Kittens, Allergies and Temperaments… (Bloggishnish)

Kelly & Hrudey about a day after they were adopted... Yes, they were very young.

We were blessed to have two wonderful cats that let us care for them from 1988 through 2004 and 2006, noting our male Maine Coon — Hrudey — passed first at 16 years followed by  his sister Kelly two years later.  I adopted them from the Redlands Animal Shelter at their Market Night booth in downtown Redlands, California one Thursday evening back in March of 1988. They were not more than 4 weeks old, perhaps 3 weeks at best and were both balled-up together when I lifted them out of their pet carrier for a look, cupped in my hands.

Kelly on the desk and Hrudey in the chair keeping watch over me back around 1998

They survived the move to Georgia in 1991 and adopted Debbie when we married and combined households in 1993: life with the cats was always pretty good. Although I always was allergic to animal dander, it was never that bothered by the long-haired Maine Coons nor was Debbie.  Where ever you went in the house, the cats were there, but rarely pests… just little friends who preferred to be in the same room with Debbie or me whenever we were in the house. Like many cats, as they got along in years they finally gave way to CRF.

We resolved to not replace them since our time with Kelly and Hrudey was generally a pleasure and they truly seemed like very special cats.  However, over the years we’ve occasionally been tempted by some kittens or just had a sense that the house seemed a bit empty without the pitter-patter of little paws.  Just before the holidays we were visited by what we believe is someone’s indoor / outdoor 8-month old kitten who really seemed like she wanted to adopt us.  She darted into the garage and  house a few times when the door was opened and had to be sush’d or carried out.  While we were hesitant to take her in — for a variety of reasons — the encounter planted the seeds for exploring the idea of adding some kittens back into our life via adoption from one of the local shelters or cat rescue organizations.

Our week-long visitors: the Tabby and Calico kitties

This past Sunday we went out “just looking” to see if visiting with some kittens might make us decide to “take the plunge” or remind us why we decided not to replace Kelly and Hrudey.  Well, one thing led to another and at the second place we visited we became smitten with a little 7-month old Muted Calico named Iris.  We were of a mind that no cat should be left alone at home so we were also looking for a mate and there was a very loving black 8-month old male kitten with white markings on his face as well as a brown female Tabby that seemed to get along well with Iris.  After hemming and hawing for at least an hour we finally decided to adopt Iris and the Tabby.  Of course, that also meant loading up the truck with all of the necessary cat-accouterments, food, food dishes, water bowls, litter box, litter, etc…

Well, Iris was everything we though she’d be… a loving little cat that shadowed you around the house and like nothing more than sitting in your lap.  The Tabby was a bit less social, but didn’t mind being petted so long as she didn’t feel cornered or you didn’t try to pick her up.  But, much to our surprise, we found ourselves wheezing, sneezing and rubbing our eyes after our first day with cats back in the house.  So, with a heavy heart the kitties went back to the animal rescue folks and will hopefully find themselves in a long-term adoptive home.  As for us, we now need to do a Craigslist blitz to ride ourselves of the aforementioned accouterments: anyone need a 6′ tall carpeted cat tower, self-raking litter box or waterfall watering bowl?

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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2 Responses to Kittens, Allergies and Temperaments… (Bloggishnish)

  1. Lonnie Jones says:

    Mark, I feel your pain. I had dogs in our family growing up and naturally wanted dogs for my kids. So for 20 years we had dogs in our family. After the last one passed my wife and I decided not to replace our family friend. As soon as my children became married they wanted dogs for their family. Now when I go to visit it is the itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, and generally miserable feeling. It is a shame, I truly love dogs and had had a notion to get one on several occasions but now that is all but impossible.

    Carol and I met you and Debbie briefly by the pool at the GTR. I had been prompted by Mel from Tandems East to pass on his greeting and to say hi for him. Since then we have seen you at TTR and the STR. In fact we tried to stay up with your group on the Saturday ride of STR but fell short some time after about 20 miles. You all just slowly drifted out of sight.

    Carol and I are relative newbies to tandeming. We didn’t even ride single bikes. Carol is visually impaired and always was able to ride an old beater around with our kids and when the grand kids came along she ask me to get her a plane jane bike to ride with them. This worked for a while until she ran into the back of our daughter-in-law, flipped over the handle bars and separated her collar bone.

    This really bothered her because she knew that her vision had deteriorated to the point that she couldn’t ride. So I came up with the idea of a tandem and she became very excited. So we purchased a Trek beach cruiser. That started the wheels turning.

    A friend at work invited us to ride in a local ride that had a 12, 25, and 50 mile option. We both thought who could ride 12 or 25 not to Even mention 50 miles. So we started training so we could ride the 12.

    We started just going around the country block. That’s about 4 miles here in farmland Ohio. With-in two weeks we had gotten up to 14 miles and was slowly falling in love with riding. We went on to ride the 12 mile. But soon after that we were riding in the 7th gear all the time and the bike just wasn’t fast enough. We are now on our third tandem witch is a Cannondale R2. The bike has more capability than we do at this time. We are using it to truly understand all we can about tandeming. Fit, comfort, components, and so on. Once we get it all figured out or at least to were we think we have, we will look to buy something custom with couplers.

    Last year was our third year and we made several rallies, rode our first century, and met a lot of tandem friends. This has become my favorite hobby of all time. Carol and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

    So as I move forward to tweak my tandem and dream of my custom in the future, your blog has been a library of great and informative information. Also very entertaining at times. So if you made it to the bottom of this long post I would say thanks for the help and I’m sure Carol and I will see you and Debbie again this summer.

    Lonnie and Carol Jones from Ohio

    • TG says:

      Hey Lonnie:

      Thanks for the moral support on pets; it’s really been a gut-wrenching experience having to un-adopt and the allergies thing really puzzled us. However, all said and done, we’re very happy knowing that we can come and go as we please again and that we are now able to breathe more freely.

      I do recall our meeting at GTR and look forward to visiting with you and Carol again in the future. I appreciate the kind words on the blog, as it is my hope that it provides both insights and some lighter fare for the under-served tandem enthusiasts who surf the net.

      Warm regards….

      Mark & Debbie

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