Four years ago, my husband made a very odd proclamation. He waited until our then four-year-old daughter went to bed and very quietly told me that he thought it was time for her to have a pet of her own. At the time, we were pet parents to two dogs - both of which were with us many years before she came along. If you know my husband, you know he isn't a soft, cuddly man, and kittens aren't usually at the top of his agenda. But, he had a particular cat in mind.

He was a total ham from the beginning. Photo: Ashley S

At first, I was actually against the idea. I don't like cleaning a litter box and teaching both my child and the cat how to behave didn't sound appealing. But, maternal love won out and on a random Saturday, I decided to go pick up the kitten he had his eye on.

I had to buy baby slings for him to sleep in because he got too big to sleep in my bra... Ashley S

When we phoned the owner, she told us that she had changed her mind. Now, if you've ever parented, or even been around a four-year-old girl for more than say... five minutes, you know that you don't just go around promising kittens and then change your mind. GAH, what was I gonna do? Where do I come up with the perfect kitten on such short notice? I tried backpedaling but I could tell her mind just couldn't wrap around going home without a kitten. So, I made a swift right onto Vann Road on our way home from dance class. We headed down to the Warrick Humane Society.

Feed me! Ashley S

I have had two special kitties - both of which came into my life by chance. I never went looking for a cat before so I wasn't sure what to look for. We went into the cat room and hung out with some of the adult cats. Some were sweet, some were standoffish. My personal favorite was an adult Himalayan that got really bent out of shape when I tried to pet him and was vocal about his disdain for me but then followed me around wanting more attention that he could then yell at me about. But, this particular attitude wouldn't do well with a youngster and two dogs.

Ashley S

One by one, we brought each kitten into the cat room for playtime and one by one, they ran off to investigate and explore - essentially, ignoring my child. As we were about to leave, she spotted an orange and white kitten in the very bottom kennel that was making a fuss. "I want to see that one." The WHS employee took the kitten from the kennel and handed wee Travis to her. Boy, did he turn on the charm! The scroungy little "ditch kitty" purred, and snuggled, and kissed, and loved on my little girl. The staff told me that he was a favorite and kids love the crusty-eyed imp but moms, well, not so much. I could see why. There are literally hundreds of thousands - maybe millions of cats in the world. He was a plain old little orange tabby kitty.

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I told my daughter that we needed to check the other shelters just to make sure. After about four hours, trips to various shelters in the area, and what seemed like thousands of cats later, I asked my daughter what she thought. She immediately said, "I want the orange and white kitty!" So, as a dutiful mother, I called up WHS and asked them to hold the ditch kitty. They said, "No problem. People were not breaking down the door to get to him." HA their loss!

Cuteness overload!! Ashley S

We've had Travis - now Peyton Meownning - for two years and I can't imagine a more perfect fit for our home. He isn't afraid of anything - including our 115 lb Akita. He follows along when we take the dogs for a walk in the neighborhood. He snuggles and loves on my "Elmyra" daughter (yes, Tiny Toons Elmyra) with no struggle or scratching. He even lets her dress him up in doll clothes, sits in the doll high chair and lets her feed him wet cat food, and has been the subject of her class show-and-tell days letting 20 preschoolers love on him.

Playing with her "baby" Ashley S

We've watched P-Kitty grow and mature. I had forgotten how wonderful it was to have a cat in the house. He takes such great delight in little things like toys and dinner time! It so funny to watch his eyes get really big and bright when you wiggle your finger under a blanket or see him sneak behind the door with the aim of jumping out and attacking your foot as you walk by. He relishes in his accomplishment when I act like he really scares me. And, there's really no better way to wake up then a loud purring noise and sweet kisses - even at 4 a.m.

I, too, had an orange and white ditch kitty when I was a little girl and Pete stuck it out for 22 years. Somehow, I had forgotten about the tremendous heart inside the plain old orange tabby from my childhood. He loved me fiercely and I can only hope for such bond between P-Kitty and my little girl. When I look at him now, I don't see an orange and white tabby - I see a pet who is immeasurably grateful for his rescue. Who lets a little girl play with him for hours on end. Who she always delights in seeing and doesn't run away and hide. Who cuddles up with me after a long day and turns on the charm all over again. And to all the moms who missed out on P-Kitty, sorry 'bout ya! You should have listened to your kids!

Ashley S

I'm so glad we could save not one, but two lives from the WHS. We saved P-Kitty and the kitten who was fortunate enough to take his place at the no-kill shelter. The WHS has more kittens to love. If you are thinking about saving a life, check them out today!

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