A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

My Track Record…



…for being pet-less seems to be about 10 months, max.

Say “hello” to Lena (pronounced “lay-nah”) and Romy (pronounced “roam-ee”)

I was still quite sad over the loss of Henry and Ella last year and finally decided the house was just too empty without a couple of cats.

One afternoon I decided to visit a few shelters to meet some cats. There were so many great candidates and I felt bad about turning any away. I didn’t know how I was going to decide.

I saw a pair of females that I really liked at one cat shelter in Chicago. They were about a year old and considered a bonded pair (but not litter mates) and were only adopting them together. One was a polydactyl, or Hemingway cat, with extra toes. She had beautiful markings as well. The other was a thinly-striped tabby and also very pretty (I’m very partial to tabbies since my first cat was a tabby.)

My last stop was at the Evanston Animal Shelter which was where we got Axel and Günter as kittens. My mom came with and Pete eventually met us there after work. We saw a number of great options. The last pair they brought in was Lena and Romy (named Athena and Shadow at the shelter). They arrived at the shelter around the same time last July/August at about 4-6 weeks old. Romy was left by someone at the shelter’s back door (to avoid having to pay an “intake” fee) and Lena was a feral stray who was captured and brought in. They were put together from Day One and became bonded.

Romy is extremely outgoing and will approach anyone and sit on their lap while Lena is much more timid. I’m certain that she prevented Romy from being adopted sooner because she was so skittish and afraid (they were only adopting them together). Even so, she watched our every move from the cat tree with those huge eyes as we visited with them. As soon as Romy jumped on my mom’s lap, my mom was convinced. I still wasn’t so sure though and wanted to revisit the two I saw at the other shelter before I made a final decision.

I went back to the Chicago shelter a couple days later. I still really liked the pair, but when I asked if they had a room to visit with the cats one-on-one (they were in a huge room with about 20 other cats), they said that they found it stressed the cats out too much and didn’t allow that. I don’t see how you can see if you connect with an animal if there are a million other distractions in a room with so much going on! That pretty much sealed the deal for me and I headed back to Evanston. It was all for the best, because something about Lena tugged at my heart after I first saw her and I felt like she needed someone who understood her and would be patient as she settled in.

Lena has really come out of her shell in the past six weeks. For someone who refused to come out of the cat carrier the first couple of days and who didn’t say a peep the first couple of weeks, she now won’t shut up when it’s mealtime, gives me a little tap on the leg when I walk past her or ignore her, and fights with Romy over my lap (which usually ends up being covered with both of them). Romy is the type of cat that anyone can pick up, flip her on her back and rub her belly and she’ll be perfectly happy. She also loves to suckle on ear lobes if you’ll let her.

All-in-all I’d say they like it here, and the feeling is mutual!


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