Bites at Animal Planet

27 Nov

Kitten Cam Stars Follow-Up: An Adoption Story



Photo by Beth Howell Caldwell

For as long as I can remember, I always asked my parents for a cat for Christmas. Alas, for reasons that are still unclear to me, my parents never allowed me to have a furry little friend (perhaps because I was so distraught over the death of my five-year-old goldfish, Swimmy, the only pet I ever had).

So, when I moved into a one-bedroom apartment on my own in August, I decided that it was time to bring a cat home. At the ripe old age of 29, I was finally making my childhood dreams come true.

When we partnered with the Washington Animal Rescue League to do a live kitten cam, I knew I had found the shelter where I'd adopt the newest addition to my family. It was just a matter of picking a forever friend out. I originally thought I wanted an older cat and, of course, told myself that I could only get one.

All that went out the door the day we went to photograph the kitten cam stars for the Animal Planet Web site (where I'm an Interactive Producer by day). You see, I grew up in a family of farmers and it wasn't uncommon for cats to wander onto the farm - and these cats were usually black and white. Being me, I loved these cats and considered them my own since I never did get my own cat. So when I met Sleepy, I knew I was in trouble. He let me hold him, meowed sweetly and started licking my sweater. I remember telling Pam Townsend, one of the many great people who work at WARL, that I needed to fill out the adoption papers immediately.


Photo by Beth Howell Caldwell

I wasn't planning on adopting another kitten, but the more I talked to people, the more I felt that having an additional play pal would be good - for socialization and because my schedule can sometimes be unpredictable. And that's how Bashful also ended up in my new family. And like any good mother will tell you, I love them both equally for so many different reasons.


Photo by Randi Wheeler

I brought Sleepy and Bashful (now named Otis and Etta after two of my favorite musicians, Otis Redding and Etta James) on election day. I had spent the month preparing for their arrival - buying toys, cat food, kitty-proofing my apartment - but even all that preparation didn't prepare me for the amount of happiness and love these two little guys have brought into my life in such a short amount of time.


Photos by Beth Howell Caldwell

Each one already has their own distinctive personality. Otis (Sleepy) is vocal. He lets you know when he's annoyed or wants something. He's more content to sometimes wander off on his own, but still loves playtime with Etta and will sneak off to enjoy some alone time with me. He's also my morning alarm clock. I know it's time to get up when I feel him leap onto the bed, crawl up my side, get real close to my face and meow loudly. He also has the loudest purr I have ever heard. You often hear him before you see him.



Etta (Bashful) was suffering from an upper respiratory infection and was battling to get rid of it over the first two weeks I had her. With some trips to the vet and an investment in kitten antibiotics, she seems to be doing great. She's a peanut, but don't let her petite stature fool you. She is curious, often instigates playtime wrestles with Otis and is fearless. The girl can climb! But she's also a little cuddle bunny and will snuggle up real close wherever you happen to be sitting.

It's impossible not to love them.

All of the kittens from the first live camera have been adopted. I know many were concerned when the kittens were removed and new little ones were brought in, however, it's important that these cuties find their forever home (despite how attached we become while watching them daily!).

Are you interested in adopting a forever friend? Visit WARL to learn more about adoptions and check out available pets. And be sure to check out the kitten cam!

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