you had me at meow…

It was time.

I’d finally run out of reasons why.

No more excuses to why we couldn’t adopt a pair of kittens.

So, the search was on for the perfect pair of kittens.

We wanted a bonded pair. Sisters, if possible.

We took our time. Visiting cat rescue after cat rescue. Looking for a pair of kittens who were as interested in us and we were in them.

Jumping. Playing. Chasing.

Little white mittens poking out, trying to capture our attention.

Tiny kitten noses sniffing our hands.

Whiskers tickle. Tails twitch.

Cute times infinity.

It wasn’t long before we discovered the Nine Lives Foundation. An amazing shelter founded by an incredible veterinarian, Dr. Rudiger. This shelter rescues kittens and cats from high-kill shelters and at risk situations. They provide medical care and teeth cleaning.

Here, every cat and kitten gets an opportunity to find a new home.


Our first visit was overwhelming. So many eager faces. In the beginning, Mia was scared of the kittens. They jumped and wiggled too much. She spent her time with the older bigger cats. We walked into the larger rooms filled with cats in every color, pattern, and size. Both girls were drawn to the cats who climbed in their laps for a visit. I began to think maybe we would end up with older cats…until our third visit.

It was closing time and we were getting ready to leave, when Dr. Rudiger walked up and asked what kind of cat we were looking for. I replied we wanted two kittens, a bonded pair if possible.

She lit up and immediately answered, “I have the perfect pair for you.” She walked me over to a cage and introduced me to Mary-Kate and Ashley. They were four months old bonded sisters. There were found as strays in Hayward. She said they were really easy-going kittens and would be great with small children. I told her we would be back over the weekend to meet them.

We returned on Saturday afternoon and had our first official meeting with Mary-Kate and Ashley. I placed a kitten in each eager lap. It was love at first sight. Two and half hours later, we had signed the adoption paperwork. The kittens needed one more medical check up before being released. The staff said they’d call us by the end of the next week. The girls could hardly wait.

Every day tiny voices chimed, “When are the kittens coming?”

“Did the vet call yet?”

“When are the kittens coming?”

“It’s so HARD to wait!!!”

I received the call Wednesday afternoon, surprisingly a few days early.

It was Back to School night for Ava, so our babysitter had taken the girls to swim class. We decided to surprise them and pick up the kittens after the school event.

Once home, we brought in the carrier. The girls were so surprised and happy. They were over the moon!

We discussed names. The girls volunteered names like Jewel, Ariel, Mitten Sparkle, Ashley, Sophia, Kate, Elsa, and Anna.

We finally settled on Scarlett O’Hara and Holly Golightly. Familiar names marked with great movie history. Someday the girls will appreciate the full names, but for now, they are content to call them Scarlett and Holly.

By the next morning, Scarlett had fully moved in. She followed us around. She loved being scratched under her chin and the top of her head. She rolled over on her back and liked having her belly rubbed. Her meow was no louder than a whisper. She is sweet, happy-go-lucky, and friendly. I think she likes her new home. By day six, she was sleeping on Mia’s bed.

Holly is sweet as well, but still unsure. She likes the safety of the quiet of the first floor rooms. She adores her toys. I regularly hear the squeaky mice being thrown in the air, the jingle of the bells hanging off the cat tower, and the swirling of the ball around a round tube. I hear the pitter-patter of her paws up and down the stairs.

We sit with her downstairs.  Ava sits and pets her every morning and evening. I do the same after the girls have gone to sleep. I know soon she’ll be comfortable and will be sleeping on Ava’s bed as well.

An unexpected lesson in adopting kittens is “learning patience.” As with any relationship, it’s a process. It takes time.

It takes a quiet and consistent effort.

The girls are learning to have patience as they build their friendships with the kittens.

So thank you kitties, you are teaching them without out even knowing it.

Welcome to the family, Scarlett and Holly.

We already love you.


The girls have been with us for several months now and have become an integral part of our family. Scarlett is loaded with patience and let’s the girls carry her around the house and hold her in their laps. Sometimes I wonder if she really likes all the attention, but every morning she looks for their cuddling and runs into their rooms first thing looking for her morning hugs and kisses. She is currently curled up between my two girls while they watch a movie. Holly is sweet and loves to sleep on me and purrs loudly for no apparent reason. No petting required although it goes much louder when I do! She is currently assisting me with typing this update. Placing her paw on the keyboard and trying to get the arrow on the screen. Purring loudly.

They love their treats. Scarlett asks with a loud scratchy meow and Holly with a dainty childlike one.

As far as their relationship goes, they are very close. Wrestle and play. Snuggle and sleep. Sitting on the window sill together, watching the squirrels and birds in the yard. They share the sunny spot on the carpet and stretch out into long peaceful naps.

They bring a sweet peace to the house. The immediate stress reducer of petting one of them after a long day.

Both my girls love their kitties so much.

They are the perfect match.


4 thoughts on “you had me at meow…

  1. What a wonderful story
    Thank you for sharing it with Nine Lives
    Somethings to try with Holly to help the bonding and security
    1) Turkey Gerber Baby food – put a small amount out like a tsp., sit close and see if she likes it
    next time do the same thing except pet her and talk to her – keep this up and soon she will associate you with all that is good
    if she does not care for the baby food try turkey deli meat
    2) wear a t-shirt to bed and then put it where she likes to hang out to get used to your scent you could also use the girls pjs as long as they have slept in it for at least one night more is better or a pair of your husbands runners
    3) spend at least a few 10-20 minute play times with her during the day again she will associate you with fun
    4) take a box and turn it on its side put in your family room this will give her a safe place to hang out and get used to being out with the family

    The more you work with her gently the more she will trust you

    Volunteer at NLF

    • Thank you for the ideas. We put a box in the living room and my daughter drew some lovely pictures on it. Of course, Scarlett walked right into it and sat down. 🙂 I’ll pick up the gerber food today. Good news is Holly does love to be pet when she is sitting in her sunny spot or on the bed, she purrs soooo loudly. She came upstairs today and explored which was great! I’ll also place my daughter’s shirt with her tonight. Thanks so much for the ongoing support!

      • I am so glad Holly is exploring and loving to be pet in her sunny spot. Sounds like you have a great pace for her and Scarlett. Thank you for writing about NLF on Yelp and spreading the word. We need all the support and sharing the great work Dr. Rudiger is doing –
        Cant wait for your next entry about the kittens
        Volunteer NLF

  2. Love your story and your message. Patience is too often in short supply. Everything worth having takes time. So glad you added these two charming girls to your family. And many thanks to Nine Lives for the live-saving work they do. Always happy to support their work.

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