Nov 212011

I always saw myself as a one-pet-at-a-time kind of gal. Almost ten years ago we got our dog, Bentley, and he’s awesome. That’s the only pet we’ll have, I thought.

Then we moved to Indy. And felt bad about leaving Bentley by himself while Andy and I worked all day. So we got Bentley a kitten, Simon.

Simon and Bentley make a great pair, and for the past almost-ten years I’ve been a one-pet-at-a-time kind of gal who makes a special exception for the two best pets ever. We added twins to the mix, and our house seemed very full of people and fur. Our family seemed complete. I even had surgery this summer to ensure we added no more creatures to this household, remember?

Well, meet Millie.

Millie showed up at our house this fall and decided we were her family. She appeared one afternoon while Henry and Eleanor were playing outside. They were in heaven and followed her around all day. The next day, she showed up again. And then the next. Andy and I did the whole “we do not need another pet we are NOT getting attached to this cat” routine while we attempted to track down her owner. Except then we started to worry about her at night, so we allowed her to sleep in the garage. And then we got tired of calling her “the cat” so we spent a morning texting each other name suggestions.

After a few days we determined that her original home was one block over from us. As the dad and son carried her back home, the kids kept it together, but then Eleanor sobbed her heart out for the rest of the night. Our animal-loving girl was heartbroken, and we were heartbroken for her.

The next day, we received an email from the neighbor’s wife. When they had brought Millie home the night before, she wriggled and squirmed until she broke free, and darted back in the direction of our house. No pressure, the neighbor said, you can choose what’s best for you. The cat obviously loves your family, so if you’d like to keep her, we’d let her join your family.

So, in a nutshell, it’s been over a month now, and we apparently have a second cat. I knew we were going to keep her when I heard Andy call her “sweetums” one night while trying to coax her upstairs. The kids adore her, she’s super friendly and likes to chat, and seems to be slowly getting used to Simon. She’s definitely made herself at home and has her rotation of good napping spots.

(photo by Henry)

Her name? We wanted something to play off her white fur. Betty (as in Betty White) was out because it sounded too much like Bentley. And she just didn’t seem like a Vanna. So she’s named after Milli Vanilli. Millicent Vanilla, we like to call her.

We weren’t planning on working our way towards a menagerie, but when the pet chooses you, how can you say no? I’ve somehow gone from a one-pet-at-a-time gal to a one-dog-and-okay-two-cats-but-seriously-that’s-it-we-are-NOT-adding-any-more-animals-to-this-family-I’m-serious kind of gal.

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