Welcome to the Family

by  Christian A. Brown  |  April 23, 2017  |     12 Comments

We never thought that we would love another animal so soon, yet here we are. In four to six weeks we’ll have a beautiful new fur baby in our home. Meet Jupiter.

 

Jupiter, Curious
Jupiter, Thoughtful

 

Even his name is a bit of a pricking-thorn to us, since it’s the Roman version of Zeus–our recent and dearly departed fur son. We (perhaps subconsciously) chose that name without realizing its significance until after we’d already fallen in love with the name.

Rewinding to how we arrived here: a few weeks ago, we made the decision to get a new brother for Persey. Since Zeus’s passing she has been grief-stricken: meowing and lonely. It’s gotten to the point where she just walks around, wailing, and wakes us in the dead of night. I’ve been getting up at around 2 a.m. most mornings, as once I’m woken, I don’t settle down again. Needless to say I’ve been feeling ragged. I usually grumble at her for a while, then sit with her, since all she really wants is a friend, and she almost immediately calms with my company. Persey has always been a needy, curious creature, though lately her behavior has been testing the limits of our patience. She’s underfoot, constantly. She’s into every cabinet. And just when you might want to get angry at her, she stops and sniffs one of Zeus’s favorite spots and lets out a withering, sad meow.

She misses Zeus: we all do. We got him when he was a baby and she–being a year older–claimed him as her child: grooming him, biting him (in that affectionate way cats do). Even though he had about 6 lbs of size on her, he was always the submissive one. He believed, as she did, that she was his mother or at least older sister. Persey is just as heartbroken as we are. We knew we had to do something.

Now the advantage of being an adoptive (pet) parent, is that you can plan for the arrival of a new fur baby. We discussed our options, checked that our house was kittenproof, and brainstormed exactly what kind of companion Persey needed: a good-natured, large, happy breed, to counter her neurotic tendencies. We would get pet insurance ahead of time, and contacted our veterinarian to go over a checklist of anything and everything new pet parents should know. At the time, too, we were thinking far more of Persey’s welfare and happiness than of our own. This was for her we believed.

Last weekend the national Pet Expo rolled into town, and armed with our questions and lists we met with various breeders and showpersons. Soon after we met Jupiter, and when the illusion of this all being for Persey’s mental health fell apart. I believe in love at first sight, though that’s only ever happened between myself and another human once. When it comes to animals, I’ve felt that pull thrice. You just know, without any qualifiers or doubts, that you want to protect and support that creature. We knew that when we saw this little guy. Only a few weeks to go until he’s grown enough to come home!

I still feel a stab of sorrow whenever I hear Persey cry out, when I glance to the armrest where Zeus used to perch himself, or when see that gorgeous picture of our tuxedo-wearing little fellah on our bathroom wall. Although, my heart has begun to do that shift where the pain is softer and the memories of what was good about him surface more, and Persey’s cries will cease when her baby brother arrives. I’ll still continue to heal for a year, or longer. And what I’ve learned of life–especially after mom–is that the sooner you open yourself up to love again, the faster you can heal: not erase the memory, but embrace it.

One day, I’ll look to Jupiter, purring happily, doing his cattish things (although Maine Coons have dog-like traits), and I’ll think: “I wish you could have met Zeus. I love you both so much,” without that pinch, that tug of a tear, and only with happiness.

All my love,

–C

P.S. If you live in the GTA there’s a national pet adoption push going on at Petsmart and the Humane Society. Get out there and save lives! Persey and Zeus were both rescues and there are thousands of animals in need of loving homes.

12 Comments

  1. Julie Frayn on April 23, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I heart this so much…

    • Christian A. Brown on April 23, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      He’s such a remarkable little creature–all animals are. Can’t wait to bring him home and have him meet his older sister.

      How’s everything with you btw? Gimmie an excerpt to promote (totally free); your stuff is brilliant!

      • Julie Frayn on April 26, 2017 at 9:27 am

        All is well. My son is home, my daughter finished her BA, I’m going to publish this year. Hooray! 🙂 And you’re very sweet. I’ll DM you later. I’d like to return that favour.

  2. J.H. Moncrieff on April 23, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Aw, he’s gorgeous! What a little cutie.

    Your recollections of Zeus and what your other kitty is going through were heartbreaking. It’s so sad to lose a member of the family, especially one so loved and unconditionally loving. You’re right–once you open your heart to another animal, it’s much easier to heal. I think they design it that way.

    • Christian A. Brown on April 24, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Love is this beautiful unending ache, isn’t it? And, yeah, even though we (humans) can be good at deflecting grief, it’s painfully obvious when an animal is grieving. Only a few more weeks though and she’ll have a new friend to love.

  3. Lulu on April 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    SUCH a handsome bb! I’ve heard great things about Maine Coons and I think y’all are really going to just love him, and I hope Persey does too!

    • Christian A. Brown on April 24, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      He is quite a handsome fellah! Gorgeous patterning on his face and coat, and maine coons develop really rich shades as they age. We are very lucky to have found him. How’s your fur baby doing? If I remember correctly, his name is Frodo Barkins, which is all kinds of fabulous 🙂

      • Lulu on April 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm

        I can’t wait to see him grow up and into his full, majestic coat and size! He’s probably going to tower over Persey. Frodo’s doing well! Enrolled in puppy classes and about to get his first haircut so exciting stuff!

  4. Cathi on April 24, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    He is gorgeous! You will love your Maine Coon kitty – they are such amazing cats and very smart and affectionate. Cats do mourn the loss of their friends – we went through that with a cat a few years ago and it was heartbreaking!

    • Christian A. Brown on April 25, 2017 at 4:28 am

      They are such a special breed: really unique traits–especially their fascination with water! The breeder sent us a video of Jupiter splashing about in his waterdish like a duck the other day 🙂 Needless to say, rubber pet mats are a must!

  5. Ally on April 24, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    I love love LOVE your new furbaby! I hope you and your little family do well on the healing journey, feat. baby jupiter.

    • Christian A. Brown on April 25, 2017 at 4:29 am

      You can expect a nonstop barrage of cuteness taking over my Instagram soon as we get him!

      P.S. LOVE the new site and content you guys started (huge gamer here). Clever name, too.

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