– Ben Martens


It feels good to finally talk about this! We got two cats!

The story starts long ago. Tyla and I have had lots of discussions about pets. She especially loves dogs and was heartbroken where her black lab Oskar died in April of 2015. (It’s a long story but he lived with her parents so it was never really “our dog”.)

Lots of people around here have dogs, but when I think about having a dog, I want to have a big property where it can run around.

Years went by. Elijah loves watching the neighbors’ pet rabbit and the guinea pig of some friends from church. He regularly asks for various animals, but finally in the past few months, Tyla and I started talking more seriously about getting cats and decided it was time. Then the question was how to tell Elijah.

When I was a kid, I remember hearing a devotion at school on Matthew 7:7 (ask and it will be given to you.) I’m not sure I really got the point of the devotion, but I went home and asked my parents if we could get a cat. To my total shock they immediately replied with “Yes!” Turns out they had been thinking about it already. I was hoping to say “Yes!” to Elijah but we got tired of waiting and sat him down for a family meeting to talk about getting a cat. We walked through the decision making process together with him and explained all the prep work we’d have to do and for how long this decision would impact our family. With some luck he’ll be in college before the cats die!

We also used this as an opportunity for Elijah to try to keep a big secret, and he did really well! He’d come home every day telling us how hard it was to not tell his friends.

We spent a day shopping the interwebz for cat supplies, learning how every choice was bound to kill our cats, and then had fun watching the packages pile up. Once they all arrived, we got more serious about applying for cats. Some places had 6 page forms asking incredibly personal and probing questions while others just said “call and leave a number.” Cats would appear on and then be taken off in mere hours. It was amazing how quickly they all got adopted!

So when we got a call back on Thursday, we agreed to take Elijah out of school a little early on Friday to drive up to The Noah Center in Stanwood. It was an appointment only situation and we nervously waited in the parking lot for them to come get us. When we walked in, we were so excited to see around 15 cats waiting to be adopted! They put us in a room with half a dozen cats and gave us time to get acquainted.

Throughout this process, Tyla has had her heart set on an orange cat, but she said she’d be happy with anything as long as it wasn’t just a couple of all black cats because those are boring and common. (In this climate I feel bad saying we didn’t want a black cat. But this is ok, right?) So of course, I sat down on the floor in this room and immediately an all black cat comes walking directly towards me, curls up in my lap and starts purring. She sat there the entire time and when I moved her to leave she hopped back in my lap. Meanwhile, Elijah had found a striped cat that he was having fun playing with and Tyla was getting attacked by the most rambunctious cat in the group. We looked at some other cats but we ended up deciding on those the one that sat in my lap and the one that Elijah was playing with.

They’re both females (not sisters) and are about two months old. They got spayed yesterday so we’re supposed to keep the activity level down (HA!) and we have to watch their incisions to make sure everything heals ok. And because they’re so young, the recommendation was to keep them in a small room for a couple weeks. We cleared everything out of the room at the top of the stairs and set it up with food, water, litter box, blankets, a bed and some toys.

They came with names from the shelter but we are probably going to pick new ones. Hopefully we get that figured out soon because it feels awkward to not refer to them by name.

Prepare for floods of cat pictures on our Instagram accounts!