by Katy on January 6, 2009 · 28 comments




I finally finished up my Christmas shopping today with the addition of two tiny kittens to our household. One black and one tuxedo.

The main gift for my ten-year-old son this year was a small stuffed animal cat with a note around the neck that read, “please exchange me for a real kitten.” 

But our local Humane Society didn’t have any kittens.

None. Zilch. Nada.

My cat-savvy co-workers informed me that this is the wrong time of year to get kittens, and we might need to wait until the Spring.

A wanted ad on craigslist solved that problem.

Before I get too far, let me explain that our 15-year-old cat Lydia died last year, and then a stray we took in, (and the vet estimated her age at 15!) also died. We grieved for a few months, and then drove over to the Humane Society and picked out a beautiful two-year-old declawed female. We named her Kit-Kat.

Kit-Kat turned out to be a nightmare of a cat, the likes of which had not been seen since Stephen King penned Pet Cemetery. She would come up to you wanting to be pet, and then chomp down hard as soon as you put your hand out. She had been an indoor-outdoor cat at her previous home, and was always sneaking out. She would stare into the neighbors’ windows and proceed to howl like crazy at their poor indoor kitties. 

The last straw was when she bit my son’s arm so hard as to not only puncture the skin, but also left a huge bruise. While he was sleeping!

We took her back to the Humane Society, which was a horribly traumatic experience for all of us. I had brought her home thinking I would have her for a decade or so, but could only tough it out for a few months. Devastating.

So now we have kittens which will not be declawed, and will not go outside. And all the mistakes will be our own.

The boys each got one, and are in the process of picking out names. Hyena and Chuck Norris are top contenders, but I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a number of names before we have a winner.

Until then, they’re happily in a laundry basket bed, cuddled up together and melting our hearts.

Aww . . . kittens.

Free so far, but I’ll be spaying and giving shots, medical care, food etc. Not cheap, but worth every penny.

Do you have pets? Share your pet stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline January 7, 2009 at 1:00 am

Congrats on the kittens, they will entertain you no end!

We have Ole Yellow Eyes, who we rescued as a kitten. Unfortunately she wasn’t socialised and is still half wild – despite this she has stuck with us for over a decade. She’s timid but gentle and will occasionally sit next to me for a pat.

For the cat loves we miss out on from Yellow Eyes, we foster cats for South West Animal Rescue who have all been the most entertaining and loving kitties!


Kim Perry January 7, 2009 at 1:05 am

Nothing makes a home like a cat! I am interested though in the de-clawing… sounds unnecessary. Are the claws totally taken out or just trimmed? We have a 12 year old tabby who’s only venture outside is to scamper around on a small patch of concrete to keep her claws in check!


Klara LeVine January 7, 2009 at 1:14 am

I’ve already mentioned my two Dalmatians. We had a neighbor who would put out a bowl of bread and milk for all the neighboring cats. In the spirit of food not being wasted, lately our local grocery store (a little bigger than a mini-mart) has been saving for me all the veggies that don’t get sold (I compost them, but like someone else wrote, sometimes some of the veggies are still good – shh) and they also give me loads and loads of breads not sold, which I pass on to the dogs with other food.

I’ve considered going to places that have weddings or restaurants, etc and ask for food they throw out, but haven’t had the nerve yet.


Linda (AKA "Mommy") January 7, 2009 at 1:40 am

Hey I agree.Nothing makes a home like a cat! I am interested though in the de-clawing… sounds unnecessary. Are the claws totally taken out or just trimmed? We have a 12 year old tabby who’s only venture outside is to scamper around on a small patch of concrete to keep her claws in check!


Jan January 7, 2009 at 2:57 am

Three cats rule our household – 1 black (she was a stray & adopted my DH), 1 tuxedo from the Humane Society and 1 that we found in the bumper of my in-laws car! Yes, she was very tiny & literally inside the bumper of the car! Hence, the name – Bumper!!!! A typical grey tabby cat with gorgeous green eyes.


knittinnoodlin January 7, 2009 at 4:32 am

Oh my goodness…I adopted one of those scary cats, too! That cat… *shudder*

I have a tuxedo who came from South Philly…we named her Rocky before we knew she was a girl. (Oops.) I’m ready to adopt another kitty or two. They’re so fun when they’re little!

Chuck Norris has my vote!


Julie January 7, 2009 at 7:10 am

We have a 12-1/2 year old black and white kitty from the Humane Society. She thinks she is our baby, and before our human baby came along 7 years ago, she was. Now she is my son’s best friend and still my baby girl. She has bonded with me more strongly than any cat I’ve ever had, that’s about 25 cats in 41 years. She requires snuggles several time a day or she just goes bonkers on me. She has her claws (our Humane Society made us sign a statement saying we would not declaw her) and is an indoor kitty because there are bobcat and cougar in our area. My step-kitty (a cat my husband had when we met, that’s one reason I knew he was a good guy, because he had a cat he was responsible for!) was declawed and I always felt so sorry for her. We had to put her to sleep in 2004 at age 16.5 and I still cry every time I think about it. She was a sweetheart too.
Lastly, as for names: my nieces were 5 and 3 when we got our kitty, and they named her for us: Buster Sharkey. (I wanted something girly like “Lucy”!!) Later, we added her middle name: Puddinhead. But we just call her Sharkey. Vets always think she is a boy.


carocoknits January 7, 2009 at 8:06 am

Congratulations on the kittens. We haven’t had cats since it was determined that my daughter was allergic. We have recently gotten another pug puppy (our other two old girls had to be put down & we have had two other pugs over the past twenty or so years). It has been just like having a baby again with visits outside during the night and making sure that he is safe with the very low temperatures. It really makes a house feel like a home to have a pet, and well worth the expense and effort.


Lisa P January 7, 2009 at 8:53 am

Congrats on the new kittens… they sound precious.

As a kitty mommy to 4 I’m sure your new additions will bring nothing but pure joy to your home. My kitties wish you and the new “kids” the very best and really enjoy your blog.


Christy January 7, 2009 at 9:14 am

We have 3 cats. One was rescued from the local Materials Recovery Facility, known as the MRF, thus the cat’s name is Merf. I was out of town when my husband acquired him. I was reluctant to get a kitten at the time with two small children who were a little timid of animals but my husband insisted the kitten was “calm and quiet”. Yeah, calm and quiet because he was dehydrated and malnourished! He drove us all crazy for awhile but he is quite the character. The other two cats we acquired from the neighborhood. Two separate families sold their homes and left their declawed cats behind to fend for themselves. The cats saw we were a bunch of suckers and decided to move in with us. I can’t imagine how they could leave these loving cats behind.


Daphne January 7, 2009 at 10:33 am

I never had cats until we adopted 2 tiny rescue kittens as Christmas gifts for our daughters 3 years ago. They continue to be cherished members of our family, and I love to see how they put visitors instantly at ease. Tabby and Abby (named by our girls) are not declawed, and they only go outside on a harness and leash. After a few tentative and harmless scratches on a couple pieces of furniture and curtains, they learned to do all their scratching on their kitty condo–a carpeted tower with sleeping spaces and a carpeted scratching post. The kitty condo is pretty shabby looking these days, but is tucked away in the laundry room with the litter box, food and water. The cats happily sleep there, and are always ready to come out and socialize with humans and family dog (Katie, also named by our kids) first thing every morning. Since I’d never had cats before, I thought all cats spent their days hiding under couches and beds. Tabs & Abs spend their days sprawled out in front of the fireplace, bellies exposed to all the dangerous predators in their environment 😉


thenonconsumeradvocate January 7, 2009 at 10:55 am

I think I may have made myself unclear.

“Kit-Kat” came to us already declawed from the shelter. I won’t be having these new kittens declawed. I did take nail clippers to their razor-sharp claws last night though, just to blunt the tips. No harm though, it was like a minor nail trim.

My understanding is that to “de-claw” a cat is to essentially remove the last part of their paws. (From the last joint on.) So I won’t be having that done.

The new kittens are tumbling around upstairs, so I think I’d better go check on them.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Marj January 7, 2009 at 11:13 am

Way to go on finding your kittens. Animals melt your heart. We have 2 poodles. Harley. a miniature, came from the animal shelter, estimated 5 at the time. Whitney is a toy poodle. We got her when she could no longer birth more babies to sell so was no longer wanted. She was 11 Dec. 31. Can’t tell we love em. lololol They have us trained very well.


GLM January 7, 2009 at 11:28 am

I love my destructive cat, Brutus, who is a Himalayan. He’s destroyed everything that is upholstered, but he was too old to declaw when I adopted him at 3 years old. Poor thing must have been taken away from his mommy too young, because he can’t tell the difference between the sofa and the 3 scratching posts in the house! So after 4K in damages, he’s the most expensive cat I’ve ever had!

But he cuddles *really* well!


Magdalena January 7, 2009 at 11:29 am

We’ve had lots of animals over the years, dogs, cats, sheep, chickens. Declawing is inhumane but I too have adopted a few previously declawed cats. I was talked into it with my first kitten by friends who insisted that I would have no curtains or upholstery left if I didn’t. The poor thing opened the incisions three times. That’s the last time I had a kitten declawed – thirty-two years ago. My last adopted cat had been declawed but still climbed trees and caught mice in the barn. Almost all my pets have been adoptees or troubled animals.

In all the years with cats, I’ve had to get rid of only one who was wild. I don’t know if it’s genetic or if it’s because of an infection such as distemper, but some kittens just seem abnormal and unsocial. One trick I learned to get kittens socialized is to crate them at night, cover the crate, and put it in another, distant room. After a few days they learn to sleep at night and play with the family during the day.


TryinginToronto January 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm

My first foray into cathood was when I was 30, when I adopted two 10 year old cats, Zeus and Chester. I couldn’t believe it took me so long to discover something that could bring so much joy. Six months later I adopted a stray Siamese, who we named Tayo and who was estimated to be about 5 years old. I love them, love them, love them.

But then: Zeus had a hyperactive thyroid and a heart condition, and we undertook a number of procedures to save him (we tried to pick ones with the best potential and were as uninvasive as possible). He survived for another year. Tayo was diagnosed with incurable colon cancer and we were told he likely had 6-8 months to live. We proceeded with treatment, including chemotherapy for the recommended protocol for 2 years (the chemo is administered by a little needle, and it doesn’t affect animals as it does humans so that responsive animals retain an excellent quality of life – Tayo was happier and healthier than ever after a couple of months). Yup, he survived it all and is still here, 3.5 years later. And he’s as loving as he ever was. (I often wake up from sleep because Tayo’s sleeping with his rump on my face.)

Our medical bills for the cats were our biggest expenditure by far apart from buying our house. Really. I don’t regret them at all. But I would pause before getting more pets because of them.

So, my question: what do you do for sick pets? Insurance? A slush fund?


Charlotte January 7, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Congrats on the kitties! So much fun!

So, as non-consumer, what are you going to do about litter? Buy the normal stuff? Buy the (more expensive) compostable stuff? Use wood shavings or sand or anything else that’s free or at least cheap, but significantly less smell-containing?

Similarly, what’s the plan for food? Buy store-made cat-food, or make it yourself?


LeAnna January 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I sate my animal-loving nature by fostering and pet-sitting for folks. Somehow, I haven’t gotten too attached to any particular animal through this process, but their food and medical costs are covered. Love, I can give. Money, no.

My only other pets are my ~1,000 worms in my kitchen vermicomposing bin. 😀


Di Hickman January 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

2 dalmatians we adopted from the local shelter. Love them to peices no matter how crazy they are (less now they are older). Weird how we never picked favorites, yet it seems they did. Sky prefers me, River prefers DH. I think they chose based on personality likes/dislikes. River loves food and is pretty lazy and laid back just like DH, sky is hyper and on the go all the time, kinda like me 🙂


The Frugalista FIles January 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm

OMG, that rogue kitten sounded terrible. What do you think about dogs?


thenonconsumeradvocate January 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm

I’m not really a dog person. I want to be able to be away from the house for long stretches, and cats allow that.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Shannon January 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm

We are one big black hound dog mix and 2 cats, all of whom just showed up in my yard over the last 5 years. I’m convinced the first animal wrote “Suckers Live Here” in secret code on the door so the strays know where to come… Frank is the dog (named by the neighborhood kids who found him wandering around originally), the first stray cat named Snickers (who showed up the day after Halloween 5 years ago), and Milky Way, who we took in this past March. The latter didn’t show up in my yard as much as in front of my car. On the dark road, with no street lamps, my headlights suddenly picked up this cat wandering up the middle of the road and obviously having no clue how to handle being outside. I starting leaving the garage door open enough for her to get in and made her a warm bed in a cat tent near the laundry room door as we had a blizzard here March 8. I took her to the vet when I noticed a blood mark on her hindquarters and they realized she’d been bit by something, possibly a dog. After getting her medicines, they shaved her belly and found that she’d already been spayed and was about a year old. After a couple weeks of posting signs and calling shelters, I realized the owner just wasn’t going to turn up and she became the newest furry (and expensive) member of our family. My husband looks very tired… 🙂


Kim Perry January 9, 2009 at 1:51 am

“I think I may have made myself unclear.

“Kit-Kat” came to us already declawed from the shelter. I won’t be having these new kittens declawed. I did take nail clippers to their razor-sharp claws last night though, just to blunt the tips. No harm though, it was like a minor nail trim.

My understanding is that to “de-claw” a cat is to essentially remove the last part of their paws. (From the last joint on.) So I won’t be having that done.”

Sorry Katie, I wasnt implying that you were having your kittens declawed! I have never heard of it before and have looked into it since. It sounds barbaric! I certainly wouldn’t like my fingernails and toenails removed 🙁

Hope your little bundles of fur bring you years of happiness!


thenonconsumeradvocate January 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm


I bought and used the pine pellet type of cat litter. Although I like that the poop gets scooped and the rest can be used as garden mulch, it is completely useless for masking odors. The litter box is in our single bathroom, and the cat poop smell is so overwhelming that we’ve been brushing our teeth in the kitchen.

And yes, I’ve been scooping it daily,

I’ll use up the bag and try something new.

Cause this ain’t working!

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


ash January 17, 2009 at 10:48 am

Hi Katy,

If you’re still looking for a type of litter to use, I would recommend Arm & Hammer’s new litter made from corn. I’ve tried countless types of litter, especially the “natural” kind, and have found that few of them effectively mask odor to any degree. However, the corn litter seems to do the trick pretty well, especially when scooping out the litterbox every other day or so.

Hope this helps…. : )


Harmony January 27, 2009 at 2:46 am

Hi Katy 🙂 Your kittens sound so cute! I feel for that poor de-clawed cat, she sounds like she went a bit funny in the head after they de-clawed her which doesn’t surprise me as it’s so inhumane and takes from a cat it’s primary method of defense leaving them feeling very vulnerable.

I had one cat years agothat went crazy, she was fine until she became pregnant and had kittens – after that she just turned vicious and I’ve no idea why as we always loved her and treated her very well and loved the kittens which she seemed to show no interest in.


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