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Grace and Will
Will and Grace

will and grace

For as long as I have lived on my own, I've always wanted to have pets.  Especially when I moved to Philly, I knew that some day I wanted to have a cat.

For one reason or another, it just never seemed to happen -- the time wasn't right, too much was going on around here, it wasn't "kitten season" (generally the spring), etc.

Finally in summer of 2000 I decided that once and for all, I was going to have a cat.  I made a trip to Petsmart in early August 2000 and bought all the supplies -- food, litter box, litter, carrier, and a few toys.

The next part was to actually get a cat.  I called home and asked if Mom knew of anyone that had kittens.  She asked around at church, and got back to me that one of the church members had a few kittens that they were trying to get rid of.

So on the Friday of Labor Day weekend 2000 I made a trip home, cat carrier in tow, with the intent of checking out the kittens and possibly bringing one back to Philadelphia.

Now a little back story - in my home town, my parents own several apartments.  As it happens when you're a landlord, it becomes necessary to evict tenants.  Shortly before my return home that weekend, my parents had evicted a set of tenants from the apartment that we as a family had lived in for several years when I was a kid.

I'm not sure of the exact timing, but sometime during the day that I was traveling home, my father had asked one of the other tenants in the building to check on the apartment where we had evicted the deadbeats from.  During the check, the neighbors discovered that there were two kittens in the basement of the apartment, all alone with no mother present.  We don't know whether the tenants took the mother cat with them and left the kittens there, or if the mother cat was just "out somewhere" and had left the kittens alone for a bit, or if there were other kittens and the mother was moving them - we honestly didn't know.  Regardless, Dad immediately went down to the apartment and brought the two kittens back to our house.

What he brought home were two very small kittens -- a boy and a girl -- they couldn't have been more than a month old and they were starving.  Mom and I immediately fed them milk with eyedroppers.  They were so hungry and adorable!

The debate of course now began as to what to do with the kittens.  I knew that I wanted a kitten, but I didn't want one that was so young, nor did I really want two of them.  Kittens that are only a month old still need their mother, so I would have to devote a lot of time to taking care of them.  I thought about taking just one of them, but I couldn't bear the thought of separating the two.

As I warmed up to the idea of having two kittens, I was still reluctant to have them both because they were so young.  I thought maybe Mom could take care of them for a month or so, and then I could come back and get them.

Heh.  So I thought.  Mom said she wouldn't have the time to take care of them, and that I should just take them.

Ok fine.  As I thought more about it, I began to realize that it would probably only be a hassle for a couple of weeks.  At that time, I lived pretty close to work, and it wouldn't be too much of a problem to run home once during the day at lunch to take care of the kittens.

That settled, I had to come up with names for them.  Originally, I had wanted to get an orange cat and name him "Simba" (no... not Tigger as you might think :), but now I had to come up with names for both.

I went through several possibilities... and finally it occurred to me... my current (at that time) favorite TV show!

And thus, 'Will' and 'Grace' entered my life.

The first couple of weeks were a lot of work.  Will and Grace were only about four weeks old, which really isn't old enough to be away from a mother cat.  They needed to feed and nurse more frequently than an older kitten, as well as they couldn't eat solid food just yet.  My routine for a few weeks was, in the mornings I would feed them with an eyedropper, go to work, come home for lunch, feed them again, go back to work, come home from work, feed them again, have my own dinner, and feed them once again before bed.

Eventually I could feed them some solid food and not have to run home and feed them mid-day.  Also as they got older they started to explore more and more of the apartment.  At first, I confined them to the kitchen.  Next they could wander around the downstairs, and eventually they learned to climb stairs and could go wherever they wanted.

Will is the orange and white tabby.  He used to be a BIG cat.  A few years ago, he was above 20 pounds and was starting to be diabetic.  Through a strict diet over the past year, I have gotten his weight down to 16 pounds and he no longer needs insulin. 

Will is not big on sitting on my lap, but he generally likes to be close by, and at night, he always HAS to be sleeping next to me.  Will's favorite toy is the plastic ring off of a milk container.  Will also has a strange fascination with the toilet and the bathroom - especially when I'm in there.  In the mornings I have to let him in the bathroom with me or he'll paw at the door and cry until I let him in.

Will is also my alarm clock.  Lord help me if I try to sleep in and he wants fed.  He can be very persistent.

Grace is the gray tortoiseshell.  While Grace looks mostly gray from a distance, close up you can see that she has a fair amount of white and orange in her fur.  Grace is more amenable to sitting in my lap, but more often, she likes take up a major portion of my desk when I'm trying to work - usually at some point knocking my speakers or other items onto the floor.  Grace's favorite toy is a small fabric ball that is full of crinkly plastic.

Both cats are extremely friendly, and love to check out visitors.  They are not the kind of cats who run and hide when new people come to the apartment.  Though Grace has to make up her mind first that she wants to check someone out.  She also has a random bitchy streak - one minute she can be all sweet and lovely, and the next, she can be a snot.  She also doesn't seem to be incredibly fond of my partner David - then again, that's probably because he terrorizes her now and then.

Ah... but listen to me gush on :-)  Anyways, they're my babies, and I love them dearly.

For more pictures of my cats, check out Pictures - Pets.