You know how you hear of people say they woke up after being in Vegas to the realization that they have made some shocking choices? Well, I’m not much of a Vegas girl but we did just make a fairly spur of the moment choice that was definitely crazy. Were we drugged?? I’m not ruling it out. No, we didn’t sell our home to be full time on the road. We got a kitten!
How on earth did something like this happen? Were we even looking to get a pet? It’s a semi-lengthy story but…it all started when we found a great free camping site next to the Humane Society in Santa Fe. Harmless right?
A Day in Santa Fe
We started off the day by going into downtown Santa Fe. It was so interesting to notice all the buildings having a similar Pueblo style to them. I’m sure there are strict rules on this since even the parking garages were beautiful works of masonry.
We ate some brunch at a Mexican restaurant, Tia Sophia’s, that had only breakfast on Sundays, which was fine by me, and a whole bookshelf of books for me to read to the girls. And, if it was up to them, I WOULD have read them the whole bookshelf. We then took a walk to one of our favorite places from last year, a chocolate shop!
The girls found some really neat old cottonwood trees to climb and some wooden angel statues to admire. Trees are all so unique and beautiful in their own way. Our oldest especially is always happy when she’s in a tree. If only I could bring a tree wherever we went!
Kakawa Chocolate House, the hot chocolate place is so tasty! It is pricey for sure but for a once a year treat it’s a nice one. Justin got a chocolate drink with no added sweetener which he loved (the girls and I agreed it tasted like dirt) and the girls and I each got one with a tiny bit of sweetener and a dash of nutmeg. It was delightful and extremely rich! I was feeling like a big treat so I got a large but in hind sight, I should have ordered a small like everyone else in our family. It’s a cute atmosphere with tiny chairs for the girls to sit in at the table as well.
Visiting the Humane Society Shelter
Here comes the first of many choices that will change our lives for the presumable future. We chose to stop by the Humane Society on our way home. First we looked at the kittens. Oh my goodness!! They were so cute! There were 3 there, two of which were together as brother and sister. The siblings were wild as can be but the other smaller kitten was calm and loved being pet. This little one who, was less than 2 lbs, was Kara.
We figured we should see the other animals too while we were there so we did our rounds to the dogs (so many were really wild), the fluffy bunnies and to the guinea pigs. We were about to leave when the girls asked to “please, please, please” see Kara again to say goodbye. This seemed harmless so we said “yes.”
We went back in to pet Kara in her cage when a woman who worked there decided it wasn’t a good idea to pet the kittens while they were in their cages and asked that if we wanted to pet her that we please first fill out a form and she would bring her into a private room with us. It was getting close to dinner time so we debated instead coming back the next morning and saying our goodbyes. In the end we decided since the next day was a travel day to say our goodbyes that day.
The no big deal “form” that they had me fill out was actually titled “Adoption Form.” What?! Ah, well, technicalities. They just want to be sure we aren’t Cruella Devil people to protect their animals. Once we got Kara in a room with us we realized even more how adorably sweet and well tempered she was.
She wasn’t bouncing off the walls at all like other kittens I have encountered and she LOVED being pet and snuggling on our laps. To tell you the truth, kittens often scare me! They are so unpredictable and pouncey with their dagger claws!! Heaven forbid I ever tie a shoe or do my hair near one. I’m sure to loose some blood. Kara was not like this at all. Had we just met the perfect kitten?? We were falling in love but also knew it would be a terrible idea to get a kitten at this point in our lives. We were on the road for half of the year for heavens sakes!
That evening Kara is all the girls talked about. “We love Kara! She is just so cute and so calm. Can we keep her Mama?” Justin and I discussed it after the girls had gone to bed. We researched what others on the internet had said about having pets on the road, discussed logistics of owning a cat and if we could even swing it with space. We talked about how it would be so sweet to have Kara but that it really didn’t make sense while we were traveling.
Flash to the next morning. The first thing both of the girls asked for when they woke was to see Kara again. I was blown away by how much I was considering having a cat as a pet. I’m not what you would call a huge animal lover. Don’t get me wrong, I like animals a lot and care about their health and well being in nature. However, there are some things that get me. Number one being FUR! Why hair or fur is so gross to me once it is off a being’s body is beyond me. Kara was just extra special.
Our oldest was in a puddle of tears over Kara. Not the kind of whiney tears that could be thought of as manipulative. No, these were tears of pain. This girl was devastated to not being able to see Kara again. “My heart hurts Mama,” she sobbed. This is not something we have seen her go through before. We were all so on the fence about this whole thing. Justin suggested I call the Humane Society and ask them what they think about getting a kitten while we travel on the road.
I called and had a conversation with the Humane Society and they felt like it wasn’t a bad idea at all. They gave me pointers on how to make the transition more smooth, warned me that the first month would be a an adjustment for us all but because Kara was so young (2 months) she would adapt. The worker then told me that as we spoke Kara was being loaded into a truck to be sold at Pet Smart. What?!! My mind does not paint a pretty picture when I think of pets in pet stores. I think small, cold metal cages with little human interaction and germs. They said we could expect Kara to arrive at the store by 11am.
I bet you can guess where we went next. We hitched up and were at Pet Smart an hour before Kara was due to arrive.
The girls both wore what they did the day before “so she’ll recognize us,” they said. We filled our cart with potential things Kara might need, mind you we still weren’t 100% sure we were going to go through with this. As the time ticked by, our decision solidified. Justin and I were excited, stupefied and scared about our decision. We basically walked about Pet Smart for 3 hours gathering and putting back supplies until at last we signed the papers to adopt! Eek!! What were we doing?! We were under Kara’s spell. $280 later, we had an adorable kitten, lots of pet gear, two ecstatic girls and two dazed and confused parents.
The Pet Smart adoption of cats was not as I had envisioned it at all thank goodness. They had a separate room which housed the kittens and this was run by a volunteer from the Humane Society continuously. The volunteer was very sweet.
In adopting Kara we did have to sacrifice our double stroller/bike trailer chariot. The space under Azul’s table was the only logical place to have Kara on moving days. The chariot is a loss for sure, as we hunted so hard to find a good deal on one, but I keep telling myself we didn’t use it all that much anyway and when they girls were in it they always bickered. Eh, not sure what the right choice is but, what’s done is done.
The day after we got Kara our youngest was nuzzling into her and a couple minutes later was sneezing like crazy. One sneeze after another. Her eyes started to become puffy and red and her nose was running. Within 5 minutes she was shrieking that her eyes were itchy and burning. Are you kidding?? Yup, she’s allergic. We had her wash her hands and change clothes and I vacuumed. Now our conversation was about whether we could keep Kara or not depending on how much this effected our youngest.
I called my Mom for advice since I know she is allergic to cats yet lived with cats throughout a lot of her life. She told me that she only had issues when the cats were around her face and the other things she acclimated to. We were hopeful, and our youngest has been keeping Kara away from her face, washing her hands after petting her and being careful not to wear her nightie around Kara (just to be on the safe side). So far so good! She has forgot a couple times and wiped her face with her hands after petting Kara and got red eyes but nothing like when she was nuzzling her. I also plan to vacuum Kara after she gets more used to her space, us and the sound of the vacuum. I figure that’s got to help with dander. Only time will tell.
We have only had Kara for 3 days not but she is getting used to driving and more comfortable with us. She is defiantly a snuggly kitty that’s for sure. She has shown us her playful side too, but as we first observed, this is tame compared to how I’ve seen kitten’s act in the past. I don’t fear for my blood! Haha. Not yet anyway. So far so good with her using the litter box too every time.
Kara has found that our shower is her favorite spot which is nice since her food and potty are in there as well. The day after we got Kara we were going to go to a fabric store so I could make her a little bed (they were charging $30 for one at the pet store which is a complete rip off). But, as luck would have it, we found a giant piece of white pho fur with pho suede on the back in the middle of the road! Thank you!! So, I walked back and got it. The next day Justin washed it by hand in the girls little bathtub (no Laundromat’s within the vicinity). Since the air is so dry here by the next day it had dried completely. That afternoon I sewed it and now she has a cozy furry bed that will keep her nice and warm. That’s way better than the towel and scrap fabric fleece I gave her prior for a bed.
So…we have a kitten! We have a kitten!!! Oy.