Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lizzie Garton Scanlon

Meet our newest family member! She is about fourteen weeks old, has brown and black stripes, is already potty trained and goes by the name of Lizzie.

For the past few months we had been considering adopting a second cat. Our current cat, Elliott, seemed lonely now that the weather is nicer and the dogs, his buddies, are outside for most of the day. He often yowls like he is in pain and, after an extensive (and expensive) workup to check everything from his thyroid to his liver and kidney function, we determined that he is in perfect health. A colleague of mine recommended either having him evaluated by a pet behaviorist OR getting a second cat. After weighing the pros and cons of both (and the fact that a behavioral consult is very costly and doesn't really give you warm fuzzies whereas kittens are initially very inexpensive to acquire and are much more cuddly), the choice was clear. As luck would have it, this happens to be the time of year when homeless cats and kittens are plentiful and, working in a large hospital, we get litters dropped off almost daily.

When discussing what kind of cat we wanted, we knew that our new feline friend would have to meet several criteria. First, he/she would need to be old enough to eat solid food and not have to be bottle fed. Since I still get up to nurse Mr. B several times most nights, the last thing I wanted was to be nursing a kitten AND an infant all night long. Secondly, we wanted a cat that was "complete", meaning no missing parts or major abnormalities. Since the majority of the rest of our herd have special medical needs, I wanted something that was (hopefully) low maintenance. Since returning to work a few months ago, I really have no interest in treating sick and injured animals at home since that's what I get paid to do at the hospital. I want to come home to happy, healthy, low-maintenance canine and feline friends.

While at work a few weeks ago, a litter of kittens arrived. They were found on a busy road and their mother was nowhere to be found. They were healthy, active and old enough to eat solid food. I called Hubby and he agreed that it would be fine to adopt one. I chose a female kitten that seemed vibrant and playful. When I arrived at home, I had the kitten tucked into my coat so she would stay warm and also so Miss H wouldn't see her right away. I told her that I had something special in my jacket and, when I opened it and the kitten emerged, a huge grin spread across her face and she said "A kitten for H? She's so tiny!" When we asked her what we were going to name her, she said "Catty." We vetoed that one and made other suggestions. Finally, we settled on Lizzie. While it's also the name of one of our favorite babysitters, it seems to fit our kitty quite well (and, when we told the sitter, she thought it was funny and was not offended).

A few days later, we were talking about the kitten and Miss H started calling her "Lizzie Garton Scanlon". One of our favorite books is a beautiful picture book called "All the World" by Liz Garton Scanlon. Well, apparently H thought that the kitten needed a middle and last name so she is now Lizzie Garton Scanlon!

Our new family member has settled in nicely and gets along well with our other cat, Elliott, and with everyone else. She is very patient with the kids and, like Elliott, is somewhat of a glutton for punishment and always goes back for more even when they're being a bit rough. While I didn't actually consider these as criteria when choosing the cat, this feisty female is loud, outgoing and full of spunk so she fits right in with the rest of us.

Welcome to the family, Lizzie Garton Scanlon!

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