Dixie is on the left and Pixie is on the right (sorry for the blurry iPhone picture, but I couldn’t grab my camera fast enough)!
I grew up with a dog, Thor, a Norwegian Elkhound, who lived until around my 13th birthday. I don’t remember a whole lot about him, except he wasn’t too cuddly and was very big. My parents kept him on a run in the backyard, so we never went on walks together or anything like that. I have some fond memories of us in Maine together, and there are even a few cute pictures, but he wasn’t the kind of dog that was good for the kind of little girl I was.
I didn’t have a whole lot of experiences with cats either. My Mom’s friend had several cats, Persian, I think. Every time we went to her apartment I would be overcome with sneezing and wheezing and we all decided from that moment on I was horribly allergic to cats. In truth, dogs kind of made me sneeze too, but just not as bad.
I had a gerbil and a mouse maybe until middle school, but that was the end of Kristen’s fuzzy animal adventures.
Until. We got kittens. Two of them.
We didn’t really plan it. We had gone to Michael’s to buy a scrapbook for our wedding pictures a few weeks after our wedding and our oldest dragged us into the PetSmart that is next door.
She wanted to show me these TWO black kittens that were really, really cute and one (the boy) seemed especially similar to one of the cats my husband had briefly as a child (before they were both given away because his brothers and sisters were suddenly “allergic”).
I only vaguely remember the moment when we saw them; the boy was especially playful, sticking his paws out out of the cage, and the girl was much smaller and kind of cowered in back of (who we later found out), was her brother.
We didn’t leave with them since we hadn’t planned on getting ANY animals (never mind TWO KITTENS)! And that was the end of it, so I thought.
I came home on September 18th, 2008, to cat toys in the kitchen along with a food and water dish. I honestly thought that my husband was just trying to mentally prepare me for what it would be like WHEN and IF we ever were to adopt cats.
Well, I’m sure you see where this is going. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw them, sitting on an unused (and now gone) light sage green couch that had traveled all the way with me from the West Coast to the Midwest and was now sitting in (what should be) our dining room.
TWO very small black kittens. Just sitting there, watching me. It took us all a moment or two to realize what was happening. They then ran into the finished laundry room. The boy sat on the rug and the girl squeezed herself next to the dryer by the utility closet door and stayed there, tightly curled up, for maybe an hour. I couldn’t get her to come out. Meanwhile, the boy just continued to sit on the rug and look up at me with the sweetest face you could imagine. Eventually, the girl came out, but she wouldn’t let me touch her at all.
So that is the story of how Pixie and Dixie came to live with us. Strange names, right? Well my husband’s Dad named their cats Pixie and Dixie after the mice in the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons (part of the Huckleberry Hound Show). He must have thought naming two cats after two cartoon mice was really funny. Indeed it was, and still is!
They are the tinniest full grown “cats” you’ll ever see (she is barely 7 pounds and he is barely 9 pounds) and they are the silliest, most loving animals. Pixie will let me pick him up and hold him (although he has the grumpiest expression until I put him down) and Dixie won’t let anyone (even me) pick her up (it can be done, but not for more than 2 seconds at a time). Pixie is so very loving with his loud purring and head butting and loves to sit in laps (as long as his sister isn’t around) and will follow you from room to room if the mood strikes him. He’ll also come to the door when you prepare to leave and when he hears you pull into the driveway, and will patiently wait for hours looking out the front window waiting for someone to come home (or his pizza to be delivered, as we often joke!).
Dixie is a bit of an odd cat and kind of looks like a combination of a cat, squirrel, bunny, and a bush baby (she has HUGE eyes and ears) with the most skittish of personalities! She loves to love us, but only on her terms, when she feels like it, and it must be in a very specific way. She loves her treats and will come flying down from her perch in our front office window (at least 10 feet up!), trotting with her tiny little body towards wherever she sees them on the floor.
I could talk about them for days, clearly, but the reason I am writing all this is because they will come up here and there (my blog wouldn’t be complete without stories about them and pictures too!) so I wanted you to know how they came into our family.
ONE. OF. THE. BEST. DECISIONS. EVER.
So yes, fuzzy animals are required. At least in my life. Maybe in yours too? If not, remember there are a million organizations that need help, even if it’s just donating your time. Our lovely creatures are from our city’s Humane Society (they routinely send hard-to-adopt pets to PetSmart in the hope of reaching a wider audience) and were so cheap it’s ridiculous (and they came spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, and litter-box trained)!
So please, consider how much better your life could be with a fuzzy animal (or two)! And remember! All shelters have programs where you can donate your old towels and other items, your money, your time, or even just your love in one way or another!
It’s a small gesture to remind us that the fuzzy animals need us as much as we need THEM!