Did you already figure out from my last blog post at what has been keep my hands full for the last week?

Mom and kitten

Well, without further ado, let me introduce to you 9-week old kitten twins…Dottie & Dash!

Jumble of kittens

After losing our fur-baby Xena in December, Alan and I were certain we could never open our hearts to that kind of hurt again. It’s a legitimate feeling, in addition to not being sure we wanted the responsibility of taking care of a pet.

I mourned Xena very, very deeply. I journaled, I read books on pet loss, and I slowly started to separate pain from everlasting love. Just 3 days after losing Xena, I visited a friend who has a cat. I was worried it would be incredibly painful to pet another cat, but it was therapeutic and joyful. Simply put, I’m a cat person.

Then, about a month later, I started looking at funny cat videos online and telling friends that we were looking for kittens. I filled out applications for the local rescue organizations. We considered adopting an adult cat and I can’t tell you how many times I cried looking at pictures of shelter cats, but Alan and I both wanted the experience of raising kittens again.

Finally, I saw someone on Craigslist looking to get rid of a litter. The owner ended up being an overwhelmed college student who had failed to get his cat spayed. Alan and I met him in a parking lot and adopted the last two of six kittens. They were pretty terrified after being separated from their litter mates and mama, and then having to be in the car for a 2 1/2 hour ride home.

Kittens adorable

They spent the first couple of days huddled together in the back of our guest bathroom cabinet that we lined with a kitty bed, a hot water bottle, and a pet-safe heated disk I bought from Amazon. It didn’t take long for them to get curious and start to interact with us.

Kittens together

The pair we adopted are identical, but one is a boy and one is a girl. Alan and I created a whole list of names to consider, but ended up with Dottie and Dash. They both have adorable spotted tummies:

Kitten tummy

Dottie tummy

It’s not easy to get a photo since they’re so busy. It’s also impossible to tell them apart except by touch (Dash’s fur is coarse and Dottie’s is soft):

Carrie and Dottie

Dad and Dash

Dottie

As adorable and fun as they are to have, these kittens require a ton of care. It would be silly for me not to emphasize how important it is to spay and neuter our pets, since so many are euthanized each year or have to live their entire lives in shelters. These kittens had fleas and had never visited the vet for shots.

I’m super grateful to have the time and resources to give them the care they need. That first visit to the vet actually went pretty smoothly:

Kitten at vet

Dottie passed out in the crate on the way home:

Kitten crate

We’ll have to go back to the vet again in a month for more shots and testing to make sure they are completely healthy and free of inherited disease. In the meantime, our guest bedroom has now been converted to a kitten playroom:

Kitten playroom

And, for now, we’ve fashioned a baby gate to keep them confined to the safety of the downstairs:

Kitten babygate

These two kittens stole our hearts pretty quickly and I’m so happy to share our joy with you.

Kittens sleeping

Dash and Dottie

If you’re looking to adopt a pet this year, I highly suggest going through a local rescue organization to ensure that you get the support you need (just do a search for rescue animals or check out Petfinder.com). And, again, please make sure to spay and neuter your pet to help reduce the number of animals who need homes!

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