Iíve always loved cats, and I canít remember a time in my childhood when our family didnít have at least one kitten or cat living with us. For many years now, my own household has consisted of my dog, Sadie, and three cats, Gussie, Woody, and Willy. We all moved from New York City to the Hudson Valley a number of years ago, and the quiet, country life has been the perfect place for me and my pets.
Willy was brought to me eleven years ago by a friend who found him abandoned at a local shopping center. We think he was about five months old at the time, and he was thin and sickly. But with love and attention, his health gradually improved. Gussie and Woody readily accepted him into the family, and when Sadie came along a year later, she quickly became Willyís favorite playmate. Unfortunately, Willy died a few months ago after a short illness, and while I miss him very much, Iím happy for all the years we had together. I especially miss the way he and Sadie snuggled up together on the bed every night.
Because I love animals and want to help them find good homes, Iíve been associated with the Animal Welfare and Adoption Network (AWAN) for many years, and recently with other rescue groups as well. Through these rescue organizations Iíve fostered dozens of cats and kittens while they wait for loving permanent homes. AWANís goal is to care for at-risk animals and ensure that the cats are spayed or neutered and receive proper medical care before they are placed in a permanent home. The foster cats usually stay with me for a month or two, although two stayed for over a year and others have stayed for only one night. In April when I was asked if I could foster a mother cat and her new kitten, I said yes right away. The timing turned out to be perfect, and within a day or so, I had decided to adopt the kitten.
I named him Pippin, and he is absolutely adorable. I think he might be the most energetic kitten Iíve ever had. Heís three-and-a-half months old now, and always in motion. Just yesterday, I watched him play with a balled-up piece of paper for over two hours. If thereís anything on the floor that can be pushed, chased, or rolled, heís a happy little boy! For those of you who are curious about Pippinís mother, sheíll be placed with a family who wants an adult pet. My own older cats, Gussie and Woody, have been very tolerant of their new younger brother, which is great since he loves to pester them. And Iíve enjoyed seeing how affectionate Sadie is with Pippin, much as she had been with Willy.
Like many proud owners of a new kitten, I have lots of pictures. Just click on the photo to see Pippin when he was as young as three weeks. Iíll be sure to update you on his progress from time to time. Itís going to be fun to watch him grow up.
I hope youíre enjoying your summer as much as Iím enjoying mine.