Brand Next Door - Seattle Humane Society (+Kitten Pics!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This is a very special post. I'm so glad I thought to write it because Seattle Humane deserves every kudos I can give it. When we lost my beautiful Mittens - my last childhood pet - from heart failure while we were out of the country (It was so awful - she hid it from us so we wouldn't worry. Apparently they do that), I was devastated. She was my last physical tie to my former life. The life I had with my dad, my parents, my teenage awkwardness and so much more.

I cried myself to sleep for days.

Where's Mittens? She blends!
She was OB-SESSED with ice cream. It almost became an issue.
And then I took action. I scoured the interwebs looking for someone fluffy to follow in her very special footsteps. I asked my cousins in Waterville if there were any barn kittens available. Side note: my family has paid just once for a cat, and that was when we lived in Olympia. Tasha Marie couldn't find the litter box for the life of her and eventually got eaten by coyotes (we think). We lived kind of in the woods. Regardless, we were much more successful with barn cats who seemed more capable of fending off predators. So, after Mittens, we decided we only get our cats fo' free.

After a few days of aggressively stalking the internet and torturing Raz with kitten pictures (the responsibility of a dog just doesn't make sense for our current lifestyle), Facebook told me that Seattle Humane Society was having an event called CATAPALOOZA. For one weekend, all cats and kittens would be FREE.

I knew it was the event for us.

Long story short, Catapalooza was a completely fabulous concept and we got our beautiful Prima out of it, but BOY was my anxiety on overload. SO MANY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. Aggressive people. Cat-loving people. I can't fault them since we were all there for the same reason, but they really had no shame. They pushed, they cut, they elbowed, one guy stepped on my foot and tried to joke with Raz that he probably steps on my foot while we're dancing. Okay? It. Was. Weird.

But, this was the result:
ISN'T SHE THE CUTEST THING? Look at those claws.

I found Prima in a tent full of black kittens actively climbing the walls. Once I was finally allowed inside the tent, I saw her crouched in the corner like she didn't want to be there either. I knew we were kindred. I picked her up and didn't let her go. Raz came in frantically looking for "that cute and tiny tabby." Little did he know I already had her on lock. She was just about six weeks then. She smelled like a horse barn. She slept in her carrier all the way home and as we were merging onto I-5 from I-90 and I was explaining to Raz how you never know what you're getting with a kitten and how fun it is to discover their little personalities, she started SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER and pushing her face against the carrier. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about an exorcism. Raz and I looked at each other and knew we were in for it.

It's been a little over a year and she has been a wild, independent, incredible blessing. I've never encountered a cat with more energy, more sass or a higher bounce. But, it's become pretty clear how lonely she is. She stares out the windows and meows at the neighbor cats longingly. Even our pet sitter told us she would benefit from a friend.
A rare moment of loving on me. Prima and her Pendleton.

So when we got the house, Raz said we could get another kitten after Thanksgiving. I can't help that Seattle Humane just happens to pop at the top of my Facebook feed every day, or that their marketing team does a bang-up job. Because last week I saw this and again I knew:
It took some convincing, but ultimately Raz couldn't resist either.
So on Friday, we headed out after work to find Prima a baby brother. Traffic was HORRENDOUS and the shelter was picked over, but I had already filled out the paperwork, so I left it with the volunteer team to file for pre-approval. Then I started to work on Raz agreeing to my taking his mom back in the morning.

Again, I wore him down and the MIL and I headed out the next morning on Mission: Kitten Brother. Seattle hated everyone on Queen Anne last weekend so it cut off everyone's freeway access and I had to go all the way around the city, pushing the time I would get to Seattle Humane to much closer to opening than I would have preferred. 

Once we got there, my friend Amy came to join us and we moved inside with the (very long) line. I gloated about my pre-approval, but apparently I still had to put my name on a list and wait to be called. Try watching a bunch of other people take kittens home right in front of you while you wait a half hour to hear your name called and tell me how much you pace. At least my Fuel score was happy.

While I waited, I tried to curb my anxiety by chatting with the volunteer staff and studying up on the place that has given me so many blessings. Here's what I found:
What Sets Seattle Humane Society Apart
  • We are an independent, nonprofit organization. We are not affiliated with city or county animal shelters or with any other humane society locally or nationally.
  • We save more than 6,000 animals a year. With no time limits.
  • We achieved a 97.9 percent Live Save Rate in FY 2013, one of the highest in the nation.
  • 80 cents of every dollar donated benefits the animals. Your donation goes directly to the care of homeless pets.
  • We are a 4-Star Charity. Charity Navigator has rated us among the top 4% of U.S. charities.
  • 80% of our budget comes from donations. We receive no local, state or federal funding.

By the time my name was called, the volunteer team was very clued into how anxious I was feeling and invited me into the hall to preview the kittens coming out. And that was when I saw him.

Harrison James Popa, everyone!
The dustiest of dusty grey kittens. He is the sweetest little man. He always has his motor on, ACTUALLY KNEADS ME, sleeps through the night and /798/* <--- just wrote that. He and Prima are figuring each other out, but we have high hopes. They've already progressed further than the ASPCA told us they would three days in. She chases him and bites his butt and he threatens her with a (playful!) hiss/groan. We appreciate that he stands his ground. 

Just snoozing and kneading the air, nbd.
We'll see how it all goes. For now, we're a complete, happy little family. I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Like Seattle Humane on Facebook - you won't regret it. 

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