Introducing the Newest Members of the Cheng Family

Chase and Christy, first came to our house as fosters, at 4.5 months old

Chase and Christy, first came to our house as fosters, at 4.5 months old

We finally pulled the trigger. We officially adopted Chase and Christy two weeks ago. You may remember them – the two foster kitties featured at the end of this post back in September.Among the many foster kitties we’ve had, they were the most difficult. Christy had complications with her spay wound shortly after she came to us. She started vomiting after being put on antibiotics. There were wiggly live worms in her upchuck. After a good amount of staring – good thing I’m not the squeamish kind – I was able to determine that these were round worms. Round worms are very common and treatable, but it meant all four cats had to go through de-worming treatment.

Giving cats medicines shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is in our household with Bellucci. She absolutely hates any form of coercion. I’d rather chew on a mouthful of raw cilantro than having to administer medicine to Bellucci. Her bloodcurdling screams sound as if she were being skinned alive; in reality it’s my wrist that’s being shredded by her claws. After the five days of treatment, I had so many bloody scratch marks on my arms that I felt the need to explain to people that I am not a self-cutter.

Shortly after the de-worming treatment, Chase and Christy started having loose stools. Those unsightly liquidy mush lumps were super stinky. In addition, they suffered from bad flatulence. I didn’t even know cats farted, but Chase and Christy’s farts rivaled my husband’s post-Mexican food fart-a-thons (ok, I admit it, mine too). We thought that the loose stools were caused by other parasites, but the vet said that their poops were parasite-free. We were spared from having to administer another course of medicine to all four cats, but we were still confounded by the unknown cause.

City Critters, the non-profit organization from which we foster cats, took Chase and Christy back for a couple of weeks for further observation. The volunteers there tried out different diets for Chase and Christy, which did the trick.

Because of Chase and Christy’ health issues, they missed a few adoption opportunities. They were also growing quickly, which may have put them at a disadvantage because there were many smaller kittens available for adoption at that time.

Despite the ordeal – or perhaps because of it, with the feeling that I had nursed them to health – my husband and I began to fall in love with Chase’s fearless curiosity and Christy’s innocent affection. We missed them on the weekends when they were being shown for adoption. We visited them at the Kips Bay Petco (where they were being shown) and felt strangely jealous when other people checked them out.

We had experienced pangs of separation before. We had fostered over a dozen of cats before Chase and Christy. Every time we returned a foster cat to the Kips Bay Petco knowing that they could be adopted and we would never see them again, we felt varying degrees of sadness. I even blogged about it before. Wasn’t I the one who said that we should let a good thing go in order to make room for things with a higher purpose?

Best Buddies

My husband and I spent much time agonizing over whether to adopt Chase and Christy. We weren’t so bothered that others may think we are crazy cat people; we weren’t fazed by the additional responsibility of taking care of four cats as I have plenty of time to pamper them and to facilitate their integration with the other cats; we were most torn about not being able to foster again. But I knew keeping them was becoming inevitable as my husband’s connection with the kitties grew. He started calling Chase “my little man”. And the clincher was seeing MacGregor and Chase, the two boys, playing and holding hands paws one day.As part of the adoption, we renamed Christy. She is now Clementine (aka little Tiney), after the orange in her calico coat and her sweet temperament.

Tiney loves surfing the web with me. Her soft warm body feels divine

To square off the decision, I began to think through the meaning of “higher purpose”. As a City Critter volunteer, I did want to take care as many homeless cats as possible before they could find their forever homes. But perhaps there are other ways to help achieve City Critter’s higher purpose of reducing the suffering and death of animals in New York City. So, I explored other volunteer opportunities with its organizers. It turns out that they need someone to help update their Petfinder online adoption database, a perfect job for an administrivia super-diva like me. While updating a database is not as fun as playing with a variety of kitties, I am glad that I am able to continue to contribute to the higher purpose.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Introducing the Newest Members of the Cheng Family

  1. Hope Springs Eternal says:

    Thank you, Jeremy. May you enjoy many, many loving and delightful years with your dear Jewel. I was so fortunae to have Marlena for the time I did. Adoption is wonderful. For sure, when I’m ready for another kitty or two (probably after Hannah passes on — hoping not for many years) I’ll adopt from a rescue.

  2. Hope Springs Eternal says:

    Kudos to you on officially expanding your feline family! Your post was really welcome today, as I’m sitting at the office trying to hold back tears after I had to make the wrenching decision to put one of my cats to sleep this morning. She had cardiomyopathy, which almost took her life back in Nov. But she fought for her sweet little life, and blessed me with her presence and love for two more months. This morning, though, she wasn’t going to make it back.

    I share this with you, not to bring a sour or sad note to your post. But because I adopted her and her gal pal from City Critters, too, 10 years ago. I visited the Kips Bay Petco several times in my search for the cats I would finally have after I moved out of my parents’ place when I started law school. I renamed one of the two (“Dusty” became “Hannah”), but I kept the name of my other sweetie – Marlena. I love City Critters and what they do for so many kitties who deserve a better life. I’m grateful that I found my two furballs through the organization. They’ve brought so much joy, laughter, love, and comfort to my life through the ups and downs of my life during and after law school. It was so painfully difficult to say good-bye this morning to Marlena.

    Thanks so much for this post. It made me smile and reminded me to be happy and grateful for the years Marlena graced my life.

  3. I HAVE CAT says:

    Jennifer, it was so nice to read this post. I felt the same way about Haddie….felt SO guilty when I left her at PETCO and she hated it so very much when I took her there. Somehow she knew it was Sat morning and without even seeing the cat carrier would hide behind my bed behind the storage boxes. Catching her was an ordeal. The entire thing made me feel so guilty. She is mine now (she did end up on the holiday card this past year after all!). But i have yet to do the paperwork. But she knows she isn’t going back. I think it’s WONDERFUL you looked for another way to help out City Critters. I know what you mean about the hard decision to adopt or not b/c you want to foster still. But these guys were older and there are 2 of them so it’s not like you were keeping easily adoptable kittens. So happy they have a loving home!

  4. eva says:

    congrats to both parents and the kittens!!!
    Do post more pictures on facebook!
    Blessings for another two souls that have now found a good home, where they meant to be.

  5. zhang says:

    whew..that’s awesome. God bless ur soul dear. I am so proud of you.

  6. Jeremy says:

    @Hope: I am so sorry for your loss. Marlena sounds like she was a wonderful companion. I don’t have a City Critters in my area, but I already know I will adopt again if something happens to my precious kitty Jewel.

  7. Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities says:

    Love this. And congrats on the adorable new additions! We have two cats – brothers who were rescued in St. Croix and brought here to our vet – and we could not love them more. I worry they feel a bit displaced by the girls, but I trust they know they will always be our boys. Good for you and your hubby for taking in these needy and lovely little creatures.

  8. UWC says:

    If having two lovely cats at home makes me a catlady, add me to the proud catlady camp

Leave a Reply