My Furry Children: Elphaba

 “Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.”
~Oprah Winfrey 

 

Since opening up a little about who my husband and I are in real life, I realize that I have not really been very forthcoming about our actual lives together. 

Though we have so far been unable to conceive a child, I became a type of mother almost 11 years ago, way back in 2006. This was when I adopted my baby kitten, Elphaba (named for the lead character in the popular Broadway musical, Wicked).

 

Now, I did have pets as a child, but I don’t think I fully grasped what it was to really have a pet as your own until you are the sole person in charge of their care. 

Much as my parents tried to teach my brother and I the importance of caring for them ourselves, most of the responsibility of caring for them (and all of the cost) fell to my mom and dad. 

Elphaba (Elphie) was the very first pet that I ever adopted on my own. 

Look at how cute and teeny she was! And those bat ears…

  

I was 22 years old, and had just moved all the way across the country to Los Angeles. I rented a junior one bedroom (basically a large studio with a half wall that created a “bedroom,” and was living alone for the first time in my life. 

I adopted Elphie about five days after moving. I had wanted a kitten for years, and I needed a companion for my new life. 

She chose me. 

I walked into the ASPCA looking for a kitten, and immediately fell in love with the kennel housing a litter of tiny tortoise shell baby cats. They were caramel, brown, gold, and black; each of them bubbling with personality. 

Despite my talking lovingly through the cage, Elphie was the only one of her brothers and sisters to come up to me. She did so with a little, “meow” and a nuzzle through the bars.

That was all the proof I needed that we belonged together. I paid the fee, signed some papers and agreed to pick her up in a day or two after she was spayed. 

Fun fact: I later found out that every single one of her siblings had already been adopted, and were merely awaiting shots and sterilization before they could go home. Elphie was the only free agent. It was like she knew she had to find her person. 

She was my first friend in Los Angeles, and my dearest companion as I learned how to live on my own. She was all sass, even as a kitten, and she actually scratched my husband on the face during the first few months we were dating (about two years after I adopted her). He said he understood, and that she was just scared, because back then he was trying to impress me. I found out later he was pretty mad. He hid it well. 

It was just me and Elphie when Mark came into our lives, but Peanut came along less than a year later. I will tell you about him in my next “Furry Children” post. 🙂

  

Eleven years (and two siblings) later, my gorgeous tortie is still full of personality, attitude, and so much love (on her terms of course).  

I’m so glad that she chose me to be her momma, and I’m so grateful that we found each other at that time in my life. 

Do you have any furry babies in your life? 

~Sam

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