Welcome, Lucifer!

Alex and I were in Oxford for a week so I could attend and present at a conference. While away, my sister watched our cat and made sure he didn’t get too lonely. It worked well because Dixon didn’t hate us when we returned late on Sunday night and he hasn’t been angrily ignoring us since we returned.

Well, not because we left him for a week, anyway. He has been slightly upset with us since Tuesday, when my parents dropped off a kitten at our place:

Nothing like a kitten!
Nothing like a kitten!

My parents have a small colony of stray/feral cats in their backyard. For some reason, they refuse to trap the females to have them spayed. (The males are much more aggressive and much more difficult to trap to have them neutered.) Instead, they’ve been watching these cats get pregnant and give birth repeatedly over the last couple of years. Some of the kittens were caught and given away. Others grew up in the colony and the cycle continued. (Others, meanwhile, perished.) With this latest litter, I think my parents finally understood what needs to be done. There’s only one adult female left who comes around (they call her “Seraya,” which means “Gray” in Russian) and they’re finally getting her spayed after this latest litter.

However, they first needed to find homes for the three kittens. They managed to give two away to friends and coworkers, leaving only the little susuwatari to be adopted out. My mom called me and said, “What if we bring her by your place? Just until the weekend.” Yeah. ‘Cause that’s how that works with kittens. You can keep them for a few days and just let them go. But how could I say no to a kitten? So they dropped her off at my place on Tuesday night.

I worked from home the next day so I could take the kitten to the vet to get her checked out. It was determined that she is, in fact, a she and that she’s about 8 weeks old. She weighed in at a tiny 2lb 3oz. She had no fleas but the vet tech did find two ticks on her face. Otherwise, though, she was deemed extremely healthy for a stray kitten. (Everyone in the clinic took a turn holding her and making all kinds of cooing noises at her.)

She was extremely docile the first 24 hours. (She must have been frightened and overwhelmed by all the new sights, sounds, and smells. Also being poked and prodded by the vet must have been nerve-wracking.) However, by Thursday, she was much more mobile and feeling frisky. She’s eating well, using her litter box, and playing with anything that moves:

Die, drawstring! Die!
Die, drawstring! Die!

All that was left was her name. I first named her Zuzu (short for susuwatari, the soot sprites in Miyazaki’s films) but it didn’t really suit her and Alex wasn’t crazy about it. I then called her “Lucy” once when it just slipped out. I told Alex about it and he liked it. So now she’s Lucy. And if her troublemaking tendencies keep up, we can call her Lucifer ;)

We’ve been keeping Lucy separated from Dixon for fear of Dixon lashing out and hurting Lucy. However, we’ve been letting them mingle more together and, while he’s not thrilled with her, Dixon has stopped hissing and growling at the newcomer. They are not friends yet, though, by any stretch: he keeps eating her food, pouncing on her when she’s playing, and chasing her through the house. However, it is now Lucy who has the upper hand: she’s been the one hissing and growling at Dixon! I hope they can forge a friendship soon, though. I love my kitties and want to be able to snuggle with them both.

Just keep swimming

I’ve always been incredibly undecided when it comes to the question of having children.

On the one hand, I’d love to have a child.  It seems like life would be almost incomplete without having at least one.  I mean, watching a mini-me (well, a mini-us) grow and learn and just generally live life seems incredibly fulfilling.  My life (and the life of my spouse) would be changed forever.

On the other hand, I don’t want my life to change!  I’m not a hedonist or particularly selfish but I want to be able to spend my time and money in ways that I want to spend them.  I’m working really hard to build a life for myself with which I can be happy — forever.  Bringing a child into my life will change everything.

This morning, however, Alex and I came to the decision that, when we’re ready for a child (as we will most likely one at least one baby by the time we’re 30 years old), we’ll adopt one.  There are several reasons for it.  The most important is my possible infertility due to my having Kallmann syndrome.  Doctors, though, have told me that I have a good chance of conceiving a child with fertility drugs.  However, fertility treatments usually lead to multiple births…  and I am not interested in raising several children all at once.

The other reason, which is actually probably more important in the grand scheme of things, is the fact that there are thousands (if not millions) of children in the world who need good parents and loving homes.  Why should I struggle to conceive one child (and possibly end up with several children) when I can adopt a child or two and really change his/her/their lives?

If there’s one thing I’m worried about with the adoption route is my family being supportive of my decision.  I know that I’ve always considered adoption as an option when thinking about my future — even before I was diagnosed with Kallmann syndrome at 18 years of age.  I’ve discussed this with my mother and she didn’t seem to have a problem with it.  However, she probably thought I was going to grow up and grow out of the idea.  However, the older I get, the more plausible I seem to find the idea of adoption.  I can only hope that everyone in my family — and everyone in Alex’s family — can understand our reasoning behind this decision and love our child just as they would any other blood-related relative.

But this is all in the future.  I need to focus on the present, like school and work and my upcoming vacation.  (Alex and I have decided to go to Amsterdam this summer.  We’re leaving on August 17th and coming back on August 25th!)  The rest will fall into place on its own, yes?