationship blog, so I won’t go on too long about him 😉 , but I would be remiss if I left out this primary ingredient. He is so patient to put up with me and our “menagerie” of kitties on a daily basis. I don’t know anyone else who would be as welcoming and loving to our furbabies as he is. He is the best husband I could ever ask for, for so many reasons, and he is a great “daddy” to our kitties.
Full Name: Dr. Sampson Dot Suckler Hall / Nickname: Sampy
The third ingredient in this awesome recipe is Sampson. We adopted Sampson about one month after we got married, in May of 2012, from the same rescue organization we adopted Delilah from (Circle of Friends Animal Society). Bobby likes to say I tricked him into adopting Sampson. The story goes that I asked Bobby if we could go to PetSmart one Sunday (knowing the kitties would be there) to get food and litter for Delilah. Naturally, we had to visit the kitties, right?!? Okay, so maybe I did have secret intentions of getting a second kitty that day… but we sure did get a great one!
We picked Sampson out because he was the kitten running around the adoption room at full speed, chasing toys and other kittens, and running into the walls because he couldn’t stop himself. It was adorable and hilarious. To this day, he makes us laugh constantly. He is the most vocal cat I’ve ever had. You can actually have a “conversation” with him. You can look right at him and say or ask him something, and he will wait until you have finished to reply. We go back and forth like this all the time. Yes — I am that girl who has conversations with her cat. Not only is Sampson a funny character, he is also a huge sweetie. He LOVES to cuddle (especially with Delilah), and he LOVES to suckle. Which brings me to one of my favorite Sampson moments…
A few days after we brought Sampson home, he started suckling. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of a suckling cat before. He doesn’t just suckle blankets or toys or fabrics either. He suckles necks. Yes, you read that right – Sampson would be happy to curl up and suckle on your neck all day long. When he first started doing this, Bobby and I had no idea what was happening. I would try to block his suckling with a blanket or other barrier, but he would go around it right to the bare skin. If he couldn’t get to the neck, he would go for the face. He actually gave me a hickey on my eye one time.
If you’d like to read more funny, favorite moments with Delilah and Sampson, this blog post captures a couple.
Full Name: Sophie Weebs Hall / Nickname: The Weebs or Weebies
The fourth ingredient to our recipe for insanity is Sophie. Once again, we visited PetSmart on a Sunday. (This happens a lot, if you can’t already tell). I didn’t have secret intentions this time though! We stopped in the cat adoption room to visit the kitties, and immediately we fell in love with this ball of fluff. She stumbled a lot and couldn’t seem to walk straight, but that is what was so endearing about her. Neither of us knew what was wrong with her, we just knew that she was special. We sat there for at least 30 minutes smiling and laughing, watching this cat stumble around the room, playing and having a great time. Then Bobby picked her up, and the rest is history. Sophie immediately started purring and went to sleep in his arms. He held her for over an hour.
While Bobby held her, Sophie’s foster mom told us about why Sophie walks funny. We learned that she has cerebellar hypoplasia. (You can read more about Sophie and her CH in this blog post.) Learning this only made us want her more. However, we really didn’t have intentions of adopting another cat at that time. We had only been married about six months and were still getting settled and trying to figure out our finances. We knew we would want another pet sometime in the future, we just weren’t sure that we could afford another cat at that point in time.
After going back and forth about it for a while, we decided we couldn’t do it. We were heartbroken, but we didn’t think it would be fair to us or a new kitty if we adopted her and then couldn’t afford it. Three months later, we decided that we couldn’t go without her any longer. In January of 2013, Sophie was added into the mix.
Sophie has added so much to this family. She is always happy, and she never seems to get discouraged or down on herself because of her CH. Nothing stands in her way. She gets along with Delilah and Sampson both, and she and Sampson in particular have formed a special bond. It’s hard to pick a favorite Sophie moment, but I’d have to say that watching her overcome different obstacles (getting up on the couch, getting up on the bed, learning to climb stairs) has been really neat and inspiring to watch. Taking her on unusual adventures, like boat rides and sledding, has been pretty fun too.
This is when the intended recipe starts to go astray. Growing up, my family had three cats and three dogs. I loved that and wanted the same thing. At this point in the recipe, we have our three cats, and we are happy with that. Neither of us had any thoughts about getting any more pets at that moment, especially not any more cats. When we did decide it was going to be time for another family addition, it was going to be a dog!
Full Name: Sarsaparilla Jenkins Hall / Nickname: Sassy
Enter Sassy, the FIFTH ingredient to my recipe. Back in October of 2013, a sweet kitty approached me while I was waiting outside our apartment for a friend to pick me up. She started rubbing on my legs and meowing at me, and I started petting and loving on her. I figured she probably belonged to someone in the building. She definitely didn’t seem like a typical feral or stray cat. I decided to give her a can of food though, which she scarfed down.
When I got home that night, she was at the door waiting for me. From that night on, she started sleeping in a flower pot on our back porch. She tried to come inside many times, but we wouldn’t let her because we were unsure if it would be safe for our other cats. After about a month of feeding this cat, having her live on our porch, and trying to find her home, we gave up and took her to the vet to get the FIV/FeLV test and to get a rabies shot.
Unfortunately, she tested positive for FIV. Though taking in another cat was not in our plans, we knew that we couldn’t abandon this sweet girl like it seemed someone else had. She has been living inside with us for about two and a half months now, and she is as happy and as healthy as can be. Though she has to remain separated from our other cats (she is a biter, and FIV is transmitted through biting), we are hoping that eventually she will be able to be coexist with them peacefully and healthfully. (You can read more about Sassy and her FIV in these blog posts.)
Sassy is one of the sweetest cats, and even though she wasn’t in the plans, we are so glad that we adopted her. She makes us laugh with her “Sassy-ness,” and she has added a lot of love to our family. She is one of the snuggliest kitties around! Some of my favorite Sassy moments were when she slept in the flower pot on our back porch. It was exciting to me to come home from work and check the porch to see if Sassy was “home.” She usually always was, and it always made me smile to see her curled up in a flower pot of all places.
Full Name: Donatello Caster Hall / Nickname: Caster
Aaaaand now the sixth and final ingredient for my favorite recipe – Caster. Caster has only been with us for about three weeks now, but he has established his place in the fold. Once again, we did not plan on getting another cat. Our household had already been shifted into chaos with the addition of Sassy, but here we are. I found Caster in the woods behind our apartment building on a stormy Saturday morning, scared and wet. Just like with Sassy, I tried everything I knew to do to find his home but was unsuccessful. We actually had decided not to keep him and were going to take him to Circle of Friends Animal Society to be put up for adoption, but when it came time to drop him off, we just couldn’t do it. We are attached, and so is he. Since he has joined the family, he has become great friends with Sampson and Sophie. The three of them run around and chase each other all day long.
Because Caster hasn’t been with us for very long, I haven’t had time to create as many moments with him, but one moment will forever stand out in my mind – the moment I found him in the woods. I heard him crying from inside our apartment and went outside to investigate. As soon as we saw each other, his eyes got so big, and I could tell that he was relieved someone had found him. He ran straight towards me and jumped into my arms. It was such a special moment, like one straight out of a movie. I truly felt like I had rescued this kitty. And now he is here to stay.
As you can see, my recipe didn’t quite go according to plan. I was supposed to have a husband, three cats, and three dogs. Instead I have a husband and five cats. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a single thing. Our house is full of love and laughs all day, every day. It may get a little crazy and hectic sometimes, but it’s all worth it. The finished product of my recipe is definitely way better than I ever thought it would or could be.