So, we had been considering getting a new kitten for, oh about half a year, when suddenly the opportunity arose. I met a girl holding a cardboard sign that read "Free Kittens!" on it. Normally I would pass this by, citing all my normal excuses (we can't afford the vet bills, I don't know anything about kittens, and the list goes on) but something drew me to talk to the girl. What I found out was incredible.
Her family had been approached by a pregnant stray in March. Not wanting to leave mom-to-be all by herself, the family took her in. But when she gave birth, there were gruesome complications. The family brought the cat and kittens to an animal hospital the next day. She gained access to surgery that saved not only her life, but the lives of the kittens as well.
Well I was hooked. After some frantic texting between myself and my fiance (who set up a "new kitten" appointment at our local vet), some quickly hashed out plans between a co-worker, and a spur of the moment kitten supplies shopping trip, I felt I was ready to embark on my first "trial parenthood experiment".
Boy did I not know what I was getting myself into.
My co-worker, Morgan, accompanied me on the trip to retrieve the kitten. The family was very pleased to see her going to a good home, and made sure I was comfortable with all the details of kitten life. We exchanged some vital information (mostly phone numbers and names of vets), and soon we were on our way back home, kitten in tow.
And that's when it started. The kitten was frantic! As much as Morgan cooed and snuggled and petted her, she just would not calm down. Finally she let her go, and the kitten did the strangest thing ever.
She climbed right up on to my shoulders and fell asleep. We pulled into a gas station to fill up, and Morgan snapped this shot.
Imagine me in this picture saying "What is this cat doing?"
We were soon to find out that she is indeed one of a kind.
She has six toes on each of her front paws which apparently gives her superb climbing skills. This also means she has an extreme affinity for heights, particularly being on peoples' shoulders.
She stayed on my shoulders the entire way to my fiance's house, which is saying something, seeing as it's a two hour drive. Every once in a while she would shift to get more comfortable, or start to slide off and have to climb back up my sweater, but in general, she seemed very content to watch the cars go by and sleep until we arrived.
When we got to Shawn's place, we realized didn't have much in terms of kitten accommodations, so we made do with what we had. I'm not even going to get started on how bad of an idea this was:
There's an extra bag of kitty litter there now, just so we (hopefully) don't have to ever, ever resort to newspaper kitty potties again.
After that fiasco, we decided we had to give our newest edition a name. It took a lot of debating (Zyrkstra got a definitive "No" from Shawn), but we finally settled on "Tora Yuri". Tora means "Tiger" in Japanese, and Yuri means "Lilly". It's more of a play on words, because the actual word for Tigerlily is something different (don't ask me, I don't remember what it was).
Hi Tora! (Can you see the six toes? )
We later found out that "Tora!" when said three times, is also an important battle cry from WWII, in the simplest terms, it was the code for the attack on pearl harbor. They even made a movie about it! I don't think we realized at the time exactly how fitting a battle cry was for a name. I was soon to find out... but first, we had to catch up on some z's! Which turns out to be her favorite activity (other than attacking everything in sight)...
We think she might have missed her littermates that first night, since she ended up snuggling Shawn's stuffed wolf for most of it.
When she wasn't snuggling Shawn, of course. She's a natural Daddy's girl, just like her (new) older sister.