Saturday, May 13, 2017

Busy Summer Coming Up!

We don't usually like to fill up our weekends too much in advance, preferring to be able to fall back and recuperate on empty Saturdays if we want to. However...that will not be the case for the next few months. Things are looking quite busy! But at least they're mostly fun and exciting things.

Here's what we've got lined up for the next few months:

  • The Lantern Fest - this will be the Americanized version of the Yi Peng Lantern Festival that we took part in while in Thailand - but I think we'll actually get to light lanterns this time. We could have done that in Chiang Mai, but I don't remember ever seeing any places that were selling lanterns. 
  • An Alice in Wonderland themed Escape Room!
  • We're planning on climbing Mount Olympus again. It's a tough but fun mountain to summit!
  • My old Steampunk/Steamfunk group has plans for an updated photoshoot in costume - which we're actually planning on doing at our home since we have such high ceilings in the garage. 
  • We've got tickets to a US National soccer game - we'll see how this compares to the Real games we've been to.
  • Brandon's headed to Lake Powell with the young men in our ward. 
  • That same weekend, I'll be running the first of three half marathons I've signed up for this year. 
  • The Farmer's Market! 
  • We're headed to Alabama for a mini-family reunion. 
  • Utah Arts Festival!
  • Skydiving!
  • Work party at Top Golf!
  • Sun Valley!
  • iFly! Flowrider! iRock! 
  • My sister Carina will be visiting out in Utah!
  • And the second and third halfs (halves?) that I've signed up for!
  • And Comic Con! (I'm trying to persuade Brandon to do some awesome costumes with me...but we'll see...)
And that's just what we've got planned as of today. 

We don't have any large vacations this year (hopefully next year!), but we've definitely got lots of small things to look forward to. Things that don't require PTO, since I've got less than usual of that until 2018!

In Which We Meet Pharah

We made a fairly significant and somewhat spontaneous change to our lives this past Saturday (5/6/17). We'd taken Peaches in for her annual shots at the Humane Society Clinic and (as we usually do) popped over to the Adoptions to visit the animals there. As we were visiting one of the various rooms (each has between about two and five cats in it), a cat in the next room over stretched up to paw at the window dividing the rooms - getting our attention. We moved over to this room and gave the friendly cat lots of attention. But there were also several other cats in this room that were fairly friendly. One of them, a tiny little tabby colored medium furred cat, was wonderfully cuddly as I sat on the bench in the room. She was pleased to be pet and purred for all the world to hear. Brandon picked her up and as he was holding her, brought her over to the carrier that Peaches was (unhappily) hanging out in. And quite surprisingly, Peaches didn't hiss at this little cat (highly unusual).

Surprised and curious, I then posed the idea of us taking home this little cat as a second kitty in our home and a companion to Peaches. This is something that we've wanted to do for awhile (regretting not getting two at the onset), but had hesitated to do as Peaches had always responded to any other cats/dogs with grumbly hisses. Still playing with the thought, we took Peaches and this little cat (who we thought was named "Angel") to one of their meet and greet rooms - rooms where you could spend a little more time with different cats to see if they'd be good matches.

As we watched Peaches and the little cat wander the room (and now the hisses came out from Peaches), one of the volunteers poked her head in to see if we had the paperwork for Angel. As we didn't, I went with her to the room to select the correct one. However, she said she didn't think it was Angel, as that paperwork matched another cat's collar. So I came back to the meet and greet room with the paperwork for "Little Buddy". However, as we looked at the paperwork for Little Buddy, that didn't quite seem right either. We had the volunteer come back with a chip reader (the small cat was micro chipped) and then she proceeded to print out the correct information.

This little cat (then named Chloe) was about nine months old. She'd been brought to the Humane Society not too many weeks earlier (she still has a healing scar from being spayed) by a homeless person who was living out of their car. That person had realized their car wasn't enough room for the little cat and had brought her to the Humane Society.

And we're very grateful they decided to do that.

As we sat in the room with Peaches and the little cat, we went through all of the realities of adopting another cat (that we could think of at the time). Peaches would be a grumpy cat for awhile, surly. There would be lots of hissing, potentially little spats. We might need to keep them separated for a little while. Traveling both with and without them would also be more difficult. We might need to add another litter box. It would change the status quo.

But, I wanted to go for it and Brandon agreed. So we did! I filled out the proper paperwork and we collected our Peaches and this new little kitty to both come home with us. The car ride home was surprisingly quiet. Peaches hardly meowed at all and the new cat even less.

At home the two did hiss at each other, but mostly kept out of one another's way. We headed off to a wedding in the evening (lots of fun), but decided to let them both just wander the apartment. They were both whole and generally well when we got home.

Sunday it became clear that the little cat had brought a cold home with her. When I woke up I heard her occasionally sneezing, but it took me awhile to locate her buried in one of the drawers inside our armoire. She's got to be pretty small to fit through the opening. I made her a little cave out of blankets and pillows on the couch and she spent most of the rest of the day there, coming out occasionally to walk around, get a drink, or grab a bite to eat. By the evening she was quite lethargic, and we made plans to call the Humane Society the next day to see what they advised as far as getting her treated for her cold.

In all of this, we've been trying to determine a name for her. Chloe was not a bad name, but neither of us loved it like we'd loved Peaches' name. We considered Fox, Fawkes, Raposa (Portugues for fox), Lishka (Czech for fox), Kit, and a few other variations. Ultimately we settled on Pharah. Why Pharah? Well, she is so slender and long, but with slightly short legs and a wonderfully fluffy and elegant tail. All of these together give her the look of something in-between a fox and a ferret. Clearly we'd looked for versions of "fox". But when we started to consider versions of "ferret," Brandon's mind went to the Overwatch character Pharah - I think mostly due to the similarity of the sounds. And even though that may be where the similarities end, after feeling the name out for about a day, we decided to go with it.

(Ironically appropriate, when the Overwatch character Pharah does one of her ultimate moves, she yells out, "Justice rains from above!" The other night Brandon had placed Pharah above him near the computer and she sneezed several times down on top of him and his computer - raining down her sneezy justice.)

So we now have our two cats - Peaches and Pharah. Peaches weighs about twice as much as Pharah. They're not yet friends. But we're hoping with time and lots of love that they might become friends. And in the meantime, they're both at least chill enough to adapt to the presence of each other. And honestly - the hardest thing so far has been diving our love between these two sweet creatures.

It's been an entire week now! She's a cutie!