3:14 am   

GINGER

Best buddies, Ginger (L) and Josie (R)

Hey, Little Sis!

Josie helps Jim at the computer

Yes we're being good!

My husband and I adopted our two cats, Ginger and Josie, during the month of September, 2001. Our delight is not only having two terrific individual cats, but having the great fortune that our two cats, from two different places, get along so well. We first adopted Ginger, a one-year old tortie (originally named Elfreida), from PAW, and soon thereafter decided to adopt a kitten so that Ginger could have a feline playmate during the hours we are at work. We stopped by the Arlington Animal Welfare League on a whim one evening after work, and fell in love with the tiniest, sweetest, eight-week old kitten. She is a tortie like Ginger, but with a white belly and white "socks" on each leg. We adopted Josie that same night (she was the last, and probably the runt, of her litter).

Thus began the "introduction" process. We kept the two cats completely separated for a couple weeks, and gradually introduced them by putting the Josie in her carrier with Ginger in the room. The first few meetings were tentative and involved some growling on Ginger's part, so we weren't sure how well this match would work. Soon, however, the two cats were chasing each other around the house, wrestling, and licking each other's faces. We were thrilled, especially because we were told by PAW that Ginger was a "dominant" cat and sometimes intimidated other, more timid cats. We think it helped that the second cat was a small, playful kitten -- hardly intimidating or easily intimidated! Even today, almost full grown at 10 months, Josie is a tiny cat, and is always beaten hands-down by Ginger in a wrestling match.

Now we can't imagine what home life was like before the "girls." Each night we are greeted by them at the bottom of the staircase, where Ginger rolls over onto her back for the required belly rub and neck scratch. We are also greeted each morning by each cat in a unique way. Ginger serves as a snooze alarm -- noisily meowing for us to get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off, walking across the pillow for emphasis sometimes (she's kept us from oversleeping more than once!). On weekends, she has been known to throw herself against the window shade (or incessantly spin the ball of her turbo scratcher) in order to get us up. Josie is a little more soothing -- she likes to cuddle up next to me under the covers for some quality petting time as soon as she hears the alarm. We tolerate this with a smile (albeit occasional frustration) because they are such a delight, and because it is somewhat flattering that our cats want us "up" with them. We have been delighted with both of our adoptions, and are grateful to PAW for providing a way for people like us to find an animal that will thrive in our home. I can't imagine finding a pet any other way than through adoption -- there are just so many wonderful pets needing homes.

Renee Howard, Alexandria, VA


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