Back in April of this year Cathy and I decided to adopt a pair of kittens. Thus started our search for just the right pair. Our primary search vehicle was Petfinder.com, which was great, except that like everything on the Internets it is constantly out of date. That means that once you pour through the countless pages of available pets, setting your hearts and hopes on specific animals, you pull the trigger and nervously contact the shelter typically only to find out that this particular kitten has already been adopted. Sort of the equivalent of driving to WalMart at 5AM through a snowstorm on Black Friday only to find that the $499 62" LCD flat screen TV's in the ad are all sold out because they only had one of them to start with and the store manager set it aside for himself.
Don't worry though, we were told, it is "kitten season" and there will be plenty more coming up in the near future. I guess spring really is kitten season as there were more and more showing up in the ads every day. Unfortunately, many of the shelters are not shelters in the normal sense. They are rescue leagues that are all volunteer based and have no physical property for a shelter. Instead they use foster parents for all of the animals that need a home. Another side effect of the entirely volunteer basis of these organizations is that there isn't someone sitting by manning the front desk, responding to emails. That means it could take a while to get a response, which can be a bit unsettling after you have already set your heart on a particular kitten.
After a string of bad luck and missed opportunities we finally had a promising lead from a rescue league in Waltham, the Cat Connection. They were very helpful and glad to hear from us. Although our first choices (from the web ads) were already adopted (don't tell Opie and Ellie they were second choices) we arranged to go visit a siblings from the same litter at the foster parent's home in Waltham. We both new that if we committed to going to see them we would end up with them. How could you not? And so we did. They were 7 weeks old at the time and so tiny. Because we were deemed such "good parents" or possibly because the foster parents wanted them gone, we were allowed to take the kittens a week later, which was earlier than they typically allow them to go. We were overjoyed and despite the occasional transgressions they make, have been since.
Both Opie (OP) and Ellie (LE), I thought that was clever, I was probably wrong, have also changed a great deal since we got them. It became visually evident to me today, as I was looking at them in their pet bed together. Here are some comparison shots over the course of the past 8 months or so.
I think that they may need a bigger bed as they are sort of overflowing that one. That isn't the only thing that they have outgrown either. We just bought them a bigger Pet Taxi for the long trips to Maine as the two of them didn't really fit in the old one. I wouldn't say that they are huge cats, I've certainly seen bigger. That said, we weighed them a couple weeks ago and the boy is over 12# and the girl, who although slightly more petite than the boy, has a slight weight issue, is over 13#. That's a whole lot more kitten for the money.