Cori and I both grew up with cats and have always loved them, so when we got married, it was always a question of when we'd get a cat- not if. In light of the crazy beginnings of our married life (we found out a week before the wedding that Cori had gotten a fellowship with the CDC and that we'd be leaving New Orleans- although we didn't know where we'd be going yet, 2 weeks after the wedding that we'd be moving to Tampa, and then 2 weeks after that we moved) we decided to wait until we had gotten a bit more settled before we went looking for a third addition to our family. We were thinking a year, maybe more, since we're not sure how long we'll be in Florida. That was the plan.
And then one Saturday morning, a month after our move, Cori and I were lounging around the house when someone knocked on the door. Being that it was 9am and we still didn't know many people in Tampa, we weren't quite sure what to expect when we opened the door. It was our across the street neighbor. She explained that some of her family was moving in temporarily and had a cat, but since she already had a couple dogs and was not a cat person, they were going to have to get rid of the cat. They had contemplated just letting it go feral, but decided to ask us if we wanted a cat. Before I knew it, Cori- my always think it through first husband- was saying sure, and a cat was carried across the street and into our arms. We agreed to keep her for a trial run- a day or so- but after just a few hours, it became clear. We were cat owners.
|Willow, our first weekend with her- you can tell in more recent pictures of her that we feed her well ;)|
She came with the name Tabitha, but we had always wanted to have a cat with a New Orleans-based name, so we decided to call her Willow, after the street I lived on for 3 years. (But shhh- don't tell our neighbors we renamed her!)
Willow is the sweetest cat in the world and we are absolutely in love with her. She is playful and has definite spunk, but she's not overwhelming wild, like some cats I've known (R.I.P, crazy cat Flash). She is definitely not afraid of people and loves to cuddle. She's always anxious to go outside, and now that she's been spayed (because a cat in heat is not something we ever want to experience again) we let her. We were nervous the first few times we let her out- what if she doesn't come back? what if she gets lost or hurt?- but quickly found out that while Willow might love being outside, she loves being the center of our attention even more. If we go outside looking for her after a short stint outside, she'll come bounding up to us, desperate for some loving. Her favorite days are when the weather is nice (which is often- thank you, Florida!) and we leave our doors open. She'll wander outside for a bit, then come back inside to be near us, then venture back outside, then back inside... the only downfall is when another neighborhood cat, Ladybug, sees our open door as an invitation to come inside and visit Willow's food dish. ;)
|Willow, right before we our weekend trip to New Orleans in September- she wanted to come with us!|
In the mornings, Cori has nicknamed Willow 'Alarm Kitty.' Willow will wait patiently for us in the mornings, snoozing on our bed, her spot by the window, on top of the refrigerator, or wherever her current hiding place is. But once our alarm goes off, Willow takes it upon herself to make sure that Cori and I don't oversleep. Cori and I are big fans of the snooze button, so Willow will come into our room, hop up on our bed, and do what she can to get our attention... sleep on top of us, attack our toes, nuzzle our faces. As soon as we get up, she's either off to wait (impatiently) by the food dish, or follows us into the bathroom so she can try to drink water from the sink as we wash our hands/faces. And on weekends when that alarm doesn't go off... well, she gives us a couple extra hours, but then makes her presence known.
We are so blessed by this crazy, adorable, loving kitty. We're in it with her for the long run, and I'm already thinking about how much we'll miss her the week we're in Virginia for Christmas. Sweet Willow, you bring us so much joy!