volunteering

New Addition

I took Friday off from work and went down to Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood. I used to volunteer there a million years ago. I loved being a volunteer! It was so enriching to spend my weekends cleaning cat cages and socializing the kitties to get them ready for adoption.

I’ve definitely felt like there was something missing from my life since Yggdrasil passed away.ย 

I wasn’t ready for another kitty for a long time. I definitely grieved for those first few months after he died. I cried a lot. I was heartbroken. I was sad. I missed him. I still miss him. But I’ve felt lately like I wanted to think about getting another kitty. Maya has been coming out of hiding since Yggdrasil died. She never used to. She was 100% bonded to him and did not like people. But once she was all alone, she started coming out at bedtime wanting pets and cuddles. It’s been sweet but she still hides most of the time.

I went to CAT with an open mind, prepared to not adopt anything. I found two boys that seemed to have the personality I was looking for. The first was a kitten.

His name was Sonny (his sister was Cher). He had a big personality already! So cute, so fluffy, so affectionate. I picked him up and he immediately became a purr machine. I was in love! I seriously thought I found the cat for me. I decided to keep looking, just in case, and found this guy:

His name at the shelter was Billy Bob. He just turned 1 at the end of October. He had a kitty cold from the shelter and one side of his neck was shaved from an IV so he looked a little funny. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I met with Billy Bob in a private room and he was such a lovebug! He was super chill and sweet and loved to cuddle. He was SO SWEET. I was a little freaked out that he looked so much like Yggdrasil, but I do love tabbies. He’s a brown tabby, with white paws and a white heart on his chest.

He jumped up on my lap and we cuddled and he got comfortable. I kind of felt like he picked me. So I ended up taking him home. They sent me home with some eye drops for his kitty cold and he was super quiet the entire drive home. He just chilled out in the carrier. When we got home I set him up in the bathroom, where he’ll be for a few days.

I put one of Bella’s blankets in the bathroom (so he gets used to Bella’s scent) and he immediately made himself comfortable. He got a makeshift litter box, toys, food, water and a cat scratcher. I dimmed the lights and just let him calm down.

He seemed unbothered by everything. He did really well in the bathroom. He didn’t destroy anything (like a kitten probably would). I checked on him often and we cuddled and I brushed him (which he LOVED).

By Saturday night, New Kitty was sick of the bathroom! He kept trying to escape. He did so well in there, though, and didn’t destroy anything. He just chilled.

On Sunday afternoon when Logan was sleeping, and Maya was hiding in the bedroom, I let the kitty out to explore. He walked around the whole house (except for the two closed bedrooms) and explore every inch. He rubbed on the walls, sniffed everything, was particularly curious about Maya’s cat dishes and Bella’s water dish, and then went into the living room to meet Bella.

I had this fantasy that Bella and New Kitty would be best friends. I was trying not to indulge in the fantasy just in case…but New Kitty was FEARLESS. He must have lived with a dog before. He walked right up to Bella, sniffed and rubbed his head on Bella. I have an adorable video on Instagram if you want to check it out.

I *think* his name is Stevie. We are trying it on to see how it feels.ย I love his little white paws. They are so cute! After making the rounds and checking everything out, he picked his spot:

And we relaxed and watched newest season of the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I ran some errands later in the day and when I got home, Stevie, Michael and Logan were all cuddling together on the chair watching Star Wars. It was pretty adorable.

On Monday, I was off from work and I let Stevie out of the bathroom to roam free. He found Maya under the bed and they both just sat under the bed next to each. It was pretty adorable. Maya pretty much lives in the bedroom, so it’s no surprise that she’s hiding right right. The fact that they aren’t hissing, growling or fighting is a great sign, though.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and saw this:

Needless to say, Stevie seems to have made himself comfortable with our family right away. ๐Ÿ™‚

Does It Feel Different?

Before we got married I had a lot of friends tell me their experiences of the whole wedding thing (because the wedding is very different than theย marriage and I feel like in this day and age with the wedding business and pinterest we sometimes forget that). I would say that it was about 60-40 on people who told me that they felt different after tying the knot. I was surprised by the friends who said it didn’t feel any different, but yet at the same time I wondered if I would fall into that category. I mean, let’s be real — Michael and I have been together for 6.5 years, we’ve lived together for over 5 of those years. We had a honeymoon phase, we had a rocky phase, we had the “we’ve been together for a long time now” phase. Then it was the wedding phase.

The wedding phase was the planning part (which was 14 months after we got engaged) and the wedding instead. I would have liked a shorter engagement butย C’est la Vie….This was a strange time because it was all very new, it was VERY stressful, there was a lot of anticipation and just a lot of unknowns.

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The wedding day itself was very surreal and mostly a blur of chaos and a roller coaster of emotions (which also surprised me – again, we’ve been together for so long already!). Did I feel any different after we said “I Do”? Nope, not really. I guess I felt calmer and more relaxed. I could stop PLANNING everything. That was a huge relief.

Then we went on our honeymoon. It still didn’t really feel “real.” Basically it was like we were on a really nice, long vacation. A dream vacation, really. But we were so busy splashing in the ocean, laying on the beach, and exploring Maui (and eating A LOT) that I don’t think either of us really put much thought into the fact that we were now married or that anything should feel any differently.

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(He slept on the beach a lot. I read and swam.:) )

Maui was great, don’t get me wrong. But I started to get a little homesick for my fur-babies. We both missed Bella terribly! She was staying with her foster mom and having a great time, especially with her dog Kona, Bella’s BFF. Bella was on a puppy vacation!

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Now that we are home I’ve been kind of taking it easy and trying not to plan or do too much (trying to hold onto that Maui bliss as long as possible). I am starting to ruminate on what I want to do, though. Now that I don’t have to do ANY wedding planning anymore (YAY) I can get a hobby! It was astounding just how much time the wedding planning took. Between meeting vendors and just all the details, any free evening or weekend was booked with that stuff. It really does take over your whole life, even if you try to avoid it.

I’d like to get back to Bella’s training. Sadly we didn’t have tons of extra time to work on tricks and training for her. Now that we have more time I want to get back at that. I especially want to get her to the dog park at least once a week to get more socialized. She’s doing so much better than when we first got her but she still gets skittish and nervous with a lot of other dogs.

I’d like to get into gardening. Specifically I think I want to try growing succulents. I saw so many amazing succulents in Hawaii and that’s something that we CAN actually grow here in Oregon (wish I could grow some plumeria and palm trees but I guess I’ll settle for this…).

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A friend has actually started growing succulents and offered to give me some of her cuttings and I really want to try it. I hope I can make it work. I’m okay with growing vegetables but not really flowers…time will tell!

Another goal for this winter: Michael has agreed to take a dance class! I am super excited about it and will be looking for classes soon. I took a ballroom dancing class ages ago and learned all the basics! I definitely need to re-learn it. I’m more interested in learning maybe salsa dancing or something along those lines.

Yoga. I need to get back into the groove of that and I’d like check out some local studios. I take yoga at my gym and it’s not quite the same experience as doing it at a yoga studio where that’s the only thing they do. I never really get that blissful, enlightened feeling while people are dropping weights and grunting and talking loudly right outside the yoga room at the gym…

Volunteering. I miss it! I used to do it a lot. Before I met Michael, in fact, I volunteered at a cat shelter every weekend. Michael and I volunteered together at The Pixie Project and it was a lot of fun. Now that I have some free time I’m going to start up again.

After being back for a bit I went out with my cousin Anna for a beer. We saw a band at an Irish pub here in Portland and then met up with some of her friends. This was the first time it kind of felt DIFFERENT. I was talking to someone that didn’t know me or Michael and I had a moment of pause when I almost said “my boyfriend Michael” then corrected myself and said “my husband”. And it felt WEIRD. Very weird. I am not used to it yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay married folks, did you feel any different?