Monday, September 10, 2012

Meet Shug

Say hello to the newest member of the Johnstone-Hyatt household. This is Shug.

We're the stupidest for getting another animal. We're also stupid in love with her.

We adopted her, rather spontaneously, last Tuesday. Long story short: Ennis got sick, which took me back and forth three times to the Orange-Olive Veterinary Hospital, where in the lobby there were two cages of kittens available for adoption.

Each time I waited to see the doctor, I sat next to her cage and watched her play with the other kittens, and each time I fell a little more in love. I didn't even notice the other kittens; just her. She was special, I could tell. I couldn't ignore it.

To my astonishment, after joking about surprising him with a kitten, Jon wasn't totally against the idea. On my 3rd trip to the vet, he came along. We bought her right then and there.

One of the things that stood out about her is her syndactyly back paw. (Can you see it above in that photograph?) It's not super noticeable, but I did see it while I was getting to know her in the vet waiting room. We've since found out that she was the last remaining in her litter and a complete love-bug, but most people had passed on adopting her because of her back foot with only one little toe.

Well, it certainly didn't bother us, and more importantly, it doesn't seem to bother her at all. In fact, she's about twice as active, playful, quick, and strong as Fry was when we got him at 5 months old. (She's about 4 months old, according to the vet.)

She's the cuddliest and Ennis already gives her lots of kisses.

I would have posted about her sooner, but I didn't want to announce her until we'd settled on a name. It was actually really hard for us to decide on something, unlike with my previous animals. We went through innumerable options, taking an entire day to play around with our favorites to see if anything stuck. Many beautiful, girly, character-appropriate names came to mind (I'm a fan of naming animals after characters from literature, film, or television - see Ennis, Fry, and Peekay), but nothing felt right.

After looking through every bit of mythology we could think of, lists of constellations, most of the books and movies in our bookcase, and even getting some amazing lit-focused help from Kait, I had found many I loved, but nothing that fit our little gray girl.

Then The Color Purple came to mind (we'd already decided to get her a purple collar after originally planning to call her Leela as a companion for Fry) and I thought of Shug Avery, the assertive friend/lover of the book's heroine, Celie. We both love the movie, and I'm a big fan of the book and musical. We tested it out all day on Friday and... it worked. Sure, it's not as pretty as KatsaPrynne, Echo, Lyra, or Petra (a few other favorites of mine after Leela), but we found it was easier to say and perfectly suited to her rambunctious attitude and imperfections. Plus, Shug is simply an amazing character. (I've been singing this song for days now.)

We're so smitten for this kitten.

Expect to see more pictures of her as time goes on. I've tried tirelessly for days to get a decent one of her with Fry, but she doesn't hold still for long. She's so, so tiny compared to him. We're excited for her to grow and for them to become best buds. Fry already plays with her and washes her face, though, I admit, he isn't completely thrilled at her presence.

Oh, animals. They're the best.

*Images property of The Sleepy Peach


  1. How exciting!! Congrats! She's so beautiful - I love the top right photo.

  2. She's gorgeous!! And she looks so much like Bartleby, it's nuts! Particularly the profile - very regal.

    I think Shug Avery is the perfect name. Great character for a great kitty-cat. Also, you KNOW "Push Da Button" is my go-to musical theatre jam.

    I can't wait to meet her this weekend, and so happy to hear that the whole family is getting along splendidly. =)

  3. My heart is melting! I can't wait to meet her and Fry!

  4. Awwww, Shug :) It has such sweetness to it (and literary/film sweetness as well) for such a sweet little monster!