The Story of adopting Evie

Hi guys,

as I mentioned in my International Cat Day post, we adopted a little cat girl July 31st and brought her home August 3rd. I wasn’t able to post any pictures back then because this girl is WILD. Every picture of her from those first few weeks is blurry. She has settled down just enough to allow us to get some decent pics, so now it’s time to introduce her to you guys! 😀 This post will be LONG. And picture heavy, so don’t read it on your mobile phone unless you’re on Wi-Fi!

Evie is a tabby that was born at the beginning of May. Her mother is a stray and people called the humane society when they saw she had kittens. Mum and babies were taken to the shelter, and soon brought to a foster mommy, Sabrina.
Mr Paws and I had been thinking about getting another cat because Ezio was so focused on us, it broke our hearts to leave him for more than a few hours. He’s so smart and gentle. We would watch our security cam during the day and see him waiting by the front door. We didn’t want that for him, no matter how blissfully happy it made us how sweet and loving he was when we were home.

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Poor thing. Excuse the mess.

Best case scenario a new kitten would mean a new best friend, worst case scenario Ezio would have someone to spy on when we weren’t home 😉 But, we always figured we would wait until we moved to a house. This didn’t stop me from looking at kittens during the kitten season obviously 😛 When we were out to dinner one night to celebrate his birthday, Mr Paws confessed that if I had said about a certain kitten (Doppie, she had been adopted the day before) “I really want to get her” he would have jumped in the car and driven the two hours to get her. I was flabbergasted, so he told me he had been thinking about it, and thought that maybe now was the best time to get another cat since I am working from home and that might change any day, and it would be best for both cats if I would be home during those first few weeks. So, we started looking for female kittens as we agreed Ezio would be less intimidated by a kitten than another adult, and a girl would also probably be more welcome than a boy (Ezio is fixed). We checked the information on their personalities for the best match with Ezio and opened each ‘suitable’ kitten in a new tab. Before we knew it, our browser had close to 20 tabs opened :’)
We decided the next day to take turns to close tabs. I left the room and Mr Paws closed three tabs, he left the room and I closed three tabs (our hearts breaking with each one). In the end, which was a couple of hours later, we had two kittens left, Ziva and Epona. We both agreed Epona was the best match for Ezio and when we realised she was named after a game character just like Ezio (albeit a Nintendo one), we thought it was meant to be and I contacted the shelter with a little background on us and Ezio. I sent them a picture too of Ezio on our window sill, spying on birds on our bird feeder.

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This is the only picture the shelter had for Epona. All other cats had multiple pics to show their personalities.

The shelter didn’t reply until a few days later (anxiety!) and told us the procedure. We were to meet Epona at her foster home, see if we clicked, and then formalise the adoption. She would be fixed before we could pick her up. The costs involved in the adoption were actually less than what we had paid our vet for the procedures on Ezio (check up, vaccinations, fixing, chip). We agreed and they gave us Sabrina’s information. We set up a meeting with her a week later.
I can tell you, that meeting was nerve-wrecking. Here we were, meeting these gorgeous kittens (Epona’s brother was there too, their sister had already been adopted), falling in love instantly, and realising Sabrina had the responsability to tell the shelter if we were a match for Epona or not. And Epona? She was scared sh*tless. She ran straight for the couch and stayed there. Her brother, a little tux like Ezio, came and shyly played with Mr Paws for a bit. Sabrina’s boyfriend (who had a marvelous beard) coaxed Epona to play with him, and after a while she was bravely jumping all over him on the sofa. We ooh-ed and aaah-ed over how stunning and cute she was. So, we stayed there for a bit, Mr Paws playing with Nakama, me watching two men play with tiny kittens, and before we knew it, it was an hour later :’) I was really nervous and said it was time to leave, and that I had fallen in love with Epona (and Nakama to be honest) and really wanted to bring her home. I nervously added ‘that is, if you will let us’ and peeked at Sabrina. She said she had no doubts about us and would gladly inform the humane society that we were a match for Epona! YES! Mr Paws was just as thrilled as I was. So we left. The next step would be to contact the humane society about the official adoption and set a date.

Since Epona (now soon to be Evie :D) lived in the same city as my mother, with the humane society/shelter about 20 minutes away, I went to formalise the adoption on a Friday, when Evie was being fixed, and Mr Paws drove down on Monday so we could pick her up from Sabrina’s together. I gave Ezio a really big cuddle before I left on Thursday and apologized in advance for turning his life upside down, poor thing.

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All blissed out on his favourite footstool, unaware how his world would change in a few days =(

That Friday, my mum came with me to the shelter. It was a gorgeous ‘animal center’. They also train and educate people and pets there. As we were waiting for the lady from the cat department to come get us, a lady came in with two cats. A staff member walked up to her and put an arm around her, and she instantly started crying. She had adopted the two cats together after her own cat died, they were brother and sister and had been thick as thieves in the shelter. Now that she had brought them home, the boy had turned into a right terror, breaking furniture, hunting his sister down, running up and down kitchen cabinets, stairs, anything. The girl had become completely withdrawn because of this and the lady was stressed out to the max, constantly worrying about both cats, getting no sleep, and all this so close after losing her cat 🙁 So she gave up the cats and we could just tell she felt like a complete failure and was totally heartbroken 🙁 I felt so sorry for her and slightly worried about how Ezio and Evie’s future would turn out 😐
Anyway, we were allowed to go through to the cat section soon after. The cat adoption lady rolled her eyes as she said we were there to pick up ‘Epona’. She definitely preferred the name Evie! We named her after Evie Frye. Both cats are named after Assassin’s Creed characters =)
Since it was a Friday, all the ladies at the shelter were in a hyper mood and I thought I should totally work there, if it weren’t a two hour drive from Mr Paws and Ezio 😛 As the official part was taken care of, my mum and I left the humane society and ONLY THREE MORE SLEEPS TILL EVIE.

That Monday Mr Paws and I went to the garden center to get a kitten litter box. This duo was in the cat section 😀 We didn’t get them though. Even I could accept they were slightly kitsch-y.
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We went to Sabrina’s and rang the doorbell. Nobody answered! Not even after the third ring (we were feeling slightly guilty towards the cats at that point). My heart just sank and I was lost at what to do next. Someone exited the building and offered to let us in, which we kindly refused. Ten minutes later, this flustered looking, clean-shaven young man comes racing toward the bulding on his bike. I didn’t recognize him but Mr Paws did, he told me it was Sabrina’s boyfriend and YAY all would be well. He took us upstairs and called for Epona. Nakama would be picked up the next day. The mum had been left at the shelter when she was fixed the same day Epona and Nakama were, she would probably be released back into ‘the wild’ unless someone who had use for a semi-wild cat would adopt her.
Epona still didn’t trust us, as was expected. The bf wanted to hand her to me, but I let her sniff my finger instead. No need to rush the poor thing. Mr Paws did the same thing, and we offered the carrier so the bf could put Epona in there. Which went smoothly <3

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Evie in her carrier on the way home

We then drove back to my mother’s house, where we introduced Epona to my mum and sister, who came racing home from work just to be in time to meet her 😀 We offered Epona some food and water, and half a tablet to make the car journey (2,5 hours) less stressful for her. Then it was time to return to Ezio! <3 All in all, she was pretty relaxed after the first 15 minutes, during which she crien on and off. After that, she slept or dozed off.
When we arrived home, we quickly put Evie in a seperate room and cuddled Ezio. He didn’t have a clue! Evie however didn’t appreciate being alone, so after a while she started complaining and the secret was out.

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Evie trying to get to Ezio

Honestly, it was quite clear from the beginning that Evie was more interested in getting to Ezio than us. She used us for comfort, purring loudly to calm herself down. She did like us, but she was wildly curious about Ezio. Just a few days earlier she had been with her mother, brother, and Sabrina’s own cat . She had even played with the rabbits. Now, she was alone in a kitten wonderland. I really wasn’t prepared for the emotional turmoil! I felt guilty about leaving Evie alone, but I also felt guilty when I was leaving Ezio alone to be with Evie. We desperately wanted the two of them to get along so we weren’t going to rush the introduction period.

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This is typical of every pic of Evie of those first weeks .

After two days, we closed the door to the living room so Ezio would have living room and kitchen and view to the balcony, and Evie would have kittenroom and bedroom. She loved the extra space.

She also had an instant appreciation for the footstools, just like Ezio.

Once a day, we changed rooms on them so Evie would be in the kitchen and living room, and Ezio in the bedroom and kittenroom. I always felt guilty fot the cat that wasn’t in the living room, even though I knew they both liked the bedroom a lot.

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Evie loves spying on birds outside our windows as much as Ezio does =)

During the day, I would regularly find Ezio like this:

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Evie is behind that door.

At night, we would give them their wetfood on opposite sides of the door. There weren’t any shenanigans (we would soon learn Evie doesn’t give a sh*t about anything or anyone if there is food around) so we graduated them their favourite snack on opposite sides of a fence/gate-thingy. Ezio was very interested yet cautious.EzioEvieGate

We started allowing both cats in the same room for short periods of time. Evie did a lot of exploring. Ezio did a lot of stalking. He couldn’t quite figure out why this tiny, unpredictable creature would play with him one minute, and ignore him the next. Sometimes when they played he would take it too far (still does) and Evie squealed like a squeaky toy. We usually intervened and seperated them to calm them down. Most of the time though, they were just fine. She would (still does) greet him with a cuddle each time she saw him. He just gets confused. I never let them out of my sight though those first few days! It was exhausting.
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Evie loves it when I watch the WildEarth waterhole webcam or safari. She will doze on my laptop, listening to the sounds of the African bush and pretend she’s an African cat. EvieWildEarth

It was clear quite quickly that Evie is obsessed with food. She will steal any food from Ezio. He allows it. Even his treasured wetfood, which he has always eaten jelly first, meat 20 minutes later. But now, as soon as he walks away, Evie will come running and eat his meat. We used to put her in a different room so he could finish, but he would just wait by the door for her to be allowed back in. So I guess he’s pretty fond of her after all!

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Sometimes they get confused. Here, they didn’t realise the door was actually open and they could just walk around it to get to each other :’)

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Evie loves to sleep underneath a sheet of bubblewrap. I’ve kept this sheet especially for her!

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Such a little charmer.

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Evie is a wild climber. Ezio jumps into this tower, platform to platform, she climbs along the pole. And stares down at her minions.
EvieTowerThe first time we saw Ezio grooming Evie, we felt so proud and happy. We had done the right thing by getting Ezio a friend. We picked the right kitten to be his friend. Then, when we spotted Ezio allowing Evie to groom him, that was another highlight =)
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Evie loves to sit down near Ezio and inch closer and closer, without him realising. He tolerates it 😉
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And of course, the Harlequin novel cover:

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Oh I’m sorry, I’ll just leave the room.

So, I guess that now, almost two months on, we can finally say we were right to adopt a kitten. Evie has a loving home, a friend she looks up to. Ezio has changed quite a bit, he is no longer focused on us so we sometimes feel quite neglected! But it’s what we wanted all along, so we’re not complaining =) We feel very lucky to have two totally different but amazing cats in our lives <3

xoxo

Fabiënne & LacquerLabCats

Ps; feel free to email me pictures of your pets 😀 I love to see them.