Fuzzy, joy balls falling from the sky. That's the first thing you think when you think kittens, right?

Fuzzy, joy balls falling from the sky. That's the first thing you think when you think kittens, right?

Then you get kittens, and it's more like fuzzy ninjas falling from the sky. You think hydrogen peroxide. They have little claws, and they aren't quite sure what to do with them.

We went with cat over dog for a few reasons. One was we previously had a cat, who we loved very much. Plus, having a dog is like having a small child. And already we have two. 

Having a cat is different. It's more like letting someone sleep on your couch for 15 years.

When my wife and I discussed getting a new pet, we thought briefly of other possibilities, be it hamster, fish or reptile. I recalled the time as a kid, I couldn't find my hamster, Dale, only to discover he had gotten his hamster ball stuck under the bed. And I recalled my friend's carnival goldfish who lived many years and grew to be the size of a child's hand. I like to think it still lives, roaming some river, consuming fishermen whole.

But we dismissed those ideas quickly. We were ready to put in the love and time needed for a cat.

We had been looking to adopt a cat or 12 for the last month or so. The thing you learn is when in the presence of kittens, you stop thinking like a rational adult who came into the situation looking for a cat, and become a little kid who wants to take home as many cats as he can carry. We decided on two, because we always felt bad that our previous cat didn't have a buddy, a companion in bird watching and knocking things off the coffee table.

Then we had to wait until they were old enough for us to take home. And we used it as inspiration.

When I put together my brand new grill a few weeks ago, I should have known winter wasn't done. But I thought, perhaps, I could will good weather through the power of grilling.

Then it snowed, twice.

As I lamented this fact, my wife reminded me sweetly there were better things to keep in mind.

"Kitties," she said.

When my daughters were sad about anything, we'd remind them about "kitties." When you are counting down to kitties, it's easy to let the other stuff fall off your shoulders. Snowing? Don't worry, kitties are coming. Can't watch your favorite movie 15 minutes before bedtime? No worries, kitties are coming.

We adopted sisters, one gray, one black, both have white feet and chests. They house-trained in a day, but it took a few days, and a couple scratches, for everyone to get to know each other.

A paper by the National Center for Health Research says having a pet may have several health benefits, from easing anxiety and lowering blood pressure to encouraging socialization. And I believe it. When kitty day finally came, there was a noticeable change in our home for the better. There is something vibrant that a pet brings out in each person, and I couldn't recommend it enough.

Reach Repository visual content editor David Manley at (330) 580-8490 or


On Twitter: @DaveManley