Well, I suppose it was inevitable really after all the talk of having absolutely no plans to increase the Hot Cross family any further. Yes, we went and added one more.
Meet 'Puffin', a 12 week old kitten who we re-homed from an animal rescue shelter at the weekend. She'd been left in a box outside the shelter with her mother and other kittens in the litter. There were about 6 kittens in the room we were shown; we could very easily have brought home all 6, but we'd agreed that we would only take one. We all loved the friendly, little grey and white one immediately; so she came home with us.
As she sat curled up on the sofa on Saturday night, watching the X Factor and purring and purring away, I think she knew that she was the luckiest cat in Ireland that day.
We got a kitten as a first pet for the boys. Our five-year-old is particularly nervous of dogs - in fact, he has been known to become hysterical with fear whenever a dog is within eyesight, let alone be anywhere near him. His fear is now being picked up by the youngest. We have no idea where this fear comes from, as we are very much 'animal' people and have never shown fear or hesitation about any animal in front of the children (well, perhaps with the exception of the massive python which was brought to a party at the creche once - shudder).
So, we hope that Puffin will help the boys get over their anxiety about animals, and that by having a pet of their own to care for, they will learn to understand animals a little better and gain confidence when around them.
Watching the boys' delight as Puffin does her cute kitten things and seeing them happily stroking her, playing with her and rushing to see her as soon as they wake up in a morning, I think it is already working.
Lucky cat. Lucky us.