Here's the latest on the Pet Drama:
Darrell said that if I would call the puppy lady and try to get out of the deal, he would let the girls get a kitten instead, thinking they'd be just as happy and excited about any new pet- it didn't necessarily have to be that particular puppy. He's not as opposed to cats since they aren't hard to house train and don't have the typical problems that come with puppies, like chewing shoes, etc., but still... This was a great concession on his part since, as I said before, he had said no more pets of any kind. Period.
With this plan, maybe I wouldn't have to either end up disappointing the girls and breaking my word, or ticking off their daddy- the closest thing to a perfect solution, where all could be happy, except maybe for the puppy lady.
So... I called the puppy lady and told her if she had anyone else interested in the puppy I picked, to go ahead and sell her to someone else. I then asked if it would be at all possible to get my deposit back if she did find another buyer. I explained that I had done all of this without consulting my husband first, yadda, yadda, yadda, and he was not a happy camper. The puppy lady has kindly agreed that if she can get another buyer, she will return my deposit, and said that she has had a few people interested in "my" puppy. Her price was pretty reasonable, so I'm hoping it shouldn't be a problem to find another buyer.
After that, I looked through the local paper to see if there were any kittens available. There are always ads for free kittens, are there not? No. There are not. Not when I needed one, anyway.
However... Brianna has always wanted a white, blue-eyed, Persian or Himalayan kitten. I had researched the prices of these some time ago, and told her that it was probably not in the realm of possibilities. They go for hundreds, even thousands of dollars, depending on what type they are. I looked online again yesterday and saw that the prices have not come down any. I even saw one Persian (not white) listed at a whopping five thousand dollars! Who spends that on a cat? Anyway, here's the cool part: Despite the fact that there were no free kittens in the paper, there was an ad for Himalayans. I called, mostly just out of curiosity- thinking the price would be ridiculous. The kitten guy had three male kittens available- all were white "Flame Points" (light orange-ish tips on the ears and tail) with blue eyes! AND he was almost giving them away. The price we would pay for one, even if we do not get our deposit back on the puppy, is just a drop in the bucket compared to what these cats usually cost (and still less than the full price of the boxer pup). I've seen these exact same kittens online listed at $1500! I could not believe it. I told the guy we'd be there later in the evening to see them (this was last night). I could not believe my good fortune, and decided this must be the answer to my prayers for God to get me out of the doghouse with Darrell without having to disappoint my girls and look like a bad guy. God is good.
In the meantime, we talked to the girls. For starters, I apologized and explained that I had gone about this whole thing in the wrong way and I should have respected dad's feelings and at least discussed it with him first. Then we broached the subject of "switching" pets. Would they be just as happy with a kitty instead? I knew Brianna would go for it, and she happily said yes. Olivia, however, was another story. She was sure she wanted the boxer. A cat would not be the same. Not as much fun as a puppy. Well, crap... We then told them about the kitten man, and suggested they come with us that night to see the kittens. I told Livie that if she didn't absolutely fall in love with them, I'd be shocked and I wanted her to at least be open to the idea of looking at them. I know her well enough to know how she'd react once she had one in her hands.
When we got there, we quickly found out that the kitten man knew everything there is to know about these cats and breeding them. We thought he'd be happy to keep us there for hours (and hours) explaining how you breed for different colors, etc. It was clear these cats were well loved and cared for. They looked exactly like the kitten Bri has always wanted, so she was beyond excited. Olivia was cooing and cuddling as if she'd just given birth to the kitten herself. We let them choose one (with a little subtle steering on my part towards the one that didn't seem jittery and scared of us- and who was, at the time, clawing its way up my chest and onto my shoulder trying to flee- to the one who was happily sleeping in Olivia's arms) and got to take him home with us. I asked the kitten man's wife why these kittens were so much less than others I'd seen. They are registered and healthy- there was no good reason that I could see not to charge hundreds (and hundreds) more than they were, so I was starting to wonder if there was a catch. She told me they do this because they enjoy their cats and it's fun- it wasn't about making money. Alrighty, then. Works for me.
On the ride home, Sammy spent the first 15 minutes lifting his head, trying to see the kitten in the back seat and wildly barking at it. I don't know if he thought it was a tiny dog, or what- but barking seemed to him to be the most appropriate thing to do. It was hysterical. I wish I would have had some video of it.
I am not a cat person, really, but I honestly think we stumbled upon the best cat on earth. He's using his litter box. He's not skittish and scared- even though he's not accustomed to such a noisy household, full of children and a dog. He's quickly coming out of his shell and likes to play. He's also very snuggly and cuddly, and happy being held, which the girls love. Olivia came up to me right before bedtime and said, "Mama, I am soooo happy we got him. Thank you so much. You were right, once I saw him I loved him right away. I feel like I'm his mom."
So, there you have it. I am in the clear. Nobody is mad at me or disappointed in me. We are free from the impending doom of poop and pee and chewed shoes. It's a good feeling, after days of stressing over my stupid, impulsive mistake.
Now, I have a request on behalf of the girls. They have asked me to turn to you for suggestions. Can you help them name their new baby? Some of their ideas so far are:
Pumpkin (because of the orange tint on the ears and tail)
Jimmy (I hope they don't choose this one)
They hoped you would have some other suggestions, or help them narrow down their list. They would appreciate it!
Here are a few pictures for you to get your creative naming juices flowing:
We stopped for kitten supplies on the way home and bought him this little cube/house thingy, which he loves.